It's pretty embarrassing to admit that I neglected my body for a couple of years, then had to deal with the consequences. The parts of preventive health that I have solidly rewired were not an issue (sleep, food, safety, happiness). I wrote two books in two years and really needed to do that – to be sure the method was fully documented, giving me some ease to consider the next chapter of my life.

Then the hip pain happened, and it's been one of the best things in my life. It really hurt, which was perfect because it finally got my attention. I knew that my ergonomics while I did the 16-hour writing stints for this time were not particularly brilliant. However, I believe in BBH, and accept that there will be times of personal neglect – thank God we care enough about something to pull out all the stops! Usually, after a passionate binge on work, I ease back and attend to my body with sleep, relaxation, exercise, good stuff. And the stress symptoms go away. It's the self-reliance of Brain Based Health.

A rewarding, blending experience

However, I'm glad that I blended it this time. What were some of the gifts? I went to a revered surgeon and explained that if I needed a new hip, I would not want to have a foot-long gash down my side, as I already had scars from four cesareans and the initial one resulted in the death of my baby. I didn't want to be cut up in that area again if I could help it. The surgeon spat back, "It's a six- or seven-inch cut, and I'll put the incision wherever I like."

At least my brain was connected enough to know I would only go forward with her if the alternative were worse. Then I happened upon another surgeon, sharing my feelings with him, a bit gun-shy by now. He leaned toward me, kindness overflowing, and said, "Have you seen my incisions?" He continued, showing photos of two-inch incisions and offering the option for a bikini cut, so it didn't feel like another "gash." Instantly, I burst into tears, happy tears, tears of receiving just what I needed when I needed it, and out of the blue, from a real stranger.

Meanwhile, I had more tests, switched physical therapists, did my share of using the EBT tools, and revised my unconscious expectations with fundamental learnings, such I am not in complete control, this really hurts, and it's my job to take really good care of myself . . . and a few dozen more.

Happy to be in the trenches

Why am I so happy about this blending that I did? I expect myself to get the best medical care, and the effort and time that takes to find it gives me plenty of opportunity to grieve my losses, learn from this new challenge, and allow my body and brain to heal.

Where am I now? Happy. Secure. More in love with life than ever, with a certain emotional sobriety of facing that I am getting older, and my body is wearing out a bit. The various healing forces that be, and some hefty self-care are working. Yet the gifts of this came out of the blue, and I learned that sometimes people deliver such warmth and kindness that one doesn't even mind that they have been sick.

All in all, I'm grateful that I am in the trenches, using brain-based health, and adding on traditional care, as needed. What's more, if I do decide to have surgery at some point, I know just the surgeon I will choose.