E.B is a thin, dark haired woman with big, brown eyes that are round and protrude from her angular face. She is extremely witty and quick, and down to earth. Aside from seeing her in the office, we cross paths in overlapping social circles and she often has women around her in stitches.
She started out her consultation by talking about her temper, which is quick and hot, and about her desire to slow down. “It’s hard to focus. I can’t get into my rhythm and figure out what’s next.” She said the effects are mostly felt in her relationships and those who she’s close to. “It’s hard for me to ask for help. If I'm drowning, I would probably ask, but I would hate for them to just throw me a line. It’s hard to admit I can't do it on my own. I'm a bit controlling. It's kind of challenging to think about it.
“I'll rant and rave, be pissed off and angry; often I'll be able to say, “OK, I feel anxious”, but along the way, things get damaged. Internally, I feel hot, will spout off and then realize that isn't what I need. If I can find time alone or walk away, I can sort it out. I can't always find a way out; find space, breathe, whatever.”
E.B. grew up in the American Midwest, with one full, and two half siblings. Her older sisters were 10 and 12 years older, and her mother was 21 when she became their stepmother. She says her mother wasn’t ready at that age, and she doesn’t remember her as a calm, nurturing presence.
“I’m close to them (sisters) in a superficial way… they are very different from me: consumers, fancy houses. I didn’t want to be a part of that. I never felt acceptance or encouragement to find another way.
“When I was 18, I was in a car accident. It was bad, I lost a lot of my memory (she starts crying) I don’t remember. It’s kind of hard sometimes. I don’t think I have an overall sense, just bits and pieces. I will remember instances, but it's not a clear vision. It's been a side effect… I flew out of the back of the car, which flipped numerous times. I broke my jaw, shoulder, ribs, collapsed one lung, broke my pelvis in four places, and crushed my tailbone. I had a head injury; swelling, but no need for surgery. They induced a coma for 3-4 days. No internal injuries other than the lung collapse. I was lucky. I missed most of my senior year of high school but had enough credits to graduate with a tutor. I went to college for two years. The first year I was heavily addicted to painkillers. My mom came to college and took everything away. She helped me to get off that addiction. It was a long road, years.
“I haven't taken any painkillers since. I have chronic backache days; it still hurts so bad to get out of bed. It is tender. Childbirth was painful. I haven’t taken anything since then; I manage with Arnica and Advil… I’m terrified. I don't think I would take any meds, but it was such a scary point in my life, like any addict. Once you break the habit, it's terrifying to think you would go back down that road.”
Her mom was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, and said she has recently come to the point where she realizes that her mom is going to die. She mentions that her daughter is old enough to have memories, but “I don’t really have the memories. I often put up this big, hard exterior…that maybe isn’t always the truth, but you just got to go through things. It doesn't work for me. I don’t want to do that anymore.”
When I ask her if she cries easily, she responded, “Never. I haven't cried once with my mom or sisters. Instead, I get angry, it’s my crutch. I will feel overwhelmed and sad, and on those days I am pissed off with my husband, kids, sister, and mom. I can't just say “I need to go take a walk, I’m having a bad day.” Instead, I'll just make bedtime a miserable thing. My husband has many flaws like they all do, but he loves me and would do anything for me. He's like a loyal Labrador dog. I could count on one hand how many times I’ve cried with him. I would like to be able to figure out what I need from him for support. What I want to see, not what I don't and focus the energy there.”
In her health history, EB reported that she had multiple ear infections as a child and was doused with antibiotics and sick all the time. Although she was vaccinated, she still got chicken pox, measles, mumps, and rubella.
She was a collegiate level competitive gymnast before her car accident, and had broken her right wrist twice, and her left once, as well as her left elbow and right knee.
“I am competitive. I like to win, be right. I love being physical, sweating profusely… I need to work out; otherwise I get edgy.”
Family history: multiple cancers, so it was tempting to focus on the indications for Carcinosin but I was struck by the story of her accident, and that it brought her to tears in the office. Tears, she admitted, she does not usually shed. The fact that she is living with chronic back pain, as the mother of two young girls with all of the carrying and hauling that can come with that role made me think further.
Hypericum came up high in repertorizing; especially the physicals. It covered many of her injuries from the car accident: crushed tailbone, head injury, and loss of memory. It is also found it in the rubrics:
MIND: Speech, sharp
MIND: Activity, mental, increased
MIND: Mocking behavior, sarcasm
MIND: Thoughts, general – rush, flow of
I felt that EB’s feeling of “not getting into a rhythm” and spouting off before she takes the time to stop and figure out what she needs, were good indications for Hypericum, given her injuries and current pain. I was not sure whether a remedy that is typically used acutely would touch effects that were over 15 years old, but I decided to start there anyway.
The initial prescription was made in mid-June.
July: “I feel good. I went on vacation to see my family in Michigan; I slept on an air mattress and felt great, which was unusual. Traveling and sitting usually throws my back out. I did well, felt great and present. I had one or two emotional releases, but didn't need to hole it up; it just came out. Then, I went home and we had a family vacation. I felt not so great; had a lot of stuff coming up. I stopped the remedy. I've started taking it again at home. There's stuff coming up, but I'm in a better place to deal with it. It's been great. I don't have a sense of chronic pain. It's helped…the pain in my hips is gone; there’s no more shooting pain.”
On being asked about her sense of speed and hurriedness:
“It’s little better. The last couple of days have been packed, I’ve got a lot on my plate. My heart is not racing anymore, like I can't figure out what to do next. I’m able to get to the next step, not spin out about things way ahead. I'm worrying, but pragmatic. I feel emotionally steady.”
September: “I took the remedy every day for 4 weeks. I've been running about 15 miles a week, sometimes up to 20 miles. I feel great. I had started to plateau with the remedy… pain still feels 100% more manageable than before. A little PMS right now, but I don't have that every day feeling of not wanting to get up and I don’t go to bed in pain. I like having it (the remedy) around. The busyness and hurriedness are a lot less. I enjoy having time to myself in the morning… I don’t feel the unevenness. I run without headphones now; it's therapeutic. I would forget things that were happening; blank on doing stuff before. That's not happening as much. I stopped drinking as much coffee. The remedy was enough to get me to do what I needed to do. I learned I don't need more energy.
Since then, she has taken Hypericum LM 2 and continues to do well.
Photo: Wikimedia commons
Hypericum perforatum; RA Nonenmacher
Keywords: anger, temper, accident, injuries, memory loss, back pain, broken bones, injury, addiction