Choices to the End

Recently I held my grandmother's hand while she lay dying and thought about how she had gotten to be 96, had no illness at all, and was in fact dying.  In fact she was dying because she had chosen a few weeks before to stop eating.  She had been bedridden for a few years because of a car accident that had shaken her self-confidence (at 90!) and a choice she made many years before where she decided that eating fat was unhealthy and so she wouldn't eat an ounce of fat after that.  Gradually her knees deteriorated, her joints weakened, she became more confused and lost her hearing.  All because of the choice she made to not eat fat.  It was the result of a harmless suggestion given to her by her doctor at the time, who wanted to point out that her cholesterol was a bit higher than her last visit and so removing some fat from her diet might be wise.  She took it to heart... We all make choices whether we realize it or not regarding our future health.  Do we decide to get out and walk today?  Do we decide to have a grande non-fat mocha latte with extra whipped cream and caramel?  Do we take a multivitamin from CVS or from our naturopath?  Do we take a multivitamin at all!?  What about flexibility - is it important?  Can I get cancer from my cell phone?

The truth is that patients sit down in front of me and tell me their symptoms as though they are talking about someone else.  They don't have any ownership of their symptoms, and so their symptoms own them instead.  The truth is that after almost 30 years of doing this, I've realized that choices have consequences when it comes to our health, often without you even realizing that a choice has been made.

So what do we do... Well, I've found that the healthiest people I see are those who are relaxed, cope with stress well, and have a daily plan that supports their needs.  Too often we put everyone else first and by 11:00 at night when we finally have finished everything we have to do, we are too tired to do what we would like to do.

My supposition is that we often pass off a choice, postpone a choice or make a choice without thinking.  I think this is all as a result of stress and too much to handle.  And I've found a solution.  First, make a list of what you need to make you happy, and I mean seriously what makes you happy... not what you think should make you happy.  Then make a weekly (daily is too restrictive) plan of what you will do to support yourself in ways that allow those "things" to occur.  Gently reduce, minimize or eliminate those things or people that create stress. Remember that stress is 20% instigation and 80% perception.

So now the best part - homeopathics.  For more than 150 years, there are some homeopathic remedies that modulate your perception of stress - that 80% piece.  They not only can help with insomnia, anxiety, depression and that overwhelmed feeling, but they can actually quiet the voice in your head and make you feel as though things just roll off your back more easily.  You feel like the load has been lifted and you can actually see yourself in a different light.  This "place" is somewhere where choices can happen that move you in healthy directions.  It seems to clear away the fog and allow organization to take hold.  Your inner guidance system begins to really steer you in the right direction.  They have been amazing patients for years.

My grandmother made her choices to the end.  I honestly believe she could have lived much longer if she had chosen to, but the quality of her life, based on her choices, was no longer what made her happy.  I went out for a walk today....