I made the mistake of getting a little bit hopeful, excited even, about the possibility of solving the long-term “hip pain problem” permanently, in relatively short order.
Total hip replacement surgery! In my naivety, deciding to have surgery and then putting the process in motion didn’t seem too complicated. I’m familiar with navigating the Santa Barbara physician, clinic, and hospital milieux after twenty-some years of shepherding my now-elderly mother through a variety of surgeries. She pays an extortionate amount for what I half-jokingly refer to as Cadillac insurance, and has never had an issue getting full coverage for everything she has needed, medically. Why would it be difficult for me?
Browsing through Cottage Hospital’s website, the fly in the ointment leapt up with its thin shiny wings, its bulbous eyes reflecting my startled face:
“Hey! Over here! Don’t forget you need preapproval from your insurance company. And by the way, to receive treatment, you’ll be forced to sign an agreement saying that you will pay for everything if, for any reason whatsoever, insurance declines to pay after you’ve racked up your $750,000 worth of medical costs.”
Oh. Somehow I’d forgotten that neither I nor my physicians have the final say in my healthcare. I don’t have Cadillac health insurance—more like twenty-year-old Ford Escort type insurance. My insurance provider is likely to steer me toward a year’s worth of dubiously effective, cartilage-destroying cortisone injections before approving such expensive surgery.
Through these ruminations, an undercurrent of chaotic energy surfaces. The heat has been turned up on some internal cauldron. I’m no longer content to endlessly hope that an alternative treatment, the right energetic efforts, or the proper propitiation to the gods will restore me to physical ease and good health.
Do I desperately want Western medical intervention, right this minute? Not exactly. What I desperately want is to know that, should I eventually choose hip replacement, it’s a smooth route to a positive outcome, without having to gamble if the insurance system will cover the requested treatment.
The cauldron is still bubbling. My faith or patience or resignedness to that which is has undergone a possibly fatal blow. I’ve done esoteric work till I’m blue in the face, and while acupuncture and chiropractic, physical therapy and Rolfing and all the other treatments I’ve tried, have likely improved how I feel, none has delivered the pain-cure outcome I’ve wanted from each practitioner’s treatment.
Is that because my soul contract says I’m supposed to experience long-term chronic pain? Or I’m still balancing some obscure, long-forgotten karma?
Or is it because I’m asking energetic and alternative therapies to cure a physical deformity that cannot be remedied (at least at this moment in time) other than through 3D means like surgery?
Those are questions I’ve not been willing to ask out loud. Clearly, they’ve been burbling under the surface, and now that the heat has been turned up, they won’t quiet down until I address them.
I’m actually glad to have such an internal (some might say selfish) focus. I’m not boots-on-the-ground in the conflicts of the big world picture. But I do believe that in my immediate environment, I can contribute positivity, joy, and calm.
Since positivity and joy are hard to come by when experiencing pain, perhaps it isn’t selfish to focus on taking care of myself. And far from dismissing alternative and esoteric modalities, I’m continuing with acupuncture, with Rolfing, with energy work. What’s changed is I’m no longer rejecting the possibility of Western, third-dimensional medical intervention.
I like to think that shows maturity, rather than throwing in the towel, as a slightly snide little spiritual imp tries to whisper in my ear. I swat it away and instead heed what my heart is telling me, which is to stay open to all possibilities that promote joy, enlightenment, and radiant well-being, body and soul.