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Tuesdays with Shawn E. - One not-so-old Woman, Two Young Women, and Life's Greatest Lesson

They tell you to never Google anything. And by they, I mean most of the health practitioners I have come into contact with in the medical world ... of which there have been many these past two years.

They'll tell you they don't want you to be "scared" ... or to be "interpreting things incorrectly". On Sunday, October 18th, 2020 I received ... like Manna from Heaven ... a far different message: GOOGLE EVERYTHING!!!!!

Last weekend I attended the Dysautonomia International annual Conference, and the Sunday, Keynote Speaker was Fidji Simo of Facebook .

She had just announced a few months prior, on her 35th birthday, that she has POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. So do I, in addition to Sjogren's Syndrome/Autoimmune, including 100% absence of my small-fiber peripheral nerves. I just received my diagnoses in June. Fidji talked about how she has spoken to Mark Zukerberg about her condition openly, and how Facebook is working with her on certain accommodations. I received a crystal clear empowerment bolt of lightning: It is a STRENGTH to talk openly and to address such things ... not a WEAKNESS.

There have been times I feel a bit 'unworthy' of the Metaphysical teachings I am pursuing. The overall community tells you that you can heal your body. I do believe that ... with every cell in my own body. But does that mean I am not a very good Metaphysical Muse, if I haven't healed myself yet ... or maybe ... if ever?

I think of my Grandpa who cut off half of his finger on a machine in his basement, an accident, when doing some woodworking. This human body is pretty incredible for sure, but his finger never regenerated. Maybe one day our species will have progressed to that, but I Googled it ... Humans can only regenerate skin on wounds, and some nerves too! Yes, nerve regeneration capability is most certainly good news for me ... but only planaria (flatworms) exhibit an extraordinary ability to regenerate lost body parts. For example, a planarian, when split lengthwise or crosswise, will regenerate into two separate individuals. (Wikipedia)


Pulling in to Mayo Clinic today, arms rigidly straight and hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel, facing directly into the eastern rising sun the entire commute, it was a beautiful 72 degrees and a clear blue sky at 8 AM. I see my hands and forearms glowing with their continual sweat sheen. One symptom of POTS can be excessive sweating. A not-so-fun condition when you live in Phoenix, AZ ... and we just had one of the hottest summers on record.

I had a twinge of sadness, but just a quick twinge. I took a stroll around the Mayo Nature trail path to decompress a bit, and an extreme wave of gratefulness poured over me. Such a gorgeous day! This IS the AZ I signed up for when I moved here 12 years ago. Even though I have 100% absence of small nerve fibers, I am able to walk this path and see these beautiful views. "Pinch me", I think to myself as I am sitting on a bench, regaining the strength to continue my walk ...

On the path, I had an immediate thought of a favorite book of mine that has truly impacted me; Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson. A friend gave it to me as a gift upon earning my Masters of Science in Human Resource Management in 1998. I was 30 at the time, and was going to Conquer The World. The message for 30-year-old me, eloquently worded on that front cover, was to be sure to always enjoy life ... even while I was Conquering the World ...

The book had recently been published and was all the rave when I received the gift. You can read a quick review here. In a nutshell, it is about a young man visiting a prior Professor ... a person he considered to be his Mentor ... every Tuesday after his mentor was diagnosed with ALS. The story bravely shares the lessons this young man continued to learn from the wise, now bedridden, sage.

I have thought of Morrie's lessons a lot these last few months. He would look out the window at children playing or people walking on the sidewalk and he was happy for them ... and he was also happy in that moment for himself that he'd had those same experiences, too ... reinforcing the message to his once - and again current - student, to never take those things for granted!


Another beacon of light of the conference this past weekend was Summer Dashe, a popular News Anchor, also diagnosed with POTS. She also has the excessive sweating symptom of Hyperhidrosis too. Another strong woman who shared openly with Bosses and Coworkers about her condition, and the outpouring of support she has received. It was not a detriment to share her condition, and be forthright about assignments that she can take, or not take, etc. I never really made those type of choices over the years. From age 21 to 51 in Corporate America, I was always go, go, go ... to my own detriment.

Summer was the Keynote Speaker on Saturday night, and when she came on camera, she said, "here is my water bottle in one hand ... and my sweat towel in the other." (Here is a documentary she made about her condition, and received an Emmy Nomination for!) So ... it is OK to talk about issues that we may need accommodations for that aren't the 'norm' for others. It hit me then: Yes, I AM an incredible Metaphysical Muse ... sweaty and all!

In my first Blog, we issued a Challenge to "Duality". Park and I feel very strongly about the metaphysical properties of creating healing modalities, music being our main one, and creating environments to assist in the healing process. We also understand the true essence of Duality. The Metaphysical platform we stand on is one with the goal of blending Spiritually and Science. Eastern Medicine, including Acupuncture and Qi Gong, have helped me tremendously ... yet so have some Western medicine modalities as well in the last 5 months. And for that, I am grateful.

Perspective: Ms. Simo stated at the end of her talk Sunday night that "life can be long"... Yes, the 35 versus 53 perspective is certainly a bit different. "I have to figure out new ways to live with this 'thing' the rest of my life". I understand her point, but my 53-year viewpoint lately has been "life is short" ... oh my goodness, what if I only have 20 good years left ... or maybe less ... who knows?

What I do know is that Park and I are doing all that is within our capabilities to make all the rest of our days good ones ... for us, It's A 432 Life! It's about the journey, not the destination ...

“Life is a journey that must be traveled, no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.”

~ Oliver Goldsmith

Until next week.

Shawn Elaine

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