Amelia Kanan

Writer + Photographer + Producer

Category: Guilty Pleasure Fridays

Dr. D: A Naturopath Fairy Godmother

Dr. D looks at my happy blood cells.

Dr. D looks at my happy blood cells.

My blood looked sad. At least that’s what Dr. D said.

It was my first appointment with the naturopath. For so long, I had felt like a hypocrite, preaching the natural way of life yet heavily reliant on Western medicine to “fix” any health problems.

Dr. D, reminded me of one of Cinderella’s fairy godmothers and even though I felt so comfortable with her, I was still riddled with anxiety. Before my blood came into play, she said “Honey, you need to breathe.”

Such a simple concept but something I had easily forgotten while on hiatus from yoga. I closed my eyes and did what she said. Her breathing got louder the closer she came to me. Typically, I struggle with loud breathers but since Dr. D was like a grandma, I found a calming comfort in her shallow lung capacity. My muscles relaxed even more as I listened to her hands rub some kind of ointment between them which she soon massaged into my neck and shoulders.

When I opened my eyes, she handed me a small plastic cup with purple fizz.

It was delicious and just as I thought I couldn’t be soothed any more, I melted another inch into the chair.

“Now, how’s that?” Dr. D asked like a proud grandma who just served up some freshly baked apple pie.

After studying my fingernails she kneaded my hands and said, “We need to throw your thyroid and adrenal glands life jackets -your estrogen isn’t getting properly dispersed.”

My hands never looked so small as they were engulfed by the doughy ones.

She was checking my pulse and crinkling her eyebrows. “Hm. You burn, on average, 1800 calories a day – without doing anything!”

“Wow, that’s awesome because I have not been working out at all.” Between my knee and sciatic nerve problems, I hadn’t been able to do anything other than walk on flat ground.

Her face got serious, “I don’t want you worry about that stuff right now. We need to get your muscles and organs clean and working properly before you push them any harder.” I liked the way she thought.

“You’re a natural athlete, your body never lets go of that.” I couldn’t wait to compose a mass text to everyone in my life, quoting her on that.

She sat back down behind her desk where she had her microscope camera connected to her monitor. I didn’t have any time to tell her I was scared of needles before she pricked me and dripped 6 beads onto a glass plate. Her screen turned on and there they were, my sad-looking blood cells.

The blobs scared me, reminding me of those micro-bugs that live in motel beds.The bitty goons were creeping in slow-mo all over her screen. Some were even thorny, which meant I was dehydrated. That wasn’t much of a surprise considering I drank a bottle of Tempranillo the night before.

“Oh, sweetheart you must be exhausted.”

I nodded, grateful for the sympathy.

“See how some of these cells have linked together and made chains – that means they are all deprived of nutrients and they’re trying to share the goods.” I felt like a bad mom – not providing my babies with what they needed.

“You’re very strong – and smart but you’ve just felt foggy for a long time. You probably don’t remember what it’s like not living in a fog.” Even though I was curious to know how she knew that by looking at my blood cells, I was too consumed with my guilt of being so awful to body. What she was saying was true. I’ve been apathetic, slow moving, foggy in my thinking, and unable to really focus. I nodded as tears puddled at the bottom of my eyes.

Dr. D was a little surprised by my drama. “Oh, sweetheart.” She took off her glasses and looked me in the eye. “You are one talented person, very smart. The world won’t know what to do with you once we flush all this stuff away.” She really knew how to hook me.

Next, she let my blood dry and wrote down an ideal daily diet plan along with the supplement routine. The only vegetables you should eat cooked: butternut squash and brussel sprouts. The only fruits you should eat are berries and apples. Also, applesauce to rid the metal in your body. Actually, at 9:30am, eat a combination of quinoa, oats and applesauce. Those are your only grains for the day. No Dairy. Coconut Milk or Almond Milk. ATP, PMG, progesterone, iodine, yadda yadda.

Back on her computer screen, my blood cells were dead. This time, the still images weren’t unlike the terrain of Mars. Dr. D traced the craters and geographic-looking patterns with her finger as she explained to me the history of my body. Jumping by 4’s, she told me exactly what was happening with my body from birth until today. She knew that I’ve struggled with anxiety since the age of 5. She knew that I was in a bad car accident when I was 15. She knew I was in the best shape ever at 25. She knew my fitness hasn’t been consistent since 29. She also knew exactly what sports I played.

I was sold, on Dr. D and was ready to subscribe to anything she put out.

30 days after that first appointment, I went back to see my fairy natural godmother.

“Amelia! Look at you!”

Truthfully, I really don’t think I looked any different but, I definitely felt different. I was happy to report her that my energy levels were soaring and optimistic demeanor was back. My sleep pattern was satisfying and even without afternoon coffee, my daily urge for a nap at 3pm was gone. And, even though she had told me not to worry about it, I was back in a fitness routine and not because of guilty but rather the sheer enjoyment.

Then, we looked at my blood on the big screen. Those little marshmallows were unrecognizable. Fluffy and bustling about, it was crazy how happy they looked. No thorns or linked chains trying to share nutrients with each other. My babies were healthy.

Well, that was all I needed to be a believer. I’m so grateful for Dr. D and reset she gave me.


Bullet Death

Bullet DeathI can still feel the sting from the bullet. There isn’t any blood. No wound. Not even a scar. But, I can feel it. It happens when I’m scared. Or when I walk alone in the dark.

That bullet killed me two life times ago. I wasn’t walking in the dark. I wasn’t alone. And it wasn’t the first shot.

The men who had killed me hovered over my naked little body. Laughing as I squirmed on the precipice of death.

I was seven.

The bang rattled me more than the pain itself. Dreaming of my mother’s arms, I was comforted by sadness instead of fear. My head on her chest, listening to her voice rattle through her rib cage. Her breath from her nose felt warm on my forehead. Her buttery skin smelled sweet and safe. As I trembled, I closed my eyes and tried my hardest to keep her with me. Petting my hair, brushing my cheek and kissing the top of my head. All the things I used to hate until that moment.

The pain grew like a weed. Wrapping its stinging vines around my stomach, up into my chest and then around pelvis. My lungs were hasty in their requests for the winter air as my body rattled on the cement slab. I had always liked the winter.

A warmth spread beneath me and blanketed my right thigh. The urine was a brief comfort and went it abandoned me I was a fiend for heat. I buried my hands into the depths of my stomach where the fire was still alive, groaning with pain. Arousing the men to mock me. Shame rippled through me, nearly numbing the bullet pain. The humiliation reckoned me to welcome death. That feeling of vulnerability proved to be more powerful than even the fatal shot that ended that life. More painful than the holes in my abdomen. That emotional pang escorted me into my next two lifetimes.

It’s somewhat true that you get to choose aspects of your life. There are lessons we all have to learn. Some take a few lifetimes to learn others move on to new ones quickly. After exiting that soul crushing life and before I began to work on the aftermath, I needed to be frivolous. I needed to drive in a convertible. Get drunk. Have a lot of sex. I needed a life where I could be free.

My next life was exactly that. I was pretty, blonde and entitled. I got to sleep with a certain U.S. president president before driving over a bridge in my 20’s. Although I lived that life, I feel very detached from it. I feel like she was someone I once played on stage. Maybe that’s why I can’t feel the pain from that death. Though I do still feel the fear every time I drive over a bridge, “It’s over, this is it,” plays like a broken record. I can feel the wind push my car towards the edge, as it had happened a lifetime before. I also still have an obsessive fondness for a certain president.

My life has never flashed in front of me, like they say it’s supposed to. Instead, a jolt of Déjà vu strikes all six of my senses. Freezing my body, surrendering it so my higher self can be present for those final few moments. The fear serves as a comforting reminder of familiarity; knowing the end is right there in sight. It’s oddly beautiful.

The other night I had a dream. I was swimming in the ocean, like a dolphin. Happily. I dove deep towards a white glow on the sea floor. I couldn’t breathe but like a dolphin, I could hold my breath for a long time. The glow was coming from a cozy little house and once I entered, I found every person I had ever loved. But even though I was bursting with joy, I still couldn’t breathe. I had to leave my most favorite place. Swimming to the surface, I knew I’d be back. When I took my first breath, I found a neighboring island. I crawled onto the sand, lied in the sun and began to think about reality, fear reality. Shelter, food and danger. I knew it was too soon to go back to the cozy little sea house but I also didn’t want to live somewhere unsafe and all alone. I went back into the sea and floated on my back, in the middle of nowhere. Then, I woke up.

I think my afterlife was that little cozy home on the sea floor. I keep asking to come back to Earth because I have to breathe but I get here and feel as though I just don’t belong.