PTSD, Eczema, IBS-C and Hypnotic Regression

At last, good news on the eczema front!!

A brief history.

I got a bad breakout of eczema on the bottom of my feet about this time last year. It was the dry, cracked, bleeding kind and so painful to walk on by September that I barely moved from the couch some days.

I tried Cortisone cream and drugstore creams with oatmeal, all to no avail. (I think they’re created not to heal. If they worked, the manufacturers would go out of business.)

I tried applying diluted apple cider vinegar per earthclinic.com. It burned horribly, probably because the skin was cracked and bleeding. I think the ACV remedy works better with wet eczema vs. dry.

Given eczema is inflammation, I asked, What am I inflamed about? What emotional energy is trying to manifest?

I expected to tap into buried anger, but instead found a disconcerting mix of emotions—anger, sadness, frustration, regret, fear, nostalgia, hope—all wound together tight as a drum.

I’ve practiced Trauma Releasing Exercises for years now. It’s been fantastic relieving me of some of my PTSD symptoms, but it’s had no effect on my feeties.

I meditated frequently and before going deep, I’d ask to be shown how to heal the eczema. Occasionally in the past, I’ve gotten “screen shot” answers on different questions, but in response to this one, the Universe remained silent.

I went to an acupuncturist three times. Relaxing, but it didn’t seem to change anything.

Because of my experience releasing buried trauma energy (see PTSD: Frozen in Time), I kept thinking the answer lies in my body. Whatever I dissociated through the years, I came to understand “the body remembers”. (Also the title of a great PTSD book by Babette Rothschild.) So I took up yoga, going two or three times a week, to access muscles I rarely use hoping to release whatever energy I might have absorbed, but not processed.

I also began hiking regularly in the mountains. How I love the silence there. The beautiful, healing and vibrant silence. The shamans say nature heals, so at the beginning of the hikes, I’d ask the spirit of the mountains and the spirit of the desert and the spirit of the Hohokum Native Americans for their healing energy. (I brought them each a small gift.)

My wellbeing definitely improved and I  sometimes found myself feeling uncharacteristically calm.

Then I came across a YouTube video that recommended topically applying castor oil to the eczema. I gave it a try and it’s working! I’ve been doing it a month now and today, there’s only about 10% of the eczema left.

HOORAY!!!

***

As for the IBS-C…BOO!!!

I decided to try a few Reiki sessions, as well as hypnotic regression therapy, to see if they could alleviate the tummy pain that almost nightly prevents me from sleeping or wakes me all night long.

I went to a GI doctor first to see if anything had changed since I had tests done in Chicago. The ultra sound showed no sign of abnormality. My blood tests were normal, too, which was reassuring since sometimes, when I’m going on the fifth night of broken sleep and severe pain, I’m absolutely certain I’m dying.

Anyhoo, the doctor gave me a two-week’s sample supply of Trulance. It didn’t work for me, although I read in online forums that a lot of people have success with it. (Just as well it wasn’t effective for me, since the copay was over $400. There are coupons available for 90-day supplies, but I don’t know how much they’d knock off the price.)

Then the doctor called in a scrip for Linzess, but the copay on that was over $300 for a month’s supply, so not an option.

I tried Amitiza a couple years ago. Didn’t work for me, although it helps my cousin.

The doctor also gave me the anti-spasmodic Bentyl (generic: Dicyclomine) with the instructions that I could take up to four 10 mg. pills a day.

In the beginning, I waited for the pain before taking a pill and found it didn’t help much or if it did, it took several hours.

Then I took it regularly (4X a day). It seemed like I felt better after a week or ten days. I was shocked to find myself sleeping like a baby through the entire night a few times. (A side effect of Bentyl is drowsiness.)

Oh, the sleep was heaven.

I also seemed more regular.

I kept expecting weight loss between the yoga, mountain climbing and my normal 1-½ hour workouts 5X a week. Instead, I gained several pounds in ten days!! I couldn’t believe it. I researched online and discovered another potential side effect of this drug is weight gain.

Total bummer.

I stopped taking it and started feeling crummy again. I decided three days ago to eat less and take the Bentyl regularly again. I’ve had two really bad nights, but it can take up to two weeks to kick, so the jury’s still out on this one.

***

I’m going to a seminar with Dr. Brian Weiss this weekend. He’s written several books about hypnotic regression and reincarnation, including his most popular: Many Lives, Many Masters. You can check him out on YouTube.

Evidently, some people lose their phobias, anxiety and all kinds of disabling physical conditions by doing hypnotic regression and recalling the previous life that explains their current issue. It would be so great if I regressed to a previous life where I was run through the tummy by a sword or something and, in remembering, became forever free of my tummy pain.

I don’t expect this will happen. The tummy issue might be tied into my soul’s evolution for this life, but you never know. Here’s hoping.

I’ll report back.

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PTSD, Eczema, IBS-C, and Thoughts of a Thursday in December

First off, a follow-up on the application of apple cider vinegar to the eczema on the bottom of my feet.

It didn’t help in any way.

Please don’t take my experience as universal. A lot of people on earthclinic.com said it worked for them. Maybe the nature of my eczema, which looks like a big red burn on the middle of each of my feet, isn’t conducive to that kind of remedy. The skin is extremely dry, peels and burns. There are no – sorry to gross you out – pustules. Maybe it would work better for that kind of condition.

I had this kind of dream of life planned after Jack and my uncle died. I’d get up early and hike in the mountains or do my walk/sprints nearby on pretty landscaped streets. I’d meet someone to hit balls with on a tennis court. I’d do yoga regularly at a place a few blocks away. I’d attend my support meetings and meet new friends. Maybe I’d volunteer at a stable and curry horses or volunteer at a hospital.

But the Universe has given me a big fat NO to these ideas.

Ever since my uncle’s memorial mid-November, my stomach has been killing me. It’s IBS-C and wakes me all night. Sometimes I can’t sleep at all. I might go four nights with little or no sleep, which is a total drag. I do not want to ever be so sleep deprived again that I hallucinate as I did years ago. (See my book PTSD: Frozen in Time or the short-read Startle: A True Story of PTSD and the Paranormal on Amazon.)

Interestingly, the inflamed area on my feet correlates to the stomach/GI area in the reflexology chart.

As far as the body-mind connection goes, if it’s anger trying to erupt, if it’s that simmering beneath my skin, I wish I could feel it, so I could release it.

Sadness, I release every day.

I wonder if it could be feelings of horror at what Jack and my uncle went through since I had a nightmare last night of a family having been horribly murdered in a camper outside my bedroom window. There was often no time to absorb, process and release trauma energy in the hospitals last year. Ditto with my uncle this summer.

Anyhoo, as a result of the pain and increasing exhaustion, I haven’t left the house much, but I do go to the post office almost every day of the week because I have a little business selling products on the internet.

Last week, I stood in line at USPS and started talking to the guy in front of me. He emanated such an incredible healing energy, he practically glowed.

When he told me he was 78 and a Viet Nam veteran, I said, “Forgive me for asking, but did you develop PTSD?”

His face clouded a moment. “Yes.”

I said, “You have such a healing energy around you, it’s tangible. Do you still have PTSD?”

He said, “No.”

I said, “How did you heal it?”

He smiled big and pointed towards the sky.

Our conversation soon ended as it was his turn next at the USPS counter.

I have no doubt he experienced a miracle.

Unfortunately, we don’t all get them. Although, when you think about it, if all of us did get miracles on demand for disabling conditions or difficult scenarios, what an absurd world it would be.

It’s my belief we choose to incarnate to evolve our souls (or contribute to the progress of mankind) through various challenges. We don’t necessarily see the details of how we might suffer or be challenged, but we know the issues we will work through as a result.

In Ram Dass’ Polishing the Mirror, he talks about being aware of our storyline in this incarnation, of being a witness to the soap opera or melodrama in order to get distance and perspective on it. I like that.

As for pain, he says, “Once you start to awaken spiritually, you reperceive your own suffering and start to work with it as a vehicle for further awakening.”

He admits when he had a stroke, he was overwhelmed for a while–I think for a few years–but eventually he saw it as a vehicle that pushed him into his soul.

He said “I am inside, and I live with the pain—not as the pain, but with the pain.”

Whatever we believe about this mystery of life we’re in the midst of, when we experience pain and suffering, we have a choice: to find a way to benefit from it or give up somehow, push it away, numb ourselves, get lost in blame and the details of the soap opera.

I certainly numbed myself for years, inadvertently with PTSD meds and, later, purposely with painkillers.

I’m not numb anymore, that’s for sure.

I wish I was as evolved as Ram Dass and felt my pain as grace, but I’m not that refined a soul at this point.

I do try to find a way to make periods like I’m going through work for me. I have plans ready for when the pain wakes me at night like working on my novel or writing to someone. Sometimes I’ll plug in my earbuds and listen to Binaural Beats while doing mindful mediation. I pray for others when I hurt, too.

When I do get quality sleep, oh happy day!! I’m appreciative of everything–the clear blue sky, the fresh air, the delightful palm trees, the comforting mountains surrounding the valley. Yesterday, I felt almost unreasonable joy dancing around my kitchen to The Isley Brothers’ “Harvest for the World”.

I went to the post office and started talking to the woman behind me. She was a 71-year old black lady named Fannie Mae. I was so grateful for her warmth, openness and kindness. The pain has isolated me. She told me a little about her life as we stood outside later and I told her a little about mine. She told me she sang. I asked her what kind of songs she sang. She said, “I’ll sing two.” And right there and then, outside the post office, she sang me two gospel songs. She had a beautiful voice. The first song made me cry–in a good way–and the second made me smile inside.

The Universe said YES.