Long Slow Recovery
Saturday, May 09, 2015
I've had a terrible time trying to come through this recovery. The first three weeks went so well, with me feel better and able to do more and more each day. I started doing some light walking at the gym during week two. Nothing crazy...just 15 mins at a slow pace, with the idea to build up slowly. I was so chuffed...however my first visit to the consultant after coming out of hospital brought me down to earth with a bang. He actually scolded me and said I was rushing things and I was in danger of having a relapse.
I don't know whether his words jinxed me...but things really went down hill after that. I was on really strong antibiotics after the operation, as I had elevated white blood cells and they were worried I'd got an infection. My consultant also thought I had bowel adhesions, as going to the bathroom was excruciating. In any case, things took a big turn for the worse. I was in agony most days and on all my pain meds. My whole abdomen in spasm or cramps. At night, I would cry as cramps travelled up and down my rib cage. I was taking oral morphine when things were really bad. I saw the GP countless times and was put on all kinds of medication. I was tested for coeliac disease. I cut out almost everything from my diet (like gluten, dairy, brassicas etc) to no avail. They even thought I might have an abscess from the operation, I was in so much pain and my stomach was so tender. Eventually when it seemed like modern medicine could do nothing, I decided to try alternative therapies, seeing a Chinese herbalist and going to an ayurvedic doctor. I actually think that was the final piece that started to put things back into balance.
My body had simply been through too much. I had the first operation back in December, but prior to that I went through all the trips to Kings for biopsies etc etc. Then the big surgery was February. I'd gone through so much in six months and two operations in 2.5 months. My body was just in shock, and very bruised and battered. I was completely out of balance, my gut flora probably completely destroyed, and on all kinds of meds. It had had enough.
I went to see a Chinese doctor first and he did some acupuncture and abdominal massage. I absolutely hated it. The place wasn't that nice and made me feel a bit uncomfortable, some of the needles hurt when they went in. The massage was horrible...painful and it felt really wrong. The place also put a huge amount of pressure on me to buy a course of treatment and even when I tried to refuse, they kept on and on at me, till I bought half a course (3 sessions). They also recommended herbs. I only went back once. The massage sent my body into even worse cramps for the next couple of days. I don't think it help me at all.
The ayurvedic doctor talked to me about doshas and identified mine. She gave me lists of food which I should avoid as a result of my imbalance and recommended a whole load of herbs. After 24 hours I was truly starting to feel much better. I think the herbs really helped. I wasn't completely better of course and had a few more weeks where I gradually improved. But I am a ayurveda convert and would definitely like to try living more in line with this way of life. I'd also love to do a true ayurveda retreat.
Going back to see my consultant, I discussed all this with him. He said that he suspected a combination of things, a sick bug, acute IBS and also haematomas and a bowel adhesion. Finally after 12 weeks away from work, I was given the go ahead to return.