Saturday, September 20, 2008


My naturopath of four years is leaving for San Diego. It was Carolyn who urged me to get a Lyme diagnosis, and who has helped me through the difficulty of being on antibiotics. See my August 20th entry.

I knew I would be upset about my last appointment with Carolyn, but I wasn’t prepared for how very much it got to me. The night before, as I thought about what to write on the card I'd bought for her, I lay down on my bed and cried. Even when The Poet found me and wrapped his arms around me, I couldn’t stop myself.

“She physically made me better,” I told him, “Each time I saw her she put her hands on me and helped me. No one else has done that for me.”

I woke up the next morning feeling out of sorts, not wanting to go to my appointment, not wanting to say goodbye. As I pulled the car into the parking spot at her office, the tears welled up—I shook them off. When Carolyn came into the room, again I had to choke back my tears.

“You’ve got to pull yourself together,” I thought. The next moment we were having an appointment almost like any other. I showed her the supplements that Amy Derksen had given me, and told her I was having trouble knowing which order to start them in. I had started with the glutathione at night, but that had kept me awake.

I lay down on the examining table and Carolyn did the muscle testing. She told me when I should be taking each supplement and at what time of day. We laughed about the glutathione, which I was supposed to rub into my neck even though it smelled like rotten eggs. We talked about how I was going to get the supplements she had been ordering for me, and then there was nothing else to say.

“Well, I guess this is it,” Carolyn said. I reached down in my bag for her card and her present. When I looked up, she was crying.

In my mind, it had always been me crying and Carolyn reassuring me that I would be OK. I hadn’t imagined that she would cry, or that I would comfort her.

“It’s been so inspirational to work with you,” she said, “to see your determination and how you’ve worked so hard to get better.”

“It’s only you inspiring yourself,” I told her. “I’ve gotten better because of you.”

We passed the tissue box back and forth and then pulled ourselves together for a picture outside. I drove away not truly believing I had seen the last of her, but it may be so.

So many of the people we know, however dear to us, share our lives but do not radically change them. Only a handful influence how our lives turn out. Carolyn was one of those people for me.

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