Medical Diagnosis and how the mind can take you on a scary roller coaster ride…

by RB, massage therapist, mother, artist, business owner, Goonellabah, NSW

I recently had my first hospital experience and since then I have been on a roller coast ride that I created myself in my mind.

I had severe swelling around my spinal cord that was causing nerve damage to my left leg, digestive system and urinary system, so that I could not walk or pee properly. I left the hospital with a wheelie walker and was taught how to use intermittent catheters each time my bladder was full.

When the doctors first told me I had transverse myelitis I researched all about it, and I got so into it, the fear of it all and the “what ifs”. Then I went to see a Neurologist 3 hours drive away, the next step in the process, and she was certain that I have what is known as Neuromyelitis optica (NMO). I then research this, join Facebook pages and really investigate it. I get so into it, that I become it. I am no longer me. I have suddenly allowed myself to be NMO. I am planning what will happen with my 10 year old daughter when I am in a wheel chair and who will take care of her when I die.

 I even start to wonder if I am making up the symptoms because I am reading about them!

That is just how tricky the mind can be, if you let it take over and take control. I was so sad and scared the other evening and then I had a moment of realization. I felt for a moment that I was a puppet being played and I was not actually in control. Ah, and I have always been a bit of a control freak. I guess that’s why I want to research and know everything about this disease – to be able to explain it and predict exactly what will happen next.

All this thinking was in fact a distraction from just feeling what my body was signalling to me. I feel it is asking me to slow down. It is showing me that the way I have been living, in constant push, always busy, always taking on more than necessary, is not okay.

My body has given me signals in the past, but living by the beliefs and ideals of being a “solo parent”, and a “good strong reliable worker” has made me override, and not listen to what my body is asking so clearly. Instead I have ignored my body and carried on working hard, sacrificing my health by just ‘doing’ more and more. The doing brought me recognition and money and I had made that more important than my health.

The extra stress, the energy wasted on the “what ifs”…. all of this was just a distraction from me being able to really rest and just allow myself to feel. I started to realise that all this thinking and doing was not actually helping me at all, and in fact it was harming. The level of exhaustion that over time I had just gotten used to, was what was causing my body to react in such a serious way and I could not continue to exhaust it in any way or entertain any form of crazy thinking.

Why is it that when we are not doing, we do not feel as though we are enough?

Why is it that we don’t feel that Being is enough?

Why do we listen to those voices that are telling us we are lazy, when we know so well that we are far from lazy, and that to stop and rest is just a natural loving thing to do for the body?

Why do we feel guilty to stop?

I have been considering all of these things lately.

And then comes the next learning.

I went back into hospital for some more tests and the doctor says I may not actually have NMO, it may be something completely different. This time, the risks from the proposed treatment are that if it goes wrong, I could end up as a paraplegic. My mind goes off on another roller coaster ride of “what ifs”. I want to run and research, but before I do that, I decide to just be still, to not keep doing what stresses me out and does not actually make me feel good.

So instead I sit down with one of my favourite books from Serge Benhayon, and I just read. I then sit quietly in the sunshine and have this “aha” moment.

Science as we know it does not have all the answers, and the answers we do have are forever changing. The doctors don’t have all the answers either. I can either accept this, embrace it and surrender or I can continue to want answers, to try to control, fix and go into my mind again.

This time I thought I would try something different. This time I decided not to go into fear, not to go into the story and drama of it all, but to just let my body be. To just let the doctors do their best, and for me to take responsibility for my part, which is to surrender, listen and allow. I may not have listened to my body in the past, I may have treated it with disrespect, but I can change that now. Its up to me. I can either make this next part of my life one that is full of drama and fear, or I can enjoy each moment, and really focus my energy on the real things in life – the people around me and the love that is there.

Two weeks later I felt a lot stronger. In letting go of the need to control, and making a choice to be in my body instead of lost in my mind over this time was really healing. My leg got stronger and I was able to walk better each and every day. I did have moments where I would go back into my mind, but I was committed to not getting caught up in it. So I treated myself like a cute child that had to be reminded that there was no need to go there, telling myself, “ just stay here with your body.”

After two weeks I had not heard from the doctors, so I decided to play my own part and follow this up.

The doctor at the hospital near where I lived said he would follow up on it and later called me in to see him. He showed me all the MRI scans and informed me that I didn’t have an autoimmune disease or an issue that required me to have an operation that had the risk of causing paraplegia. He said that what I had was something that I had had since birth. There is a ‘cavernous malformation’, which is a collection of abnormal blood vessels and this had bled spontaneously. He said some people go through life like that without knowing they have it and also that there is a chance that it may happen again but he thought there was nothing that I could do to prevent it. He said there was no need for me to see the Neurologist again, or to see him, and that I should just go back to living life as I was before.

I walked out feeling a sense of there is no way I can go back to living life as I was before. For me, it was a blessing that my body took the use of my legs away. It was the only way my body could get me to fully stop and re-evaluate how I was living. The rushing, the pushing, the constant drive was not allowing me to feel a thing and in that, I was not aware of the damage I was causing to not only to myself, but to my daughter and everyone around me.

I can see now how I put myself on a number of roller coaster rides that were unnecessary had I just stayed with my body and the present moment – a great learning.

This experience has been the beginning of a great healing for me.

822 thoughts on “Medical Diagnosis and how the mind can take you on a scary roller coaster ride…

  1. The mind can take us all on a roller coaster ride of fear. Creating half truths and ill truths all in the search for disconnection from the marker of truth – the body!

  2. Thank you for sharing RB. Whatever happens our minds can’t ever prevent anything from happening or prepare us enough for the worst case scenarios in life. I found that being present with our body and deeply caring for it is the best way of being prepared for whatever happens in life. As we can only deal with life when it happens not before it happens.

  3. Engaging the mind in disconnection from the body can be a complete distraction from what is happening around and within us. Only through engaging the whole being can we really be in control, for the lack of a better word.

  4. I can so relate to this. A lack of information signals uncertainty, but the question I guess is from where and how we then are going to source the information. We can put so much effort in gathering information from outside while being disconnected and ignoring the wealth of much wisdom our body is trying to communicate. We arm ourselves to be head strong but I often find that what I have accumulated is actually totally irrelevant and not applicable to what is going on for me.

  5. What a great insight and awareness you have gained through your willingness to ask the deeper questions of yourself and the way you had been living. Addressing the root cause allows us to truly heal as you share RB.

  6. When we stress ourselves out over something it puts more strain on the body, and our body has to then deal with this and the illness and disease, which means the more we allow our mind to run away with different scenarios the harder we make it for our body to cope.

  7. Sometimes you read about people who have had heart attacks and then chose to turn their lives around because they realise they have been given a second chance. On the other hand, some people carry on as if nothing has happened.

  8. When we live our lives being busy, busy and continue to bring the past and the future into the present all the time it is no wonder we get exhausted. We live in our heads and think that the body can look after itself. Well it can only put up with so much dismissiveness before the lack of care and support for it begin to show.

    1. And show it does, and that is why so many seek surgery and the lift and tuck and that lift to try to hide the reality that their bodies are showing so clearly.

  9. Our mind can take us all over the place when we start going into the what if’s, and one what if leads to another and before we know we have almost put ourselves on our death bed. Yet if we take one day at a time and allow ourselves to rest in order to heal we heal much faster.

  10. “Why do we listen to those voices that are telling us we are lazy, when we know so well that we are far from lazy, and that to stop and rest is just a natural loving thing to do for the body? Why do we feel guilty to stop?” Listening to our body makes far more sense than listening to my mind which can try to bring me down and feel guilty. Saying no to those thoughts and instead returning to how my body feels – is still a work in progress, but recognising these thoughts aren’t true or loving is a great first step.

    1. I agree Sue, just being aware that we are having these thoughts in the first place is a great start. We know we are not lazy or we know our body just needs to stop and rest and all we need to do is honour that.

  11. Our minds love drama and identification and these traits can come to the fore in any crisis, and with the vast knowledge now available via the internet we can really go crazy with this. But our minds cannot take us to the understanding our bodies can, and when we stop and listen to our bodies, they show us that next step and often when we are stopped, it’s our body’s way of saying ‘heh, try another way’ and a loving prod for us to consider how we live and treat ourselves. A super loving parent, that’s what our bodies are.

  12. The mind can play games only because we allow such games to enter. Become aware of the games we play not just within ourselves but with others too and they no longer have a hold like they used to. Continue the awareness and they no longer become a part of our lives that is worth giving attention to.

    1. Yes, it starts with a willingness to be aware. I know for myself for the longest time I didn’t even want to be aware because I didn’t really want to be responsible or have to do anything to make the changes.

      1. So true, I can relate but opportunities are arising in every moment to support us to evolve. The cycle keeps on going round and round until we say yes and yes and yes… Sometimes we have wake up calls and these wake up calls can come in various ways but they are never to be condemned, no matter how uncomfortable they may at first appear to be which is what I am learning. I am being supported much more than what I truly realise and am willing to see.

      2. Good point Caroline, the lessons do keep coming back around, so if we miss them we get another chance and another until we are ready to wake up to what has always been there for us all along.

  13. I’m just about to move house and have noticed how my mind would love to organise this and work it all out. It freaks out that I may make the wrong decision or that it won’t work. All I have learnt is if I stay with my body it tells me everything I need – it’s my constant home – my heart and eyes so I’m never ever apart from truth.

    1. Everything that comes our way supports us to evolve in one way or another. If we choose to go into our mind it delays our evolution and golden opportunities we miss out on. We know what is true, 100% in the body regardless of the obstacles that we may or others try to put in the way.

      1. I was just thinking that even the obstacles that come our way… that is what we think but reality is they don’t come our way, we actually create the obstacles on some level.

    2. It is so much more simple when we let go of the control, yet the individual us gets off on the identification too, so it’s interesting when we let that go.

    3. Yes the mind likes to make it so complicated and we can get so caught up in it all yet when we don’t allow those thoughts to rule, all sorts of magic happens.

  14. Whatever it takes for us to learn to surrender it will be given to us as it is the only direction we are going, like it or not. The less we are willing the more we are offered in ways we may not like but need.

  15. The mind loves the roller coaster rides, it keeps it going and going and going and thus gives it more power and meaning as it actually deserves. The moment we come back to our whole body the mind is given its rightful place as part of the whole again, but no longer is it the leading, dominating and for sure not the all-knowing apparatus it at times likes to be.

    1. Yes the mind loves it and it gets stimulated by it and then like a hungry beast, it needs more to be fed. When you stop feeding it though, ahhhh then things start to change!

  16. So easy to allow our minds to get completely out of control and unhelpful to descend into catastrophising. To cut this debilitating energy, step back and return to you in the way you did is a lesson for us all and confirms we can take back control from a mind we’ve allowed to consume us.

    1. Yes it really doesn’t matter how far gone we have gone… or allowed our mind to take us, if we want out, it is there. We just actually have to want it as for some, they prefer to stay in the drama, complication or the highs and lows of the rollercoaster and thats okay if that is what they choose. For me personally, I am done with rollercoasters!

  17. “there is no way I can go back to living life as I was before.” an ill-health scare made you aware of yourself and how you were living and as a consequence you’ve taken responsibility for your own health and re-aligned your body to heal itself. Very powerful.

  18. You make a great point here RB, when we overthink and research our symptoms we can flood ourselves with so much information about a condition or illness that our mind starts to spin from thinking about all the possible scenarios that could happen and often distracting us from really listening to and learning from what our body is truly communicating to us.

    1. Reality is we are constantly being distracted, in so many ways so it’s good to just see it. It happens not just when we are sick!

  19. I can really relate to the roller coaster rides the mind can create for us, and how the more we think about it, the worse it gets so we create a huge fear and use nervous energy in response to something that turns out to be totally untrue. What a set up we allow.

    1. I agree but can also see why we like the roller coaster and the constant stimulation as it is a great distraction so that we don’t have to connect to ourselves and the amazingness that we are.

  20. Wow it just shows us what we can create with our minds. We can take on something and start believing we are it, and this can magnify the more we think about it. Enough to drive us crazy and make us ill. I love your return to the body and to stillness and your inner knowing. We do have command over our health, and the best thing we can do for ourselves is stay with our body and look at the way we are living. Deep respect to you for being able and willing to do this in such a frightening time.

    1. I have never been anorexic but I just read your comment and thought of someone who really thinks they are fat when they are not. They are so convinced and yet it is just their mind feeding these crazy thoughts.

  21. Staying present can seem simple but it is actually not always so easy with our busy mind. It is simple but we fight the simplicity, we don’t want to feel and then go off in our minds times and times over so we get to the situation overwhelmed and exhausted even before it actually happened. Being in the moment and not thinking about the future is a really beautiful thing to learn because we can deal with the now but never with what is coming before it is there before us. It makes life also more simple.

    1. It’s true Lieke, it’s not so easy, especially if we are addicted to complication and don’t know how to surrender and let go. It takes practice, and I still practise and am not perfect!

  22. With the plethora of medical information that is available on the internet these days, it is so easy to get all wrapped up in the possibilities of a serious or even life-threatening medical condition. I know I have done this a few times myself, but when I stopped and really felt what was going on for me, it was never as serious as I made it out to be, perhaps even in an attempt to get sympathy or caring attention from others, rather than look at what choices I had made to get me to that point in the first place!

    1. Interesting how we want to look outside, blame and get attention much more than to stop and look within, to trace the steps and choices that we made as no one is actually forcing us to do anything.

  23. If I had a pound for every time, I thought I had something really serious I’d be very well off. Going off and attaching to the drama of a medical diagnosis can be very scary and cause us unnecessary worry, and if I have learnt anything, it is not to go looking for the worst case scenario, especially on the internet.

  24. “What ifs” can drive us absolutely crazy, what if… instead of conjuring up all the bad scenarios in our heads we instead surrendered to the opportunity of healing and learning that’s on offer?

      1. I love that “what if” – definitely worth an experiment. What if we started the day knowing we were amazing?

      2. Then each of our choices would originate from that rather than doubt or in any way uncertainty.

  25. What a journey you have had RB, and a great blessing as you say to be given a stop moment to re-evaluate the way you had been living that was causing harm to yourself and others around you. Well done for using that time to address every thing in your life that was creating complication and drama, and for allowing the space and grace so the body could begin to truly heal.

  26. I understand, and it is quite normal, to want to know everything when an illness happens. We have, after all, been mainly raised to gather information as a way of knowing our world, and so this can also apply to our bodies when they start to communicate on a big level.

    1. I agree, it’s definitely normal to want to know everything and part of taking responsibility for the position we’ve got ourselves into too, but if every single person’s body is different and how they arrive at a condition or disease is different, is it possible that every person’s condition is slightly different and unique to them and all our researching and our googling will not provide us with a full and comprehensive answer?

      1. You are spot on Meg because underneath each illness and disease is the energetic factor of why you are experiencing such and such in the first place and it is more important that the actual disease itself.

  27. ” For me, it was a blessing that my body took the use of my legs away. ”
    Its so great you came to the understanding of illness , illness is the healing , its our opportunity to accept it or not.

  28. Yes Rosie, we are so easily rocked by diagnosis into a fearful and apprehensive state. But what if we were to receive the true report of our condition today? Surely the prognosis would be we have as a race a seriously extreme case of ‘doingitis’ – a deadly disease. The only known cure for this is to cherish ourselves and move in a way that supports our body to truly be. Perhaps it’s about time we actually heard our true condition rather than pushing on pursuing our material dreams?

    1. Oh Joseph I laughed when I read the “doingitis” as I was trying to push and cram and whole lot of things to do before I head off to work this morning. It really is a disease I need to ensure I don’t come down with too seriously.

  29. Let’s face it… The mind is taking the world on an enormous rollercoaster ride… with its outrageous highs, it’s abysmal lows and its contractual motion going nowhere… The guaranteed no evolution fun fair that keeps sucking people in.

  30. With the Internet being around, gathering information has become so easy and we can so easily overwhelm ourselves with it. What I often find myself doing is I might start with one thing but it branches out to other subjects and a few hours later somehow I find myself with something that leaves me thinking ‘How did I get here?’ Everything we read comes with energy, and the control we like to think we have over our thinking, doesn’t really seem ours.

    1. I know what you mean Fumiyo, its like you get lead astray without even realising and you find yourself reading something that is not what you need to be doing.

  31. This is brilliant. I wonder how often I would allow what a doctor says to forgo responsibility on my part forgetting that doctors are very knowledgeable and experts in medicine, but we I am the expert of my own body.

    1. Yes Fumiyo, important to acknowledge the medical knowledge of health professionals but not give our power away to them, As you say, we we are experts of our own body, or at least should be.

  32. ‘So I treated myself like a cute child that had to be reminded that there was no need to go there, telling myself, “ just stay here with your body.”’ I love this RB that’s the way we should treat ourselves, calling us back to the body lovingly when our thoughts are very obvious not loving at all.

    1. And it’s a good practice to get into, connecting back to the body, as I have found that it is quite often that my mind wanders and I end up with all kinds of weird thoughts!

  33. RB I was particularly interested in how we research an illness and that we allow images of what we have read to become our expected reality, and react accordingly rather than taking one moment at a time, and dealing with them as we go, and not panicking ourselves by reading into too many ‘what if’ scenarios.

    1. In putting all of this in writing, I am seeing that I am not the only person who has done this. It is great when we see what we can get caught in.

  34. To lose the use of one or both of our legs and then be able to use them again is a great opportunity to reassess the way that we walk. Has it been in push and drive and if so, what adjustments do we need to make so we can move in a way that is not creating discord in our body and the space we walk through? Each seeming tragedy is a small blessing when viewed in this way.

    1. Yes this was a blessing and often I find myself going back into an old way of pushing and I remember how crippling it was to only have one leg… and just that slows me down!

  35. It’s true – we have made life about ‘doing’ and not ‘being’ because we doubt that the quality of our presence, when we live in connection with our self and the all we are a part of, is enough to get the job done in the sense that all that we need to complete it will be provided through this connection. This does not mean we sit around idle waiting for some ‘higher power’ to tell us what to do, but more so we begin to engage with life is a far deeper and much more meaningful way.

  36. I agree it is a totally different experience to be with the body and listen. It does not mean that we don’t need to engage with medical interventions rather we are even more fully informed what treatment is right for us to follow.

  37. As consumers of health care we need to take responsibility for ourselves by allowing ourselves to become very informed about things but also by being honest about how we are living and how that is contributing to the illness/disease process that we have.

    1. And as in the UK we are told today the NHS needs an extra £50 billion to function properly, there is still no emphasis on disease prevention or support for lifestyle medicine, or any notion of us taking personal responsibility for our own health.

      1. It is sad that so much money is wasted in trying to fix rather than investing on prevention and by this I mean, healthy lifestyles and diet. Its so simple and there is no money in it so its not something that everyone talks about. Shame it doesn’t make front page news.

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