"the dragon's blessing - this deep understanding that suffering can be transformed and be transformative" ~ Guy Allenby
FIP is all about stress. Cat stress. Human stress - my son and I lost our appetites, stopped eating. I lost my spare tire and gained more under eye bags. Naturally we both got a cold almost immediately. Now I don't believe in God, I don't pray - there were no other adults to support me deeply emotionally; even worse - the vets were out of useful ideas so I was searching the internet until the small hours of the morning. I needed to stay strong for Mishka and for Michael. Plus there was no darn way I was going to let FIP take our health as well.
So from that spiritual void to calm everyone's panic, ease their pain, and later, to mend a broken heart I reached out for music therapy and meditation. All the wooo hippy junk I wasn't going to bother with when I was younger and life was easy. Certainly not in medical school - I was there to learn about drugs and surgical interventions.
I didn't really believe in the power of the mind until a christmas holiday a few years ago. It just bucketed down, and the family's holiday at Coolum was not the escape to sunny Queensland promised. So while Brisbane flooded and a state of emergence was declared, I retreated to the spa to sauna, sip tea and read Dr. Ian Gawler's biography "the Dragon's Blessing". Studies over the years have increasingly backed up what was at the heart of his healing from 'terminal' sarcoma but much derided at the time and for many years after - meditation. It improves the immune system, critical thinking and memory. With FIP I needed all of these things for each of us FAST without heading for a pill bottle. Music of the right frequency was a shortcut to moving our minds into the zone. There's an abundance of suitable music for free on youtube. It far exceeded my hopes for keeping Mishka comfortable and everyone calm during any therapy. Since she was a highly strung cat and we were all empathically wired in together, one buzz in the wrong direction could wind us all up. We even found one track that reliably sent her and my son to sleep quickly. I have kept adding to the playlist now and then for pleasure. It's unintentionally chronicled a mental healing with the tone of the tracks becoming brighter over time.
Dr. Hedy Kober, a neuroscientist at Yale talks about how she began practising meditation to mend her broken heart.