Archive | November, 2011

Clear Passage – part 2

16 Nov

So, uh, day two was a little LOT more intense than day 1. I arrived at 9am and met with Evette again. This time she spent the hour focused on my uterus and bladder – it felt more intense than the day before, but she was just getting things warmed up! My second hour was with Larry (Belinda’s hubby and the other co-founder) and all I can say is “holy crap”.

He seems like a bit of an odd duck, but nice. Passionate about his work and really wanting me to be involved – ie, let him know exactly what I’m feeling and where, if any of the treatment was too intense and any emotions that might come up during the treatment. We chatted for about 10 minutes and then he got down to business.

He started by doing a general assessment of my abdominal organs. It was so interesting to feel how pliable things are on the left but how rigid things are on the right. When he was done that, he positioned himself sitting beside the table, facing me with my right leg draped over his right shoulder and then he started digging massaging my lower right abdomen. Gradually he increased the depth/pressure until I was sure he could feel the table through my back! He slowly (like 20 mins) worked his way up the right side of my abdomen to just below my ribs (most of the time I was feeling like things were on fire and ripping in my belly a ‘slight burning sensation’). At this point he had moved my leg back onto the table and it basically felt like he was folding my liver in half! I spent much of this time focusing on my breathing and talking myself through it like I do women in labour (“slow deep breaths, relax your shoulders, relax your hips, let all your weight sink down into the bed”). His treatment felt “productive”. Then, while he was kicking the crap out of my transverse colon (right across the top of my abdomen) I got all flushed and nauseated! Hello vaso-vagal response, how nice to see you! This lasted about 10 mins. Then he started to work his way back down my right side and I guess his hands were getting tired because then he stood up, raised the table, and started having a go at me with his ELBOWS! Good grief! This lasted about another 15 minutes and then we were all done. Phew!

Now I should point out, that all the while he kept checking in with me, making sure the pressure was ok, making sure I was ok. They are not trying to intentionally inflict pain, but sometimes breaking down scar tissue is a painful process – there is no way around it. Like I said, it felt effective. And looked effective. My belly was red for at least an hour afterwards…

Then it was time for lunch and since I only had an hour break, mom brought lunch to the clinic. We ate and then went for my prescribed walk around the neighbourhood before starting back again for the afternoon.

The first session of the afternoon had Evette hanging out with my cervix and tailbone again. And again, not so bad. It is however, an odd feeling to have someone massaging your tailbone from the inside!

The last session of the day had me with Kim again. I really warmed up to her this time – she seems like a lot of fun. She picked up where Larry left off – by kicking the crap out of my guts. She was focused on my left side though (equal opportunity for abdominal abuse today) and by the time she was done with me I was also feeling pretty done as well.

We came home and sat by the pool for a bit. I was eating arnica by the handful, slathering myself in homeopathic creams for inflammation and bruising and I also slept for a while. Several hours later I still had finger marks and redness all over my abdomen and I really felt beat up.

Mom and I went out for a bite to eat and a drink (we toasted to my pain and suffering) and then we went shopping for a bit (they told me I have to walk, they didn’t say it couldn’t be around a store – haha). As I was trying on some clothes, I noticed my poor red belly in the mirror – what really stood out though, was my appendix scar. Ever since I can remember, my belly has been puckered in along the scar, with a distinct divet to be felt. But now, it’s mostly gone! CRAZY. There is still one small part that puckers, but it looks totally different. I ran out of the change room to show my mom, but she didn’t really know what she was looking at. But I do because I’ve been looking at it for 9 years and it looks different. Scar tissue be gone!

At this point I was starting to feel really bruised and battered so we went home, I did my castor oil pack and went to bed. Nervous about letting them touch my abdomen tomorrow, but excited by the changes.

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Clear Passage – Day 1

16 Nov

I’m not holding any details back in these entries, so consider yourself warned! 🙂

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Background is here.

My first appointment was scheduled for Monday, 9am. We arrived a few minutes early to fill out some last minute paperwork and make the final payment (thanks mom!). The place was clean and cozy and less flashy than I had imagined (I figured private health clinic in the US would be big on appearances). It is in an office/clinic complex – small waiting room when you first walk in with lots of magazines and books on health, well-being and fertility stuff. Once we were all settled, the administrator took me on a little tour of the place – washrooms, treatment rooms, kitchen that can be used by us as well. Mom came with me and sat in on the first two sessions.

I was given a robe and fuzzy blanket that are mine for the week. I was also given a paper gown that I was told I would wear during treatments. She said they would be replaced as I went because they might get a little torn up – I didn’t think she meant they would actually be ripped apart! But that’s what they do, as you lay there, they rip open the parts they need to access whatever part of your body they are working on. Keeps you covered otherwise though…..some of the pictures I saw before hand had people with strategically placed towels but I guess the laundry got to be a pain in the butt? Who knows…..

Anyway, my first one hour session was with Evette – a really lovely woman from Louisiana. For this first hour, she did an overall assessment of me. Had me standing in a bra and underwear poking, prodding and looking at my posture, feeling where there might be restrictions, checking my range of motion etc. The consensus is that my right side is wound up tight tight tight. From head to toe.

After a 10 minute break, I met Kim – also lovely, but at this point I liked Evette the best. Kim did the first ‘hands-on’ treatment – basically, she massaged my abdomen for an hour, all the while feeling for the mobility (or not) of various organs. She also felt that I had a lot of restrictions on the right side – things just aren’t moving and sliding around as much as they should be. Her session was ok in terms of intensity. Felt like a lot of treatments I have had from my osteopath before. Some stuff she did elicited some strange pulling and tugging sensations in other parts of my abdomen, but that would only make sense if you think that things are all stuck together in there.

After that I had a two hour break where mom and I did some grocery shopping for the week. We have a hotel with a kitchen, so we can cook our own food rather than eating out so much.

Then back we went for the afternoon sessions. This time I met Belinda (one of the two co-founders). She was a little less warm and fuzzy, a little more clinical. She did some work on my sacrum and my hips. Like my osteopath, it feels like there’s not a whole lot happening and then she straightens out my leg real fast (or something) and I feel all kids of things shifting in my pelvic bones and tightness I didn’t know I had disappears! Magic. She worked on my abdomen a bit, giving a decent amount of attention to the area around my appendix scar.

Another 10 minute break and then back with Evette for the final session of the day – she wanted to finish the assessment from the morning, this time paying particular attention to my cervix. It wasn’t so bad (though it was strange to be on the receiving end for a change). She was checking the position and mobility of my cervix and tailbone and started doing a bit of treatment on it (ie pushing it around). I was prepared for much worse, and I’m happy to report it wasn’t so bad. During this session, we talked a lot about my job and her births and the culture of birth in the US. How odd to be talking midwifery while someone is mucking around with my cervix – definitely a first!

They said I might be a bit achy after the treatment and they recommend walking after the morning and afternoon sessions and also epsom salt baths etc. All in all I felt pretty good. Took my arnica, walked and swam in the pool and had a warm bath. At the end of the day I was still feeling a little apprehensive about how effective this will all be, but hopeful.

Oh, and as an adjunct to all of this, before I left I picked up the new protocol my naturopath wants to try – which basically involves me taking 30 pills a day (to help decrease inflammation and scar tissue and help my liver to detox). We thought the treatments and her protocol would be enhanced by happening together. And it does feel kind of therapeutic to focus on myself so much for this week – my diet is great, I’m drinking lots of water and getting some decent rest. All good things!

Feeling defeated…

1 Nov

As you all know, my diet has been REALLY REALLY good since the beginning of September when my friend started cooking at my house. All kinds of GFV yumminess being consumed and frozen for those on-the-run meals.

So you’ll understand why I’m so puzzled as to why I’ve been SUPER SICK since Sunday. A while back I had posted about a new health issue that I wasn’t prepared to talk about – basically I found out that my fallopian tubes are, in the words of the doctor, “a train wreck”. In short, I have bilateral hydrosalpinx – he says caused by my endo (but I have my doubts – more on that later**). It is so bad that my tubes, which are normally supposed to be the width of a human hair, are now dilated to an inch in diameter, the entire length of the tube and filled with who knows what. The doctor said they are some of the worst he’s seen and given this chronic infection in my pelvis, he’s surprised I’m not sick – like really sick.

Except, the funny thing is I DO get sick when I get my period – and have for a couple of years. On days 2 and 3 of my cycle, I get bloated, achy and chilled. One time it was so bad (before I knew what it was) that I made Ian take me to the hospital where they kept me all day, heavily medicated on painkillers, did all kinds of tests and said they didn’t know what was wrong with me. A few other times I went off-call ’cause I just didn’t know what was going on and I just felt awful. Lately though, it’s been manageable – and better since my diet changes.

This month though, has been the worst it’s ever been (except for the time I went to the hospital). I was so bloated I looked pregnant and my entire abdomen hurt to the touch. I am nauseated (haven’t really eaten much in 3 days) and any time I do eat it gives me terrible intestinal cramps. I feel like I have the flu – weak, achy, chilled, fever. And yet, when one of my midwife friends came to do blood work on me yesterday, the results showed ZERO infection. Absolutely no increase in white blood cells. Being the medical mystery that I am however, I am not surprised – when my appendix was taken out I had no increase in white blood cells; when I went to the hospital so sick two years ago, no increase in white blood cells. I wonder if my body is just so used to being chronically inflammed that it takes more than a little pelvic infection to register with my immune system.

Ugh.

The solution that they offered me was to take my tubes out. Not an option I’m keen on – up until the past few days, I have really liked my tubes and want to keep them around as long as I can. But, if this is going to be an ongoing thing – my tubes and I are going to have to revisit their tenancy agreement.

Being the hippie that I am, and holding my firm belief that the body can heal itself if given a chance (you’ll recall last year during my GVF trial that I had NONE of these sickness symptoms that final month), I am not giving up. I will keep eating GFV and doing things to promote wellness and healing in my body. And as a further part of that little endeavour, I am flying to Florida in 10 days for some physical therapy, not unlike intensive Osteopathic treatment.

Clear Passage claims to be able to break down adhesions and scar tissue from endometriosis, previous surgeries, IBS and a whole host of other things, including treating blocked tubes. They do this by doing some pretty deep, intensive, abdominal massage for 4 hours a day (2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon) for five days. Some people might call it quackery, but given what I know about massage and osteopathic treatment, I am hopeful for SOME kind of improvement.

And as a nice bonus, my mom is coming with me – so even if it is total hooey, I’ll still have a nice week in Florida with my mom. And after how I have felt this week, that will be a nice treat!

Though I am hopeful about the continued diet and the treatment in Florida, this sickness has me feeling pretty defeated. Even more so the fact that I can feel so terrible and it doesn’t even register with my body. That is just not fair.

 

**As to why my tubes are blocked, I have my suspicions that it is a result of the hysterosalpingogram that I had done in December 2009. At that time, I was told that my tubes were nice and normal in size and shape and open. In August of 2011, the ultrasound showed a train wreck. How does this happen? The doctor said that an infection from that is highly unlikely….but, you know me! I seriously wonder if my immune system didn’t just over-react to the dye in my tubes (given my auto-immune pre-disposition to attack everything in sight) and cause the blockage. He thinks I’m crazy. My GP knows how messed up my body is and she also had the same question. I guess we’ll never know….