Miami, Florida, January 31, 2014:
As I type this blog, I'm sitting / resting at my laptop feeling rather contemplative at a hotel near Jackson Hospital. So I thought I would venture into the world of the unknown for just a little bit during this post. Seems like an especially relevant topic based on my sailing adventures and my recent health situation. And I can't imagine this idea hasn't crossed everyone's mind at one time or another. After all, none of us have all the answers. None of us know it all.
When I flew to Miami yesterday from the Turks and Caicos, I was looking for some definitive answers and some solutions to a health issue. For three years I had been having urinary discomfort. During that time, I had three physical exams and sought medical treatment from 3 separate urologists. Their analysis, answers and advice were always the same:
"Your prostate is normal for your age (63). You don't have any abnormal readings from your blood or urine tests. You must have an infection. Take this antibiotic."
At first this prescription was reassuring, while at the same time frustrating. A health care system always attempting to sooth the symptom, rather than pinpoint and address the cause. Sort of like plugging the leak in the ship's hull, without knowing where and how the leakage originated. Putting on bandages without finding the cause and a remedy. An antiquated health care system?
During my urinary discomfort, I had researched, studied, explored and experimented with various traditional and alternative approaches to alleviate some of my discomfort. I tried the following:
- 4-6 pints of fresh, purified water (alkaline) per day
- pure cranberry juice
- aloe juice
- avoid soft drinks
- limit alcohol consumption
Foods / Dietary:
- fish, chicken or turkey
- 70%-80% fresh vegetables
- salads with olive oil
- reduce protein / red meat consumption
- fruits, berries, limited bananas
- high fiber foods
- small snacks during the day
- stay away from processed foods
- rowing machine
- yoga (mind/body)
- Ionic Cleanse toxic foot baths
My health journey and sailing adventures) helped me explore the following question:
How I learned to approach the unknown?
- Examine what I know
- Find out what I didn't know
- Apply what I have learned
- Accept what I can't change
- Decide on what I want
- Chose what course of action to take
What I know...
- I don't know everything.
- My body better than anyone on the globe.
- My mind and body are as unique as everyone else's.
- Trained professionals know more than I about human bodies.
- People make mistakes.
- Knowing is better than not knowing.
- Ignorance isn't bliss; it's oblivious.
- Knowledge is power.
- With knowledge I can make informed decisions.
- People sometimes judge others with their misperceptions.
- I always have a choice.
- I'm responsible for my own experiences.
What I don't know...
- a great deal; to much to list
- what I don't know.
What I have learned, (not always known)...
- that whatever we ingest (food and thoughts), our body and mind want to digest.
- our nutritional intake helps heal.
- a holistic approach to health helps our wholeness.
- fresh food and ideas refresh the body, mind and spirit.
- one's choices depends on one's mindfulness.
- one's will depends upon one's heart.
- the quality of one's life depends upon the liver.
What I understand...
- I may learn or receive information that conflicts with my world view.
- I may learn or receive information I don't like.
- I may learn I have made some choices based on misperceptions.
- I might be fearful or skeptical about some.
- I might have a denial response to newness.
- to know more about what I don't know, but need to know.
- to know the difference between knowing too much and not enough.
- to learn and grow from each experience.
- I may have to alter some of my thinking, my habits and/or my plans.
Finally some unknowns revealed and some questions answered.
The nephrologist called with some test results:
- My kidneys are normal.
- I have a localized infection; no sign of systemic infections
- Evidence of bacteria in my blood and urine still showing up.
- No indication of where or how infection is coming from
- stay off antibiotics till Monday
- provide another urine culture on Monday
- set up appointment with urologist on Tuesday
- prescribed Azogesics (over-the-counter medication for pain, usually used by women)
Some relief and reassurance!
What is unknown?
How do we know what we don't know?
Is what we don't know important?
A curiosity or mystery maybe?
A journey for each of us to take?
Only a lifetime to ask your questions?