Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ride the Tiger

Which bags are bigger: those on the IV pole? Or those under my eyes?

Could I look any worse? Drained. Pale. My sister says I have "that sickly look." Thanks sis!

But inside, I'm fighting.

The Tiger in ancient Chinese represents dignity, ferocity, sternness, courage, and protection.

Qigong (pronounced Chee-gong) is a helpful tool for healing in ancient Chinese medicine. It incorporates movement, breathing, meditation and visualization to strengthen and heal the body. Qigong is said to stimulate the circulatory system, enhancing the elimination of wastes from the body, and the increased flow of lymphatic fluid improves the functioning of the immune system. Experts have found qigong can increase the amount of disease-fighting white blood cells, and improves the supply of oxygen to the body.

Several years ago, I learned a qigong guided imagery meditation used to promote healing called the Meditation of the Dragon and Tiger. Together, the dragon and the tiger represent yin and yang. In this visualization, one pictures literally swallowing a tiny tiger and a tiny dragon and watches as they move through the body, restoring balance and increasing vitality.

So what does all of this have to do with me?

I have been practicing this visualization technique since my admit to the hospital. Like the old Jefferson Starship song says, I wanna ride the tiger. Er, uh....Tigecycline.

And ride it out I do. Every 12 hours.

For an hour every 12 hours, I am connected to the tiny bolus of Tigecycline. And for that hour, I practice visualizing that tiny tiger moving through my veins.

Saline Hep-lock: allows quick IV access when needed, but allows me freedom to roam when I'm not receiving medicine

And, things appear to be working. I squint when I write that. Could it really be that easy?

Dr. Tan of infectious disease pushes on my abdomen.

"You don't seem to wince as much when I push," he says. "I think the Tygecil is working."

We can only hope. Until I know for sure, I'll keep riding the tiger - both of them!

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