by Cherise Holt, Nurse, Australia
For the past five years I have seen a dermatologist. In this time I have had an appointment on average every three months, with each appointment lasting around 20 minutes – so I spend approximately 80 minutes with her every year. What I have found is that no matter which practitioners we see in our life, be they medical or complementary, we create a relationship with them.
When I first saw her, I had been referred by my General Practitioner (GP) for assessment and treatment of keloid scarring on my chest and shoulders. My treatments involved extremely painful cortisone injections into the scars to help decrease the inflammation and pain. Keloid scars are made up of many little nerve endings, and are unlike other scarring which can commonly be numb to the touch. It was the scars on my chest that caused me the most grief and affected me every day.
They appeared on my skin during my early teenage years and as they grew, so did my hatred of them. I despised them. The clothes I wore had to be of the softest material as any scratch or touch was at times unbearable for me. Every outfit I wore was carefully designed to cover and hide them. I often searched the internet in the hope of discovering new medical treatments but I felt disheartened, as a successful and pain-free treatment was difficult to find.
When I first saw my dermatologist I was desperate for a fix for the pain and I would have done anything to not have to look at them ever again; the sight of them, at every glance, completely repulsed me. What I first noticed with my doctor was how her touch to my skin felt so gentle – also how she spoke softly and was always supportive in her words of encouragement. Before each appointment I would feel nervous, as I knew the discomfort I was in for. Although the local anaesthetic gave me an hour or two of relief, I would be in agony with nerve pain for up to 12 hours afterwards, unable to find any comfortable position or even sit still. I can remember my body being in constant motion as I tried to keep my mind off the pain. I felt disheartened, as the first two to three years I would go through the treatment only to have them grow again, not always as bad, but mostly bringing more pain.
Today, after 15 years of these scars and five years of steroid treatment, I went to see my dermatologist for another appointment. For the first time, we didn’t just do the usual chit-chat (how is work going? etc.). Today, with my permission, she brought a medical student in to watch and learn about the treatment of these scars. She shared with him my experience from her point of view, and spoke so highly of my ability to cope so well with what she described as a painful and unfair medical condition (with no real known cause) over the years. She spoke of the sadness there is seeing people who permanently ink their chests with tattoos, and here I was with these permanent markings I hadn’t asked for.
It was here that I opened up to share with her my own experience. What I feel is, people can take their medical conditions, illness and diseases to their doctors and say, ‘Here is a part of me, please fix it! I may only see you 80 minutes of every 365 days, but you are the doctor with the knowledge and the medical know-how; this disease that is in my body I do not know how to fix, so please do it for me and ASAP because I have had enough of the sadness that it brings me.’
When I shared with my doctor that in the last two years I had been working on self-love, she didn’t hesitate to nod her head in agreement, confirming how much she had noticed this. I told her how through this I discovered that I could work with her in the treatment of my scars. It is not for me to say, ‘here are my scars, please fix them’. As I had previously hated them, I am now learning to love them – they are a part of me, and as I am learning to love ALL of me, then of course they are there to love, too. It amazes me that for so long she was dedicated in the application of her medical expertise to help heal my body, yet I was taking no responsibility for the treatment of this same body – my own. Her gentle hands and medicine were doing battle with the anger and self-hatred (self-abuse) that I was in.
We are all capable of making the choice to heal ourselves: our bodies are our own responsibility, so why wouldn’t we want to treat them with the utmost respect and an endless amount of love?!* In the past two years my scars have dramatically changed and are far less painful, most times now I forget they are there. I recall a time I had only dreamed that this may one day be the case. The physical pain has eased and I am still working on the deep inner pain that I have experienced with them: the self-abuse and punishment of my body that I had once allowed and accepted… and how I had chosen to hide them (and me) away from the world.
When my doctor asked what support I had received in achieving this new level of self-love, I told her how I have been inspired by the practitioners I see for modalities such as Esoteric Chakra-puncture, and that I have completed some healing courses with Universal Medicine. Although she mentioned she had heard of Universal Medicine, I felt no need to know if she had seen the sensationalised media reports of late, spreading complete untruths about the very people who have inspired me to make such loving and responsible changes in my life and in my body. These people are my practitioners and Serge Benhayon: I have created relationships with them also.
Instead what I felt was: she knows me – and we have a relationship that dispels any untruth that can ever be spoken or printed. Our doctor-patient connection has been more than just that, it has been woman-to-woman, person-to-person. I have been deeply inspired by her gentle ways for many years – and she has observed me blossom into a self-nurturing woman.
*For those further interested in a discussion on this topic, please see Eunice Minford’s article at Medicine and Serge Benhayon, Illness and Disease are Healing