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Chapter Fifteen: Surgery

I was still addicted to the anxiety medication and the Kirtan Woman told me to get off it or never call her again as I was speaking completely irrationally to her over the phone. The woman whose mother lived here invited me to Maui for three weeks over Christmas. I went and was able to stop taking the medication. I continued doing my practice, but it was difficult. It continued to get more difficult until a year later my bowels became blocked again and I made an appointment to see a doctor. The head surgeon was furious with me and had me make an appointment for elective surgery with a specialist. It would not be for another week, and I spent the week unable to lie down in bed and had to sleep sitting up.

It turned out I had herniated my diaphragm which is very unusual. I had collapsed my left lung 50% by compacting my spleen, stomach, colon, and intestines up into my chest cavity while doing inverted poses. They were going to perform robotic surgery with three small incisions but were unable to get my spleen down, so had to cut me open. I also had torn the hernia in my diaphragm so large it was difficult to close, and they had to stretch it tight and sew it up and cover it with mesh.

I spent nine days in the hospital and another month recovering on oxycontin. I put myself through complete hell and when I became well enough to go to the studio began my practice by sitting in front of the alter and visualizing the practice in my head while doing the count until I was brave enough to begin doing it physically. The LA Woman was very encouraging through out this. I became very angry and started to blame everyone else for my problem.

I rented a room in an apartment in Arlee from a guy named Max thinking the air would be better down there than at home, but it wasn’t as wood burning was allowed and the school had a coal fired boiler. I continued to drive back and forth to Missoula every day so I could practice in the warehouse. I kept the apartment for six months which was a complete blowout, but I guess if you don’t do something you never know what the outcome will be.

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