Sula was born late last night and lived only a few hours. She spent almost her entire life in her mother's arms while a ventilator breathed for her. Sometime this morning, Sula's parents made the decision to stop the ventilator. She died shortly afterward. Sula was a beautiful baby, perfect in every way except for extensive brain damage. Her time with her mother and father has been cherished by every member of her extended family. The pregnancy gave great joy to all of us because we love her mother so much and her mother had waited many years before making the decision to become pregnant. Sula was planned, hoped for, cherished, and loved by many people. Her name, which is from Africa, means "sunshine". Her mama is the daughter of my first cousin. Our family love each other passionately and loudly. We are a strong clan but tonight most of us are crying bitter tears. Some of us are angry. All of us are trying to take care of each other.
I am not asking "why" the way some of my cousins are doing. I learned a long time ago that asking that question is an exercise in futility. All I am trying to do is to meet each moment with the greatest care I can muster.
But sometimes, your soul just gets so tired of being strong. Sometimes your soul just wants to curl up away somewhere and not deal with any more challenges. Sometimes you just don't want to have to stand up any longer and be brave.
Peace be with you, Sula. And with your mama and your daddy. You did bring sunshine, even though it was only for a short time.
Life is good. Through daily jaw exercises and careful chewing, as well as massage and Reiki, the TMJ flare up has subsided. It did leave me with tinnitis in my right ear and so far I've not found a solution for that. I will always have to be careful with chewing but perhaps the TMJ will not get any worse than it was last month.
It's interesting to reflect on the changes in my body since my 50th birthday. Spinal stenosis, arthritis in my neck, TMJ flares, knee pain --- wow. Today I've had the warning signs of a stenosis flare so am trying to prepare for that. I've had several clumsy episodes today and now my right foot is dragging when I walk. So it's back to anti-inflammatories and cold compresses for a couple of days.
I've learned alot about physical health since my 50th birthday. The preceding part of my life was mostly involved with studying emotional and spiritual health and strengthening them. Maybe I should have done things the other way around!
Life is good.
I just re-read my previous journal and was stunned to realize that the TMJ flare up has lasted this long. What I thought was recuperation was not, and the jaw pain became more severe than it had been. It's been more than seven days of almost continuous pain. The last 48 hours have been much better, and I think it's because I decided to turn active and fight back with pain management instead of merely tolerating it.
Have been doing all the things recommended: using ice packs and moist heat compresses, taking an antiflammatory around the clock and a prescribed muscle relaxer. Additionally, I found some jaw exercises online and have been doing them, and I bought a sports mouthguard and am sleeping with it in my mouth. That has taken some getting used to as it is not pleasant.
I am eating only soft foods so that chewing is kept to a minimum. Meals have become quite boring!
But it is working. I am still aware of the joint problem but my bite is now more even and the jaw doesn't pop every time I speak, chew or swallow. Now there is only a little click as my jaw slips out of place. My entire jaw bone no longer feels as though I have a gigantic dull toothace in the bone; the pain is in the joint itself and in comparison to the way it was about a week ago, the pain in minimal. Tomorrow I will try to get through the day without the muscle relaxer and that will give me a better idea of just how much better things are.
I send a prayer out today for everyone who is learning to manage chronic pain: May healing Life energy fill every part of your body immediately, giving you sweet relieft and wholeness.
Namo Kuan Shih Yin Pu Sa
Chronic pain. Spinal stenosis and TMJ. Haven't had to visit an AMA doctor for over a year, but am now in an acute flare episode and nothing is helping very much. I suppose meditation is helping me endure it. But the pain is relentless, always lurking just on the other side of my last deep breath. I am trying to make friends with the pain and with the situation. Am very tired, didn't sleep well last night due to the discomfort and then went to the office as usual. Going to give in to the temptation of a prescribed pain pill in the hope that it will bring relaxation before bedtime.
Namo Kuan Shih Yin Pu Sa
I am feeling very blessed today and as a result, feeling thankful. I have such a wonderful support group both present with me and connected across distance. When there is such a connection, synchronicity becomes something else: expected! This Beliefnet community and others like it are doing much good in our world. We are all connected in the Great Scheme of things of course, but it is humanly comforting to be able to see the connections.
May you, Whoever You are, reading this be blessed, be healthy, be comforted, be at peace. May your heart be lifted and opened. May you know and experience love and compassion. May you be freed from sorrow and healed of guilt. May you bring blessings everywhere you go.
Thank you for being connected.
Wandering about the WWW tonight, I feel amused at all the different types of Reiki methods that are posted. Pray this way, use the traditional Reiki hand positions only, it is always necessary to do a full-body treatment/it is not necessary to always do a full body treatment, use a violet candle, chant this, honor that, call it this, it must be trademarked ---
Such conceit we humans have! Reiki is simply Reiki. Doesn't matter who we choose to pray to or what words we choose or how many certificates we have or how many different traditions we have "studied". Once you are a Reiki healer, you are simply a Reiki healer. You put your hands out to touch someone who is hurting or send your intent across the miles and behold! Connection. Healing. Joy. That is the sweetest thing about Reiki. It is Simply Life doing what It knows is best.
Yesterday our community laid to rest the bodies of the four children. Deep thanks and heartfelt blessings to the many searchers who refused to give up until all the babies were found and brought home. Now we turn our attention to healing, to helping their mother cope with the disorder in her life. May the amrit of heaven bathe and nurture her in all ways.
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