Friday, 11 February 2011

Power of the unconscious mind

Despite a seemingly calm and relaxed evening, and the feeling that I would sleep well at last, I had a most troubling 'dark night of the soul' with weird hallucinations and fearful feelings which prevented me from sleeping. This has left me feeling washed out and less than enthusiastic about life today.

I went to bed at the normal time for me, around 10.15, read for a little, tried to ring my brother who was out and then decided to go to sleep. I'm not sure what went wrong but it became apparent that something was out of 'whack'. My mind refused to relax. I would start to drop off and then be hit by some awful vision - one was of an insect-type arm reaching out to me. I actually started and cried out 'no' it seemed so real. I put the radio on to try and lull my mind by listening to something else but later when I nodded off again this time I dreamt I was eating raw liver to my own disgust. I woke with a start, with the taste in my mouth (I am pretty much vegetarian and would never eat such a thing). I was also soaked in sweat to the point I had to change my clothes. I was distressed and nervous, I got up to make a cup of tea and managed to get a couple of hours sleep early this morning I think but there is no doubt there are some deeply repressed emotions struggling to get out.

I have an inkling what they are about. I have always suffered from painful periods, and I started when I was quite young (11 and still in junior school). I remember the pain, the awful realisation that this was going to be 'for life' as I saw it, and how much I cried when my mum tried to explain that this was what being a woman meant. I think I have internalised that so deeply that now that my 'womanly bits' are misfunctioning I am taken back to the time of utter powerlessness and humiliation. I have spent some of this morning doing some EFT on that for myself and a guided meditation. It is hard, as I am in pain at the moment, and not coincidentally on my period again for the second time this month. I rang the consultant this morning to see if I should be worried (isn't that interesting, that I needed reassurance from an 'expert'). He didn't sound overly concerned but said if it continued into next week to come back for another scan. I know I am the best expert on me, and I do know that I feel generally well in all other areas but this is puzzling and scary. It was not mentioned in the follow-up notes that they gave me so undertandably I was confused.

If, as friends have said, this makes me a more powerful healer in the long run then it will be worth it but right now it feels extremely lonely and troubling. My mind, as usual, runs away with itself trying to find an explanation; the procedure hasn't worked, I am about to have a heart attack or thrombosis somewhere, etc, etc. So, I am struggling with reality today, I feel fearful and weak. Finding a sense of strength and heart-centredness is taking up my energy. I know it will pass, as all things do but it amazes me, how powerful our psychological processes are that they can both 'create' an illness and perpetuate it without any conscious intervention on our part. Such is the power of the mind. For an interesting discussion of this I would recommend John D Sarno - The divided mind and for an overview of where mindbody medicine is going Conscious medicine by Gill Edwards.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

post -op

Just had a fibroid embolisation procedure and thought if anyone is considering it they should know. The procedure itself is not painful - it is the time immediately after when you have what feels like the worst period pain ever and, in my case, non-stop vomiting. It was not a good overnight stay therefore in hospital. However, am home now, on very strong painkillers and waiting for things to improve which I am reliably informed should be within the next week to ten days.

I have to say my consultant was excellent - he even came in the next day to see us both (there was another woman who was treated before me).  The whole thing was a bit surreal - the only thing I remember about the procedure was the conversations I had before hand and being moved by ambulance to the day ward in the next-door hospital afterwards. The ambulance men were very cheery and wanted to joke with me but I was too heavily sedated to take part. I remember it was sunny and bright, the speed bumps that they kept warning me were coming up and then being wheeled into my overnight ward. After that, things started to resurface and it is not something I would ever like to go through again. Having different night nurses coming in to measure your blood pressure every half hour (they leave you alone between 12 and 4) is not conducive for good nights sleep but as I was sick anyhow and in terrible pain that wasn't possible anyway. My morphine PCA (little plunger that you use to self-administer the dose) didn't seem to work properly and was making me sicker so I gave up in the end.

The NHS does what it does fairly well, that is, 'process' you through the system efficiently. What is misses is the personal care. I had to explain to every single nurse I saw (must have been about 10 different ones) what I had already explained to the previous ones. Some, clearly saw me as a nusisance.

When it came time to release me the next morning they didn't hang about. I got the feeling they needed the room as a lot of tidying up was going on round me and even though my lift was not til later I had to carry my own bags down and wait outside. Felt like being ejected from a not-so-nice hotel! And, I had worried they might want to keep me in a little longer as I'd been so unwell overnight. No chance of that.

On the plus side here I am up and about (albeit dosed up to the eyeballs) after just over a day which , had I have gone for hysterectomy would have been impossible. I should be back at work in 10 days apparently. So, a mixed experience, but overall can't complain.