Healing is a Process of Accepting All, Then Choosing the Best!
I am writing this article to close the chapter of my “spiritual hospital retreat” mainly to give news to my family (in the sense of family = love and trust) all around the world who cared for me during this turbulent time and maybe to motivate other people who go through difficult times at the moment. Experience differs but patterns are similar. This is the reason why I am writing in English to reach out to as many people as possible and maybe to polish my own language skills also 🙂 Warning: it is long but in my opinion definitely worth at least a try!
Whilst in hospital, I noted down a few things that struck me either in positive or negative sense. Some are serious and some funny, but from all we can learn something:
doctors ask me from where I learnt fluent Czech or if my parents were foreigners. (This only reaffirms my theory of being an Indian in my past life.🙂 )
as doctors and nurses found out that I lived in India, I started receiving sympathetic looks. (I forgave them as they do not know I went to India not because of forced marriage but by act of free will.)
I found meat pieces in the “vegetarian meal option”. (Luckily I was in “survival mode” and had to just get through the days and knew that they are preparing food for thousands of people and some lady cook doesn’t realise the importance of no “meat contamination” for a vegetarian. Plus I was not able to chew or swallow much anyways.)
It is important to prepare for the worst but out of a positive mind and inner wisdom. (When the doctor says “oh, don’t worry, your throat will hurt a little only for a few days”, it means that you won’t be able to drink or eat without pain for a week.)
Being able to speak when you need and to eat and drink when you are hungry or thirsty is a privilege. (First 4 days after the surgery I was able to eat only liquid food and drink little by little through a straw even though I was craving for lots of food and water. I was not able to ask or cry for help. I had to spend energy on gesticulating or writing a note.)
all doctors and nurses were professional and kind. (Despite the general aversive mood of Czechs towards the hospital environment and staff, I had a positive experience. Maybe because I was trying to keep my role as a patient and also be kind? I don’t know. It remains a mystery.)
I was given an option of a “luxury room” for 1.100 czk/night. It is a single room with TV, attached bathroom, water kettle, fridge and locker. (I was lucky that this room was available which is not always the case and even though I mostly try to save money, even if my husband would not agree on this 😉, I went for this option and I was grateful later. I could make my own tea as the hospital version is not one of the tastiest. I could cough, sigh, weep and make all kinds of sounds without disturbing others. I put up an altar with the picture of my grandma and other for me sacred and healing objects that could cause a traumatic experience to rational brains who most Czechs are. I gave dance a few tries just to relax the stiff body.)
I was asked to arrange adoption of a child from India. (Shortly after my arrival in hospital I became famous with all the “India and Yoga life” and the sanitary assistant on the way to the operation room asked me if I could help him adopting a child from India for his lesbian friends’ couple. Later he came to my room with a written note stating his name and phone number. I have nothing against adoption. I have nothing against homosexual couple adopting a child. But this was clearly beyond my scope of action.)
I was pleasantly surprised by the “human look” of the hospital café and juice bar. (I exchanged my normal day-to-day survival strategy of espresso macchiato for fresh fruit and vegetable juices. And I might even keep it that way. I felt an intense inner craving for sweet fresh fruits, first in the form of juices, directly after the surgery and can still feel now during the recovery period. I know that the word “craving” already contains the intensity of feeling, but this was almost like animalistic. It was that strong. Me and my friend Veronika found a word for it: Wolf’s Plums :):):) ).
There are a few life lessons that I had learnt or deepened during my surgery experience.
What difficult life situations can do for you:
make you grow in your personality and spirit (The purpose of my life, which is to help people, became more clear.)
fortify ties with family and friends (I cannot remember sitting quietly at our garden terrace with my father for years.)
open doors to spontaneity and creativity and free you from dulling daily routine. Do what you feel like and eat what you feel like even if it stands in contradiction to your previous habits. It’s necessary for healing. ( I started eating fruits in the morning instead of oats porridge and ate 2 boiled organic eggs. Unbelievable, if you know me 🙂 )
teach you not to suppress your emotions (I cried loudly and felt like smashing things while not be able to talk or move. I did all of it at least mentally with full awareness and it carried its own beauty of expression and brought a great amount of relief.)
teach you about areas of life that you might never come across otherwise (I finally learned, why in Czech the ENT department (which in English is easily explained by Ear,Nose,Throat) is called ORL. (ORL = otorinolaryngologie) That not only tells something about the language but also the culture. You all know how I love languages and cultures!)
bring out humour in situations you would normally think of as unpleasant or tragic and that way make the situation less painful. Try to embrace the “monster” and make him to your friend. (I am closely following up my friend’s cancer treatment and we started making rhymes to chemotherapy.)
These are the spiritual and social aspects. Of course that I also followed a certain diet and lifestyle during the convalescence time. This I have done before the surgery also only with some alterations. I took lots of time in silence in nature (no tv, no radio, limited mobile and internet access only to communicate with my family). I wished to just spend time in virgin nature, but as it was not possible due to my husband being away and my parents taking care of Gayatri, our garden did the job 🙂. So if you have the possibility to spend at least some of your healing time in pristine nature, this is the best you could do for you. Breathe clean air, drink pure water, eat clean food, rest enough, be kind and compassionate to yourself (this doesn’t mean to feel sorry for yourself. That is quite the opposite.) and if possible meditate. All allopathic medicines as well as other alternative supporting methods that you have access to like homeopathy, ayurveda or craniosacral therapy will support and accelerate your natural healing intelligence.
Finally, I would like to thank all people who made this experience more humane and bearable for me: my husband Harilalji Karanath, who was regretful that he couldn’t do much because he was teaching in Germany and then had to fly back to India. He was calling me several times a day to check just if everything was ok. My family in India. My daughter Gayatri who bravely left to the countryside house with her grandparents and cousins for nearly two weeks while knowing that her mother is going to be cut at her throat (yes, we don’t spare her the truth and she can well understand it.). My mom and dad who are always there for me the best way they can even with the “complicated Indian vegetarian cooking” and dairy free diet for my daughter. My sister Zuzana Humhalova, who nursed me during the most difficult 3 days after being discharged from hospital. Her husband, who didn’t oppose to her sleeping at my house, even though it was their rare time at home without kids. My brother Aleš Posselt who would definitely be there for me if he could, but he was in Taiwan during the surgery time. And as the Czech proverb says: “In emergency, you will know your true friend”, my friend Veronika Vališová (she hates social sites) drove me to the hospital for bandage change when my sister was still at work and I was too weak to take a taxi. Petra Masopust Sachova who brought me homeo medicine. Barbara Haracova who motivates people even though she experiences herself a serious illness at the moment. The biggest of gratitude to my friend and doctor Marcela Schejbalová who helped me with the surgery arrangements. Doctor Miloš Taudy from the ENT department in FN Motol who operated me and still spends his personal time to make sure that the whole healing process will be smooth. To my friends and doctors Sarita Nair who is in India and her father is seriously ill and Jan Vojáček and Šárka Konečná who are themselves in the middle of a life change, yet they were ready to answer my panic messages the night the wound started swelling up. Shakti Simone Lehner and Maheshwara Manfred Lehner from Yoga Vidya Speyer who are always checking on me no matter what. Dr. Sarada Rajiv, clinical psychologist, who helped me literally come back to my feet during my difficult times in India, and whom I call Amma now (amma means mother in Malayalam). Tanya Lofy who will always inspire me in her “Lightness of Being”. Katrin Nostadt who has suffered a serious spine injury recently and now we joke that we are going to be both “Women who survived the attack of Jack the Ripper”. The whole Czech-British-American-German-Austrian-Bulgarian yoga community. And maybe even the nurse who took my blood for testing and gave me a bandaid for children with pictures and colours. Did I forget anyone? I must have because I am a human being 😉