Thursday, October 20, 2011

Health Update on Aja

In the name of Hypocrites, doctors have invented the most exquisite form of torture ever known to man: survival.
- Edward Everett Hale

(Preface to this blog entry: To many of you this may be simply an unnecessary update on one weird guy's physical/mental/emotional stuff.  To those friends/family/students etc. who may have been wondering "What the hell is up with Aja?", this may give some clue.   More philosophical/spiritual blogs are coming in the VERY near future - I promise.)

Ooh Ooh, so where to begin?  I feel that it is first quite important to understand, if you don't already, my stand on life and death: the body is born and the body dies...YOU don't. This isn't simply a mental or intellectual concept, but from my standpoint, a living reality. I am Consciousness, an infinite Presence in which the body and personality of Aja arises. Therefore, what happens to the Aja body, is of less significance than it is to most people on the planet who deeply identify as BEING their body. (I might add here that this is NOT the place to leave comments on how I am wrong!  It is for you to understand, in part, why this progressed to this level.

About 5 or 6 years ago, I began to markedly decrease my teaching, doing so less and less, especially over the last couple years, until, at present the time, I have virtually stopped teaching altogether, even no longer allowing students to come here for counselings, etc. There are essentially two intricately interwoven reasons for this: First was my rapidly declining health. Although I didn't look that different, I was feeling terrible. I had no strength or energy, couldn't walk more than 15 or 20 feet without having to sit down, experiencing essentially continuous pain in many areas of my body..... Secondly, I was growing tired of teaching people who showed no signs of actually wanting to hear the truth, but rather argue with it, or continue their lives unchanged, but expecting some miraculous transformation simply by hearing about it.... the proverbial eat their cake and have it too. This isn't to say that I don't love those people, but repeating the same thing over and over simply to have it dismissed wore on me deeply, and now in hindsight I think, took it's toll very significantly on a physical/emotional level.

Anyway, at the current time, I have become debilitated to the point of feeling like a virtual invalid. The litany of symptoms is so great that it sounds like you're discussing someone literally on the verge of death....a 90 year old body that is really only 57.  The question became: Was I surrendering to the fact that the body was dying, or was I 'willing' it? particularly in light of the facts that, living or dying to me made no particularly difference, AND in looking around at what was happening in the world, the incredible apathy, narcissism, entitlement, lack of true spiritual ideals, and on and on and on, there was no question that my 'preference' was not to be here. I was just waiting for the warden to open the prison gates and say, "Okay, you've served your time. You can go Home now."

This has, however, become totally unacceptable to my dear wife, Abhaya, who on discovering her own severe health condition a year ago, completely changed her lifestyle, and is now feeling better than she has in years. She doesn't seem to want me to leave just yet.  And so, for her, I begin my weird journey into the world of traditional health care!!!

The first step was seeing "Max", her Nurse Practitioner, who indeed, is a very sweet and qualified man. The initial appointment (after filling out all that extensive paperwork and questionnaires) essentially ended in two other appointments - one with the blood/urine lab, the other to a sleep clinic.  (By the way, I might mention here that I had not been to a medical doctor in probably 30 years or more and NEVER had a real physical, in spite of the fact (or because of?) that my father and only sibling were doctors!

The results of all this. First, the sleep clinic. Severe sleep apnea, which of course results in a severe lack of oxygen and causes many severe and life-threatening conditions. I'm going to spend the night in their lab tonight to be tested, and most like will be coming home tomorrow with one of those  machines and a mask to wear every night for the rest of my life.

The blood and urine results... Surprisingly, I DON'T have diabetes, which we were almost certain I did. However, I have a cholesterol of 493, and an LDL of 390+.   As one friend so appropriately put it, "HOLY SHIT!  I didn't even know it went that high."

On my second visit to Max, with the blood results in, amazingly he was not as influenced by my cholesterol (although that is obviously a major concern), as he was with my Thyroid.  In his words, I am "Profoundly, profoundly hypothroid!"  He called it the 'ultimate contemplative's disease' virtually willing deeper and deeper stillness, virtually into a state of death.  I had effectively 'killed' my cute little butterfly shaped Thyroid gland, which of course feeds every other gland and cell in the body.  (Now if I can just find the rainbow Unicorn shaped gland and get a good bead on it! :-D  ) 

Max was literally excited by all of this because nearly all of my other symptoms can be directly traced back to this severe hypothyroid condition, and equated treating it (successfully) with a potential "Awakening" of sorts for the physical being.

So, in more or less conclusion, although I am far from 'out of the woods' being a potentially walking heart attack or stroke, and there are potentially other things that may be discovered, there is at least some thought that I might stick around for a bit longer, even if it is taking pharmaceutical medicines and wearing a plastic mask to bed for the rest of my life.

I just thought I should kinda 'Come clean' with all that.  Phew! Do I ever feel better.  Of course, I will now go on to continue to write why you are NOT this body.  :-D



 "Sleep is the best meditation."
      -Dalai Lama
"Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore, and you sleep alone!"
-Anthony Burgess
In the interest of Science, full disclosure, and mostly humor, I thought I would add a brief update to the update on health, providing an opportunity to add these great photos.  So, the first photo is me at the sleep clinic. Believe it or not, this is "Mobile Mode", in other words, "Hey, I need to Pee!"  All those wires (there were like 22 hook-ups measuring EKG, EEG, eye movements, leg movements, respiration, blah blah blah).  So, the idea is, you're having trouble sleeping, we'll make sure you can't sleep.  In actuality, it's about not being able to breathe when you sleep.  So, they hook you up to all this, tuck you in, measure your everything, and then, if they get the right feedback, wake you up in the middle of the night and add ther CPAP facemask (see below photo).  I qualified.
And, here I am at home with my new CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask on.  This connects to machine about the size of a large loaf of bread, and simply forces normal room air into you.  It's actually not as bad as it looks. In fact, it's somewhat comforting.  You are no longer struggling to breathe and your body is like saying, "Hey, AIR!  I remember you."  And this is how I'll sleep from now on.  So I guess I better either hope civilization doesn't collapse, or set up a good solar electrical system, or, I'm' Shit out of Air!


  1. good morning my friend

    Thanks for this update- and I delighted to see you taking steps to stick around a bit longer. You will start feeling so much better! And when you do 'exit stage left' you will be dancing not crawling.....

  2. High cholesterol? Take oatmeal. Steel cut. I eat it Indian (with curry), Italian (with oregano), Canadian (with maple), or Oregonian (with blueberries). Both my brother and my wife got their cholesterol back to normal with oatmeal. My mother did not like oatmeal. She slowly died after having had a stroke. What's your choice?

  3. I had sluggish thyroid awhile back. I went to pancha karma and had some stuff done and felt great after. I took herbs for a bit but now don't even need those. Just don't eat radishes, cauliflower or potatoes too much! You feel like shit when you have no energy. I can sympathize with your crabbiness!!!! Hope you get on the mend so I can give you a hard time in the future :)

  4. Ps
    Strangely enough I could see your cholesterol going down once the thyroid is stable. Ayurvedic connection there. Too much air and ether causes your body to hold on to earth or even create earth in the form of cholesterol. No more meditation for you!

  5. Aja ji,It is realy good to hear from you.My father ccame down with a thiroid condition(low),by the time he finaly saw a doctor,he was very much over wieght,lethargic,depressed and had a bad aditude on life.Doctor put him on thiroid pills and in six months he lost 40-50 lbs and was feeling great;body/mind and otherwise.

  6. Aja-ji,The photos are cool,I like the one of you in your sleep apparatus makes you look like sri Ganesh-ji

  7. I like you even if you've got wires. If you get healthier, it will be just in time to see the sh*t really hit the fan. And that's worth seeing! Love you!

  8. Hi Aja,
    I'm so happy to be "re-connected" even tho' you seem pretty "well connected" yourself right now (great pix). I went off statin drug after 3 years and am working with some alternative docs who have a whole different take on the cholesterol thing. I've read some books and will be working with a nutritionist-neighbor who thinks differently about cholesterol too. Maybe we'll have a chance to chat about it one day soon? Actually, the body, in its infinite wisdom, sends the cholesterol to places of inflammation in the body. Deal with those and, voila, the cholesterol count goes down. It's an experiment for me lately as I don't buy the allopathic view on it anymore. Since the Jewish New Year recently I have deemed this my year of "Self-Care" and it's like we're on the same page. I'm so happy you will be feeling better and better and hope to maybe get to see you again sometime? I love reading your blog and look forward to more. I visited Occupy Portland last week and took some food, sleeping bags, tent and boots - oh yeh, and some juice and water too. The kids are waking up all over the world and taking a stand. It's organic and it's sensational! I want to cook them some Jewish Penicillin so they'll stay well in those tents all winter long. Feel better and better my friend and teacher. May you enjoy the ride and the adventure. My best to your family. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!! Namaste, Carole

  9. Aja, your words always light me up... wonderful to hear from you.

  10. Hi Aja, Thank you for the update! I highly recommend reading the book 'Spiritual Nutrition' by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. Dr. Cousens' nutritional program provides the cure to all disease. I also recommend author Dr. Brian Clement from Hippocrates Health Institute, who teaches the same natural health program as Dr. Cousens. For a local resource, I highly recommend "The Feel Good World" located in SW Portland. They teach the health program recommended by Drs. Cousens and Clement. If you go through 'The Feel Good World' program, all your disease will disappear and you will return to perfect, divine health. You are a superhero warrior and We need Your body to be in perfect health!

  11. Hi Aja, I agree with everything you said and I too have at times, just like take me home already. but I guess there is a reason for being here and I too am looking forward to the far-out awakening of this planet.. the movie Thrive is a gas and how can one not believe. Love you and your light. Mary Beth

  12. Holy Crap, Aja! Be good for you and Abhaya. Coincidence, not coincidence. It sounds like you are coming along and I know you have the peace and strength. Also, I concur with Shambu about the second photo!