L'oscurità, ma io ho una luce
Digital photography /mobile photography/ project 2018/2019, while I was at the hospital. Working in progress, book.
L'oscurità, ma io ho una luce is an autobiographical work that deals with my illness and the discovery of inner strength and light.
I looked at myself in a mirror, and couldn’t accept the emaciated image as my own.
This time, I felt a stranger to myself.
I took on this project during the most acute period of my illness. I was 55 days in hospital. I’d lost 16 kilos in two months.
I was skeletal, too weak to lift my head from the pillow.
My skin had weakened. My digestive system was fucked.
At 42 I looked like an old lady.
I felt impotent, I wanted to die.
I needed to find strength to live.
I began writing feelings and thoughts in English and Italian on pieces of paper ... and taking pictures with my camera and mobile, to distract myself from pain and to find comfort that then, I put together. I decided to create a journal of my life in hospital, to trust that everything would be ok again.
I hope that sharing my experiences might help others that are struggling.
'A volte, non sempre va tutto come vorremmo, ma la cosa importante è non arrendersi mai.
In fondo al tunnel del buio c’è la luce.
C’è una luce, cercala!
È sempre stata lì con te…
Tu sei Luce
Brilla quanto più puoi ...'
I was too sick to leave my bed. In fact, I was too weak even to lift my head from the pillow. At the age of 42, I found myself almost dead. I had lost 16 kilos: I looked skeletal.
How many times — I cried.
So many times I accused myself of being neglectful. I didn’t have veins; I didn’t have liquids in my body — I was shrunken and de-hydrated. It was awful. I could only breath. But … I was still alive.
I knew I had a choice — to get control of the situation, or to leave that same control to others. I chose to go forward, and heal myself. I chose ‘life’.
When slowly, slowly, I felt a bit better (… and it took me 6 months) I decided to get information, to study my ‘disease’: I read books on biochemistry, to know how my internal chemistry worked, and to find a solution; I learned about nutrition, aliments’ combination to help digestion, and yoga and qi gong, to calm my mind — discovering other, ‘alternative’ ways to help my body, my mind and my spirit: to accept my sickness, that I only had created, and to accelerate my healing.
Health is a choice.Illness is not a disease.
It is an imbalance in your body, which tells you that something is wrong — and that you can help yourself to grow or to recede. If you give your cells what they need, and if you care for your body, which is your temple, and for your mind, which is your will, and for your spirit, which is your strength, and further, if you care for your emotions, you will not become sick ...
7 Gennaio 2017
Anamnesi patologica remota. Diagnosi di proctite ulcerosa per cui esegue terapia con mesalazina topica.
11 Novembre 2017
Lombosciatalgia che richiede l’assunzione di ibrufene ( consigliato da un medico all’ Emergency - Homerton Hospital), cui segue recidiva della sintomatolia intestinale (diarrea muco-ematica) con calo ponderale. Esegue colonscopia sinistra che evidenzia substenosi infiammatoria del sigma ed inizia terapia con deltacortene.
19 Marzo 2018
Amnesi Patologica Prossima
La paziente giunge il 03 Gennaio 2018 a ricovero per malattia intestinale (colite ulcerosa) attiva complicata da grave stato di disidratazione e malnutrizione calorica proteica.
Rettorraggia più emissione di feci normali. Colonscopy (Homerton University Hospital, NHS London) ulcerative proctitis – pentasa supposte – remissione temporanea della sintomatologia soggetiiva
Lombosciatalgia – ibrufene – Emergency Homerton Hospital – enterorragia più calo ponderale di 16 kg in 2 mesi. Sangue nelle feci.
12 Dicembre 2017
Ricovero Salus – colonscopia – esame condotto sino al giunto sigmoido – colico per substenosi impervia all’endoscopio per flogosi di tipo ulcero – emorragico in fase attiva. Deltacortene 25 1 cpx2 x 4 gg – 1 cp ore 16 per 5 giorni. Addome trattabile dolente alla palpitazione nelle fosse iliache, cute pallida, sospetta candidosi linguale.
Ricovero urgente. Idratazione, steroidi ev, metronidazole ev, NPT.
04 Gennaio 2018
Colite ulcerosa severa attiva. Rettoscopia. Il sigma distale e retto mostra una iperemica, edematosa, con ulcere profonde (a pozzo), fragile e sanguinante al traumatismo strumentale: eseguite biopsie multiple.
Colite Ulcerosa severa attiva (Mayo UC score 3). In corso esame istologico su biopsie del retto, ricerca inclusi da CMV (CITO MEGALOVIRUS).
Il colonoscopio è inserito sino alla fessura splenica. Mostra la presenza di ampie ulcerazione confluenti con isole di rigenerazione nel discendente sigma. Il retto mostra una mucosa iperemica, edematosa ed erosa. Eseguite biopsie multiple su sigma e retto. Colite ulcerosa in fase di severa attività.
05 Gennaio 2018
Esame CMV (CITO MEGALOVIRUS) Positivo. Si esegue al momento terapia con anti-virus per 28 giorni.
When my sister helped me to take off my pajamas to wash myself in the hospital toilet, I saw my body in the mirror. I closed my eyes and cried. I didn’t want to see such hurtful truth. I was scared … deeply.
What had I done to myself? From 8.82 stone (or 56 kg) in October 2017, my weight had fallen to 6.46 stone — 40 kg.
I was unwholesome: my skin had weakened, and I looked like an old lady, all aged skin and bones.
It was astonishing to see my body react: shrinking, transforming; abandoning the skin — and me. I felt very weak — sometimes without even the energy to answer the phone. I still passed only blood in the toilet, with no traces of poo for more than three months.
Where had my poo gone? It had disappeared.
Then, I thought about my body’s vital functions: how much I had aggravated them — so that, by then, everything was upside down. My immune system had lost its equilibrium; it was not recognizing what was good for me, and what was bad. My digestive system was fucked … we are so complex.
I had destroyed my body.
Believe me, it is shocking, when you see your reflection, to feel its sick energy, reduced almost to that of a helpless vegetable: impotent, having to accept your fate …
Deep inside your mind, a little voice shouts, loudly — I can change my fate: why must I accept it …? I will transform it as I wish.
It is hard just to accept something as it is, especially when it is bad for you. You look at yourself as a detached observer, and see yourself helpless — who is that woman?
You cannot get up anymore, because you don’t have the physical strength. You are a piece of meat, lying on a bed.
People are helping you; without them, you couldn’t do anything. Your mind is absent …
I am trying to motivate myself: I am desperately looking for my inner strength; the whole process requires mental strength — yet also acceptance, hope, compassion for oneself, patience.
You realise that, for the time being, you cannot do anything about the situation. You can only wait — patiently — and trust that everything will be ok again, in the end.
Have trust in life — and especially in yourself. Forget everything else: just relax, and move on; seeing your disease as an opportunity, and not as a problem.
One day, it will pass. Oh my God — it is so difficult!
Don’t get me wrong; conventional medicine does a superb job of managing medical emergencies and disease symptoms, but it is incapable of curing disease or promoting wellness. A lack of holistic understanding and appreciation translates into a focus on disease, rather than health.
Our healthcare providers are paid a lot for treating disease, not for preventing it.
This does not offer financial incentives for health. Modern medicine is based on a 17th Century understanding of the human body, and it has failed to incorporate the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th Century.
Today, the medical establishment continues to regard the body as a complex machine: the focus is on the individual parts, not on the whole.Disease is seen as being confined to specific locations or organs, rather than as effecting the whole person.
But we are humans and not machines. We are very much alive, and our minds influence our bodies.
We have a mind, but we don’t realise we have a mind which can be used in a positive and healthy way: we can face and change everything, if we want.
Emotions are mental stimuli that influence our body.Under normal conditions, they do not cause disease. However, when emotions become excessive or have ‘built up’ over a long period of time, illness may result.Each internal organ is associated with a particular positive mental energy.When affected by external stimuli, the normal flow of energy within an organ system becomes disrupted, causing changes to ones emotional state.Viewed like this, emotions can be either the symptom, or the cause, of a disorder.
How many of us set our health, in just that way? How many of us choose to be well? How many of us actually know what we feel, what we think?
We are multidimensional energy systems, and our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes create energy fields that influence our biochemistry and affect our health.Things must change: we need to be educated to know how our body and mind work. It is known that we can implant a new artificial heart surgically, but we cannot prevent or cure heart disease. Why?
The answer is that few resources are devoted to study of the body’s healing system, or to helping patients to understand and support their own health at a cellular level.
Everyone is unique. Everyone is human, and — from a suffering viewpoint — equally in need.
We are all looking for health, for happiness, for love. Yet patients are regarded as machines, not as unique individuals.
Everyone with the same complaint receives the same treatment — regardless of biochemical individuality, which could see two people with the same so-called ‘disease’ needing different treatments, since no two people’s cells malfunction for the same reason.
Adopting a more rational system of medicine would result in an enormous reduction in healthcare costs by eliminating hundreds of thousands of physicians, and closing thousands of hospitals — not to mention the potential financial ruin of drug companies.
The majority of physicians support efforts by state medical and government regulatory boards to suppress alternative approaches. Bad things have happened to doctors who step out of line. Physicians who have dared to introduce alternative treatments have had their licences revoked, and been financially ruined.
Money is at stake, and alternative treatments are discouraged.
Physicians, in Modern Medicine, are not able to listen to a patient on an emotional level, and help him to understand the cause of a disease and give advice. They are not focused on finding the causes; they are interested in giving drugs to stop the symptoms.
Unfortunately they have been trained in this way, throughout their professional life. But this approach doesn’t cure diseases.
Instead, it has doctors leave you alone, completely lost, full of doubt, waiting for the disease to develop symptoms, that they can categorize, and match to a listed pathology written in their medical journal. Afterwards comes the procedure; they give us drugs, according to the pathology identified, after months of symptoms.
Unable to stand pain, we take the drugs prescribed, praising the doctor as the only one who knows about our illness.
But how can someone who has never had my pathology help me?
Extracts from the book: L'oscurità ma io ho una luce, written by Loredana Denicola