Although I help people on a daily basis to manage and conquer various forms of pain, it’s not something I’ve personally experienced on a prolonged basis – that is until recently. When I refer to pain, I’m not talking about emotional pain – although emotions definitely come into it – I’m talking about prolonged, constant, unrelenting physical pain.
Approximately 2 weeks ago I had some elective dental surgery that meant removing an old crown and dealing with what had been identified as a nasty, long standing infection underneath. Many of my long standing symptoms were consistent with this particular tooth having been infected for decades, although 2 different mainstream dentists had completely dismissed the idea that there was a problem. It was one of the last pieces in a health journey that has taken up much of my time over the past year, (I have touched on this in one of my previous blogs.) To cut a long story short, underneath the crown was an old amalgum filling which should never have been left in and the infection was even more widespread and invasive than we first thought. There were also a couple of minor complications involved in the procedure. Thanks to the skill of my dentist and her team I felt no pain whatsoever during the surgery but I knew that once the anaesthesia wore off there would be pain – I came prepared with Remedies that I had used successfully in the past and my Dentist also gave me Remedies and other holistic supports to call upon. This is the third extraction I have had with this Dentist over the past year and there was some pain for a few days then I healed well.
Having stayed the night in a B&B the day of the surgery, I elected to drive back to Kerry the following day (approx 4hours drive), but this was the day the bad, snowy weather started, so the drive took alot of concentration and energy, more than is usually required. When almost home I started to experience extreme pain in my whole head, the jaw in particular and I felt nauseous and exhausted. I went straight to bed and basically stayed there for 2 days expecting the pain to resolve (I was using remedies and other methods – more of these later). Much to my dismay, although some of the remedies helped temporarily, the pain didn’t completely resolve. My energy was lower than it’s been for years and I started to feel despondant and quite emotionally low. I spoke to my Dentist and she sent new combination remedies and essential oils which again helped improve and shift the pain a little but not remove it.
I sat and meditated on whether there could be an emotional block or something I wasn’t looking at or a reason why I needed to take time out. A couple of issues came up and I worked on these – again a small positive shift but no big change. I changed my remedies again and actually felt a big improvment for several hours but then the pain returned.
I then booked to see my wonderful Cranio-sacral Therapist since I respond really well to her work, and obviously there is huge skeletal displacement involved in any dental work. Again a positive shift and the pain became less general, more localised but still very debilitating. Basically this was day 10 of managing this pain but it not really resolving. I was sleeping a great deal and felt unable to do very much except, whatever pain relief gave me respite for a few hours.
I spoke to my Dentist again and we agreed that I had exhausted most of my toolbox of possibilities and I was getting weaker and weaker. I had developed a worrying sore on my hand that turned septic, and we agreed that the infection had been released into my system after many years of being contained and that I was in such a low energetic state that I was simply unable to fight it. I made the decision to take anti-biotics and within an hour of taking the first one I felt a massive reduction in pain, although my exhaustion, nausea and slight headache remained. I knew I had made the right decision for me at this time. It wasn’t an easy decision since I haven’t taken any kind of pharmaceutical drug for decades and I have done alot of work on raising the health of my gut. But energetically I had had enough and I figured I would cope better than many people with the fall out from Anti-biotics because of my general good health, and because I know what I need to do to ensure minimum damage. I began pro-biotics – at seperate times from the anti-biotics – and re-focused my health plan to target fighting infection and boosting my gut health, eg I always respond well to Echinaccea tincture which boosts the cleaning action of the blood so I started taking that.
Once the pain had lifted, my whole energy lifted, I was able to think straight and able to find much more appropriate remedies to aid my recovery. I am now convalescing (see previous blog)!! I am also very aware of a number of valuable lessons from this whole experience.
Lesson 1. I had a brief moment of feeling that I had failed, that I must be a rubbish Practitioner if I couldn’t even help myself etc etc! But then I wised up and realised that I was asking an awful lot of myself to be able to treat myself Homeopathically. I am not currently under the care of a Homeopath and it’s often difficult to prescribe accurately or effectively for yourself when you are not firing on all cylinders. Selecting a Homeopathic remedy is not like matching a drug to a diagnosis, it demands someone with a clear head, an understanding of the bigger picture and ideally some knowledge of you. First on my ‘to do’ list – find a Homeopathic Practitioner that I can work with long term and who I can call upon in these kind of situations. That old saying ‘Practitioner heal thyself’ is misleading, knowing your limitations when you are ill and trusting someone elses expertise is sometimes needed for healing.
Lesson 2. I had not considered my own general energy levels and therefore my ability to use remedies and heal quickly, which is something I would always take into account when I prescribe for my Clients. This is a bit like throwing someone a rope in quicksand and expecting them to catch it and have the strength to haul their way out despite having been there for days and be totally lacking in the necessary strength to do that! I under-estimated just how much work I had done over the last year, both personally and in my business and how low in energy I had become. My difficult journey home used up the last of the spare energy I had and there was simply not enough to spare to use remedies effectively. I am now looking back at all I have achieved over the past 12 months and giving myself a massive pat on the back but also giving myself permission to take my foot off the brake for a bit and re-charge my batteries. As a Health Practitioner and a Mum, (and just because that’s the way I am), I am constantly giving away a great deal of my precious energy. I had become less vigilant at taking time off or putting things in place to protect myself and to mitigate the effects of always helping others – basically not enough self-care! This was my wake up call to rectify that.
Lesson 3. I am so grateful for all the years of knowledge that I have aquired, for natural and effective means of pain relief and self-care. There are so many different, quite simple methods that I called upon to give me some pain relief – Clove oil was my best friend for a few days – it totally anaesthetises the area – and heat from a hot water bottle really helped. But the thing that gave me the most lasting relief was Coffee Enemas! Many of you may be squeamish about this but I started using coffee enemas a few years ago for various reasons and during this tooth pain, they were brilliant at pain relief. The first one took away the awful headache I was experiencing immediately, and it did not return. Every time I did an enema my pain levels reduced for several hours. There are loads of inexpensive enema kits on sale online – mine cost approx €25 – I would advise a metal bucket over a plastic bag. There are also tons of information sites on how to use them and why they are as effective as they are, I will post some links below this blog. I found simple meditations gave me relief as well as Qi Gong exercises and EFT – despite the pain I did not once think about taking an anti-inflammatory or pain killer since all that I was doing gave me the same relief but without side effects and at no cost.
Lesson 4. The importance of knowing how to make an informed choice that is appropriate and right for me and me alone. I did not rush into taking anti-biotics but tried a number of methods first that had worked well for me in the past. In making the decision I assessed my healing ability at the time, the fact that I was not responding to methods that had worked for me in the past. I assessed the nature of the problem – the possibility of systemic sepsis indicated by the sore on my hand. I also made a committment to doing whatever it takes to recover and re-build my health after the anti-biotics and to ensure that I wasn’t going to repeat an unhealthy pattern of behaviour and end up with another crisis. In short I knew why I had got ill and what I needed to do to prevent a repetition. I made an informed and balanced choice.
I salute all of you who may be living with constant pain – it is so debilitating. I would just urge you to re-consider your healthcare plan if it consists solely of pharmaceutical drugs or solely of any one type of healthcare method. If you are still suffering, whatever you are doing is not working and you owe it to your self to try another approach. Of all the pain relief methods I particularly recommend the coffee enemas – the story goes that it was one of Florence Nightingales nurses who discovered their effectiveness at pain relief during the Crimean War when there was precious little alternative. Coffee enemas not only offer effective pain relief but also help stimulate the liver. There are many studies proving it’s efficacy in a variety of diseases. Modern Pain killing drugs have many side effects especially on the liver and especially when taken on a regular basis, so why not try a coffee enema instead?
I did think twice about writing about this experience since I obviously don’t want anyone to conclude that the only thing that ever works in any situation is pharmaceutical drugs! I have spent the past 2 decades using Homeopathy and other holistic healthcare methods solely, and they have been brilliantly effective. I have in the main been healthy and in no need of pharmaceuticals. I do not see my decision as a defeat of any kind but rather a recognition that in some situations, emergency measures are called for – and this is what they should be used for, when all other avenues have been exhausted not as the first choice repeatedly. I am more than aware that I will have some work to do to mop up after this episode and some of that will be to look after my gut after the damage of the anti-biotics. This will be done with food and supplements, regular Cranio-sacral therapy and Homeopathy, it can not be done with drugs.