I promised I’d write after I returned home and further explain all the groovy work I’m doing. A month in Belize was even better and fuller than I could’ve imagined so it’s going to take more than one entry for that. I’m glad that for the second year in a row, I had no expectations, I only knew it would be amazing and it was.
I know I had you at Appendectomy so I’ll cover that little surprise first. I’d been spending the week of the first class at Cahal Pech and had gone through most of the first course learning Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage so that I could work on others. These techniques are truly incredible and can improve everything from infertility issues to constipation to fibroids to prostate issues, but that’s for another post!
I’d completed most of the course - just more practice doing the technique was needed and a final test. I fell asleep exhausted at ten one night and woke up at midnight with excruciating pain throughout my gut. First thought, food poisoning. By 4 a.m. I knew it was not food poisoning - I’ve had that numerous times. I’ve also had my back split open for scoliosis surgery and had broken bones and a broken pelvis once and nothing compares to the pain I felt that night. I was ruling things out and theorizing wildly. I was bent over in pain, sometimes on all fours like a woman in labor, and using breathing techniques like I was about to give birth. I even thought, "I already have a lot of compassion for women in labor but apparently I need more??!" As well as, "I better give birth to some really amazing spiritual growth after all this pain!!" I know as a healer, all trials and pain equal greater compassion and if you’re thinking about birth a lot, there’s probably a figurative aspect to that.
By 7 a.m., my newest favorite person Debra, who was next door, texted me, came over, took one look at me, and immediately brought our four instructors to my room. It took about an hour, but the pain started to localize over the lower right quadrant. In that time, we all ruled things out and continued to theorize. I was surrounded by healers and every one of them was trying to use their gifts to help me; including Debra who was singing a beautiful Lakota song which was comforting and familiar. Once it localized, someone suggested appendicitis. My heart sank. I knew it was true but I was too terrified to face it - surgery in Belize. The teachers gave me a Maya Spiritual Bath, which I will explain in another promised blog post. Let’s just say for now, that although I already understood and valued the spiritual baths and have seen how gentle and powerful they are, my testimony of all that grew in this experience. I cried and cried and cried while they did the bath. I wept for my body and my pain and my fear. I have no idea how long that went on for but at some point, I stopped crying, looked up, and said “I’m ready, let’s go to the clinic”. That bath they performed literally prepared me to face the truth and find my courage and go to the hospital in a foreign country where I knew no doctors and had no idea what would happen to me. The bath brought back my faith so that I could trust it would all be ok. I will always be grateful for that experience with them.
One assistant instructor, Jen, went with me to the clinic. I was never alone in the hours we waited for a surgeon. Multiple people from our Arvigo tribe became a part of a telephone chain to find out if I was in the right place and if I had the right surgeon - all so we would know who to trust. The head of surgery an hour away was due back to the clinic in San Ignacio, the town he also lived in, by the afternoon. We did all the tests, including an inconclusive ultrasound, ran an antibiotic IV, and waited. When Dr. Godoy arrived, he barely had to do the tell-tale palpation test and he knew. We asked about an MRI, just to be sure; it was an hour away. I remember his kind words - I know the ultrasound did not show your appendix, you can go to Belmopan if you want to, but I know what this is - you are in pain, you are not yourself, and I’d like to take your appendix out right now, take away this pain, and get you back to yourself. Then he said, this is between you and God to decide now, I’ll be right back, and he walked out. Jen and I looked at each other and barely had to say the words. We immediately agreed that we trusted him. Jen would end up saying later how impressed she was with the care there and the level of compassion of the doctors and nurses and everyone that worked there. That would end up being true of pretty much everyone I met in Belize. So that was it! He came back in and I said, let’s do it. He was visibly relieved that I didn’t want to drive an hour for the MRI. After surgery he thanked me for letting him do the surgery!!!! Yes. HE thanked ME. As it was, my appendix was double the normal size and burst when he touched it to take it out. I was very lucky and blessed with the timing of it all. A few days earlier and I wouldn’t have been able to complete the class. A few days later and I would’ve been away from this amazing, supportive group and been in a location without access to the head of surgery. It really couldn’t have been a better situation!
My appendix was layed to rest and to fertilize a favorite Belizean plant, Poly Red Head, on a street in San Ignacio. Though Nate and I disagree about its final resting place - he says a dog ate it, I say the ants got it and it all went beautifully back into the tierra I love so much. Either way, last year Belize became a part of me and this year I left a part of me in Belize.
In my next post, I have a story to tell about how sometimes it takes a physical experience to finally shake up an old belief and spit it out onto the rich, Belize soil.