Holidays — getting away from my life and the people in it who attack, diss, require me to be normal, live in denial to my detriment, and drain me — are good for my heart rate. First, after I flew to England and now, after I chugged to Ottawa. For the first time on its own, as in not under medication influence, my heart rate dropped into the 80s this week! When I saw 89 pop up on the HRV (heart rate variability) screen as I was doing my deep breathing prior to the brain biofeedback screens, I almost screamed, “Did you see that?!” to my biofeedback trainer. She had. We were both practically squealing. And to think, though this took years and experimentation to achieve, I did it with no medication, no medication-induced fatigue, no lying on the couch for hours on end because of some drug slowing down my heart rate by depriving me of the neurochemicals that gives a person pep, and no horrendous side effects like blue feet.
The memory of those blue feet still gives me the willies.
I continue to forge into the frontier of medicine where we can treat our brains and hearts with more than chemicals, surgeries, and stents, where we can effect permanent change that can withstand intense psychological stress, for there was something even more remarkable in this 89 beats per minute rate: it happened in the midst of the kind of emotionally traumatic maelstrom that usually sends my heart rate up to 130.
It seems it isn’t the physicians who heal anymore, it’s the psychologists who think beyond the box, who still aim to find a cure while physicians are content to manage with drugs that cannot cure. And when on the rare occasion they do find a cure — like with Hepatitis C — the government isn’t interested in funding it, preferring to spend money on managing while people deteriorate, go on disability, lose their quality of life, and no longer contribute to government coffers.
And then we wonder why health care costs so much.
Cures — real healing — give people hope, give people themselves and their relationships back, give people their lives back. Cures return people to society. Cures return people to their work and to filling up government coffers.
Cures: that’s my ultimate goal of brain injury treatment. Why isn’t it the medical profession’s? Or governments’?