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I Can No Longer Be Contained

As I write this, the Moon in Gemini is traipsing through my 5th House of Creativity and Artistic Expression. The Moon relates to what we feel…Gemini rules writing…and with Saturn, the rule-maker and timekeeper, stationed in my 1st House of Self, I know it is time to write something, share a piece of myself, and join the global conversation.


For months, I have been met with the worst case of writer’s block coupled with impostor’s syndrome that I could ever imagine. After celebrating the release of my self-published book Written in the Stars: Poems and Pictures in late 2021, I began 2022 with several local book signings. By April, I thought the promotion of my book had ended, but then I took the opportunity to participate in a local arts festival last summer which reignited my zeal for astrology and writing. Or at least I thought it should have done that.



I tried to write more poetry, but I was uninspired. Although I had written over 100 haikus earlier in the year, after that, nothing. I was beginning to believe that maybe I was just a wannabe writer and not the real deal. I totally discounted the facts that I had self-published a book and furthermore wrote over 100 haikus. But when you’re hard on yourself…a perfectionist, if you will, it’s hard to see beyond your failures even if you’ve just achieved success. I’ve long suffered with the feeling of being “not enough” especially given the social media climate we now live in, but more on that later.


For now, I need to rewind back to last summer when something happened to me that I haven’t shared with many people except for family and a few close friends. As I mentioned above, in the spirit of the current astrological placements, I can no longer be contained. My Aquarius Rising prompts a need to “pour forth for all who thirst.” And Saturn has directed that the time is now.


Back in May 2022, Bob and I travelled to Italy, visiting three areas we had never seen before…Le Marche, Umbria and Tuscany. When we travel, we eat the most amazing food, enjoy the locally produced wine and for 10 days or so, we immerse ourselves in the Italian culture. When we visited the village of Assisi, however, I became lightheaded after lunch that day. I thought I might faint. It was also very hot that day and we did have salty cured meats and wine at lunch which could explain this general feeling of unwellness, but I just didn’t feel right and I was scared. As a writer, I was having a hard time finding words to express exactly how I felt.



While the others continued exploring the town, I walked with the tour guides to the pharmacy. Fortunately, one of our guides was fluent in Italian and English so she served as my interpreter. The pharmacist checked my vitals…my heart was racing. She recommended a powdered drink mix that I purchased then we found a café where we could prepare the drink which I believe were electrolytes mixed with the herb hawthorn berry. One of the other guides loaned me her Apple watch so that I could monitor my heart rate which came down after we rested awhile. After returning to the tour bus, I began feeling a bit better though I occasionally had episodes of wooziness and a high heart rate throughout the rest of the trip.


When we returned home, I scheduled an appointment with my primary care doctor who ran some labs. Nothing out of the ordinary showed up except that my cholesterol was up including the LDL or “bad” cholesterol. This had me concerned immediately because heart disease runs in my family. My doctor said, “let’s just keep an eye on this,” and I was satisfied for the time being.


In June, I began working with a functional medicine practitioner. My Aquarius Rising persona is always wanting to try something new and since I felt like I couldn’t lose weight or feel as well as I wanted to especially since the episode in Italy, I consulted with a well-known person in this field knowing full well that it would cost me a lot of money. When it comes to my health and well-being, the money part wasn’t as much a determining factor as was getting to the bottom of why I felt so poorly, and the basis of functional medicine is “getting to the root cause of illness.” Maybe this person could help me find the underlying cause of my migraines as well. I was excited to take a new path towards better health.


My first step on this new path was to have a consultation with the doctor. Even though his office is relatively close by, his practice is tele-health only. I resisted for a moment as I am one who believes a healthcare professional needs to see you in person not just over the internet. Also, I had already been angry at “everything is online anymore!” especially since the pandemic and learning that I would need to “see” this doctor over the internet made me think twice about going forward with this. But I was determined to feel better so after completing paperwork and questionnaires, I scheduled a FaceTime consultation at which time my husband and I met with the doctor and explained what I hoped to gain by approaching my health concerns in this new way.


After the consultation, I was given instructions to get a battery of blood tests performed plus the clinic sent me several kits to test my urine, stool, and saliva which I eagerly completed and sent away for analysis. When I had my bloodwork done, the phlebotomist took 17 tubes of blood from me! No traditional medical doctor ever took that much blood, not even when I had breast cancer. I could only imagine what this new doctor would find. But I would have to wait about 6 weeks to find out what they believed caused my illness.


In the meantime, I was given a food protocol that I could begin even before the test results came back. For the first few days, I was to eat nothing, but bone broth. Up to 8 cups a day. I could make my own or buy the brands sanctioned by the doctor. So, a few days before I was to begin the protocol, I roasted beef bones before cooking the bone broth for nearly 24 hours. I also bought the allowed brand of chicken bone broth so that I could have some variety. I get very bored if I must eat the same thing day after day. But I figured I could do this for a few days before I was permitted to add meat and vegetables to the soup for up to an additional week to ten days.




On July 11, 2022, I enjoyed drinking bone broth alternating between chicken and beef throughout the day. Late in the afternoon, a headache set in. I wasn’t surprised as I was not permitted to have any coffee for at least the first 2 weeks of this protocol. I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but even missing my one or two cups was enough to trigger a headache. By evening, I felt saturated with bone broth and didn’t feel well even though drinking so much fluid kept me in and out of the bathroom all day. My head still hurt, and I may or may not have taken 2 Tylenol (which did nothing) so I went to sleep early hoping that a good night’s sleep would at least cure the headache.


I sat up in bed shortly after Midnight, my heart pounding so loudly I wondered if Bob heard it too. In a panic, I nudged him awake and told him what was going on. My heart was racing, I felt dizzy and still had the headache. Bob took my blood pressure, and it was high. The heart rate was over 100 while I was lying in bed. What was happening? All I did was drink bone broth all day. That doesn’t sound so bad.


I tried to fall back to sleep, but unable to settle down, I got out of bed and went into the living room to make a cup of herbal tea…I was allowed to have that. I tried to distract myself by playing a word game on my iPad, but my heart continued to race, and the headache persisted.


I climbed back in bed about 3am only to toss and turn for the next few hours. By 6am, I asked Bob to take me to the emergency room. Two hours later, I was seated with a throng of other masked sick people in the waiting room at Shadyside Hospital’s ER. It was only Day 2 of the protocol and already I was beginning to realize that perhaps the functional medicine plan of attack had malfunctioned big time.


To be continued...



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