Week of January 27, 2015 - Trauma Care in the Wild, Part Two

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 1:40 PM | Anonymous

Trauma Care in the Wild, part two

I want to tell you what happened when I fell and hurt my wrist in Costa Rica. I want to tell you about the many interesting ways we worked to ease my pain and heal the trauma. And I also want to tell you about what step of healing we were using. (The Six Steps of Healing are found in the front of my Breast Book, my Menopause Book, and Down There.)

We began, as always, with Serenity Medicine: Step 0, Do Nothing. We assessed the situation, saw that it was not life-threatening, and took the time we needed to find our calm centers. I focused on breathing out. Alex and Eaglesong attended quietly. They did not ask me questions. They did not voice fears that may have been in their minds. Breathing out calms the vagus nerve, diminishing pain and limiting swelling in traumatic injuries.

We continued to assess the situation. I remained conscious. I could ambulate. I was moaning, but not crying or screaming. My Frightened/Curious Child wanted (and still wants) to know “What has happened? Are the bones broken? Is there nerve damage?” The nearest x-ray was ten hours away, so fear and curiosity, and the insistent demands of Story Medicine: Step 1, Collect Information, would have to wait.

“I heal quickly and well.”

“My body has a map of its own perfection; it recreates and heals itself perfectly.”

These affirmations could be considered Story Medicine, for they tell a story, but I am more likely to think of them as Faith Medicine: Step 2, Engage the Energy. The homeopathic arnica gel that we applied (and continue weeks later to apply) to my unbroken, but swollen and bruised, skin is also in this step.  . . . as are the beautiful well wishes for my healing I am receiving. I found in my travel bag Personal Safety, a mountain/tree remedy made from dew, and rubbed one drop on my skin and swallowed three drops. And just yesterday, a kind young woman offered me a pellet of Arnica 200x, which I joyfully swallowed.

Step 2 is as wide as the human imagination. It is the Shaman’s Playground. The Spaciousness Exercise, which I detailed last week, is Mind Medicine. From the first moment, my other hand held and cradled my hurt wrist, suffusing it with healing energy. Call it what you will – and its names are many – there is an energy that is emitted by the human hand which can greatly reduce pain and hasten healing.  I will continue to engage this aspect of Energy Medicine for as long as it is needed.

Lifestyle Medicine: Step 3, Nourish and Tonify, comes next. As does Alternative Medicine:
Step 4, Stimulate and Sedate. I found no need to use Steps 5 (Use Drugs) or 6 (Break and Enter), Pharmaceutical Medicine and Hi-Tech Medicine always being my last resorts.

As is frequently the case in an accident, there was no time to nourish or tonify me right then, one must rely on the ground that has been built. My daily use of yogurt, cooked greens, and nourishing herbal infusions, as well as my commitment to walking, yoga, tai chi, and resistance exercise, has built strong bones that resist fracture.

So Step 3 steps aside (but don’t worry, she will return), and Step 4 enters, at haste.
Stimulate and Sedate (especially sedate) are just what we need when dealing with trauma. Skullcap tincture (made from 100 proof vodka and fresh, flowering plants) was my ally to relieve pain. Small doses (5-8 drops) sedate the pain without sedating me.  I have judged my healing by the hours I can go between doses. (The first night: every two hours. The second day, every four hours. Now, twelve days later, once or twice a day.)

Alex offered to poultice my arm with a Costa Rican plant that his mother used when he hurt himself. That’s Step 4, too. And I will tell you all about it next week.
To be continued...

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