Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Awakening Compassion








I have undergone tremendous change since in the past five days.   It is truly beyond the imagination.  The Loving Embrace of Gaia shield came to pass on December 21, 2016. Once I created mine for me, a funny sense of not having things annoy me or 'catch' at my emotions followed me wherever I would go. Inside, I felt calm, loving, and detached...I was better able to help in every situation. I am not one to fly off the handle, but with this new shield I can't even remember what flying off the handle is!

I thought that was it.

I was so pleased with the shield that I spoke with Ross about it, and he suggested I offer it to people we know and work with.

I did. People who were interested asked if it was right for them, and for those whom it was, I created them.

Well, it's like the first stage of the rocket has burnt up, and now the next booster is kicking in, and it's COMPASSION, as in Big Time.

Even for people who have hurt me in the past, or people who kind of say things that might lead other people astray in their path, which hurts me very much too.

Fran Zepeda did a Direct Voice Channelling which in the past would have got me pretty worked up. By contrast, this time, I was able to see her side of things, she's doing the best she can, and for some reason, this is her thing, and she insists on doing it.

I was okay.

Judith Kusel did some blog, and some of the information, to me, was a little 'off'--particularly the 'rare few souls' (Ross and I recommend everyone is important and equally 'special'), the 'all seeing eye' (Those Who Do Not Have Our Best Interest At Heart, anyone?), and the implying that she is one of these special souls...  This blogger really can upset a dear friend. Even for this I was like, 'well, I don't resonate with it, and she might not know it, or she might know it, but she thinks this is helping in some way, so she's doing it too.'

A patient had an anxious sister, and on the way back to the O.R. was asking the circulator and me while we pushed her gurney, 'wasn't she driving you crazy?!'  I thought and chose my words carefully, and said, 'Everyone handles their fear differently, she's obviously deeply concerned about you with this surgery, and perhaps that's her way of doing it.'  The circulator nurse said, 'THAT'S just you, Doctor. You see the good in EVERYBODY!'

Then there's John Smallman. Now, as far as past lives go, he was a totally mean person to me, and I remember. We started a brief reconnection, in this life, and it was pleasant until I mentioned two things--Saul (who was the mean person, whom he dismissed as a misogynist and denied every having anything to do with him) and well, let's just say the other one didn't go well, and we're not in contact any more. Here is his latest...and I can say that I don't expect understanding, apology, or anything from that soul in this life because he's just not in the space for it. And that's okay. He too is doing the best he can, trying to help wake everyone up, and working with his guides.  My hard feelings dissolved, and all I have is compassion for his soul--from all of his incarnations.

Even this one provided me with compassion for the times we are in. And I understand what I felt in my gut to be the way things were heading, well, I resonate with it strongly in this article too. It was validation, a form of secondary confirmation, and lord knows, I have the patience, all the patience in the world, and there's no hurry! I can make it.

And you know the person who was in a really low place, who I couldn't help, and wouldn't engage but put in God's hands, and Divine Mother's?  Ross gently showed me what I CAN do. And with permission from Ross and on a soul level from this individual, I placed a shield, without ever saying a word of it to anyone, except for you here now.

The way I see it, the world outside my door is a lot like Professional Wrestling. The old saying 'the world is a stage' is probably correct. And a lot of people are invested in the 'show', their identity and self-esteem and sense of security is all wrapped up in exactly that, their reality. No two are exactly the same. What I can tell you is once you die, and go up outside your body, then all of a sudden, things look like what people in the Near Death Experiences describe. Funny thing is, how every single one of them is eerily alike--which leads one to the conclusion that outside our bodies, there perhaps is only one reality.  More or less people's separate sense of reality transitions to a common one which is happy, filled with love, and wonder and delight!

So here, we have people like Kanye, and George Carlin saying, 'they are lying to you', 'there is a big club and you're not in it. We aren't either!' and 'they don't care about you!'...but who's going to listen to a rapper or a comic? Not the people whose identity and self-esteem and sense of security that is wrapped up in what's commonly related to us by the broadcast media (NEWS--north, east, south,west) as 'news, weather, and sports'.

Who wants to be wrong?

Nobody.

So people tend to stick to their beliefs, most of which were handed down to them for generations, and they bravely carry on without having a clue about the remote possibility that something might be a little 'off'--because by contrast, in the outdoors, there are no weekends, no news, weather, and sports, and all the plants and animals and indigenous people get along just fine and have for millennia!

It's okay. One day the people who are all wrapped up in this stuff are going to open their eyes and be like, 'wow! that sure was a nightmare, wasn't it? I'm glad it's over!' and we can be on our way.

I don't know how many generations or centuries this awakening will take...but it's okay. I had thought it would take a few years, and perhaps that's a little closer to it, I don't know. No matter what, it's all fine and good and in the hands of Creator.

Now I want to share with you a little story, of HOW this Compassion began...

Are you ready?

I was in the O.R. late on Friday night. I was talking with a neurosurgeon I enjoy, a nice Vietnamese man. I knew he was wise to change his practice a huge way different from most other neurosurgeons...he doesn't take call. And he spends time with his family. He has two small girls, one four or five and another seven. He saw the hardships the 'traditional' neurosurgery practice puts on family life, and he makes do with less...so he can have what's important in life, time with his loved ones.  He is excellent, and I've grown to enjoy our working relationship. He is very knowledgable about many things, and we both share a love of all things French. We even speak French at times, too.

I was shocked--it takes a lot to shock me--to learn he had training in skull base surgery. This is very dangerous and delicate work, and very few are good enough to be admitted into the training programs to master it. He had all this training, and he didn't even do it?

Wow.

I thought for a moment. The pituitary is at the skull base.

I thought again, should I tell him about me?

I paused.

I did.

I blurted out, cheerily, that I once had pituitary surgery at UCSF by Charlie Wilson.

He paused.   Charlie Wilson is a very famous man.

He asked me, 'Did you know both of his sons committed suicide?'

I had no clue.

He looked back at his work and said, 'It's something only we neurosurgeons talk about.'

I stammered. I could see what motivated him to make his lifestyle changes.  He was wise and knew when to act to protect what was important to him.

He didn't want to fall down the slippery slope and give everything he had to his career for fear of suffering the same fate as Charlie Wilson!


I came home and I had to learn about my surgeon...I had to know more...was this true?

And on Amazon, there is a biography, Cherokee Neurosurgeon, a biography of Charles Byron Wilson, MD, by Brian T. Andrews, MD.

I bought it. I watched the tracker to see when it would arrive. It came while I was on first call, I came home, got it from the mailbox, tore open the envelope, and started reading it.  I couldn't put it down. I went to sleep, and the first thing I did once I came home from work today was to finish it, from cover to cover.





In August 1999, I was doing my monthly breast exam, and milk came out of both breasts.

I had suffered from strange headaches, like a blinding flash of pain would pierce my skull for a few seconds, and then STOP. It was unpredictable.

My Natural Family Planning chart with my Catholic Classes wasn't going well. The teacher had to send my records to HER teacher in like, Nebraska or something, trying to figure out my ovulation cycle because it was really strange.

I went for a month with no period, thinking I was pregnant. I wasn't. My gynecologist kept waiting, and was going to give me a huge shot of something to make it happen but finally it came.

But when she examined me, and I told her about the milk, instead of her being happy I could practice early for motherhood, she got a concerned look on her face.  She was thinking, 'oh shit!', I knew it, I saw it, and I knew it was bad for me.

She wanted me to get a blood test.

After the blood test, I needed the MRI.

Well, my husband was a student, and my health insurance was 80/20, and the test was one thousand dollars. He didn't want me to spend two hundred dollars, and we had fights over it. He thought I was being a baby and making things up.

The headaches persisted.

The milk didn't stop. I would check in the shower, and it was just a little, on both sides, but THERE.

Finally I didn't care if my husband left me, if there was something growing in my brain, I wanted to KNOW and I booked the appointment myself.

Wouldn't you know it, my husband went with me, and he was nice, and even stayed near so I could see him in the little mirror while my head was in that cage holder and I was stuck in the bore of the MRI.

The technician even gave us a copy of my scans.

I looked and I looked and I had no idea what I was looking at.

The technician was so nice I thought I was okay! (I still have those films in my closet, today).

One day, my husband was at work, and my gynecologist called. She asked me to sit down. She asked if I was alone?  She told me both my blood test and my pap smear were abnormal, and the films suggested I need to see a neurosurgeon. She recommended Charles Wilson at UCSF.

I was in shock. I called myself 'Womanhood Awry' because I had female problems at BOTH ends of my body! Numb, I called my husband and explained to him what is up.

I made an appointment. I went by myself, because my husband was in graduate school, and couldn't go.

I drove all the way to Moffat/Long hospital on Parnassus from our apartment in Berkeley.

There was a fluorescent pink neon sign that said, 'Neurosurgery' and a clerk at a window who I could tell didn't care about me, didn't care about anybody, but who smiled because she was paid to do it.

I signed in.

There was an old man and a young man, and the young man had films that looked like mine I was carrying. I was wondering who was the patient, between them. Both looked serious as can be.

Then it was my turn, and some lady took me back to his office.  I sat in the chair, and didn't know what to expect. It was a very tiny office.

Dr. Wilson didn't make much time for pleasantries, but he was polite. I explained the situation, and how my gynecologist had sent me here. He asked me do you have the films? I handed him the folder.

I watched with astonishment at how he took the film and put it up on the light box in one swift move, sure and steady, with precision I had never seen in another human being in my whole life.

He showed me the tumor.  It was a prolactin microadenoma, eight millimeters size, and up on the stalk of the pituitary where he had never seen one grow before. He told me my options were to take a pill for the rest of my life, or to have the surgery to remove it.

He said without a pituitary the endocrinologists were so experienced, they could help me carry a baby to term if I got pregnant. With the pills, pregnancy wouldn't be possible. But with the surgery, odds were good I could carry a baby to term on my own, and in the worst case, the endocrinologists would help me, following the surgery.

I was twenty five.  I had to think for the future.

I asked, 'so it has to come out?'

He said yes.

He asked me when do you want the surgery?

I said, 'soon'.

He wanted me to see his resident.

As an afterthought, he said, 'There is a one percent chance of blindness, paralysis, or death.'

I looked at him, again, astonished, and asked, 'is that really true?!'

He smiled his big smile to reassure me, and casually said, 'I have to tell you that.'

In a fog and a haze, I met with his resident Dr. Jacob Rachlin, who examined me and asked me questions about my medical history. In the middle of all this, I asked him, about the fat graft they used to close the sella turcica, that they take from the abdomen, I asked, 'when you make that cut, is it going to show in a bathing suit? If I live through all this, could you at least make it so it doesn't show?'

He looked at me startled, then it registered as to what I was asking, and he murmured that he wasn't sure but he understood what my wishes were and would do his best.

I had to wait a very long time, six weeks, for my surgery. Dr. Wilson was having a hip replacement, and wasn't available.

It was hard to wait.

I watched Bette Davis in 'Dark Victory'.

I went with my friend to the Clinique counter. She has scleroderma, and her skin is very dry because of it. She explained it to the clerk in the white coat, why she needed the thick moisturizer because of her condition...and the clerk all of a sudden became like Mother Teresa, being extra courteous and kind to my friend who was 'sick'.

When we left to go, I said, 'wait till she finds out I'm the one with the brain tumor!'  and we had a wonderful laugh together over that.

I did everything I could to forget about my tumor, and the impending surgery. I drank. I shopped. We went to Yosemite in the snow, and went cross country skiing, my husband and me.

But every day, February 6, 1990 marched closer. All the insurance authorizations were complete. My leave from work was in order. A secretary wished me good luck and gave me a white bear, with red valentine on it, and a music box inside. It played the theme from Love Story. It was time to prepare. I packed a bag with a few things, some books, a journal, a 'non hospital gown' nightgown...

Dr. Wilson gave me a prescription for nose drops, two kinds, I had to get from something called a 'compounding pharmacist'. I called them 'Liquid Plumber' and 'Drano' and I had to alternate them according to a schedule every few hours the two days before surgery. I had to drive all the way out to Oakland to get them, and they really burned and stunk when they went in.

I called a local spa, and explained how I was going to have surgery, and I was nervous. Would it be possible to have a massage the day before, just to help me relax?

It was amazing. The compassion I felt there, sparked a healthy respect for all things alternative, because I needed it so!  I held so tightly to my kleenex as I was face down, sobbing, and gently, through her skill, the massage therapist helped and listened and encouraged until I just let the kleenex go. I knew I was in God's hands at that point.

That night, with my husband, in bed, he was tender, and we both knew this might be goodbye...I slept well until the alarm went off early in the morning. We drove the long drive in the dark. I was the first case. I think my family was there, helping me wait. But once they called my name, only Mark could go with me.

I walked down a hall that seemed like forever. Then I was shown to my little pre-op area. I had to take off everything, even my wedding ring. I put on a gown. A resident who looked like a surfer came and put in my i.v., something I was terrified to get (I hated needles) but it wasn't so bad. I lay there, listening to the clippers cutting off the hair of people in the other pre-op beds, and I was horrified.  Absolutely, positively horrified of where I was, and what was going to happen next.

I was silently having tears running down my face, when my anesthesiologist game in, a lovely woman named Joanna Gail Sullivan Brown, and she said, 'ohhhhh Carla with the tears!'

(I have been repaying her back for that kindness and compassion with every day of my career ever since, it meant the world to me, and it still does).

Through the miracle of versed, all of a sudden, I wasn't afraid any more, as we were going down the long hall. The change in my attitude startled my husband, he had never seen anything like it, and I gushed and told him, 'don't worry about me I am going to be just fine!'

I don't remember anything else. Not his leaving me. Not my surgery. Nothing. Except feeling like I was floating on a cloud of prayers while the gurney was rolling right before they gave me the shot. I knew a lot of people were praying for me and I could feel it.

I also knew I was going to wake up a different person, and the Carla I had been was going to go away forever, the carefree innocent girl who had never had anything wrong with her in her life...and that's the way it was.

(It was a seven hour surgery. In the middle, Dr. Wilson met with my family, and told them it was a very difficult operation. He actually had to remove a very small piece of my anterior lobe to get access to the tumor. He wasn't sure how I was going to do, they would have to wait and see. The carotids are on either side of the pituitary, and the optic chiasm is above it.)

I briefly recall seeing the ceiling tiles going by, as I was being rolled down a hallway, fading out, and hearing a voice I've never heard before inside my head --an angel?--command me to LEAVE MARK and LEAVE CLOROX. Then I don't know how much later, I was waking up with my head of the bed way up in my hospital bed. Almost immediately after, my family came in, all of them, and they were extremely glad to see I was awake.  I was so delighted to see them and their smiles, too.

And there were lots, lots, lots of flowers.

I couldn't breathe out my nose. It was packed. They had told me about that.

And I didn't feel pain.

I met my nurse, Debbie Fetzer, a beautiful woman, who was just engaged. I noticed her ring, and she smiled that I would congratulate her being freshly post-op! I was happy to think of ANYTHING besides surgery...

Then I watched as she looked with interest and took notes on a funny bag of straw colored liquid on the side of my bed, that wasn't urine???

The nausea hit.

I threw up all over myself. I threw up blood. Lots of it. All over my gown.

She cleaned me up, Debbie. Got me a new gown. And a huge pink bucket square thing, just in case.

I used it. I got messy all over my gown again. She changed it.

Not much later, I threw up more. All over the place, it splashed, my blood, and I was heaving into the bucket aiming as best as I could. I prayed to God with all my heart, 'Please God, don't let me throw up my own blood in vain! Please make something good come out of it!!!'

I could feel Debbies hand on my back, to comfort me, as if to say this nausea will pass.

It did.

She went to clean my gown again, change me into a whole new one. I looked at her, and I said, weakly, 'why do you do this? I'm only going to mess it up again...'

She looked me in the eye, and said, with authority, 'we want to keep you clean now, we don't want to let you get dirty!' and she MEANT IT. The cost and trouble of linens and changing my gowns was nothing compared to my dignity, she implied...it was unthinkable to think otherwise!

The next morning, Dr. Rachlin came in. He looked at my fat graft incision, shook his head from side to side admiring his work, and said, 'that's the lowest cut we've had all year...'

I was delighted!

Then he looked me in the eye, and held out two fingers on each hand, and said, 'Squeeze my fingers!'

There was a joy in this funny young doctor with the beard and the glasses, something I had never experienced, ever. It was the joy of someone who is living his dream, and although it's demanding in so many ways, was happy.

Later in the day, Dr. Wilson came by with his entourage of residents and nurses. He was on crutches. I saw his bow tie, which was colorful, and exclaimed, Dr. Wilson, I LOVE your tie!!!

In an effortless gesture, while still in his crutches from his hip, he wiggled my mickey mouse slippers and said, 'I LOVE your slippers!'  and I could tell, he meant it.

Later, (I had to stay one week, to make sure the posterior pituitary was functioning, and my urine osmolality was showing I could concentrate it--no ADH problems), I had other problems. With my family (they didn't understand how stimulation tired me so much--the nurses put a no visitors sign up on the door.). With Mark (how could you be so needy?! he said to me, in anger, and he just LEFT and didn't come back for two days, didn't even call). I even had hot flashes, which were both frightening and miserable. The packing came out my nose on schedule, the lumbar drain out of my back at the right time, and I was getting up and walking with a lot of help. A nurse came to check on me. She was a high ranking one. I started bawling and saying how my sister in law was having a baby and I was having a BRAIN TUMOR!!!  She said, 'you are depressed' and gave me a referral. She too, helped heal me, and make my life better. I started to get help once I was back at work, and my doctor encouraged me to talk about my dream of being a doctor, which my parents had told me not to do.

That's when I decided that I might be the dumbest person to ever take the MCAT's, but I had to. I had to see if I could be a doctor.

Well, I did well. I had scores high enough to be able to apply to medical school. I befriended my anesthesiologist, and asked her to write me a letter of recommendation. She also invited me to come one day in the operating room with her, to see what being a doctor is like.

I got the bonnet, the mask, the shoe covers. I was thrilled beyond belief. (I still have them, pasted to my scrapbook. )But in the first room, a resident was using a fiberoptic scope, and next I knew, a lot of blood was coming. I figured that's how it is every day in the O.R. But Dr. Brown said, 'out!' and I  knew she wanted me to go into her office, where we had met earlier that day.  (she had been super nice and visited me every day while I was in the hospital. My surgery had been on a Friday). She explained there had been a complication, and she needed to handle it. She took me to the cafeteria, and we shared a lunch of french fries. I recall her saying, 'are you sure you want to be a doctor?' after learning I had just gone to Yosemite, because she hadn't been in ages and never has the time to go. I said, 'YES' I'm sure, and I'd been volunteering at Oakland Children's Hospital every Saturday night, and taken the biology classes too. I was even a biology Teaching Assistant now.

She prepared me for the highlight of the day, watching Dr. Wilson do a pituitary surgery.

The room was silent. I was told where to stand and to watch. He slowly worked, and I noticed the patient's head was slightly up on a stand and tilted to the right.

Oh! that's why my head started wanted to turn that way after the surgery!  I had wondered why it would roll that way while I slept, and how all the air breathed so well through my nose when I was in that position.

I watched him take out the metal tube that looked like a paper towel roll from under the nose. I watched him take great big stitches into the lip to reattach it to the gum and close the big hole. He was standing. The room was very quiet.

Then he walked slowly to his corner, where he wrote a note. Joanna had coached me what to do. After he finished, I walked up to him, as she had said. I said, 'Dr. Wilson, I had this type of surgery with you last year. I want you to know because of the positive experiences I had, and how grateful, I'm going to medical school next year!'

He took his mask off, and a huge smile slowly spread across his face!  He congratulated me, and wished me success in my career.

(Later, Joanna told me he said I looked about sixteen, and he said, 'we sure must have fixed her!' and he was happy)


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One of the most amazing things in the book I read of my surgeon's life, is we have the same 'quote'. One I've said for years to Anthony is, 'even a blind squirrel can find a nut' when either one of us does something unexpected that's good.

'Even a blind pig gets an acorn once in a while!' was a Dr. Wilson quote.

I didn't know.

There were some other things I was surprised to find as physicians, we had in common...could I have absorbed it from the surgery? For example, he was deeply spiritual, and almost considered being a minister. He applied to both at the same time, divinity school and medical school. Or that he was the only Native American in neurosurgery and he did a lot of help for his community?

_______________________________________________________________


I owe everything I am, to Charlie Wilson, and his teams. Everything that makes my life wonderful. Motherhood. My career in Anesthesia. Even the motivation to follow my heart, and my gifts, to pursue Reiki training, and to create this...

And yet it was his dedication to his work, that cost HIM Craig, his oldest son. He had three children, a daughter Becky, with his first wife, then Craig, and Byron... I didn't find news anywhere of his second son, and the book is a five years old...He had four marriages...he was so driven to excel, to run, to play tennis, to exercise every day, to only eat oatmeal for breakfast every day (his father died of a massive heart attack in his forties or fifties)...

How can these lives mesh? How can I with my anxiety and youth end up with a disease that brings me to the circle of greatness Dr. Wilson built up for so many years, be shown great compassion, go on my way...and never have a clue about the big picture? About how his choices to care for his patients and his students and his research on brain tumors ... hurt those closest to him?

That's what started the Compassion.

The realization that his life touched mine, and now mine touches yours, despite our imperfections, this connection is perfect and divine and holy, both fragile and a miracle, all at the same time.

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That's my story.  <3


I hope you enjoyed it.




Aloha and Mahalos,
Namaste,
Peace,

Reiki Doc


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