Illness and Disease – How Should You Look?

By Nicole Serafin, Tintenbar, NSW

How should we look when we are ill, sick and or in disease? Is there a specific way we should be, or is it that as a society we have become so used to living in a quality that is less than vital on a daily basis that when we do become sick, ill or in disease, our health often plummets considerably and we have nothing left in reserve to sustain or support us?

I recently experienced an illness and made an appointment to see my local GP, presenting with body aches and pains, cold shivers, sweats and a piercing pain in my right lung, which at the time was diagnosed as a viral infection. It was suggested I get some blood tests done in a few days once the acute infection had passed, as I had had similar symptoms a few months before, and the doctor wanted to make sure there was no other underlying disease.

So off I went on my family holiday with my supply of Nurofen and Panadol, thinking the infection would pass in a few days, as it was supposedly just viral – but boy was I wrong.

My aches got worse, the pain in my lung intensified; lying down, bending over to pick anything up or put on a shoe was out of the question. Sleeping upright was the only way I could sleep, that’s when the piercing pain in my lung wasn’t having some fun with me, and then it developed in my left lung as well.

When I returned a few days later, not feeling any better, I returned to my usual GP, who had been away when I first went to see the doctor. She also felt at first that it was viral, but decided to do some blood tests and a chest X-ray to see what the pain was about.

Within 20 minutes of having my X-rays taken, I was called back to the doctor and told I had a severe case of Pneumonia; my right lung was completely shadowed and my lower left lung was also shadowed and I would need a strong course of antibiotics and lots of rest.

On my follow-up visit I was shown my blood test results and was told with my inflammatory markers reading as high as they were, I should have been in hospital; that she was amazed how well I had looked and presented and she was surprised the markers were so high.

I did not present with the usual symptoms most people had with such severe pneumonia: no cough, no temperature, no major wheezing and I did not look sick.

It was quite a shock for her because she is so used to seeing “sick” people, who are obviously sick, but when someone presents looking healthy, vital and fit and says they are sick, it makes no sense; it creates a sense of confusion as it doesn’t fit their picture of how you should look when you are sick.

But no matter how well I may have looked, I knew that I was sick. To me it made sense that my body was ill, as I had made choices in the past that were very different to the way I was living now, and the illness offered a stop moment to reset, you could say, and to clear that which no longer belonged in my body, the sadness and grief of not living all of me.

I used to live forever avoiding being all of me, holding back, lessening the quality I lived in fear of what others may feel, say or think. I lived the way I thought I should be or the way others wanted me to be, a lesser dulled down version of me to avoid standing out or gaining too much attention.

Now that I was making changes, choosing to express what I felt, letting go of pictures I had around myself and others, how life should be or look, and most of all not holding back any of me, my body needed to make room, to clear out what was not me and make way for greater truth and love, allowing me to live in my fullness.

On a practical level the disease supported my body to make way for more of me to be lived, it cleared what was no longer needed, not supportive of me.

With the support of both Western Medicine and antibiotics, and energetic practitioners at Universal Medicine my body recovered and my being healed.

For me this illness is not a failure, but is yet another confirmation of the choices I make in my life and how I choose to live. I know that if my diet was different, if I drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, took drugs, and that my sleep patterns and daily rhythms were not what they are, then my body would most definitely have presented very differently when I first walked into the doctor’s surgery.

The doctor did a wonderful job, she is not used to seeing someone fit, vital and looking well, and yet be so ill. It is here where we have a responsibility to express what we are feeling, to not take anything for granted, and it is the fact that I listened to my body and knew there was more going on than first diagnosed, that I was able to support the doctor to in turn support me.

Through this disease and my previous disease, I have built an incredible relationship with my GP, I am able to work with her and be supported each step of the way, no different to how I am supported with the Esoteric Modalities, they both offered my body everything it needed in that instance of clearing and healing.

The Way of The Livingness has made a huge impact on the way I live, the choices I make and how these choices affect and support my body.

It is now offering my doctor an opportunity to see that being sick, ill or in disease does not always look a specific way, that a body can be unwell but a person can present on the outside as well, due to the quality of daily choices that provide a strong foundation of vitality and wellbeing.

Read more:

  1. What is the Way of The Livingness? 
  2. What are illness and disease?

525 thoughts on “Illness and Disease – How Should You Look?

  1. We have got used to seeing the symptoms of illness being presented in a dire way, but what you demonstrate here is ‘not to judge a book by its cover’ because the way a person lives appears to have quite a bearing on the severity of what an illness looks like… if you live well, that is with awareness of self-care, this seems to adjust how the body responds, deals and copes with illness.

  2. I love the question you ask here Nicole – how should you look with illness and disease? And the real answer is that there is no answer for though there is a text book presentation, very few fall into that text book category and so we must always be open to realising that the body is as it is and does as it does and it is doing exactly as it needs to be doing.

  3. Because of following The Way of The Livingness in our daily choices, we are nurturing ourselves to a much higher level of good health than is so much greater than the average. Therefore it makes sense that we will still look pretty ok when we are unwell, because the marker of health is so much lower. What a different experience to show the medics in the medical system, The body may be unwell, but the spark inside is unaffected so we still shine out loud and clear.

  4. The sense I get from your sharing here is how empowering it is to know our own body so well and feel confident in what we are feeling, our own very personal, direct experience as the authority. From that place, we become more open to taking responsibility, making adjustments, appreciating our deepening relationship with the body, ant that’s very beautiful and liberating.

  5. This shows how important it is to know our body and how it feels so that we know when something is going on even though it might not look the same as it does for others.

  6. Such a great testament to the fact that function is not the marker of health or illness that it is made out to be.

  7. When my body is overloaded from ill choices then I get really sick and suffer from the ill emotions of being ill as well as physically ill.
    When I am making loving choices and my body is ill to clear and make more space then the heavy emotional loading that is the characteristic ‘being ill’ isn’t there.

  8. When we consider our illness not as a failure but as a communication and indication for something to heal there is opportunity to reveal and understand the underlying issues.

    1. Yes, this perspective changes the way we look at and approach illness. Understanding there’s more going on, certainly makes you want to support the way we care for ourselves during this period.

  9. We can have so many pictures of how we should look and behave in certain situations in life and yet we can always be clearing what is not truly ours and deepening what is truly ours to be lived and expressed.

  10. I love that illness provides an opportunity to reset things we may have done in the past that were downright harmful to the body, for example when we overdo things we tend to get a cold or flu.

  11. “a body can be unwell but a person can present on the outside as well, due to the quality of daily choices that provide a strong foundation of vitality and wellbeing…” This gives indication of the possibility that the way a person lives their day has a direct correlation to the presentation of their illness..

  12. Today someone came to my house moaning and groaning about roadworks that had held her up…no one had told her that they were going to be there. Life is full of the unexpected – how about if we have cause to pause for a while in whatever we are doing we can see it as a gift…allowing us more space to deepen our connection with ourselves, to ponder more deeply on a matter, to prepare ourselves more fully for the purpose of our journey, whatever it may be, to see the silver lining rather than identifying a cloud that is getting in our way. This allows us to be free of aggravation and spreading that into our environment and the people we meet.

  13. When we have understanding that to have illness and disease is a clearing of energy which no longer supports the body we accept the process as part of our evolution. Regardless of the time taken to heal we know the healing is to be experienced that will bring a greater amount of light into the body to be lived.

  14. This is a whole new way of living with an illness but not becoming the illness and identifying with it as if part of our being. Seeing the illness as a way to clear past ill momentum and to welcome the correction a healthier relationship to have with illness and disease.

  15. Your experience described in your blog shows how everything we do has an impact on our health and wellbeing… looking after ourselves, even if it seems small has a cumulative effect that makes a long term difference.

  16. I had a health check recently with a nurse and she was blown away how great my health appeared to be for my age, blood tests, blood pressure, weight, diet, exercise, all got a big tick. She got a real live example to see how our choices make such a difference to our health.

  17. ‘It is now offering my doctor an opportunity to see that being sick, ill or in disease does not always look a specific way, that a body can be unwell but a person can present on the outside as well, due to the quality of daily choices that provide a strong foundation of vitality and wellbeing.” Presenting a foundation of health to a doctor that expects to see something very different can be a surprise for them, but what a powerful surprise to get, one that breaks the stereotypes.

    1. Yes the offering to the medical professional by the choices we choose to live may not fit the norm but is offering others another way to read and connect to the patient.

  18. If we asked anyone to mimmick how someone looks when they are sick it would, I am sure, be a 99% if not 100% chance that they would put on a sad expression, with turned down corners of the mouth and dull droopy eyes…possibly a few children might see it differently…yet I have known many people now who are not identifying with their illness nor are they putting on a show with a stiff upper lip or fake smile. If we deny the truth of what is happening we can appear to be happy but cannot really fool anyone least of all ourselves, we soon get tired of putting on a mask. When we maintain a relationship with ourselves of honesty, allowing ourselves to feel but not reacting to those feelings we stay free of emotions and able to enjoy ourselves wherever we are at.

  19. It is beautiful to see people who continue to look fabulous during illness, as there remains the spark of who they are, their natural expression and light which continues to come through and shine. This says to me that illness is a part of life but it does not have to become your life and that you can simply be who you are and maintain amazing connections and relationships with those around you – who also do not have to live your illness but rather just make it part of what is already there.

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