Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Art of Healing (literally) . . .

Since having been diagnosed with cancer, my body has been a bit bent out of joint over it's "new normal".  For instance, we aren't fond of the hormone issues, the daily reliance on a tiny pill that determines the outcome of the day, the insomnia, nor the occasional panic attacks.  Yuck, and NO THANKS.  However.  However.  However.  I have learned different ways to whip said body into shape, and the "dark days" are fewer than the light days.  For instance, my body needs exercise.  If I don't exercise regularly, you may as well pack me like a sardine in bed because that's what happens.  I am not able to function unless I have exercised my muscles and raised my body temp a bit.  I will literally roll myself up in a blanket and try not to move lest I remove the warmth my body so desperately longs for.  I stay warm as long as I move.  Period.  Second, I have taken to using my down times constructively.  Once, I awoke in the middle of the night with a crippling panic attack in which I was ripping out imaginary IV lines from my arm.  The brain fuzz clears just long enough for me to realize what's happening, so I get out of bed, grab my Bible, and read Psalm after Psalm until my heart stills again.  The best mechanism I have found, however, is that of knitting and crocheting.  Sometimes it seems impossible to pray (which is why I pray the Psalms), and sometimes I can't even talk right because my body flips out, and my tongue and brain just don't make the connection.  In those moments, I pick up my knitting (next to my bed), and I just start knitting.  I knit, and I pray.  I knit (and crochet during the day ;) with a purpose so I can give it away once it's finished.  I knit/crochet for the homeless, for preemie's, for shut-ins, and cancer fighters, and I knit for friends and family.  It is healing, and I don't feel like referencing ALL the health benefits (though I will share a few).  There are many concrete, documented studies on the effects of knitting/crocheting on the brain and heart.  It lowers my blood pressure/pulse, thus slowing down my racing heart, it calms me completely, and it brings me to a place where I can clearly pray--for myself and for others; for the one who will receive the gift.  So, art IS healing.  My most favorite gift to give is that of passing on the craft to another weary, wounded traveler.  Sure, I love making things, and I even get paid to make items.  However, I would much rather teach YOU how so you can experience that same gift as well.  God knows I have always been busy with my hands and mind as I have an extensive music performance background.  My life has changed, my course has been re-routed, and God knows I still need that in my life.  So he gave me this.  Might I share it with you as well?

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