The Bloom of Scar Tissue

The Bloom of Scar Tissue

Ponderings

I wrote this blog Sunday 22nd October.

Do you reach inside and find the beauty or accept that skin and shape and lumps and bumps are but an illusion you must not fixate on?

That bump filled with brain fluid was not there before. The under layers of skin were not torn and stretched from the swelling of a saw and staples.

It is 2012 and the only story you know that tells of such things is Frankenstein. A monster. A craniotomy will do that.  Little children cannot come in to visit. It is too distressing. Grown men you have known for years are reduced to tears when they see you, and they struggle to hide it. That thing- that expression. It is a pity and sadness. Yet everyone says you look great, you look fine.

They tell beautiful lies to help keep you grateful for the life you have. The life you hold that keeps your heart beating is what is so important. Their hearts shine true in that moment.

In those months after a craniotomy, I was not a monster, just a little broken. But no longer a girl, no longer a woman. No longer a dancer of ballet, of quick human movement and a painter or a poet. No longer the protector of my children at night while they slept. I prayed each night they were okay. That I could trust those loving them on the daily to make sure they looked at them in the eyes and told them they were loved and safe. Like I did.

I think of myself sometimes when it was tough in the third person.

I think it has been a way to compartmentalise. I was a grateful survivor, and yet a soldier of war with battle scars she did not ask for. She did not volunteer for. Yet she did not fight anyone off, she walked right in and took the needle and signed the forms. She wanted to run, she wanted to scream and hide and say no. But she could not. The inner confusion and turmoil, to damage oneself to live. What a notion.

To say goodbye and kiss the heads of your children, to get in a car and drive to a big bustling place. To get your head shaved and your body naked under a cotton gown not knowing if you will kiss their heads again.

Consequence is a word you hold in your hand like a strange seed you found. Which garden shall you plant that in? The one that faces the north and screams of Victim or the one that says Growth?

Then there is the now.

When I lose myself in the energy of the room, I forget about what I look like, what anyone looks like. It’s because I can feel everything, the love, the humor, the frequency of those around. Things like traditional beauty or prettiness or ugliness or any such appearance do not concern me. Until someone takes a photo. Because then it’s like an ugly little version of my surface just got captured in a bottle and can’t get out. Unless you smash it with a delete button. And then there is the fear with social media, that someone else will share the little version of you and others won’t see your energy, they will see the damage the war did. Why does it matter what they think and see?

Blindness was freedom from all of this. It was a relief. I did not need to see myself; therefore I did not have to validate my appearance. It didn’t matter. Out of sight, out of mind.

No makeup, no hair, no eyes to see the damage. Those super hearing marvel style skills were too much fun and the challenge of learning my environment in a new way all wrapped up in the happiness of still being on the planet surpassed any vanity.

Until my vision returned.

So much joy. Because I got to see my children’s smiles again, the pictures they had drawn for me. The sky windows- puddles in the ocean. So glorious and full. My husband, my family. Their physical, visual picture was mine again to capture with my body’s camera- the eyes. I was not prepared for the trauma of seeing myself again and finally understanding why my little boy cried so much. He wanted Mummy to look like Mummy again, and why the grown men cried. Why the mailman did not recognize me at the door and asked me who I was. I told him it was me and he said it was so sad. I asked him why and he said I was so pretty before… but don’t worry you will be again. And the nurse saw my picture on the wall and asked who it was.
”That’s me.”  It is one of my favourites. It doesn’t look like me anymore.

Society tells you it does not matter it does matter it doesn’t.

Like this barge going back and forth between the shores of depth and shallow. Which one is it? Why do we get so distressed with scars and physical damage? We hero worship the survivor and yet as a species we spend millions on maintaining and enhancing the symmetry of the human appearance. A world that celebrates the beautifully broken on one hand and shining perfectional beauty on the other. Where do they connect? For surely beauty is unique, not a blended image of sameness.

Where is the distinction or balance in this? It used to baffle me, now it intrigues me and mortifies me all in one. I now believe when people speak their perception of what beauty is to them, it reveals the contents of their heart.

Then I got the all clear. Then the all clear was taken away. An inoperable option. Not an option. The lack of an option. We can’t do anymore. How much longer do I have? Not sure. Ok.

So we walk that walk. As a family and yet the unshakeable truth sits within me- LIFE IS FOR LIVING. Not for fear. It is the walk of the possibly dying. Because we all are. So it counts. Every day counts- it’s not a cliche. It is the essence of every single molecule and particle, shape, symmetry and pattern that exists for life to prosper. There’s a whole lot of work going on in the living here and in whatever comes after this version of life, there are many more of this I am sure also. But death is real too, and it might just be that death is but a doorway to another life.

So now I live in this one, I rejoice. I choose to live a life that is full with no excuses, to feel my way intuitively, guided by my understanding and perceptions, hoping to keep them as precise and sharp as possible to be valid and true. I listen to the guidance I receive, and I do my best.

I love within an inch of my being, and I hold those I love dearer than my own heartbeat. The patterns of nature and the design of our world intrigues me, as does geometry and physics, the gleaning of the matrix that supports the whole system has captured my fancy in a way unimaginable. The gifts of the spirit are abundant and my cup runneth over.

Yet still, this undeniably human desire to be physical as I was before the surgery haunts me every time a picture is taken, every time I look in a reflective surface, each time my body won’t work the way I want it to. So I will be grateful, and I will work on trying to mend that broken part within. I will be grateful for the scars and the bumps and distortions, I will be thankful for the migraines, the weird inexplainable seizures, the sleep apnea, and the blood pressure, the brain fog, the short-term memory and the fear of the sound of chainsaws, the narcolepsy stuff and the heartache and even the scar dandruff,  because all of this means I am alive. I breathe. I eat. I love and I live. I am surrounded by good friends and family. I live in a country that is not war inflicted and where I can live this life this way. Because we all have our path to walk.

And I could not have captured this view of real life unless this had all happened. I choose growth and the power of the inner spirit guided by my God to overcome all and sit in Grace.

Why? Because you see restoration of the spirit and growth cannot happen without trauma.

Regardless of what any doctor might say I am going to live.

Because my chapters are not written by humans.

October 23rd this happened:

Neuro clinic appointment.

My brain has healed.

Option 2 Happened. (Bye bye Tiffany)

Car Park: screaming and crying hysterical woman spotted ranting loudly in Major Melbourne Hospital. Blue eyed man pacing in shock with what witnesses say was a a look of dumbfounded oblivion.

Incoherent phone calls to family.

Sister may have fainted.

Shock (hot water bottles, blankets and sister needed for this one)

Joy

Overwhelm

Panic

Joy

Humbled like a small pebble in the bottom of a deeeep ocean. Feeling so small.

More Joy (don’t freak out the kids)

Disbelief

Thanks

“Mum- we have run out of milk again”

Prayer

Vomit

Love

Joy

No more fear- running under the moon

Crying (lots and lots of crying)

Dehydration from crying.

“Are you sure you got it right dear? You didn’t get confused?”

More Joy

Anger

Running

Parked outside Flight Centre and considered flying and climbing something really big and shaving my head at the same time and screaming ODONNELL RULES. (That was a weird moment) rang one besty who told me to do it and the sensible one said go home and sleep.

Spontaneous outbursts of laughing

Rage

Sat up in bed next to my sister while we planned our nursing home antics. (We will be room sharing)

Persistent need to kiss my children and it’s now giving them them shits.

Joy

Uncontrollable smiling – it’s a little creepy

Now resting

Life is good. I need a new word. There are no words. I think I am going to faint and cry and I don’t know what.

Bucket list is ticked…now WHAT?

A Transformative Life

There is a photograph of Jillie A. Carter as a young school teacher and beauty queen...   Her...
The Hipster’s Guide to Turmeric

The Hipster’s Guide to Turmeric

Featuring Your Naturopath Susan Byrne

I think that TURMERIC is genuinely one of the marvelous spices in our world. You don’t need a bicycle basket and manicured beard to know this is true.

Turmeric uses and applications are abundant, and we are just starting as a western society to recognize these.

So pull up a recycled chair with a handstitched Guatemalan cushion and let me tell you the real deal about Turmeric- the decadent product of nature.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a herbal spice that is held in high esteem for its bountiful health endorsing properties as well as its culinary uses. It has always been a favorite herb of Chinese, Ayurvedic and traditional medicine and the methods of TURMERIC  as a therapeutic herb dates back thousands of years.

 

The energetics of turmeric on our human body is warming and bitter, so this makes it a fabulous circulatory stimulating herb as well as a liver and gallbladder stimulating tonic. Let’s face it when we are getting around everywhere on a unicycle or a vintage bike we need all the sustenance we can get right?

The wonderfully bright cadmium yellow of TURMERIC comes from its primary active ingredient Curcumin. It’s a boss.

 

Even though the active ingredient is Curcumin,  as any good herbalist will tell you we don’t just use one element of a medicinal herb when we are using it as herbal therapy, as it is the constituents of the whole beautiful herb that has been born to work together to achieve the beneficial result. Herbs, when used for herbal medicine, have energy derived from the plant source. Therefore it is much preferred by the human body than chemical-based medicine and TURMERIC  is a prime example of one of these herbs.

Holistically the herb works so well because it needs every part of its chemical compound to function optimally. (Say that 10 times quickly with a mouth full of marbles.)

 

 

TURMERIC’S bio-availability(the proportion of a drug or other substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so can have an active effect)  is quite low though, so taking TURMERIC with black pepper is advised. Black pepper (Piper nigrum) contains piperine, and this acts as an excellent bio-enhancer and may increase TURMERICS bio-availability up to an astonishing 2000%. You only need to use a pinch of black pepper for this result to occur.  

 

 

Most of us know TURMERIC  for its anti-inflammatory properties but did you know that TURMERIC is also

  • anti-oxidant
  • anti-coagulant (reducing the risk of blood clots)
  • liver protective
  • decreases blood cholesterol
  • improves protein digestion
  • increases ligament flexibility
  • reduces period pain
  • blood sugar regulator
  • assists with settling down the inflammation associated with asthma (2)
  • is a potent antagonist of numerous cancer-causing cells (1)
  • neurological supportive
  • cardiovascular supportive
  • immune system supportive
  • aids in metabolic health
  • may be favorable to healthy thyroid function
  • may promote longevity
  • may be supportive in decreasing inflammation of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • There is even evidence suggesting that TURMERIC may inhibit replication of H.I.V.1! (2)

So herbal medicine strikes again and in a form available to us all every day.

Enjoy your latte! x

RECIPE FOR TURMERIC LATTE

½ to 1 teaspoon of organic turmeric

½ teaspoon of organic cinnamon

grated organic ginger to taste

pinch of organic black pepper

honey to taste (add when finished boiling)

1 cup of milk (organic cows, almond, rice, coconut )

 

 

 

  1. Blend all powdered ingredients into the milk of choice
  2. Place in small saucepan and bring to boil.
  3. Add honey.
  4. Pour into a hand pottered cup with a saucer made from repurposed banjo strings and most of all-
  5. ENJOY!

References

(1) FOOD YOUR MIRACLE MEDICINE, Jean Carper, Collins Publisher

(2) DR. ATKINS VITA-NUTRIENT SOLUTIONS, Robert C. Atkins, Fireside edition.

About Susan Byrne

Susan Byrne is absolutely passionate about health and
well-being with a focus on people being empowered and
lifted in the knowledge that they are healthy and happy.
Susan a specialization in Women and children’s health.
Susan has over 20 years of health experience and in-depth
qualifications in Nutritional Health, Herbal Medicine,
Supplementation and Flower essences including a
Bachelor of Health Science, Dip. Herbal Medicine and Dip.
Nutrition as well as being a member of the NHAA. She is a
well known public speaker on Naturopathic subjects and
is an advocate for women’s welfare.

Dr. Fiona Wood

Dr. Fiona Wood

Australian of the Year Anyone? 

Australian of the Year and Medical Legend-5

It’s not every day you get to meet an Australian of the Year. Or the head of a large foundation backed by some of the world’s most prestigious sponsors. I did my due diligence and researched my interviewee. The more I read, well let’s just say the more overwhelmed I began to feel as the accomplishments and accolades, not to mention the adoration from others- built up brick by brick like a mighty wall of quivering anticipation and nerves. This is one chic that may have a little more than a handful of accomplishments under her surgical belt.

What happened next left me smiling and uplifted.

Ponderers I would love you to meet Professor Fiona Wood. Fiona is the incredibly impressive Australian that I think is better than Vegemite, as impressive as Bradman and has won the hearts of many. What this woman has done for medicine in Australia, the world and burns patients will leave you in awe.

Some of you may have heard of the Fiona Wood Foundation.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization responsible for some of the most impressive pioneering in burns, wound care management programs in the world. One of Fiona’s mentors Harold McComb was the original name-bearer of the Foundation- then known as the McComb Foundation in 1999 with scientist Marie Stoner. It was renamed the Fiona Wood Foundation in 2012 in recognition of her work in the field of burns medicine.

One of her most well-known joint achievements was the creation of “spray-on skin” and her involvement in saving the lives of many after the tragic 2002 Bali Bombings.

Leaderboard Ponderings 2

The mother of six and avid cyclist has so many dimensions, and within moments of chatting, her warmth and infectious positivity and wit were bouncing in a contagious frequency. My nerves and sense of intimidation evaporated as quick as water on a hot Perth pavement. I instantly liked her and was grateful for her time. There was no sense of imposition, but rather a willingness to share and be human together.

K: Fiona you are no doubt an extremely busy lady! Where on earth do you get all of that energy?

FW: Good sleep, eating well, fitness and nutrition are everything to being able to keep everything in balance. It can be pretty rigorous work being on call so health is so important.
Daily exercise in the early morning makes you feel great. I enjoy cycling and pilates, swimming not- (she starts laughing heartily) – you know I look like a demented seal trying to catch waves. But I really do believe that fitness as well as choosing a positive attitude is absolutely everything to balance and being healthy and happy.

K: It is an exciting time in many fields of Medicine in regard to improvements and evolution of technology and long-term research coming to fruition, isn’t it? What are some of the aspects of this you are enjoying?

FW: In short- So much! Seriously though, there is a LOT of knowledge to be harnessed, the bit I like the most is the improved quality and outcome for patients, the quicker recovery times and people are surviving more serious injuries. The goal posts are moving. Mind you, for me personally they can’t move quick enough, as I don’t want to stop working until it is even better again. When I was younger I had this idea that you would go to work, solve the problem and everyone can all go home, and all would be well. This was not the case! Every single body as such is unique and technology needs to be integrated individually, burns are so very complex. The differences in scars is where data analysis has a future, and there is a new wave of medical ideas and research that is working. Burn injury and inflammation affects the whole body, so it is so very important that we continue to reach for complete scar recovery. The quality of a scar being worth survival is the goal.

HealthPost natural supplements and skincare

K: I can hear the passion for what you do in your voice, it’s so infectious! This can’t all be nature, there must be some nurture in there. Many people I interview with that kind of insistent passion for doing hard work and persistence for a goal are influenced in some way by another person or mentor. Who was yours?

FW: My parents were incredibly hard working. We were brought up to work and the joy of work for work’s sake, to be useful and to find joy in work, to get that great feeling from a job well done and that has really been a big influence. My parents were passionate about hard work along with the idea that education provides freedom, that it creates choices. They really pushed that. When I started working in the field one of my mentors was Harold McCarb, an incredibly dedicated surgeon. So I have definitely had my influencers.

Ponderings Leaderboard

K: I love hearing you say this! We have always told our three children that even though sometimes education feels like a task, it is a gift and if you start to enjoy learning as a tool and a source of growth it provides opportunity and flexibility as an adult. You never stop learning! The ability to have choices means you are giving yourself your very best opportunity to have fulfilling experiences in life. It looks like we are both pro-work and education. I have been accused of being a high achiever, and sometimes it worries me that this sense of urgency has rubbed off on my kids. Do you find the same thing with your brood?

FW: I don’t know that this is a negative, to be honest! I had 6 children in 8 years and they are all older now, and every one of them is a high achiever and they all love sport, even more than me. They are happy. One of my sons is a multi-athlete, and they all strive to be better. But I don’t think this is a negative thing. It ‘s nice to make great choices and feel positive and joyful in what you do; it is important to feel a sense of purpose. Setting goals and achieving them is great!

K: What would you tell your 25 year old self if you were talking to her now?

FW: Get up in the morning and enjoy what you do, you will do well and better.

HealthPost natural supplements and skincare

K: What are you looking forward to?

FW: I look forward to the beach in the morning, and the kids all over for dinner in the evening. I am looking forward to the results coming through for experiments we have done, it’s a 7 year piece of work that has just been recognised after doing work in Canada, and it’s a wonderful feeling when your team’s work is validated. You just want to do your best surgery, and best work and it’s transforming. I really look forward to that.

K: Finally Fiona- what do you enjoy reading?

FW: I really enjoy science fiction especially futuristic style!

Fiona’s entire focus while we talking was her passion for her patient’s comfort and quality of life, the recovery and the repair. I was aware that she was on a time limit, yet not once did she impose it and I felt we could have spoken for hours. Her positivity was bubbly and effervescent, she really is an extraordinary person extraordinarily serving the world. I love it when you chat to someone and walk away feeling like your heart is full and running over with a kind of bubbling presence.

Fiona said “You can choose every day to actually choose your view on things” I think this is worth such a ponder. Don’t you?

 

Non-Toxic Mother’s Day Anyone?

Non-Toxic Mother’s Day Anyone?

Non Toxic Mothers Day

by Liz Sefton.

With Mother’s Day approaching the retail catalogs are overflowing with perfumes, scented body wash & lotion packs and scented candles as gift ideas!

Before starting my low tox journey, I would have been seduced by this marketing. But now I know the effects of chemical exposure in these types of products are very real, and I hope to give you something to think about before you purchase a gift for someone special in your life including yourself!

Planet Spectrum

It can be overwhelming

When looking at the ingredients list on products keep it simple! One word you can search for is the word parfum or fragrance. If it is listed and is not derived from essential oils, it means this product is made up hundreds of synthetic chemicals including hormone-disrupting chemical, phthalates.

Many of these chemicals do not have to be disclosed or tested for safety and unfortunately, a product doesn’t need to be tested until there is a known issue! Exposure to these products is linked to many health conditions including headaches, migraine, allergies and respiratory problems like asthma. The accumulation effect of these chemicals could potentially be making you and your loved ones sick.

Medicine bottle with poisonous liquid

Back in the day

In my 20’s I had a vast perfume collection with designer perfume, washes and lotions brands taking a proud position on my dresser! No longer. Have you noticed that every time you buy your favorite perfume, it smells the same? This is because it is a synthetic product and that is replicated en masse in a lab. Global company marketing determines that it must last, must smell the same- the only way to do this is with an injection of chemicals.test tubes and pipette

Warning: Marketing!

Marketing is also very clever by using words, colors, and packaging that entices us to think the product is natural. They can technically put on the packaging that the product is organic by just including one organic ingredient into the product! This is called greenwashing! Only trust products that have the certified organic symbol and you can be guaranteed that the product is 100% naturally derived!

If you would like to investigate more about the products you are using I suggest the Think Dirty App or Chemical Maze book or app. Safe replacements are not too hard to find, and over time I have eliminated all these products from our home and replaced them with essential oils! Today I simply massage Twenty8 essential oils into my skin after a shower and make my roll on perfumes. I have more comments today on how lovely I smell than ever before. ! As a bonus, I’m not exposing those around me with the toxic smell of a synthetic fragrance. Plus, I am also increasing my vibrational energy and essential oils it is a great way to bring nature indoors.

Fresh lavender, essential oil and bath salt on wooden background

Mother Nature

Mother Nature has provided us with a complete beauty and cleaning cupboard of products if we dig a little under the surface of what the big marketing gurus “want us to see and use.”

So, show your Mum you care by only buying “REAL” natural products that will genuinely nurture her and her health.

Liz Sefton is a Qualified Food Coach and Health & Lifestyle Educator and an advocate for living as naturally as possible! She knows it isn’t always easy, and the simplicity is the best policy for health! For more information about Liz, recipes, tips and all things natural, go to The Nourishing Home Facebook Page and her Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/lizsefton/

 

Australia You Have Your Very Own ‘Yoda’!

Australia You Have Your Very Own ‘Yoda’!

 Over the last 50 years, there have been treasured yet humble contributors to our well-being and health. One such Australian has dedicated his entire life to the discovery, research, and formulations to support our health. He cannot levitate, or throw misbehaving Jedi across the room, he can, however, weave some pretty impressive feats. His name is Des Lardner.

Des LardnerThe beautiful landscape of the Wimmera is the home of Des Lardner’s Headquarters. Amongst the offering of therapies, organic food, consulting, etc. there is a Dark-Field Microscope for live blood viewing in the store. Giving practitioners and patient the ability to view patient’s own red and white blood cells in real time on an LCD screen. Sounds like Star Wars right? Nope, it is right in Horsham Victoria. Build it, and they will come here with people traveling Internationally and Nationally to get assistance. w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 31% of the burden of disease is preventable in Australia. Many Aussies recognize the need for health prevention, and while biological systems have similarities, each of us is very different in our body’s response. It is how we activate the most premium health in our very individual physical makeup that matters. Des Lardner believes that the focus on the history of medicine and reviving old formulas in combination with using more powerful herbs to good effect is a dynamic key to prevention. But more importantly? The knowledge needs imparting to young naturopaths and health professionals. (It screams of Jedi doesn’t it?)

There is a common thread in the diverse field of health that information needs to be hoarded and tucked away, a competitive field of “wellness experts” has instigated this trend. However, not this inspiring alchemist! 2018 presents expansion, Des Lardner, plans to get this lifetime knowledge out to those that need it while taking it to the Digital Space. While the format is still “under wraps” there is a buzz in the air, and it is contagious- (naturally!)

Des Lardner

He is the genius behind the natural herbal colic mixture, renown all over Australia for relieving bubs tums and Mum and Dad’s nerves, later taken up by a leading pharmacy chain. More than 103 products formulated by the dedicated consultant pharmacist and herbalist have hit the shelves. One of his most outstanding achievements was the discovery of 2 novel pain compounds in rose hips while studying his Masters at Sydney University at age 60. Did I mention the word impressive?

Leaderboard Ponderings 3

Des now leads an entire team of qualified practitioners specializing in Naturopathy, Herbal Therapy, Sleep Apnoea (accredited services), Iridology, Nutrition, Homeopathy, remedial massage and cranio sacral massage as well as organic produce and products from food to makeup.

For more information about Des Lardner and his amazing use of the “force” for good health  go to: http://deslardnerorganic.com.au  or jump on Facebook and see: https://www.facebook.com/Des-Lardners-Organic-Natural-Health-Clinic-165724976826271/

 

 

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