Week of March 24, 2015 - Trauma Care, Part Six

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 3:15 PM | Anonymous

Trauma Care in the Wild, part 6

I am asking everyone for a story that relates to my injury. And I am telling my story.
I keep asking for stories to calm my fears. Like all of us, the fear part of my brain pops up at odd moments and insists that I cannot take care of such a severe injury at home, that I am foolish and unwise. The fear brain needs to hear from “experts.”

Everyday my hands and wrists are healthier and more flexible.

I asked a massage therapist who focuses on sports injuries. She says I have a third-degree ligamentous sprain and that that kind of injury can take months to heal completely. (We are at week ten, not even three months yet. Okay.)

My body heals rapidly and well. (Rapidly is not at internet speed but body speed.)

I asked Aviva Romm, MD, herbalist, midwife, mother of three, and good friend. She says the worst thing that could happen is that circulation could be impaired to my hand. I reassured her that, while that was true for the first few weeks (I could see that my right hand was paler than the uninjured left), full blood flow returned once I got the swelling controlled. (My injured hand and wrist are now a healthy pink; in fact, my right hand is ruddier than my left because I spend part of each day massaging it.)

“Your body has a miraculous ability to heal itself,” Aviva affirmed for me.

Telling the story is just as important as listening to stories. Telling one’s story changes your perception of the health challenge/change. Telling the story changes others and gives us all permission to be more pro-active in own health. I think of the woman who refused to believe that she had to have a C-section for her second child because she had had one for the first. She fought for her right to have a try at birthing naturally. She not only had a successful vaginal birth, she told her story afterward. Because she told her story, all women (and doctors) know that V-BAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) is possible – and preferred.

Telling the story is part of healing. We begin with the first medicine (serenity) and move on through the medicines/rivers, slowly or quickly as the situation demands, until we are in the river of healing that is most effective. So long as we use only the first four medicines (serenity, story, faith, and lifestyle), we need not return, for we have stayed within the rivers that build health. But if we cross the Great Divide, and engage with the last three medicines (alternative, pharmaceutical, hi-tech), we must go back through the medicines in order to be fully healed, whole, and well.

Trauma throws us over the Great Divide and into dangerous rivers where x-rays, surgery, and drugs predominate. We must go back. Modern medical practice now understands the need for restoration surgery, immobilization, and other severe measures, so physical therapy (Step 4: stimulate and sedate) is now standard practice after traumatic injury.

This was not the case 50 years ago when I pulled the ligaments off my left knee in a skiing accident. A cast held my leg immobile for the next three months, and when it was removed, no physical therapy was recommended, or even available when I asked for it. Needless to say, I engaged in long vigorous walks with a home-made weight (there were none for sale at that time) strapped to my left leg for the next six months to rehabilitate the muscles and connective structures of my leg.

I, too, needed the Fifth Medicine: I sedated the pain with herbs. I iced the swelling. So I return. I return to the Fourth Medicine: Lifestyle. I return to the Third Medicine: Faith. I return to the Second Medicine: I tell my story. I return to the First Medicine: Serenity.

Thanks for listening.

To be continued. . .

Weed Walk  ~

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