My journey with chronic pain started in December 2018. It came suddenly and very unexpectedly. Little did I know on that fateful day, that it would take me almost a year and a lot of hard work to get myself back to a normal level of health.
How it all began
I had just arrived in Mexico for a long-anticipated holiday and was looking forward to some serious relaxation after a long and very busy year. I woke up on the third day and when I tried to move my leg, I realised it was extremely painful. I tried to get up, but I could hardly get out of bed and when I finally did, it was difficult to move or walk. Along with that I was suddenly feeling very ill, with the strange mix of a high fever and shivering cold, accompanied by sore spots in my mouth. I had no idea what was happening to me, but I was frightened, and I knew instinctively that it was very serious. I just wanted to get home, so I caught the first flight back to Canada.
On landing, I went immediately to the hospital to see if they could identify what the problem could be. Although they carried out lots of tests, they couldn’t find a clear diagnosis and to make matters worse, the doctor sent me home as he was concerned that I could be contagious. So, I was left with no diagnosis, chronic pain and no idea of how long it was going to last.
For the next couple of weeks, I couldn’t move my arms or legs and had to have my head lifted up to get a drink of water (thank goodness for my partner Neil). The pain was overwhelming. Sleeping was very difficult as I was in so much pain each time I moved. Looking back everything around that time was a bit of a blur. I continued to have various medical tests, but they didn’t show anything unusual. To try to manage the pain I was told again and again just to take strong pain killers. From the outside I may have looked okay, but I walked like a zombie, straight legged and stiff as my muscles were still not functioning. Every movement was agony I couldn’t even lift a pillow. What really struck me was how pain is not taken seriously enough. It felt that because there was nothing visibly wrong and I looked OK, that I should just be able to live with it or even that it was possibly all in my mind.
Eventually after seeing lots of health professionals, a neurologist diagnosed me with Viral Myositis, which is inflammation of the muscles by a virus. I was told that there was nothing that could be done, and that I needed to manage my pain with strong pain medication.
It was now February and I was very concerned that I was going to be stuck with this pain and difficulty moving forever, which is very hard when you love to cross country ski, walk, hike, swim etc. I decided I had to create my own strategy for recovery and not just leave it to chance. So, I made myself a plan about how I was going to try to alleviate the pain. At a high level the plan was:
Stop taking the pain medication as it was not helping.
- Don’t try to do too much and accept that I have some limitations.
- Ensure that I exercise just a little every day without fail.
- Try to eat as healthy as possible and also to daily drink a celery, carrot, ginger and lemon juice.
- Lose the weight I had put on.
- Connect with my homeopath Keri Williams in the UK (https://kinesiologywithkeri.com/) and start a treatment plan.
- Use the Curable Health app for relaxation, motivation and meditation (https://www.curablehealth.com).
- Have body treatments such as the PMF mat, foot detoxing and reiki treatments to help create some balance. To do this, I worked with Anne Briggs (https://touching-lives-clinic.com/) and Donna Peters (http://essentialswellness.ca/).
- Spend some time thinking about why this may have happened and what I could do to prevent it happening again.
- And last but not least, relieve some of the pressure I was feeling around work at my clinic in Salmon Arm. To do this I started working with a virtual personal assistant https://www.paplus.net/), who could pick up some of the administrative and day to day tasks.
The Road to Recovery:
One of the points on my plan was to spend some time thinking about why this may have happened. I put time aside to review events that had happened in the previous year, but also anything else that could possibly have been a trigger further back. This was really helpful for me as it gave me some clues about areas I could focus on.
The previous year in my homeopathic clinic had been very busy. As well as client work, I had organised and spoken at many seminars and other health workshops. I knew that I was pushing myself too hard and was starting to feel burnt out. I had taken a summer trip to England to attend a big 90th birthday party for my mother, which was great fun, but it was a very busy visit catching up with family and friends, so that did nothing to help reduce the feeling of burn out. The trip had also coincided with a heat wave in the UK and I am definitely not good in the heat! Based on all the stresses of the previous year, I had planned my trip to Mexico as a way to rest and recuperate for the new year ahead. All that could go some way to explaining contributing factors, but the most interesting factor for me, was that the virus hit on the 11th anniversary of a very traumatic event in my life. It was something, that in all honesty, I had never confronted and so had been left unresolved. All of this information was something I knew I could work with my homeopath Keri on, so that seemed like the most logical starting point.
The Homeopathic prescription:
I was prescribed the homeopathic nosodes of the Influenizum C46 and the Coxsackie virus to clear out whatever virus had affected my body. Then I was given the constitutional homeopathic remedy, Moonstone, which matched the symptoms that I had. It was very powerful indeed – I spent 2 days crying! I didn’t feel particularly sad but I would just cry at the slightest thing. I had powerful dreams and then on the 2nd night after taking the remedy I woke in the night with incredible leg pains and a red swollen lower leg and a fever. The next morning I knew that something had shifted and my symptoms were less. I realised that this was a repeat of the Cellulitis that I had 11 years ago when I had been very stressed. Within a few days my energy levels were much better. It’s important to note that sometimes a homeopathic remedy takes us back briefly through an old illness that has not been cleared fully out of our bodies.
By April I was ready to start Physiotherapy with Julie at Lakeshore Physiotherapy (http://www.lakeshorephysio.net/). My legs were much better since the homeopathic treatment but I had limited movement and pain in my arms. Daily stretches and strengthening exercises were now a part of my routine. Throughout the summer I continued to slowly improve.
The next thing to tackle was my weight. As part of my homeopathic practice, I run on 6 week online weight loss programme (https://judecorfield.com/weight-loss-online-group/). So, I joined up as participant of the group and completed the programme along with my clients. I lost 16 lbs and definitely felt so much better for it.
By November I had flexibility in my arms, but my neck was still very painful. I noticed Reanna had a ‘Resolving trauma’ workshop (https://www.reannacostayoga.com/). I had bumped into her three times in a short period of time which told me that this was something I was obviously supposed to do! During the workshop I shared my story and worked with a lovely, brave group of participants in the December workshop (again the anniversary date of my trauma). A few weeks later I suddenly realised that I had no more neck pain. I can’t tell you the relief!
What I’ve Learned:
Some might say, that maybe I just caught a virus and it took a while to go away. To be honest, who knows! I tend to believe that my body had stored up emotions and pain from the trauma that I suffered in 2007 and I had not fully processed what had happened to me. Then when I got burnt out from a busy year and finally gave my body a chance to recover by going on holiday, it decided to go back into ‘freeze mode’. The time since has given me the opportunity to look back, work through my emotions and eventually regain good health. Strange to say but I feel truly blessed.
Homeopath RSHom (NA)
Shuswap Homeopathy Clinic
Website Contact https://judecorfield.com/contact/