Two people in a household with a neurological brain disorder… I witnessed much. I realized we must look again how we deal with old age and illness. More importantly – we must stop the cruel practice of isolation.
I am not against the so called traditional medicine. But I think being open to other ways is not a bad thing. In my last blog I wrote that my mother seldom went to medical doctors. She prefered natural medicine. The story below may be why.
This happened in the Soviet Russia, in a small town near where Chagall was born. Just after the last world war ended. The country was in ruins, and short of everything. My mother was twenty, about to give birth to her first child.
The hospital was a bombed out building. The windows were big holes . Luckily it was August. Vera gave birth to a healthy boy, David. But shortly a breast infection had set in.
Soon the infection was raging. Without an antibiotic there was no hope. She was sent home. Her father, Salik (my father) , her brothers and sisters were in despair. Then my grandfather remembered a healer who had a practice before the war. He began to ask around. People remembered the healer. But there was bad news. Someone said the healer was killed in the war.
In the meantime young Verochka was getting weaker by the hour. Deep sadness filled the household.
Then something unbelievable… One day my grandfather is at the market and in the crowd he sees the healer. That healer was a tall, heavy man and stood out. They recognized each other and talked. It was the son who was killed. They agreed to have a drink at grandpa´s.
The healer ´s name was Vasili. When he entered the house he heard moaning. What’s that? It’s my daughter with a breast infection. Vasili dismissed it with his hand. Just remind me to have a look at her before I leave.
Not long after mama was in a chair and facing Vasili. He did not touch her. He asked someone to open her blouse a bit . For a minute – not more – he moved his hands up and down close to her breast. Mama felt intense heat coming from his hands. Then he covered her breast and said she will be fine. He added she will sleep for hours.
She slept for twenty four hours in fact, without stopping.
She dreamed she was at a river bank , by a bridge. The bridge was a narrow plank of wood without rails. She heard a voice saying : if you make it to the other side you will live. She looked down. The water was speeding , foaming. But she was calm and took her time crossing the river. The last step she took was a light jump unto the ground. When she opened her eyes she found the infection gone, the wound completely closed. Only a light pink spot had remained.
In her lifetime mama had seen other healers. Among them our wonderful Didi, Dr. Mohanambal, a supreme Ayurveda specialist. And each time she would be asked about this right breast. It is fine but something happened long ago. Yes?
As a child of war survivors I heard all kinds of war stories, my parents’ and their friends´. The stories were repeated over and over. I knew them all by heart. I knew who was where and what happened to each person. But the story above I was told only once, by my mother. Yet it had gone deep into my soul.
Maybe because the story was told to me in Russian, conducive to deep emotionality. Or maybe it was mama´s colorful and poetic way of speaking. But the words had gone in and shaped me.
Tip 0f the day
An oversized wall clock. Nothing is more disorienting than not knowing the time of day. Most of us have some kind sort of routine each day, even if not fully fixed. We know when to eat breakfast, lunch. The news…. Having a clock on the wall is useful to a person who needs help even with simple things . The clock may offer some comforting anticipation. A modest independence. A calendar also might be nice.
Thank you all. Anna For future blogs www.homecarediary.net Please feel free to pass it on.