I had expected to have several more sessions with DJ in order to continue our post-transition work. However, we met on only two other occasions to discuss his career development path, and then he felt he no longer needed to return.
In the fall of 1998 Paul began experiencing increased allergic reactions. It was unclear whether this was due to his ingestion of milk products, or whether he had developed new allergies. He tried using hypnosis to control his allergic reactions, which usually involved mild breathing difficulties, but was unsuccessful. I urged him to visit his allergist again.
Paul reported that his allergist strongly advised him to be very careful not to eat food products which Paul or his family did not prepare for him. If Paul wanted to eat at a restaurant, the allergist recommended that Paul scratch his skin with a small amount of the food he was about to eat, to see whether he was allergic to it. Paul did not like this idea at all, because he complained that testing himself before eating made him feel so very different from his peers.
So I came up with an idea. “Why don’t you use hypnosis to change the taste of the foods you are eating, so that you can imagine you are eating great food even as you are eating the bland food you have prepared for yourself?”
Paul liked this idea and together we practiced having him change the taste of foods. He learned to change the taste of water to that of a soft drink, and the taste of white bread to that of a turkey sandwich with mustard.
While Paul was hypnotized, he usually moved sluggishly and spoke in a soft voice. We decided that if he was going to use his ability to change foods in a social situation that he would need to learn to act as if he was not hypnotized even while he was doing hypnosis. Therefore, we worked on a couple of occasions to teach Paul how to “act normally” while he was doing hypnosis. He then practiced this at home. He reported that he ate a few meals with his family while in hypnosis, and they appeared to be unaware of anything unusual in his behavior.
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After living in Syracuse for a number of years, my wife said that she was tired of the difficult winter weather there, which affected the city nearly half of each year.
During the summer prior to medical school I met with the Cantor at my parents’ synagogue and asked him to help me to continue to learn how to chant from the Torah.
The amazing events with DJ reinforced ideas and feelings about life that I had been developing for a couple of decades. Thus far I have shared how my involvement with the world of medicine helped instruct me about how life can work.
During the following two weeks until DJ’s next appointment with me, I kept thinking about the remarkable lessons that DJ and his subconscious were teaching.
DJ brought a copy of “Dharma Bums” to his next visit with me two weeks later. “You were right!” he exclaimed. “The part about the paths was not in the book.”