This last week came to an abrupt halt for me when I slammed my finger in the car door. For 3 days I was in and out of hospitals, stumbling around in a fog of pain, whoozy on painkillers which ended up making me feel really ill. If that wasn’t bad enough I was put on antibiotics, given a tetanus shot and had the finger pumped full of anaesthetic while they did a rather unpleasant procedure. Now to a medication avoiding, clean living, organic queen like me this was the equivalent of being thrown into a vat of toxic foaming bilge. But to be honest, with my finger feeling like it was going to drop off any second and a brain impaired by the ridiculous pain levels, I would have taken ANYTHING they gave me.
Then came the realisation that this little sucker was going to take months and not weeks to heal. I was told not to sweat for at least 2 weeks, not to get it wet for 4 weeks and of course exercising is off the cards for the moment other than walking (as long as I don’t sweat!). All this from one little finger?? Oh and by the way, showering one handed (marigolds fastened with an elastic band work well I find) is trickier than it sounds. As for washing hair? Forget it.
After about 3 days, when they had done all they were going to do to the finger, bandaging it up and telling me to return in a week, I began to think with a clearer brain. What could I do to mitigate the damage, speed up the healing and rid myself of all the toxins that had been pumped into me?
- Trauma – most people know that Arnica is brilliant for bruises. I regularly use Arnica cream for this purpose and find it incredibly effective. Arnica homeopathic pills are also great for trauma and reducing swelling and bruising. Dr Sharma suggested I alternate Arnica every 4 hours with another homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica which stimulates the body to cure itself. ( I realise there is controversy regarding homeopathic medicines and tests declaring it to be useless. However, I personally find it to be effective. As someone who bruises easily, I can see a real physical difference when I use Arnica. )
- Painkillers – I take very little medication so perhaps my body’s not used to it. They gave me a paracetamol/codeine combo. Besides feeling like a zombie, I began to feel seriously ill and could barely get off the bed. It took me awhile to realise it was the painkillers. Most medications come with an array of side-effects and one has to really weigh up if it’s worth it. Once I was sure it was the painkillers making me feel so ill, I decided to never ever take them again. I’ll stick to plain old paracetamol when the pain is bad. But even paracetamol will have an affect on the liver which is where toxins of all kinds are stored ( including the toxins in the shots I received ). Milk Thistle has the ability to cleanse and help the liver rejuvenate. I always keep it in my cupboard and take it when I have a drink. I’ve put myself on 2 a day for now.
- Antibiotics – These upset the natural balance of gut bacteria. Probiotics are one of the supplements I recommend for daily usage anyway as gut health is key to healthy immunity and can help counter the adverse effects of antibiotics. I have therefore doubled my usual dosage to give my system a boost. It’s important to take a few hours before or after the antibiotic.
- Exercise – I’ve always been a very active person and being told not to exercise is the last thing I want to hear. Exercising helps tremendously with my stress levels and makes me feel good (not to mention fit). Walking is great but so is my hot yoga class and working out in the gym or a Zumba class. None of the latter will now be possible. Or won’t they? Obviously with the no sweating rule, the first 2 weeks will have to be walking only but after that? I can certainly do all the standing postures in yoga and a lot of the floor exercises. In fact I will probably do the yoga DVD I brought out a few years ago. It’s gentle, safe and very little downward dog. And the gym? Well I think we can adapt a routine for me in a few weeks concentrating on legs and arm exercises that don’t require a strong grip which will be difficult with a broken bone. In the meantime I’m having wonderful walks in the park which is lush and full of wild life at this time of year. My walk this morning was quite magical.
I feel that with all of the above I’m helping to rid myself of toxins that left in the body could cause all kinds of problems. I’m making sure I don’t use this as an excuse to become sedentary as I don’t want to undo all the work I’ve done on my fitness. It’s a lot easier to lose fitness than it is to gain it. And as I’m off the antibiotics now and on a good dose of Milk Thistle anyway, I’m cracking open the wine and sitting outside with a nice glass of rosé watching my tomatoes grow. And playing with my phone of course.
( PS I went to have my bandage changed after the first week and it looks like all of the above is working. I couldn’t believe that most of the swelling and bruising is gone and the nurse said the nail bed was healing very efficiently and quickly. Hoorah! She also mentioned that how quickly one heals depends on how healthy one is. So hoorah again. At times like this, it all feels well worth it. As you can see in the photo, my big huge finger bandage has been replaced by a nice neat small one just over the tip. So much better for holding that glass of wine. )