Irlen Syndrome: What Is It & How to Treat It

Published July 24, 2014 by Nefer Khepri, Ph. D.

My daughter happily wearing her brand new Irlen custom-tinted lens. That smile says it all!

My daughter happily wearing her brand new Irlen custom-tinted lens. That smile says it all!

My 15 year old daughter was born with Irlen Syndrome.

Irlen Syndrome is a short-circuit between the brain and the optic nerve. Something goes amiss and the brain is unable to send the optic nerve every signal that corresponds to every color of the color spectrum.

A person with Irlen Syndrome does not see the world as everyone else does. They miss certain colors. It is almost like color blindness, but that is NOT what is going on since more than the colors of blue or green are affected. Also, Irlen Syndrome results in kids being diagnosed with “learning disabilities” such as ADD, ADHD, other issues and put on medication such as Ritalin, when in fact, it is Irlen Syndrome that is at the root of their issue(s).

Irlen Syndrome does not only affect children. Many adults also have it & are unaware because doctors & even specialists are unaware this syndrome even exists. Irlen Syndrome is hereditary. Chances are good that if an adult has it that one or more of their children also will place somewhere on the Irlen spectrum. A grandparent probably has Irlen Syndrome as well.

If you have a family history of headaches, migraines, mood swings, anxiety, or depression and any combination thereof, there is a good chance your family has been suffering from undiagnosed Irlen Syndrome that has been misdiagnosed as other issues that have then been treated incorrectly and in isolation. This may also be the reason why treatments have been failing or not as successful for you as they are for others.

My daughter was undiagnosed until the age of 15 & suffered from reading & sight difficulties her entire life that resulted in chronic daily headaches, insomnia, mood swings, lack of appetite, digestive disorders, and anxiety that all began to coincide with her teen years. She never complained to us until she was in the 8th grade. Until then, she thought that the way she was seeing the world was normal.

Starting in the 8th grade she began to have increased difficulty in reading. Up until then she had somehow learned to compensate. Her particular reading issue is that she misses a few letters within longer words. She compensates by mentally filling in the blank and using context to figure out what the word should be. As a result, her reading rate for reading aloud is very slow and is suitable for a much younger student. She hates reading aloud as a result.

Other people with Irlen Syndrome see text differently than others. The text can appear to float above the paper. The paper can appear to be so much brighter than the text that it blots out some of the letters. Letters within words can appear to swim and change position with other letters often causing the person to be diagnosed with dyslexia, when that is NOT what they have. Words can swim and switch positions within sentences. In extreme cases entire sentences can turn into “rivers” and float all around the page making reading nearly impossible.

My daughter used to be cheery, a social butterfly, helpful around the house, and enjoyed doing things with my husband and I. All that began to slowly change in the 8th grade. It happened so gradually that we didn’t notice until we woke up one day and realized we had an extremely surly teen on our hands. I discussed this issue with two pediatricians who both came to the same conclusion: it’s the kid’s hormones kicking in and she will eventually adjust. We went with that diagnosis for another year. Then everything changed once she entered high school.

Her high school issued a free laptop to every student. That was the catalyst for us. My daughter was unable to read off of it properly. She began to suffer from massive headaches, insomnia, and she was in a bad mood nearly 24/7 and also developed digestive issues and serious anxiety. Her pediatrician ruled most of it as being related to hormonal levels and adjusting to high school. He suggested a neurological consult for the headaches and a psychologist for the anxiety. He also wanted to put her on medication, but I did not allow that. My intuition was already telling me there was more going on there than what met the eye and that the pediatrician would be of no help.

The neurologist, after an MRI, concluded Ariel’s brain was “unremarkable,” meaning that everything was normal and functioning as it should. He stressed that anxiety alone could be the culprit behind all the other issues and probably was, including the headaches so he recommended not just a psychologist but a psychiatrist as well. Again, I ignored that particular recommendation because something told me that was not the problem.

The focus then became her eyes. Already wearing prescription lens for severe near-sightedness, I took Ariel for an opthamological consult with my own doctor. She could not find anything wrong with Ariel’s eyes or her optic nerves. Everything appeared completely normal to her during her examination.

Finally, I insisted the school test her for dyslexia since she said on the computer words were swimming and changing positions on her and she wasn’t even able to read her assignments. She tested completely normal so we were stumped. It wasn’t until later in the school year that one of her teachers suggested it might be something called Irlen Syndrome because she was recognizing in my daughter many of the same symptoms her own son exhibited years ago. She told me I would have to on my own find a Diagnostician since most insurances did not cover Irlen Syndrome.

When I found a local Diagnostician and had my daughter screened for Irlen Syndrome it was as if a fog had been lifted. For the first time I could see along with the tests she was having my daughter do that she really did have a very serious sight distortion issue when it came to text. The Diagnostician was also shocked when I informed her all of my daughter’s classes were Pre-AP and that she was an A/B student. She said that her intelligence must be actually much higher if she was able to maintain such good grades while compensating so much on her reading and it did not cause her grades to fall.

Upon receiving her Irlen tinted lens the headaches stopped in 48 hours & have not returned. Her mood swings also ceased in 48 hours. Her appetite returned in less than five hours and for the first time in 3 years she asked for seconds at dinner on the day she received her lens. Her anxiety levels, according to her, are now at “near zero”, and so far she has not suffered any further stomach upset. She still has insomnia, but has only had her tinted Irlen lens for a week. The diagnostician told us different symptoms would clear up at various rates & to be patient. So we’re hoping the insomnia clears up for her, but she has noticed she is sleeping harder than usual, so I see that as an improvement already.

Please do yourselves a favor and visit the official site for Irlen Syndrome.   There is a long list of related symptoms posted there. Read through that list. My daughter’s diagnostician told me that if anyone has at least 3 symptoms on the list that occur regularly, chances are good they will place somewhere on the spectrum.

Being diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome is a 2-part process. The first consists of being screened by an Irlen Screener or an Irlen Diagnostician. The difference between the two is the Screener can only test you to see if you place on the spectrum. They will then inform you of exactly where you are on the spectrum and if your condition requires the corrective custom-tinted Irlen lens. A Diagnositician, on the other hand, can also screen you, but they are the one licensed to then fit you with the corrective custom-tinted Irlen Lens.

The screening process takes approximately 90 – 120 minutes, and when I took my daughter to be screened a good part of the time was spent getting my questions finally answered by someone who actually KNEW something and was incredibly helpful.

The screening consists of being given a variety of pictures, figures, and text to look at and to read. The manner in which you read it aloud to the Screener or Diagnostician tells them a great deal of how you are actually seeing the text and figures. The Screener or Diagnostician will then ask you a series of questions to help you describe exactly how you are seeing the text on the page. Once that is completed you are told where you place on the spectrum and you are then given a plastic cover overlay. You are offered every shade from pale yellow to a dark gray, and whichever shade helps you to read better, that is the shade you take home with you. You can then place it over books, assignments from school, and your computer screen.

I can tell you from my own personal experience that a turquoise overlay has totally eliminated the eye strain I had suffered from for 40 years. I place very low on the spectrum so I do not require the corrective custom-tinted lens, but my 15 year old daughter placed at the extreme end of high on the spectrum, so she is much worse off than I am, but now has her lens and is incredibly happy and also shocked at how different the entire world looks to her now.

The lens fitting process takes approximately 3 hours. It consists of holding up to your eyes a set of tinted lens. This can be done whether you wear glasses or not. My daughter held the tinted lens against her glasses in order to read with them.

The testing begins with the darkest shade of gray and moves on into the purples, blues, greens, reds, pinks, and finally to yellow. Each color has within it four different shades of lens. Some colors can be ruled out immediately if they make your eyes hurt or you feel like you’re starting to get a headache so you may not have to try every single color in the rainbow.

As my daughter was tested for her tinted lens it readily became clear that the purple color was really helping her. The Diagnostician then had my child hold up to her eyes both the lavender shade of purple (that was the shade she read with the best) and then she looked at all four shades of blue and all four shades of red, pink, and magenta, which are all colors used to mix with blue to create purple.

After a great deal of experimentation with the sets of lens and various combinations of them the Diagnostician determined my daughter needed a combination of lavender, sky blue and pale magenta. That is her own unique custom combination of Irlen tints and they give her glasses a purple appearance to us when we look at her, but as she looks out through her glasses she sees as though she is not wearing any tint. This is because the tint of her lens is compensating for that part of the color spectrum her brain is unable to process so with her tinted Irlen lens my child is now seeing normally FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER ENTIRE LIFE.

We have light tan walls in our home and we have lived here for ten years. When my daughter first put on her new glasses with the Irlen tinted lens she screamed. She scard me half to death! Then she said, “Mom, the WALLS!” I asked her, “what about the walls?” She said, “They’re TAN!!” I said, “well, yes, they’re a light tan.” Then she told me she had been seeing LIME-GREEN all this time! For ten years my child thought the walls of our home were a pale shade of lime-green and she thought it was normal so she never mentioned it!

As we all know, tan and lime-green do have a yellow component to both colors, but for tan it’s very slight. The yellow component is much more pronounced in lime-green, plus it also contains blue, which is totally absent from tan, but my daughter’s optic nerves and brain were not allowing her to see the neutral aspect of light tan and had somehow made her see lime-green. This told me my daughter has problem seeing shades of the color yellow and also probably blue since yellow and blue create green, and if you use more yellow than blue you can create a lime-green. I was sold on Irlen lens in that instant.

I ask everyone who reads this particular blog post to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share it to your Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media outlets you are currently using. Also, inform your doctors. So very few have even heard of Irlen Syndrome. We need to get the word out about Irlen Syndrome.

The Diagnostician told me that 20 – 30 percent of the world’s population suffers from Irlen Syndrome and most of them are completely unaware of it! Please spread the word so those who are in need of help can finally learn that their symptoms are all connected, all have a single cause, and that there IS help out there for them.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

What follows is some information about the discoverer of Irlen Syndrome, Helen Irlen, that I copied from Amazon.com. Below that are the links to her two books and a review from one parent. I urge you, if you or anyone you know has had difficulty with reading, sunlight or artificial light, PLEASE visit the official Irlen website and see how many of the symptoms apply to you or to them.

Remember, if you have consistently suffered from 3 or more symptoms, chances are that you place somewhere on the Irlen spectrum. If that is the case, there is also information at the website about Screeners and Diagnosticians worldwide and I sincerely hope if you or someone you know is suffering from Irlen Syndrome that you can find a Diagnostician in your area who can help.

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Magickal-Musings.com

Author & Creator of The Egyptian Lenormand, forthcoming from Schiffer Books.

Quoted from Amazon.com:

Helen L. Irlen is an internationally recognized educator, researcher, therapist, scholar, and expert in the area of visual-perceptual problems. She is a graduate of Cornell University. Ms. Irlen has been in the field of education for the past 30 years. Her background includes 15 years as a School Psychologist, 30 years as a Child and Family Therapist, Educational Therapist, founder and Director of the Adult Learning Disabilities Program and Assistant Professor of Adult Learning Disabilities at California State University/Long Beach, instructor in psychology at Cornell University, and research assistant at Cornell. She has been recognized for her dedication to working with children and adults and is listed in Who’s Who in California, Who’s Who in Asia and the Pacific Nations, International Woman of the Year (1999-2000), International Who’s Who of Professionals, Kingston’s National Registry of Who’s Who, and the Dictionary of International Biography.

Over 20 years ago, research directed by Helen Irlen under a federal research grant studied methods of helping children and adults with reading and learning disabilities. One important discovery was that a subgroup of individuals showed a marked improvement in their reading ability when reading material was covered by colored acetate sheets. For the next five years, Ms. Irlen worked on refining her discovery, developing diagnostic testing instruments, and patenting a set of colored filters.

Because of this breakthrough, the Irlen Method has been the subject of two segments of 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, The Home Show, 60 Minutes Australia, a BBC Special, ABC Worldwide News with Peter Jennings, NBC News, and numerous TV shows around the world. She is the author of Reading By The Colors. Her work has been reported in textbooks on learning disabilities in Australia and England, and the Irlen Method has received international exposure through National Geographic, newspaper articles, magazine articles, and television documentaries.

There are over 80 affiliated Irlen Clinics worldwide and over 7,000 educators have been trained in the Irlen Method. Many school districts have included screening as part of the regular test battery administered. ~ Amazon.com

To find out more about Helen Irlen visit http://www.irlen.com

She has two books easily available on Amazon

The Irlen Revolution, by Helen Irlen: available for paper copy & Kindle.

 Reading By the Colors, by Helen Irlen, paper copy only

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful

Irlen Lenses Helped Our Family

By Joyce Owings on September 4, 2000

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Reading By the Colors and the Irlen Method of using colored lenses to help visual distortions has changed our lives. After visiting a pediatrition, allergy specialist, optometrist,opthomologist, and getting a CAT scan, my niece finally received the Irlen lenses and can now see without having words slide off the page. She also can concentrate on her reading and was able to discontinue her Ritalin for a supposed condition of ADD. Also, I received the Irlen lenses and can now see the words on the page that previously were overtaken by the white background. I can also now see depth perception in scenery and can enjoy the colors of flowers, trees, and clouds…I can really see the silver linings! Night driving is also much easier! This book really helped me understand why I sometimes would see things differently, or why I would not read as fluently as I would like to. It helped me understand why I had to study so much longer than others. Even though I have two college degrees, it was a struggle! This book is a must for teachers! I am an elementary teacher and plan to tell everyone about it!

 

Your Still Small Voice.

Published July 9, 2014 by Nefer Khepri, Ph. D.

I was going about my business today preparing to take my daughter to pick up lunch at Whataburger. We just had to have their Avacado-Bacon Burger, you see.

As we were leaving the house my still small voice – you know, that voice inside your head that sometimes makes suggestions. That voice. It said, “you should take your phone.” Well, I was downstairs and my phone was somewhere upstairs. I didn’t want to go up and look for it so I blew off my still small voice thinking Whataburger isn’t even five minutes away. There is no reason I would need my phone.

I was wrong.

dodge ramWe gave our order and proceeded on through the drive-through. In front of us was a red Dodge Ram. As we sat there minding our own business, my daughter looked up & burst out laughing. I followed her gaze.

Adhered to the lower left bumper area of the pick up truck was a bumper sticker. It read:

“I’m speeding because I have to poop.”

Peels of hysterical laughter ensued. Then my daughter asked, “where’s your phone?” Oops!

Nefer: 0.

Still Small Voice: 1.

No wonder I was told I should have taken my phone along! I missed a great photo op that I later could have posted speeding poop to Facebook to give my friends a laugh, but at least I have the memory and found the bumper sticker on Google.

I am discovering more and more lately that Google is my new best friend.

Word to the wise: pay attention to your still small voice – always, even about the little things that seem to be of zero consequence at the time.

Our Haunted Maui Vacation

Published June 29, 2014 by Nefer Khepri, Ph. D.

Hotel ocean view on Maui

Lana’i Island & beach from our room at the Ashton Mahana on Maui.

Our hotel room in Maui was nearly as exciting as our daily excursions after the first night. We stayed at the Ashton Mahana in Kaanapali, Room # 902.  The first night was quiet enough, and the room was quite comfortable. My husband and I really liked it, with a fantastic ocean-front view. Actually, all rooms at the Ashton Mahana face the ocean.

The second night I woke with a start. I felt as though perhaps I had been touched. I turned to look at my husband, but he was snoring loudly with his back to me, so I knew it wasn’t him. My heart was pounded because something – a touch or perhaps a sound – had woken me abruptly, which meant a trip to the bathroom was in order.

Upon my return to bed I glanced at the clock radio, which read 3:07 AM. I immediately thought about how paranormal things tend to occur at around 3:00 AM, blew it off, and got back into a comfy position in bed. Then I glanced up at the ceiling.

Our room had a white ceiling fan over my side of the bed. The fan had a circular light fixture and five blades. As I looked up at it I couldn’t help but notice a white mist encircling the light fixture. Along the side of the fan nearest the head of the bed the mist was so thick that it was completely obscuring two of the fan’s blades. I could not see either blade through the mist.

I laid there thinking, “well, what is this, then?”

I looked around for a logical explanation first. I glanced over at the kitchenette area, which was about 8 feet to my left along my side of the bed. Along the ceiling in the kitchenette is a large air-conditioning vent. The air-conditioner was running at the time so I immediately thought the mist had been formed by humidity that collected near the ceiling fan, which was in the path of the air-conditioner vent. I laid there happy with that explanation and closed my eyes.

After a few minutes I got the strong urge to look up at the fan again and was surprised to see the white mist now slowly undulating around the five blades of the fan like a giant white boa constrictor. I watched, utterly fascinated. I’m assuming several minutes passed, but I never did look at the clock because I was too busy watching the mist. I tried to wake my husband, who merely grunted and never woke up so I don’t have a witness.

After what I guess to have been around five minutes the mist slowly began to dissipate and it completely disappeared within a few seconds. I went back to sleep wondering if our room was haunted, but I wasn’t afraid since I deal with this type of thing on a daily basis due to the nature of my business.

I told my husband about the mist the next morning. He’s an unbeliever, a Virgo and a born again Southern Baptist, so about as different from me as possible. He lifted an eyebrow and said, “well, maybe the room is haunted.” Then he smiled. I didn’t know if he was serious or just trying to humor me.

The next night I woke again at around 3:00 AM to a clicking sound. The sound was not steady like the ticking of a clock, nor did it sound mechanical to me. It sounded like something was repeatedly coming into contact with a hard surface. The entire floor of this room has ceramic tile so at first I wondered if something on the floor was being moved somehow and clicking against the floor.

The more I listened the more I began convinced the sound was coming from the bathroom. The sink in there is set into a cabinet with a surface covered in ceramic tile. I thought that something we had set on top of the sink was being moved in order to make that clicking sound. Mentally, I went through everything I had put on the sink and realized my razor was there. I always set my razor blade-side down so no one inadvertently cuts themselves on the blade. I realized that if you turned the razor blade side up that you could then place a finger on either edge of the blade and rock the razor back and forth on the sink.

I thought, no, that can’t be what’s making the noise because that would mean some entity was in the bathroom who was able to flip my razor over and then play with it. The clicking went on for about an hour and it kept me awake. Once again, I tried to wake my husband. He did hear the clicking and told ME to go check the bathroom. Gee, thanks a heap fearless husband! I was not about to go look, so I eventually went back to sleep.

The next morning I was the first one out of bed and I went into the bathroom to find my razor not only blade-side up, but on the RIGHT-hand side of the sink. I’m a lefty. I always set my razor down on the LEFT side. I asked my husband if he had moved it in the middle of the night and he swore he never touched it.

The following night upon getting into bed and laying there for about ten minute I heard a “slap, slap, slap” sound coming from the kitchen. I turned to my husband who was now turned facing me. He looked right at me and I said, “do you …” and before I could finish he said, “yeah, it’s in the kitchen now. Go look!”

I replied, “No, you go look!”

Husband, “do you think I’m crazy? I learn from horror movies. Those who look DIE!”

I replied, “So thanks a LOT for telling ME to go look!”

Meanwhile, the slap-slap-slap sound continued and I realized it was the sound of bare feet hitting the tile floor as they walked back and forth from one end of the tiny kitchenette to the other. I think this went on for around 30 minutes, but the last time I looked at the clock 20 minutes had gone by. Then I began to drift off to sleep with the slapping sound continuing on.

The following night we both heard the sound of small items being shifted around in position in both the kitchenette and the bathroom. Whatever this entity was, except for the night I saw it swirling around the ceiling fan, it had never come back into the bedroom portion of our room – something for which my husband was most grateful. When I got up in the morning I couldn’t tell if anything in the kitchen or bathroom had been moved or not, but during the night it sure did sound like items were being shifted around.

The next night was our last night on Maui. Nothing happened. All was quiet.

We got ready for the day and while I was using the sink I shoved the complimentary toiletries out of my way. They had been arranged in a straight line on the left-hand side of the sink. I shoved them further back and now they were in a sloppy triangular formation. I continued washing my face and getting ready. I went back out into the bedroom portion of our room to finish getting dressed. My husband was reading so he never left the bed.

I went back into the bathroom intending to put my make-up on, looked down and was shocked to see the toiletries once again arranged in a perfectly straight line on the left-hand side of the sink. I realized the entity had moved them so out of spite I moved them back into a jumped mess and said, “there you go! You’ve got some house cleaning to do!” Then we left to start our day.

We returned to pack for the plane ride home. I went into the bathroom. Lo and behold, the toiletries were once again arranged in a straight line! So I picked them all up & popped them into my toiletry bag and took them home. Now I have 4 tubs of complimentary hotel bath gel, hand lotion, shampoo and conditioner that have been touched by some mysterious entity.

Upon checking out I described our adventures to the manager and assistant manager. Neither one had ever heard anyone speak of anything paranormal about room 902 or any other room at the Ashton Mahana; however, as one of them pointed out to me, most people would be too afraid of ridicule to admit to having had such an experience so they could not rule out the place being haunted.

The assistant manager had an interesting theory. She said that many places on Maui are “haunted,” but not in the ghostly sense. Spirits of the land make themselves known on a regular basis, especially the Menehune, which are the Hawaiian version of fairies. They are known to be quite mischievous and many do not like messes. She felt that it had been a Menehune who had re-arranged the toiletries, but as to the footsteps and the white mist, she had no explanation.

Looking toward the island of Molokai from Room 902 at the Ashton Mahana on Maui.

Looking toward the island of Molokai from Room 902 at the Ashton Mahana on Maui.

As we left, my husband laughed and said to me, “leave it to you to end in a haunted hotel room.”

Well, I guess so, especially since it’s happened to me before. I doubt this will be the last time. Beautiful ocean views notwithstanding, the ghost was a nice touch! It sure did add some nighttime excitement to our vacation. If we ever do go back to Maui (highly probable since we both LOVE it there), we’re going to stay at the Ashton Mahana again and request the same room. Next time I’ll be bringing some equipment along and hope to catch some evidence of paranormal activity.

Mercury Retrograde: I’m Grateful it’s NOT Contagious!

Published June 12, 2014 by Nefer Khepri, Ph. D.

It’s funny how you can be driving around town and suddenly, right before your very eyes, Mercury Retrograde is doing its thing! This happened to me today, but thankfully it did not involve me.

I was driving to my physical therapy appointment (May 30th my husband & I were rear-ended by a drunk driver & I have whiplash). I have to drive halfway through a large medical complex to get to the building that houses my new orthopedist and the physical therapy department. The speed limit through this area is 30 mph.

So there we all are going only 10 mph & I’m stressing knowing this will make me late for my appointment. Since there is a large Chevy van in front of me I am unable to see around it. I have no idea why we’re driving 10 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The car in front of me makes a right-hand turn and I see a small Chevy that looks new, BUT there is a LOT of smoke rising up from under its hood! That car was the reason traffic was crawling along. Instead of pulling over to check their car they were continuing on their way. By the time we went another 2 blocks the smoke was so thick I was wondering how the driver was able to see to drive and weren’t they afraid the engine may be catching on fire???

They finally pulled over and I said a prayer for them and their car. I continued on.

Some guy then cut me off, which is par for the course here in Houston when you’re being legal and driving the speed limit. As we’re tooling along at 30 mph suddenly he slows to 15 mph and turns on his hazard lights. I manage to pass him and am only 3 minutes late for my appointment. I have no idea what was going wrong with his car, but he was obviously having some sort of problem that caused him to reduce his speed by 50%.

I have NEVER been behind TWO cars that suddenly developed car problems like they did today. I gave thanks for my vehicle and how reliable it is, plus it’s such a comfortable ride. The rest of my day continued on nicely and without incident. Tonight I also am grateful that Mercury Retrograde did not mess with me.

Mercury goes direct July 1st, but it will take Mercury another 1 – 2 weeks to settle its energy and begin to play nicely again. You all be safe, and definitely be more vigilant than usual when driving. There have been more accidents than usual around here. I don’t know if people are just being more reckless than usual or if it’s Mercury up to his old tricks. Stay alert & drive safe.

Blessings,

Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Magickal-Musings.com

IsisRaAnpu@gmail.com

The Top 10 POSITIVE Things About Mercury Retrograde.

Published June 7, 2014 by Nefer Khepri, Ph. D.

The Fool card, from the forthcoming, Magickal Musings Tarot. (C) Nefer Khepri.

The Fool, from the forthcoming, Magickal Musings Tarot. (C) Nefer Khepri.

The current retrograde period runs from June 7 – July 1, 2014. The next retrograde period will be October 4 – 25, 2014.

10) If you have an altar in your home, this is prime time for cleaning & re-dedicating your sacred space.

9) View Mercury Rx as “down-time” regarding self-

care. Focus on self-spiritual cleansings for yourself, chakra balancing, and self-healing.

8) It’s a great time to sort through old papers, books, photographs (hardcopy or on your comp), re-organize your filing system, & deleting old files off your computer.

7) House cleaning always seems to go quicker & easier during an Rx, or so I’ve noticed over the years.

6) Mercury Rx is a good time to get rid of belongings you no longer use. Donate them to the Salvation Army, one of the

The Sun card, from the forthcoming Magickal Musings Tarot. (C) Nefer Khepri

The Sun, from the forthcoming Magickal Musings Tarot. (C) Nefer Khepri.

very few charity organizations that do not pay their CEO’s hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salary. Take old books to a book resale shop. Many give store credit or will even pay you cash for your books, like Half-Price Books, if you have one in your area.

5) Mercury Rx is a great time to lay low & just RELAX. Cut back on social activities & just focus on YOU.

4) Practice cord-cutting with those who have blessed your life with a toxic relationship. Mercury Rx is great for clearing your life of negative energies. I have a simple, but highly effective cord-cutting method posted on my blog.

3) Focus inward & perhaps try meditation for the first time, or a new method of meditation. Past lives & the meaning of dreams can also be focused upon at this time with better results than usual.

The Death card, from the forthcoming Magickal Musings Tarot. (C) Nefer Khepri

Death, from the forthcoming Magickal Musings Tarot. (C) Nefer Khepri.

2) Remember loved ones who have passed. Light a candle in their memory.

And the Number ONE POSITIVE thing about Mercury Retrograde is …

1) it will be over in about 3 weeks!!! WOO HOO!! :D

 

All images copyright Nefer Khepri, 2010. Reproduction is strictly prohibited. My forthcoming deck, “The Magickal Musings Tarot” will be available in 2016. I invite you to join my Facebook group dedicated to my decks, Soul Portraits & Manifestation Mandalas so you can keep up with developments as they occur.

I’m Grateful for Adversity.

Published June 6, 2014 by Nefer Khepri, Ph. D.

Adversity occurs for good reasons. You may not believe that, but it’s very true. Sometimes there are very powerful lessons in adversity. Sometimes it comes as a blessing in disguise, which is what just happened to me.

Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, near Estes Park, CO. (C) Nefer Khepri, 2013.

Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, near Estes Park, CO. (C) Nefer Khepri, 2013.

When something bad happens to you & it is someone else’s fault, a natural first reaction is to become angry. Friday night I was mad as hell. We were rear-ended by a drunk driver. At the time, it didn’t seem like a huge deal. We were stopped at a light after having just pulled out of my favorite restaurant, Red Lobster after a lovely dinner without our teenage daughter, who was at a banquet for her school choir.

Sitting at the light I had my head turned as I was speaking to my husband who was driving. I have a chronic ringing/whining in my left ear so in the car I have to sometimes nearly face him in order to hear what he’s saying. This was one of those times. A Dodge Ram 1500 pickup pulled up behind us. Just then the light turned green. There were 2 cars in front of ours so we couldn’t move, but the guy behind us saw green and hit the gas.

My body jerked forward & backward several times while I was still turned to my left. I managed to straighten myself out & we all pulled over, got out of our cars & assessed the damage. Since it was very low impact there was no visible damage to either vehicle. The guy then admitted to being drunk “Sorry, folks. I’ve had a few”, and then drove off! Stuart had taken pictures of him, his truck and plates so I called the police to report it.

About 10 minutes later I began to feel nauseated. That’s when I realized I had a problem.

Whiplash.

I went to bed in pain, woke up in even more pain that crawled from the back of my neck along the top of my right shoulder and festered in my shoulder blade and armpit area. Who knew your armpit could hurt so much?? I decided I needed to be looked at ASAP since this involved my neck so I went to a nearby Urgent Care center.

Well! The nurse was GREAT, really wonderful, but the doctor?? I guess he didn’t manage to graduate med school with any type of a bedside manner, or perhaps he lost it along the way or was born a jerk. I’m not sure. He was awful. I even had to tell him off. He insisted since I was moving fine and since he didn’t FEEL anything wrong when he examined my neck he felt I didn’t need x-rays. He was going to send me home with instructions to take ibuprofen 400 mg, every 4 – 6 hours and that was all. I had to INSIST on the x-rays & tell the guy, “look, this is a NECK injury. Neck injuries should be automatically AT LEAST x-rayed!”

He rolled his eyes at me. ROLLED. HIS. EYES. None of you ever knew my mother. One of the things I inherited from her was her MAJOR pet peeve about rolling one’s eyes at her. You did that & you just guaranteed yourself a swift slap in the face! I am my mother’s daughter. I didn’t slap the doctor, but I sure did tell him off at that point & said if he didn’t x-ray me immediately I’d be calling my lawyer. We don’t have a lawyer, but he got my point & told me to wait for the tech & stomped out of the room.

The nurse came in & I broke down crying. She was so sweet. She held me & told me to let it all out & said that usually that doctor is very nice, but he had been having a bad day. I told her, “WHAT ABOUT ME?” I’m not the type to go to Urgent Care. I haven’t been in an ER for myself since I was 10 years old! I’m 50 now. She was very kind & understanding. She even brought me a can of orange soda.

People do have bad days. I know I do. However, doctors in particular need to realize their patient is having a REAL bad day, especially if they are in pain. So I was angry at the drunk who had hit us and now also at the doctor. That was a lot to deal with on top of all the pain I was in, not to mention the nausea.

X-rays came back & the doctor sheepishly told me they had to do a CT-scan immediately and put me in a cervical collar since the x-rays showed 2 vertebrae had moved forward. I said, “excuse me?” He repeated himself. Then I repeated back to him, “the x-rays show that 2 vertebra have moved forward?” He confirmed. Then I said, “And you didn’t want me to have an x-ray & were happy to send me home only taking OTC ibuprofen. Some doctor you are!”

He hung his head & did not reply, simply walked out. The tech returned & did my CT-scan. Thankfully, it showed a normal neck so the tech must have had me standing funny or something for the x-ray. My vertebrae were all in the correct placement so they said I had no structural damage.

They tried to then charge me $25 for a CD of my CT scan, thus causing more anger & upset when I knew my insurance would be charged around $500 for it. I had to pay for one out-of-pocket 3 years ago so I am very aware of how much they cost. I told them they’d be making their money off my insurance, but they insisted they wanted that $25. The lovely nurse overheard the conversation & called me aside. She leaned over & whispered to me, “Give me 2 minutes. I’ll burn a copy & slip it to you.” I walked out with the CD hidden in a copy of Stephen King’s Duma Key that I had brought to read as I waited on them. By the way, if you’re a fan of his & haven’t read it yet, I’m about halfway through & so far it’s been pretty boring & not scary at all. Just FYI.

The entire Urgent Care ordeal took four hours. I spent the rest of the day releasing my anger against the drunk driver and the doctor. It worked and by bedtime I went to sleep feeling much better from an emotional standpoint, but from the physical I was feeling pretty yucky. I spent all day in bed Sunday due to severe nausea that all seemed to feel like severe motion sickness to me.

Adversity comes to us when we least expect it. That’s one of the things that makes us view adversity as being “bad.” It catches us by surprise & causes emotional upset, & sometimes physical as well, depending on the type of adversity we are facing at the time. Mine had been both emotional & physical, but I was over the emotional aspect, but had yet to really start dealing with the physical.

Adversity can also present us with hidden blessings. In most cases, adversity involves the learning of an important lesson. However, in my case, adversity lead to me receiving very valuable information about myself.

Monday I made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. The Urgent Care nurse told me to do that while the doctor thought I was fine, naturally. I saw the ortho on Thursday (yesterday). He was quick, but thorough & really knew what he was doing. Plus, he had a decent bedside manner & apologized for the totally incompetent staff I had to deal with who made me fill out FOURTEEN forms while seated in a CHAIR. I had no table to lean on, no desk, & had to write with the clipboard propped up on my purse that was resting on my lap. When your neck and shoulder, and now upper back, are hurting that’s a very uncomfortable position to maintain. By the time I was finished (they never scanned my original forms I had filled in online so none was in their system so they needed hard copies!), I was in so much pain I was starting to see double.

So I gave them what-for as well before going into the exam room. In front of a waiting room filled with other patients too. One guy got up with an effort, came over and gave me a high-five. I wasn’t able to truly make the high-five, but did a pretty good approximation of one.

Once in the exam room the nurse was very apologetic over what had occurred. I was nearly crying by then & once more very angry. I told her they must make accommodations for patients who are there alone without any help. They should have a stand to put the clipboard on so I can keep the forms at eye level, and if not, then someone should HOLD the darn thing in front of the patient or better yet, take the information verbally & fill the forms out for the patient. She agreed, but after the fact that made little difference to me.

The doctor examined me, had me pushing and pulling on him to see how my muscles were reacting. He then examined the CT-scan and informed me my vertebrae were all properly positioned; however, he saw “several small bone spurs, but probably nothing I have to go in & shave down.”

Bone spurs in my neck?? I had NO clue! My neck never cracked or hurt before the accident, but I do have an old shoulder injury from a fall that I know the accident has exacerbated. He said physical therapy will help with my neck & if I’m not better in a month he will also check for nerve damage. I told him about my shoulder & he was the first doctor to take me seriously about that.

This is an old injury from 14 years ago. I was on the beach with my daughter who was 18 months old at the time. I was holding her when a wave came in that was much larger than it looked. It knocked me up into the air & my daughter & I went flying backward several feet. I landed with the full weight of my entire body on my right shoulder blade while my poor baby flew several feet behind me & narrowly missed hitting her head on a sharp rock by less than an inch. Thankfully, she was fine, I was not. Three doctors and three sets of x-rays later I had nothing to show for it except for what eventually became a chronic condition.

The ortho told me I have a bad sprain and he said without treatment it is chronic. I also have slight muscle atrophy along the shoulder blade as well. He believes physical therapy will help and that eventually I won’t have muscle tightness or pain there.

So, two good things came out of this adversity.

One: I now know I have bone spurs in my neck that can be treated, hopefully without surgery pending my doctor seeing the x-rays from Urgent Care, which means I have to go back to that place to get them. Lovely.

Two: a doctor FINALLY took me seriously about my shoulder and I will FINALLY be receiving help for it.

Adversity can be a good thing. Despite all the pain & nausea, I’m actually kind of grateful that guy rear-ended us Friday night. If he had not, I would not discover I have bone spurs until probably years down the road when they would have been worse and may have required serious neck surgery. I’m also grateful because through this accident I have found a doctor who took my shoulder issue seriously enough to fully examine me for it & prescribe physical therapy.

I have gratitude for what happened to me, even though it was “bad” & has resulted in a great deal of discomfort, not to mention the forthcoming medical bills once our insurance pays on it all. Yet, I am grateful.

I have a daily practice of stating 3 things for which I am grateful that I began in my Facebook group, Magickal Musings ~ Spiritual Sharing & Gratitude. I invite you to start listing your daily gratefuls. Big, tiny, it doesn’t matter. All it takes is 3 things. Soon, your overall outlook on life will improve. Also, by maintaining a grateful heart we open the door wide for new blessings to start entering our lives. I have seen this happen in my life & members of my group will also attest to the same happening for them. We have proved the efficacy of listing your daily gratefuls time & time again. I invite you to join us there & if not, I hope you start expressing your daily gratitude in a journal or in prayer.

I can honestly say that I am grateful we were rear-ended because it lead to new medical knowledge about myself that down the road has probably saved me from what may have been a great deal of suffering & lasting problems.

Adversity can be a GOOD thing. When you are faced with adversity, please remember to try to look for the lesson in it, or even the hidden blessings. They will be there, I assure you.

The Spot Where I Died.

Published June 4, 2014 by Nefer Khepri, Ph. D.

Nefer Khepri, Ph. D.:

Recurring dreams & past lives have come up in discussion in my Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/NeferKhpri.MagickalMusings/ so I thought I would reblog this post since the subject matter fits the topic under discussion at the moment, plus it may help someone else figure out why they keep dreaming of dying the same way or repeatedly experiencing a particular trauma in dreams.

Originally posted on Magickal-Musings's Blog:

Cliff Hotel, Gwebert-on-the-Sea, Wales

What do you do when you find yourself standing on the very spot that has dominated your nightmares ever since you can remember?Run?Scream for help?Faint?What would you do?
In my case, I just stood there in total awe.My mind was reeling.All those years of having that same nightmare over & over again, then to find out the spot I had seen so many times in my dreams in which I had every rock memorized was truly a real place.I was right there.I was looking out at the same view I had had in my nightmare countless times before.
The first time I can remember having the nightmare I was 4.The nightmare is always exactly the same, like replaying an old beloved movie, except I hated this one and wish I had never seen it in the first…

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