Shakyamuni using similes and parables inspired me this morning to try to describe my symptoms in this way. Over the last few years of seeing Chinese Medicine Doctors who always focus on my symptoms to treat me and inevitably go down the wrong path often, prompted me to think about how I can explain to them what is happening to me that perhaps makes it easier to understand or imagine.
Here’s what I wrote:
This is me a week after my period – Imagine that I am flying an aeroplane over the mountains. My mind is the aeroplane engine. The aeroplane is out of fuel and the engine keeps stopping. I use my will power to somehow use gravity to navigate to avoid crashing into the mountains right underneath the plane
This is me two weeks after my period – I get past the mountains and continuously keep trying to keep the aeroplane airborne. There is now an ocean underneath the plane past the mountains. I have no control, there is no fuel to keep the engine going. The plane starts sinking into the ocean. The digestive symptoms I start to get now is slowly whole of my body going numb from the lack of oxygen.
This is me three weeks after my period – Then it is like I am drowning and blinded. The plane sinks to the bottom of the ocean and I keep trying to restart the engine, not giving up. When I eat chips at this time, it is like trying to go into tiny pockets to find the tiniest oxygen to stay alive while somehow struggling to get out of the plane. I can’t drink water, I feel like I am drowned in it and I am surrounded by water but unable to drink it.
The day before my period – I sink into a coma from the lack of oxygen, I feel I have no strength left to struggle anymore.
When my period comes around – I somehow find myself on top of the ocean, coughing up water and being able to breathe and see light again before I realise that I am still stranded in the ocean and have no fuel. I feel really grateful to still have light and to be able to breathe.
Then the period pain hits – I realise that although I can breathe I have injured myself and in severe pain.
Then I start trying to swim in this state, having no food to give me energy and no water to hydrate me.
If I fall sick during any of this time, like flu the last time around, it feels like I was shot while coping with everything else.
And then amidst all of this, you were asking me what my biggest problem is and expecting me to tell you what to fix. You told me to not eat the chips without offering me an oxygen tank. And others who gave me food advice, it felt like you were telling me to put scotch tape around broken aeroplane parts as I try to cope with all of this.
You want me to tell you how to sail ashore. If I knew, I wouldn’t come to you. Hopefully you got me through 11 days of my journey to Kamakura.
Every time I’ve seen a new health practitioner, it felt like I could find a small island until I realised that there is nothing there and I gotta keep moving.
This morning, as tears streamed down my cheeks when I wrote this while chanting. I pictured my numb body on top of the ocean, swimming ahead in the ocean, no land in sight, each daimoku I chanted taking me closer to the shore.
And then I had no tears, just daimoku pushing me on my journey ahead. For even though I may not see the shore, I know it is there. And then I started to think would it have been better to use a Bat Mobile rather than an aeroplane! Lol.
As Nichiren Daishonin said in the Gosho
“Be diligent in developing your faith until the last moment of your life. Otherwise you will have regrets. For example, the journey from Kamakura to Kyoto takes twelve days. If you travel for eleven but stop with only one day remaining, how can you admire the moon over the capital? No matter what, stay close to the priest who knows the heart of the Lotus Sutra, keep learning from him the principles of Buddhism, and continue your journey of faith.”“Letter to Niike” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, page 1027)
If I stop now, how can admire my destination?
PS – Feels like deja vu that I’ve written this post before. Have I? (Can’t be bothered to search through my own posts). Oh and I ended up cancelling my Chinese doctor’s appointment this afternoon because this happened.