Am still visiting my local outpatients’ dept in the public hospital; the skin infection on my left foot seems to recur when I cease taking antibiotics. Also I’m having to consult specialists about my recent trick of throwing a fit whilst fast asleep. Done it twice now; I sat with my friend Rod and ruminated that in the 1980’s I’d attended a T’ai Chi class, where I became quite proficient; it was populated by rich girl hippies however, unemployed and having one party after another. Our teacher, Simon, was clearly a complex and spiritually riveting Han Chinese Javanese man. What was interesting about his martial arts style and meditation philosophy was that, from his description, he started to receive instruction from a HARD style master [yang]. This certainly suits life in Oz, where surfies often join a Kung Fu Dojo and learn the moves. Simon described his teacher as a tough guy who demanded total loyalty from his students; virtually the student was the teacher’s property, once he had been shaped by his teaching. These guys used to perform spectacular hard style stunts, like smashing stacks of bricks with a forearm blow or a kick; consequently, a lifetime of such activity resulted in many tiny bone fractures along the forearm or shin, that were extremely painful and required opiate injections to cope.
Simon’s softer [yin] master, the guy who taught him T’ai Chi was a man who was so busy conducting his business he was too busy to teach his moves to students; Simon persuaded the teacher to allow him to copy the 108 moves as he performed them, having showered after job #1 and before he set out for job #2. A far cry from teaching oh so cool hippy chicks in Oz.
However, some of the yang-style characteristics stayed with Simon; he demanded complete loyalty; he recognised those prepared to focus on what he had to teach; others who were there for a cool time, man, he described as “dancers”. Butterflies. I soon became one of Simon’s teachers, taking the advanced students through the 7 cycles of 108 movements; however, after a day’s work, this was rarely effortless stuff. My flaw was coordinating mind, body and breath.
This seems to be an ongoing characteristic; breath or air is after all the element of Gemini, my astrological sign. During my first seizure in the Bangkok hotel room in February this year, my friend described me as writhing in my sleep, gasping to draw breath.
None of this however interests the medical specialists I need to consult; they only trust patterns observed and proved; things characteristic of me seem to carry no weight. It is medecine by averages; what is most shocking is a drug I was given in hospital post-op: amiodarone, and its relative, sotilol; they control atrial fibrillation which I manifested post-op; one spectacular day my heart monitor bounced between 150 and 250; it was like an internal earthquake. I remember the sadistic grin on a med student’s face looking at my vitals, “soon for the box” seemed to be his assessment. However, I grew to control the phenomenon; when I slipped into mild arrhythmia, often I would fall asleep at night to wake hours later, back in sinus rhythm. However, during a recent interview with my cardiologist, she blithely informed me that a side effect of taking sotilol was depression. And I thought my recent world view was a post-op, old man’s consciousness, not something cheaply induced by chemical intake.
When I complained about such experiences to my previous medical minder, he would blithely remark that psychology was not his field. Imagine hiring a plumber who said: “I fixed your kitchen plumbing but this other thing needs doing, now; something I’m not good at.” He’d get sacked!
So, currently I am trying to work out if I’ve become resistant to antibiotics. Meanwhile, annually at this time of year, I develop a type of dermatitis, starting at ankles and wrists and then spreading all over my body, incredibly painful. I duly report this to my local GP, who recommends various creams; no explanation or cause is suggested. One year I offered an insect infection as a possibility; this was gleefully agreed to by my medicqal expert. As a result I hired an insect exterminator to treat my bedroom, and replaced my mattress, total cost $1,000. No follow up is ever offered, no treatment evaluation; it all seems like band aids being applied. One year I brought the matter to the attention of my cardiologist, general practitioner and dermatologist; all three had a different take on the situation. The dermatologist became particularly upset when I offered the versions given by the other two. My current dermatologist says that, as a tall man I would have poor blood circulation, most noticeable in ankles and wrists.
Of course, these western practitioners SNEER at the interpretation by natural workers, for instance the idea that the skin is the major organ of the elimination of toxins by the body; that perhaps, my voluminous ingestion of rat poison [warfarin] has somehow to be periodically discharged from the body. Look up the topic on the internet and read how many people complain about skin rashes as a side effect of the body during warfarin therapy.
Of course, the loony concepts practised by some medical practitioners: one guy cleanses his patients with colonic irrigation then injects sterilised SHIT int them. Not so long ago, doctors were barbers; washing the hands was a tiresome chore and women died delivering babies as a consequence. I wonder what the judgement of our contemporary medical practice will be, a century into the future?