I Love You, Bernie

Have I ever not taken a doctor’s advice?

(Have you? Think about it).

Maybe I’ve not followed it to the letter – not been super respectful of all the stretching reps I’m supposed to do for a shoulder injury – but I’ve always been a pretty obedient gal – a Good Girl - in all ways.

So I wonder why I am not jumping to do what Doctor S. (as I’ll call him, in the German style) has recommended. Take out my thyroid. At least, the half with the huge nodule.

I don’t even feel conflicted or guilty about this insubordination. Doctor S. may end up being right and it may be Bye Bye Thy – but I am clear I have some stuff to figure out first.

Can I shrink this big ole nodule? If I can do that, half my problem (the sheer size of it) diminishes as well.

And if I can shrink it, can I normalize those irregular Hurthle cells, too, while I’m at it?

Not 2 minutes into my Google search, the Universe gives me a powerful ally: Dr. Bernie Siegel (or just Bernie, as he prefers it).

Bernie's book, “Love, Medicine and Miracles,” is subtitled “Lessons Learned About Self-Healing from a Surgeon’s Experience with Exceptional Patients.”

A Western doctor talking about “self-healing”? I like it already.

And not another 2 minutes after that, my brother returns my earlier call so I can update him on my situation.  Bill has bravely and brilliantly dealt with MS with a combination of medication, meditation, biofeedback and diet. He has actually reversed lesions in his brain. That never happens.

I tell him my good news: that the cancer chance for my nodule is low (15-20%), that all my tests for thyroid function are normal.  I tell him I’m not rushing to take it out.

I ask Bill if there are any books I should read.  This is the first time I’ve been “sick.” He is a law professor who is incredibly thorough about everything and a very, very deep thinker (I say he is an oil well, I am an oil spill).

Guess his first recommendation. Yup.

Though Bernie is a surgeon, he doesn’t feel like his major job is cutting (for anyone who knows a surgeon, this is pretty extraordinary).

Bernie believes that -

We …”can change the body by dealing with how we feel.
“...emotional growth toward greater self-acceptance and fulfillment helps keep the immune system strong.”
“...most self-induced cures don’t get into the medical literature.”
Illness “can allow a person to take time off to reflect, meditate, and chart a new course.”
(All bolding is mine).

And lastly, he suggests we ask the $64 question:

Why did you need this illness?

There is no blame in his question, no fault implied. 

So - if you are not well – in ways minor or major – I ask you what I am asking myself:

Why did you need this illness?


Doctor my eyes
Cannot see the sky
Is this the prize for having learned how not to cry?