Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Doctor as Patient

I fell into a hole. Literally. A three foot hole, to be exact.

After a visit to urgent care to rule out any broken bones (although hairline fractures may not show up on x-ray until they start to mend), my body has started to repair itself. Slowly. What is strange about the healing process is how the pain changes. Initially, I felt numbness and pain over my right hip (diagnosed as meralgia paresthetica). The numbness has been fading, the pains changing from dull and achy to burning. The back pain won't allow me to stay in one position for too long, can't get comfortable sitting, standing, or sleeping. I have bruises on bony areas that are super tender to touch; seatbelts and low waistbands aggravate. Visits to the chiropractor have been invaluable, for a few moments I feel relief, then the pain returns. My mind was foggy for a few days, most likely due to a contrecoup concussion according to my chiropractor. Sigh.

How does a doctor manage as a patient? Minutes after my accident, I took Arnica 200c. I believe my bruising would have been much worse had I not taken that homeopathic remedy. Amy, the MD at urgent care was pretty confident in my compliance with her treatment plan: rest, ice, antiinflammatories. Rest has been challenging. When I work at the school's clinics I take things slow, but it's hard to stay still, I'm constantly standing up, shuffling about. Because of this restlessness, I am unable to take new patients in my private practice at the moment. I have been managing established patients over the phone for now. I ice my back during those moments I can sit still, mostly at home after hot showers or when I decompress after working. Instead of ibuprofen, I am taking a natural antiinflammatory product containing proteolytic enzymes, botanical and homeopathic remedies. I wasn't sure if it was working so I didn't take it one day and realized, yes, it's definitely working. I apply Inflamyar, a homeopathic cream for musculoskeletal problems, to my back, hip, shin...even to the site I received my tetanus shot (those things hurt!). My chiropractor kinesiotaped my hip to reduce the swelling. I've reduced my coffee intake considerably and am currently cooking up a pot of bone broth/Biehler's broth with a lot of turmeric (another antiinflammatory). I treated my scrapes with Minor Surgery tincture, a fabulous topical product containing echinacea, goldenseal, and calendula succus.

The pain is changing and is worse at times. This burning sensation is new and indicative of nerve involvement. When I start to worry, I think of this quote by poet Khalil Gibran:

"Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears."

I not only need to listen to my doctors, I need to trust the physician within.

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