This is a true account of a very difficult week and a half in my life about 10 years ago. I’ve teased about writing this episode before and while I have mounds of paperwork and cleaning to do this is just the right amount of procrastination for that. Lol
I had come off the Gerson Therapy too quickly and resumed eating and embibing what had been my normal fare prior to having started the protocol. Because of that and my body being in such a vulnerable state I sent my liver into shock. At least this is the version of the story that seems most plausible and was given to me by the Gerson Institute themselves, after the fact.
It all started rather benignly, as most things probably do.
A few months after stopping the therapy I started developed a pain in my right abdominal area, right under the last rib. Most times I felt nothing but sometimes, seemingly randomly I would feel incapacitated by a shooting pain. It got to the point where the pain was getting more severe and more frequent and I finally one day ended up at emergency.
I honestly just wanted to know what the pain was. I didn’t want drugs. I didn’t want care. I just wanted the reasoning. They ran lab after lab and were not thrilled with me when I got irate with the nurse for putting acetaminophen in my IV without asking me first. Finally a doctor said they’d have to cut me open as they found no reasoning for the pain and I refused all medications. I said no and left.
I started medicating myself with mass amounts of THC. At the time RSO wasn’t available, so I would cook the pot in butter and just swig it like a shot of tequila. So gross, but effective. Not having really been into drugs beside alcohol it would put me in rather different frame of mind.
The pain escalated rapidly over the course of that week, even as my tolerance due to the pot kept it at bay as much as possible. I knew deep in my heart that I had a week of this left; either I would die or the pain would dissipate. I just didn’t know which one and the pain was so severe I sometimes rooted for death. When I told this to my ex he freaked out and sent me back to emergency, where they treated me unkind and discharged me as quickly as they could. By the third time he sent me to them, they had had quite enough of me.
They got his permission to send me to the state mental hospital. Because where else do you send someone in so much pain they had to strap me to the bed, my heart rate would ebb so drastically the sensors would go off routinely yet I refused all medical care and was of sound enough mind to do so? Basically making me seem crazy I suppose, but where do you send them? To a mental institution of course.🙄
Off I was taken via ambulance. I was still very high on THC when this all transpired. I remember the look of surprise on the psychologist face when I explained why I was there. When I told him how we had been able to pinpoint the issue as my liver and that it made no sense to me that they wanted to pump me full of medications that then would need to filter through that same organ that was heavily compromised and in such severe pain.
I didn’t even spend the night there, although truthfully every worker treated me with utmost dignity and compassion. But no. I was sent to a posh rehab center because my ex had and has very good health insurance. There, a very self righteous doctor made my life pretty miserable.
He insisted that I was depressed. That depression was my main issue and wanted to put me on antidepressants. I refused them explaining that anyone in my position would exhibit signs of depression, especially being in that environment, but that I wasn’t going to lie to him or take something I didn’t need or want. He didn’t let me out, even though he had promised to let me go before that mother’s day weekend. He told me my family didn’t want me in the state I was in. I told him that gave him no right to keep me imprisoned and I would rather be on the streets alone than there. He laughed at me.
I cried all that Mother’s Day Sunday in bed. Word must have got out because the staff went against the rules and let my ex husband bring in my kids so I could see them for 10 minutes in the cafeteria. It still makes me cry to this day to think of that.
Finally I had to take it upon myself to set an appointment with the doctor’s bosses to have my case reviewed and the day that was to transpire they let me out instead. Mind you, this is the same place that wouldn’t even keep a man overnight that was clearly suffering and very suicidal because he had no insurance. But anyways…..
I got home and resented my ex deeply for putting me through all that. Although it had provided me with a week of forced rest that I needed to heal and I was indeed pain free when I left there. I had intended to divorce him after this because I felt so deeply betrayed. But instead I went off to a Buddhist retreat for a week to decide what I wanted to do with myself.
I can still remember as they admitted me to that rehab center. I hadn’t showered in a few days and with my liver flailing I smelled pretty bad and looked even worse. The young woman doing the intake said to me “everything will be ok” and I corrected her and said “everything is ok” and it took her aback. I can see why, I really can. The look of disbelief on her face is not something I can ever forget.
But that’s just how I deal with life. It’s what I need to believe to keep going. It is my mantra through all the currents of my life. “It’s ok. It’s as it’s meant to be for reasons I may never understand.”
And that is still my thought process, even though now I try to see it as all being an intricate dance to teach my soul, to benefit me on this journey, even if I don’t see how very clearly, especially when it involves suffering for myself and my children. But I truly believe it will all become known to me at some point, I just hope it’s before I die and not after.
My liver still flares up. It’s why I can’t and should not drink. It’s why I have to be mindful even of supplements and herbs that affect it. I can’t take most pharmaceuticals because they process through the liver. But I’m lucky in that I know my physical limitations. I can make adjustments as needed or suffer the consequences when I choose not to. This issue was probably there all along and I just exacerbated it with my own choices and ignorance. I can maybe see it as a good thing that I can manage now because I am aware of it.
There are so many more nuances and stories and backstories in those weeks. Like all the writings I made and posted all over the room, even writing in ink on my bedroom wall that my mother was my medical directive person and not my husband because I felt he was making bad choices. Like when I tried to get the ambulance tech and doctor’s to get me more pot. Like when I forged a group of friends at the rehab and we all worked together to help an older woman who had ended up there after a massive bender (and probable suicide attempt) from resurfacing memories of her father sexually abusing her as a young child.
She had zero coping skills to deal with it and we tried to explain to her that we had all developed (mostly unhealthy) coping skills to survive our own childhoods but that she was having to start from scratch with that and to give herself grace during this difficulty.
It was all a very real and raw time period for me. I remember when the group counselor had asked us how we had all gotten there all I could say is that I had fallen down the rabbit hole, I meant it. That’s exactly what it had felt like and still feels like to me. They were strange, strange days indeed.