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New Brain Injury Helps Old Ones Heal?

headinjuryWarning:  Long Post!

I’m in the middle of a bit of an adventure.  Just over three weeks ago, I had a fall while getting out of a tub, and peeled off half my left eyebrow.  Yes, ouch.  My husband Bill was particularly not impressed by all the blood.

Having been through traumatic injuries before, I got out my handy homeopathic Arnica, put it into my drinking water, and snuck it incognito into the hospital with me.  Our Canadian doctors have been trained to use the phrase “little sugar pills” as their analogy for any treatment they consider worthless.  Their loss.

This is me looking unimpressed as Bill decided to document our arrival home, 4 hours, a local anesthetic, and 7 stitches later.  However, I’m glad he took that photo now.  One of my dear ND friends has chided me for not documenting the speed at which healing is possible when you support your body effectively.

While you could definitely argue that I could be a lot more effective in supporting my body (Bill would love it if I got more sleep), injuries bump up my efforts.  And nervous system injuries are something I have experience with.

Starting in high school, I’ve experienced one repetitive strain injury after another in my upper body, usually resulting in numb, tingling, and painful shoulders, arms and hands. While I’ve been able to minimize this with homeopathic, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, trauma-release, and manual therapy tricks I’ve learned, it’s never really gone away….

In addition, I was in my early 30s before the Vagus nerve compression from when I was born was finally released, and I saw a real jump in digestive function.

And in my late 30’s, after I’d pulled out enough heavy metals and other fat soluble toxins for my brain tissues to have more resilience, I undertook about 6 months of the Guéniot Brain Protocol – which is all homeopathic medicines – and acquired a short term memory.

Before the Guéniot protocol, if you gave me a list of things to do or steps to take, about half the time, I could complete the first step without coming back to ask – or figure out – what it was that needed doing.  The other half, I couldn’t even get through the first step without forgetting or confusing it with later steps.

One time in particular really stands out in my memory because of my shame and exasperation with myself.

My step-mother wanted something from the basement, and I said I’d go get it.  However, the family had just moved, and the house was new to me.  She gave me directions that had about six different stages to them.  I’d complete one step, then go back upstairs to her and ask what came next.

Each time, I could get one step closer to the item she wanted.

Bless her forever for not getting impatient and saying something like “Get out of my way, it’s easier for me to do it myself!”

But imagine having to live like that.  My life was on paper:  lists, and schedules, and little scribbled maps.  Everything was so visual, and anytime I had to go somewhere new, I had to work so hard to familiarize myself with each step in the process of getting there.  I couldn’t grocery shop without a careful record of what had run out.

Doing the Guéniot Brain Protocol wasn’t easy.  It’s like pushing the restart button on each key stage of brain development.  And who on EARTH wants to go through the jagged emotions of puberty again?!!  Or start craving pablum?

It was all worth it, though, the day I needed the files.  Usually, I’d notice a file I needed at work, and grimly repeating the name of that file over and over in my mind (not under my breath, or especially not aloud if I could possibly help it), I would cross the room to the cabinet, and look for the file.

Half the time, something would distract me.  I’d then have no clue what I needed from the filing cabinet.   I’d return to my desk, desperately scrabble through what I’d been doing to figure out which file I’d needed, and then go try again.  Some days, I’d have to make 4 or 5 trips to the cabinet for a single file.  It’s a good thing I could make up for that inefficiency by being faster in other ways!

But this one day, all that changed.  I’m most of the way through the brain protocol, and yes, I’ve seen these little gains in cognitive function, but I’m in a place of really questioning whether it’s worth the effort.  So I’m at work, and realize that to get my next task done, I’m going to need five files.

I stand up.  I walk over to the filing cabinet.  I get those 5 files, return to my desk, sit down, and start getting them organized… and I come to a dead stop.

I crossed the room and got 5 files.  Not one file, and not no file.  Not forgetting and having to go back to first principles.  Not drilling myself to remember.  Not facing the self-criticism and frustration for having failed again.  All five files.  All at once.

Have you ever been gleeful about going grocery shopping?  Me, every time I realize that I can figure out what I need without a list, there’s this extra lift to the corners of my mouth, and extra bounce in my steps!

I knew even at the time that I hadn’t done enough detoxing to get the best possible results from Dr. Guéniot’s protocol.  I knew that sometime, I’d want to come back and do it again.  But that short-term memory win was more than enough for the moment, on a bunch of levels.

But what’s really interesting to me right now is that this new brain injury, and all the support I’m giving myself (nutritionally, homeopathically, spiritually, and osteopathically) seems to be nudging me further towards nervous system health than my state before the injury.

injury2daysIs it possible that the big bang which opened my face, gave me a spectacular Hallowe’en shiner, and left the sutures of my skull aching, my neck sounding like popcorn, my sleeping ability both heightened and compromised… Is it possible that shaking things up has allowed them to reach for a greater state of organization?

Certainly, bodies are like any other ecosystem.  They are self-organizing, and there are various balance points where they stabilize.  With a shock to the system that is initially destabilizing, perhaps the draw to the previous state of balance isn’t as powerful.

I fell many times on my tailbone as a child of poor balance and coordination.  Despite being on the other end of my nervous system and spinal cord from the impact, my tailbone started aching soon after I hit my head, and after 3 weeks of healing, is now feeling more comfortable for sitting than I can ever remember.

My left ear has always had chronic congestion and high wax production.  Since the injury, this has been compounded.  Yet it seems as though it’s draining and clearing itself in a way not previously possible.  Maybe I’ll even see that ear reach full health!

After the fall, my shoulders and arms had a period of being much more aggravated, having more numbness and tingling and pain.  It’s been especially noticeable when this wakes me up at night.  It may be too early to tell what’s changing here, and how, but there are some sensations returning to my fingertips that I haven’t felt since early high school.

And finally, I have been plagued by a perma-headache.  It used to get much, much worse before my skull stopped growing.  Before then, I would often have to put dripping, cold cloths on my head to take down the heat and pain and pressure in my head enough to sleep.

While it has been much less aggravating since my teens, my perma-headache is still there, a background, grinding, advancing or retreating ache that never goes away…

Except that since banging my head, it’s been retreating more than I’ve ever experienced before.

So my curiosity now takes me to asking:

  1. Is every new injury an opportunity to take healing further?
  2. Can healing be as far and complete without destabilizing existing balance points?
  3. Is there any science which reflects my brain injury FURTHER recovery experiences?

The endlessly questioning, systematizing, problem-solving, encyclopaedic part of my brain has sunk its teeth into a new avenue for investigation…

Maybe this is a good time to do another intensive detox, and see if I can’t take Dr. Guéniot’s protocol to the next height of brain health achievement.

If you have had similar experiences, or know of health scientists or research exploring this particular avenue of discovery, would you be willing to share them?

Thanks and Blessings, Jackie

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