For four years I have been living with an undiagnosed digestive illness which has rendered me infirm. It hasn’t just been four years of pain and illness, it’s been four years of doctors dismissing me. It’s been four years of fighting for doctors to do their jobs. I have to admit, I’m exhausted. Last summer I fought for my doctor to refer me to a specialist at Mayo Clinic, but Mayo Clinic refused to see me (and I understand now that it’s because I don’t have excellent private insurance) so I quit visiting the doctor and managed as best as I could on my own.

I developed new, troubling symptoms and I saw a new doctor in March. She offered at that time to refer me to a gastroenterologist, but I declined because of my experience with Mayo. Sharp pain in my abdomen woke me Tuesday morning. It wasn’t anything new but I decided to contact my doctor for the referral with the request that she send me somewhere other than Mayo because I already knew they weren’t interested in seeing me. Instead of responding to me with confirmation of the referral, she asked me if I had gone entirely dairy free. In February I tried dairy free and it alleviated one symptom but none of the others, a fact I had conveyed at my last visit when she offered to send me to a specialist.

Receiving that message from her left me feeling frustrated and angry. I listed out every single symptom I experience regularly and everything I do on my own to care for myself and sent it to her, feeling pissed that I had to justify to her that I needed to see a specialist when she had originally offered to refer me, knowing my symptoms. I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t just give me the fucking referral.

After I sent the extensive list to her I seriously considered not bothering with her anymore and never seeing a doctor again. Instead, I sat down, breathed, and took my Lenormand cards out to do a reading about my health. Doctors have been gaslighting me about my symptoms for four years. They have been doubting me, dismissing me, telling me that it’s all in my head. The tests that have been done haven’t revealed anything, but my body has been sending warning signs all this time. Now, I wanted to know the truth. I did three different readings, all of which confirmed that I have an illness that has so far, been undetected and is getting worse. The cards showed the doctors obstructing the referral, the need for a specialist, and the long-term nature of my ill health. They also showed that the referral would not be delayed for long and that there would be an end to my illness. Every aspect of my situation was covered, down to the depression I have been experiencing as a result of how I have been treated and how I have been physically feeling.

This was the most significant reading I have done for myself in over ten years of practicing cartomancy. The cards offered a comfort no one else could have in this situation, not even my own mind. They bolstered my will to fight for myself, to advocate for myself. They showed me that I wasn’t crazy and reaffirmed that I need to trust my body, not what some person who isn’t me and isn’t really giving me the time of day says. They showed me that there would be a resolution. Today, three days after my reading, my doctor offered to refer me to two different specialists. I did a reading to choose the right one. I have hope for recovery and a better life for the first time in four years.

This is the power available in reading the cards, which isn’t to be taken lightly. I have a history of eschewing the term “forutne-telling” in reference to what I do because of the popular, negative connotations associated with it. I realize now that it is truly an important part of what I do and an aspect that can ease minds, but it’s also a double edged sword. I still believe that we influence the direction of our lives, but I now happily accept the label of “prognosticator” with the sacred reverence it deserves.

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