Status & Book Report

Good evening all,
I figured it was time to let you all know how I’m doing since Episode 2 and progress update of optic neuritis. I also wanted to let you know about a book I’ve been reading and I’ll share some quotes that really, really impressed me.

I’ve only had two doctors appointments recently; one was with my optometrist to collect some up-to-date images of my eyes and optic nerves and the other was with a naturopath doctor. The good news is that my optic nerves are not inflamed at the moment which means for the moment, my vision is stable. Each day or week it can vary a little bit but overall, no major digression which is always good.

I met with the naturopath doctor in order to get a more wholistic view things going on in my life and in my body. This doctor told me before I met her that she had previously treated patients with optic neuritis and even though each person is different, I felt comfortable spending the money on that appointment knowing she knew about the condition and most likely had done some research into the MANY potential causes. I’m serious; there are SO MANY potential causes of optic neuritis; it’s crazy.

Anyway, the consultation went well. She recommended several additional blood tests which I’m working to get ordered. New York State doesn’t license naturopath doctors/practitioners and so she can’t “order” blood tests. I’ve forwarded the list of tests to my primary care doctor, my rheumatologist, and my neural ophthalmologist. The primary care doctor almost immediately said no, no questions asked. My rheumatologist tried to explain why the tests would not provide any useful insight into the cause of my condition. I have not heard yet from my neural ophthalmologist but I am praying that she is more open-minded and willing to order these blood tests. PLEASE!!!!

Now the book report. I’ve been THOROUGHLY enjoying the adventure travel books written by Levison Wood, an Englishman who has walked literally thousands of miles. I’ve read three of his books now and he has at least two more which I intend to purchase and read as well.

The book I’m that I’m coming to the end of now is called Arabia; A Journey Through the Heart of the Middle East. Levison walked/hitch hiked around Arabia and wrote about it. Honestly, I love his writing. It is so open-minded, unbiased, heart-warming, and enlightening. Let me quote for you the passages that impressed me the most.

“This book is a story of my own wanderings set against a back-drop of interesting times. I have tried to challenge the prevailing winds where possible and contest stereotypes, hopefully smashing a few myths along the way.” (page 5)

“That’s the point of terrorism; it’s not only the tragedy of those killed and injured, it’s the deep-rooted anxiety that is born of fear, and how it causes fractures in society. It reinforces divisions and creates an atmosphere of distrust. That was the intention of ISIS all along: to generate isolationism among the Muslim communities of the West. To stop them being accepted by the rest of society and to create a sense of us and them.” (page 28)

“Call it sentimentalism if you will, call it the Western lens if you must, but as travelers we go in search of the extraordinary, the different – not to drive wedges, but to do the opposite. To try to see beyond the pale, and beyond the clothes and stereotypes and labels that we so often assume. The traveller goes in search of an elusive treasure, that of true, and what defines it.” (page 110)

Levison starts each chapter with a quote and the one at the beginning of chapter 9 also impressed me: “Traveling – it gives you a home in a thousand strange places, then leaves you a stranger in your own land.” (quote by Ibn Battutah)

“I’d lost my sense of purpose now. For two months I’d been moving forward, driven by a singular urge to explore Arabia, whatever that may mean. But for me, it had necessitated movement. By moving I was able to compare, to contrast and to draw parallels. Getting stuck in one place meant a loss of momentum and with that the prospect of getting stuck in one narrative, learning only one side of the story – the risk of becomming drawn in too far.” (page 196).

I FREAKING LOVE THAT PARAGRAPH!!! I mean, that paragraph, and the one that mentions sentimentalism, encapsulate so well why I love traveling so much and why I love sharing those stories with everyone “back home.”

The latest paragraph that I just read this evening is as follows:
“People are people, wherever you are, and I’d come out of this journey, not only alive, but surprised and hopeful, determined to seek the best in myself and others.” (page 334).

Levison Wood – You’re amazing! 😀 . I guess my next dream-come-true goal would be to write a book as amazing as Lev’s and I would love to meet him someday. Last I read, he was single because no woman would deal with a guy that takes long adventures to foreign countries all the time….. ummm… CAN I GO WITH YOU????

If you’re interested in reading this book, let me know and I’ll be happy to lend it to you! It is so important to get outside perspective on anything; personal decisions, current events, anything.

Now just a few pictures of some recent small outdoor excursions.

I love elevation – what can I say. The views….

Icy babbling brook.

My sweet garmin watch. :-p

4 thoughts on “Status & Book Report

    • Me too!!! I’m still seeing doctors. Have some appointments coming and some blood tests to get drawn. I’ll be going to Cole Eye Institute at Cleveland Clinic in late April. So maybe some answers will come of that but I’m not sure.


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