Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Inflamed, part 1

I went to see my alternative health care practitioner today.  I mentioned her before in one of the migraine posts.  She is wonderful.  She's a chiropractor, but she doesn't ever crack anything-- she says she helps your body adjust itself.  I don't entirely understand what that means, but it works for me, so I'm not going to complain.  It's a bit like getting a massage, but without the decadent feeling.

I've been seeing her for four or five years now.  Usually I go every other week; sometimes once a month.  It just depends.  We started out working on my migraines.  When those got so much better, I quit going for awhile, only to discover that she was part of the reason they're so much better.  Most of the time I see it as a "tune-up," part of taking care of myself.

But sometimes new things come up, and she has helped me heal from several physical things unrelated to migraines (like last winter when I sprained my ankle in a graceful move on our stairs) and the occasional emotional trauma as well.  As anyone who has experienced alternative health care can tell you, emotional trauma and physical ailments are often connected. 

You know, since I've never written about this, I'm feeling the need for an aside here.  Unlike many who use alternative health care, I don't have any problem with conventional medical treatments (and vice versa).  In fact, when my migraines were at their very worst about ten years ago and I had tried all kinds of alternative remedies, good old drugs, just plain old pharmaceuticals from major drug corporations, were what finally started digging me out of the misery I was in.  "Better living through chemicals," was my motto at the time.  I believe very firmly in being in charge of your own health, which means I pick and choose the treatments that I want to pursue, whether they're conventional or alternative.  It's my responsibility to be in charge of that.

OK.  now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on, because I haven't even come close to the topic I sat down to type about.

So anyway.  I've been having a lot of trouble with carpal tunnel syndrome for about six months now.  Occasionally it's so bad that it wakes me up at night.  Numbness, tingling, pain, loss of strength.  But it's inconsistent--it will bother me for four or five days, and then go away for a couple of weeks.  So thus far I've been letting Lynne, the chiropractor, deal with it.

This morning when I got up, it was far and away the worst it's ever been--I could barely hold a pen to write out my to-do list.  I was supposed to see Lynne today, anyway, so I asked her if she thought I should have the surgery done.  "Well, that will take care of the pressure on the nerve, for sure," she answered, in her usual calm, gentle voice.  "But it doesn't take care of whatever is causing the pressure in the first place."

Can I just pause here and say I really hate it when she can't just fix me?  Preferably without me having to put any effort into it. *sigh*

What apparently causes CTS is inflammation (usually).  Inflammation can be caused by hormonal changes, dietary factors, weight gain, high cholesterol, arm-intensive activity like painting or carrying heavy weights, and any number of other things.  I could go off on the immediate guilt trip I (of course) went off on (in my head) because of the 15 lbs I've gained in the past year, but even that's not what I want to write about.

So she pulled out Louise Hay.  Just about anyone who has tried alternative health care has run into Louise Hay's books.  You look up your symptoms, and she tells you what the emotion behind it is.  Trouble with your feet?  You're having a problem with moving forward in your life.  Et cetera.  If you've never tried alternative treatments, it may sound nuts, but I've often found her to be pretty spot on.  Sometimes in ways that you don't really want to think about.

So I heave my mental sigh and get ready for whatever it is that I need to deal with, already pretty certain that it's going to be something that I don't want to know.  Lynne flips through the book.  "Let's see... carpal tunnel syndrome.... 'Frustration with feeling that life is not fair.'"

Which IMMEDIATELY caused me to start steaming.  There is a long history here. 

Is there a limit on how long a post can be?  This one is getting too long.  Will continue in part 2.  The good thing about doing it this way is that now I'll have to finish this, because I'm already regretting starting.  


  1. One, step AWAY from that delete button. We've seen it, it's up, we are now anticipating Part 2. Leave this one alone.

    Okay, next. The kids have gotten to the point now where they'll call or text: my friend So And So hurt his/her WhatEver, can you look it up and tell us what it means? And by "looking it up" they mean in the Louise Hay book.

    I started off very self-righteous and judge-y, disdainful of western medicine... except, all three births would have killed me without it, and then more issues arose in our lives that just NEEDED real live medications prescribed. So now I'm like you, much more well balanced about combining them both.

  2. Dr. Tyronea Lowdog - a wonderful Navajo herbalist and medical doctor says - and I paraphrase - there's a wheel of healing & everything belongs on the wheel. The problems arise when certain factors want the whole wheel.

    Several years ago I was having pains in my side. After a couple of weeks I realized it was some kind of liver thing going on. I went to the doctor. He took one look at me, overweight, pointing to my side & said - blah, blah, gallbladder, blah.

    I said - blah, blah, liver, blah.

    Ultimately we agree to test both my gallbladder and my liver. When I returned to get test results he said, nothing wrong with your gallbladder. Your liver functions show that you have hepatitis (whichever one results from tainted food or water & runs through your system in 6 weeks.)

    How did I know it was my liver? Because I was irrationally angry. If you said it was sunny today that might piss me off. Traditional Chinese Medicine says anger resides in the liver.

    Everything belongs on the wheel.