In part 3, Cil’s body is recovering daily and P’Hilz is working with her on how to heal the other parts of her life.
…It had been four days since Master P’Hilz had last visited with Cil. That was the evening that they spent hours on the beach discussing how everything in life was related to a person’s focus in life. And then Master P’Hilz queued up some more books and assigned Cil the task of writing a document about how she could apply the things she had learned to recognize opportunities and create successes.
Cil had been excited about the possibilities and wrote the document the next day, then changed it several times over the next two days as she read the new books and learned new things that she thought could enhance the effectiveness of her choices. But now she was getting restless again. They had her going to physical therapy every day now, but she longed to go back to the beach and talk to the woman who had become the closest thing to a friend she had known in many years.
“Ma’am, please eat your meal. Master P’Hilz says you need to keep carb loading so that your body can handle the stress of the next round of treatments.”
“Oh shut up! I will eat when I’m damn well ready. Go nag someone else.”
Cil regretted her comments even as she heard them come out of her mouth. The young man was just trying to do his job. She had come to know that the people who nagged her to eat were all apprentices in the mastery to Master P’Hilz, and this was how they were paying their tuition. They did not deserve to have to put up with her mood swings. But Cil could not bring herself to apologize anyway.
“Yes ma’am. I’m sorry ma’am.”
And the young man left her room quickly.
A couple hours later Cil was still staring at an uneaten meal when she heard the distinctively quiet footsteps of Master O’Rvl.
Damn. I’m going to get an earful now. He is probably here to remind me that I have a responsibility to put effort into my healing. Damn that boy. He probably went straight to the console and reported me.
Seconds later Master O’Rvl entered the room and formed one of those diagnostic weaves which he laid on her.
“Hm, you seem to be recovering your strength. That is good. If I know P’Hilz, she will want to come right in here and do the bone treatment as soon as she returns.
In my opinion, you could use another week of good diet before we start the next round of treatments, but P’Hilz is not nearly as patient as I am when it comes to getting people healthy. So if I were you, I would be stuffing myself at every meal. That gives you the best chance of not being sleep station bound for another week after the treatment.
Now, what’s this I hear about you being crabby?”
“Sorry, sir. I guess I’m just getting a little stir crazy. Too many days without any change in my routine. I will try to do better, sir.”
“Just remember that these people are all here to try and help you get better. I do remember what it is like just sitting around waiting to heal though. We have actually made a lot of changes trying to limit the times when that is necessary. Unfortunately, you had depleted your body’s resources so significantly that it was just not safe to do all the healing at once.
If I had let her, P’Hilz would have put herself a significant risk to push your treatment ahead a few days. As it was, she risked burning herself out to handle the cancer. I need you to help us help you. You must eat as much as often as you can. In return, I will ask some of the apprentices to slice out some time to take you out of here to get some fresh air and rest.
“Sir, please accept my apologies. I do realize how much you are doing for me and I am grateful. Thank you for your understanding. I will make every effort to be more pleasant.”
“I appreciate that. Obviously our apprentices need to be aware of the stresses their patients are enduring. But even the best of people struggle to be pleasant when their patients are not.”
“Thank you sir. I do understand. I’m sorry.”
“Okay, I believe you. Now focus on that meal for me.”
Master O’Rvl walked out of the room and she could hear his distinctive quiet footsteps moving away.
How does he do that? He is a very strong man and has to be heavy for his height with all that muscle. Yet he walks like a cat barely touching the ground. Looks like my father with that strip of white hair around his bald head, but he gives the impression of one clearly in his prime and very dangerous if angered.
He is right though, you get more bees with honey than vinegar. I need to focus on the end goal, not the process.
She focused on the now cold meal and shoveled it into her mouth ignoring the flavor and the temperature as she visualized the day when she would be fully healthy and accepting a new job with a large company.
“Excellent job ma’am. Thank you. Master O’Rvl suggested that I take you out for some fresh air and vitamin D replenishment. Are you up for a little excursion? I know of a nice mountain park with a small stream running through it. It is usually not too crowded this time of year.”
“That would be wonderful. Thank you.”
“Okay, let me tell the masters where I will be and then we can get out of here for a couple hours.”
The young man smiled and turned to go make the arrangements. A few minutes later he returned with a picnic basket and a big smile.
“Are you ready ma’am?”
“More than ready. But before we go, I need to apologize to you for my behavior. I have been less than appreciative of all that you have done for me, and that is not right. I promise I will try to be better in the future.”
“It is not a problem ma’am, you are going through a pretty rough time right now and I understand how difficult it can be to maintain a pleasant attitude all day every day. Forget it, we get to go relax by the stream for a little while and that is very welcome duty.”
He lost focus for a bit then reached over and touched her shoulder gently and the room faded being replaced by a beautiful view of a beautiful mountain pass filled with large green trees and bordered by white tipped mountains. She could hear the gentle rush of water over rocks nearby and the sounds of children playing.
“I love that view, so I always teleport in with that in front of me. The park is over here, and I reserved a table near the river for us. Do you feel up to a short walk? I can teleport us over to the table if you prefer.”
“No, let’s walk please, I may need to lean on you for support, but I desperately need the exercise.”
“Certainly, here take my arm.”
He held his arm out and Cil gratefully took hold of it with both hands. They would be going downhill a little ways it appeared and she was a bit afraid of stumbling again.
A couple of minutes later they came to a table that overlooked the small river and the playground where children were playing under the watchful eyes of the adults who were there with them.
“It is wonderful. Thank you for bringing me here. Oh my, is that a fish there in that little pool?”
“Yes, fishing is not allowed here and the rangers drop food into spots like that regularly to keep the fish around. That is an unusually large one for this high in the mountains though, even with the regular food.”
“Look there is a little furry animal over there. What is that?”
“Oh, that is a skitter, there are lots of them here. That particular variety is almost a pest, we will need to watch or they will raid our picnic basket.”
Cil smiled at the thought of that small rat like creature with the big fuzzy tail stealing from the picnic basket. Skitters were from the same family as the rats, but she had never seen one that was so large and fluffy as this one. Nor had she seen one with that coloring.
“So, I have notes from Master P’Hilz that say that you have been reading some books on…”
Two hours later, Cil glanced back at the river longingly once more before touching the young man’s hand so he could teleport them back to the infirmary.
The next day was very similar with one of the apprentices taking her to a serene island in the middle of a large lake where they sat and discussed the various ways to handle stress.
Then there were a couple of days with no trips and Cil had to employ some of the calming techniques the latest set of books talked about to keep from becoming irritable again.
She was getting stronger, she could feel it and she could see it in the distances and weights that she dealt with in physical therapy. But she was getting pretty tired of reading about how to handle her emotions and know herself instead of experiencing real life.
Cil sat on the edge of her sleep station debating whether or not she should put on real clothes given that she knew none of the apprentices would be taking her anywhere.
Why bother, if I’m not going anywhere, this gown is fine even if it does allow drafts where I’m not used to having drafts. It seems that Master P’Hilz has passed me off to these kids to handle anyway. I guess she was just pulling my leg about getting back into the workforce.
Damn, why did I fall for that optimistic crap? I should know better by now. They are just fattening me up so I can go back on the streets and eat out of trash bins again. None of this will change the fact that people don’t think I’m worth taking a chance on with their crappy assed jobs.
“Good afternoon Cil. Sorry I have been gone so long, we had a pretty big disaster on Zelus. Some idiot manager trying to make a name for himself used inferior shoring techniques to save a few credits and a whole section of the mine collapsed on several hundred miners and equipment engineers.”
Cil nearly fell as she jumped at the sound of Master P’Hilz’s voice. And she could not believe how quickly the master moved across the room to steady her.
“Sorry, I did not mean to startle you. How have you been?”
“Ma’am, sorry. I just did not expect to hear your voice. I have been doing okay, anxious to get out of here, but otherwise okay.”
“I can imagine. I understand my apprentices have been taking you out occasionally for some fresh air as Master O’Rvl puts it. Has that helped?”
“Some, but they can’t do it every day with their busy schedules.”
“No, that’s true. But hopefully often enough to help you keep the edge off. So, let me look at you and see where we are.”
P’Hilz formed a diagnostic weave and laid it on Cil. She looked pretty well recovered, but best to be certain.
“Ah, good. Your body is much stronger. The bad news is that did not translate to a recovery of your bones. We are going to have to go ahead with that procedure. And I see you have some muscle atrophy in your legs and back. I can help that a little, but we need to get you on a little different physical therapy schedule to build muscle memory so you don’t revert.
Overall, very nice progress. I see you have built up some upper body strength, and your skin is recovering nicely. So, we will start with the bones, and the degrading muscle systems. Then in a couple of days if you recover well, we will go back and rebuild your musculature and fix those teeth. Okay?”
“Not that I’m complaining, but is there a point? Employers don’t trust me, so I’m likely to end up back on the street as soon as you are done with your charity work here.”
Master P’Hilz gave her a look she had not seen on the woman’s face before. She was clearly angry and that scared Cil a little.
“I told you we would get you back into the workforce. Have I not done enough to earn your trust yet?
Do you really think I am willing to let all my hard work go to waste? Even if you think I’m just doing this to check off a box, you have to know me well enough to understand I am not wasteful.”
Cil sat back smarting as much as if P’Hilz had physically slapped her.
“I’m sorry ma’am. I did not mean to offend you. I was just a little frustrated, and the list of things that still need to be fixed is fairly significant. I’m just so ready for all this to be finished. Sorry.”
And just like that, the anger was gone and the old Master P’Hilz was back.
“Sorry, I should not have let my emotions respond that way. I need to do some more work in that area too.
I understand that this is taking a long time, but we are doing a lot. And we really need to make sure you are ready emotionally as well as physically before we move on to the next step. I should not have stayed away for so long. I promise I will not leave again until we have you fully back on your feet. Okay?”
“Alright, what do you say we go back to the beach this evening one more time? Then tomorrow, I will do the procedure on your bones. You will need to take a couple days to recover your energy after that before we can go out again. But I promise, we are nearing the end of those delays. We will be able to get you out of this medical room and into a real room soon. Maybe by next week if all goes well.”
“That sounds wonderful, thank you ma’am.”
“Okay, great, I will make my rounds and then come back and get you. You might want to put on something a little less open to the elements though. It gets a little breezy there this time of year.”
Cil was suddenly very conscious of her gown.
“Yes ma’am. I will do that.”
And as quickly as she had arrived Master P’Hilz was gone again.
Good grief, how does she do that? I never heard her approach, or leave. She is just here and then gone. Maybe she is just an illusion formed by my brain, and I’m really still just sitting in a ditch on the streets somewhere talking to myself. That’s a scary thought. I think I like the illusion better if that’s the case.
Cil pushed herself up and got dressed, looking forward to an evening talking with Master P’Hilz on the beach once more.
…”Okay ma’am, so, if I can create success by thinking it already exists, and can make things worse by believing they are. How do I convince myself that things are going well? I mean, I spend so much time with my own thoughts and they always return me to the reality of the streets.”
“That’s the billion credit question, isn’t it? For me, I had to start with the small things and build my confidence before I could change the big things. But ultimately it is about repetition and building your belief in things.
So, I would pick something your life you want to change. Something small, like eliminating a bad habit. Figure out what situations you find yourself performing the bad habit and start affirming to yourself that in those situations you always do X. Where X is the habit you would prefer to have.”
“Okay, ma’am I think I get it. So, I chew on my fingernails when I am nervous. If I want to stop chewing on my fingernails I should affirm that I don’t chew them when I’m nervous?”
“No, you should affirm that you admire their length and beauty when you are nervous as a means of calming yourself.
Negatives don’t work, you must affirm positive action.”
“Oh, I get it, ma’am. And if I tend to be depressed when things take too long, then I should affirm that I love the fact that we take the time to make sure things are being done properly. Right?”
“Yes, but I would consider that particular issue to be a bit bigger task, and you might want to start with something smaller first to build your confidence in the process. You certainly can start working on that too, but it could take a while to succeed.”
“Oh my goodness, I think I finally get it. I want to start trying this out right away.”
“Excellent. Now, how are you doing on the physical therapy front? Are you sore the next day after a session?”
“Sometimes a little, ma’am, but not as much as when we started for sure.”
“That’s good, it means you are making progress. But I would recommend that you push a little harder to the point where you have a little soreness the next morning most of the time. That small amount of soreness means that you are building muscle, which we need to do. I will help you with the muscle issues in a couple of weeks, but it works better if your body already knows how to do it.”
“Damn! Oh, sorry ma’am. I mean darn, I was afraid you were going to say that.”
Master P’Hilz laughed aloud, and the pure joy in it made Cil laugh too.
“I remember when I came to the mastery, and they made me do martial arts. I hated it because I would wake up in the morning sore from head to toe after a session. Just when I got to the point where the workouts didn’t kill me anymore, they started making us spar, and my friends made me sore in the morning.
But when the time came that I needed those skills to survive, I was incredibly happy I had learned them.
Trust me, though. I know exactly what you mean when you say ‘Damn!’”
Cil had to laugh at the mirth in Master P’Hilz’s voice when she said the word. Amazing that someone so confident and so happy could have had an experience so similar to her own.
“So, tomorrow I will help your body heal your bone structure. Do you have any questions about that?”
“Yes ma’am. Sort of. I mean, I know you are a master and I don’t want to get you in trouble for revealing any secrets or anything, but how exactly are you going to help my body heal my bones?”
Master P’Hilz smiled at her and nodded.
“I wondered when you would get around to asking. First let me set you mind at ease around the big question you asked without asking. There is no rule in the mastery that would prevent me from telling you how I perform healing. There are some healing weaves that we don’t share until a person reaches a certain competency because they could cause significant damage if done wrong or for the wrong purpose. But this process is not one of those either.
Your problem is that your bones have a very low density. They have been depleted by years of drug use and starvation. A medical doctor might treat that by giving you very high doses of calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium and fluoride. Then expecting that over time your body would absorb those and increase the bone density.
Nothing wrong with that treatment except that in severe cases like yours, your body may not remember how to fix itself, and even if it does, it likely will take too long. What I do is basically the same thing but I help your body to remember how to do this and encourage your bones to accept the treatment.
To understand how, you have to understand the core of the power color usage in the mastery. So, here goes my attempt at explaining the art of power colors specifically for the art of healing.