I cannot give an overview of the treatment approaches and healing process I have been going through the past year and a half. I've realized I can only give snapshots of where I am now and try to explain as I go along, which means you can only begin reading my story from the middle. I hope, however, that with enough snapshots I can give you an idea of how I have been finding health at long last.
~ Warning: This post contains gross stuff including feces, vomit, and menstrual blood. ~
Today was menstrual cramps day 1. This usually means that after some cramping I'll be hit with an hour or two of severe cramping pain with dry heaving, vomiting, loss of bowel control and sometimes bladder as well. It means writhing uncontrollably on the bathroom floor, screaming and moaning inbetween bouts of the vomit/bowel stuff. In the moment I can't life my head up or even sit up so there's no way to contain the mess, just try to roll or scoot away from it so I stay clean-ish.
I'm getting pretty good at that, actually. It takes a lot of skill to navigate between so many piles of filth all the while writhing so spastically that the bruises are inevitable. I used to require a caregiver to help me through these to give me water, pain meds, distraction, comfort, and cleanliness. These days I hoof it on my own, and now genuinely prefer it that way. Alone, I can go into a state of deep meditation. This means in the midst of all the agony I can connect with my body instead of resisting it or trying to ignore the suffering.
I can't begin to tell you how I've been working on this non-stop the past 18 months, and only get the hang of it a little bit more each time. So let me just tell you about this time. It will sound weird, but this is my approach to my healing process.
Cramps were worsening, and I felt the need to use the toilet. A bowel movement is usually the thing that spins them out of control. I have various structural strains throughout the pelvic region and also internal adhesions in my abdomen (confirmed my a neuromusculoskeletal specialist, a.k.a. cranial osteopath medical doctor). The standard medical approach is surgery. The osteopathic approach is much slower, gradually coaxing movement into bones and tissues to expand to their appropriate places. It's hard to create an environment where it's even possible because you have to be so relaxed, so emotionally fluid, and protected from stress. And then once possible, it's hard to let it happen because it hurts like hell at times when your body is pulling itself apart or restoring sensation to nerve that have been compressed for decades. And all this is without the menstrual cramps.
Few would understand the experience I'm about to share now, but hopefully more will in the future.
So my cramps began worsening, I knew I had to go to the toilet, and it was likely to tip off this month's nightmare. There was a chance it wouldn't. My tailbone is turned inwards too far but just these past 6 months it's been trying to expand outwards. About a week before my period hits my body will object to sitting or lying in any position that touches my tailbone. The objection isn't pain, just a grumpy "HEY, I'm tryin' to expand here, ya mind?" type thing. Ignoring that message just shoots myself in the foot, so I accommodate it. Last month's cramping gave me the weirdest sensation that was similar to the feeling I needed to pass gas, except 10X stronger and I HAD no gas to fart. This month, I felt the same thing as I approached the toilet.
Calm, relaxed, breathing. Hopefully I can do this without triggering the event. I let one arm stroke the other in comfort. I've learned the importance of comforting myself. Turns out I had a lot of hang-ups to tackle before I could do it effectively. Still practicing that.
The stool was large, and hard. It didn't feel right to push, so I didn't. Instead I gently cradled my hips in my hands and focused on consoling the area. My body instinctively bore down -- and then stopped midway, holding that position. I breathed. I waited. And apparently my body just wanted to chill like that for a while, stool partially hanging out of me as my muscles prevented it from retreating or emerging. I set aside the idea of forcing it out (for the moment) and focused on my breathing, of being okay with this. In my half-daze of meditative awareness it occurred to me that this situation was creating the exact type of pressure needed to push my tailbone outwards, the direction it needs to go.
People ask me if I'm still seeing that doctor who's been getting me well. Occasionally, whenever I feel like I'm getting stuck. But nowadays there's usually nothing a treatment can do for me that my body can't figure out itself, provided the conditions are right.
And the person is willing to follow the body's lead in healing. I mean, really, how many people are going to sit there on a toilet in a state of deep meditation with a large, hard stool halfway out and going nowhere fast? I completely lost track of time. After a while my body began taking short breaks. It would stop bearing down, which meant the stool retreated, and I would stand up for a few seconds to accommodate my legs' complaints. Then my body wanted another go at it so I'd sit down and the fun would resume. I began cautiously breaking off parts of it from the very end, careful not to jolt my body as I did so. The slightest wrong bump of the stool caused my muscles to recoil and disrupted the my chilled state of mind.
I began to sense my cramps intensifying, probably because I still hadn't emptied my colon which had requested, what, 45 minutes ago? I lost track of time. In any case, my abdomen was getting fed up with all the dilly-dallying and when the rest of my pelvis refused to listen a protest began in the form of nausea and heat flashes that induced sweating all over as the pain intensified.
The Major Event had been triggered - I knew from extensive past experience that there was no going back now. I took a quiet moment to resign myself to the fate, provided what self-comfort I could, and then finally forced out that stool as gently as possible. My pelvis hated me for that, instantly seizing up and seconds later I was in the deep throes of my familiar monthly drama.
All in a day's healing, Part 1
Blog entry posted by Dainty, Nov 19, 2013.
About the Author
Dainty became ill as a teenager and spent 7 years mostly bedridden from ME/CFS, life-threatening MCS reactions, extreme food allergies/sensitivities, cognitive impairment, fibromyalgia, episodes of temporary paralysis and various unexplained emergencies. The past 5 years she has experienced profound improvement from various treatment approaches. With homelessness and PTSD presenting as significant obstacles, she continues to pursue healing full time and find incorrigible opportunities to enjoy life.