Well folks, if you’ve been following my health saga this past year and a half, you’ll be celebrating with me when I say I finally got my surgery date! I’ll be seeing one of two specialists in Vancouver who can give me a 70% chance of a complete cure, and I’m confident I am going to feel *loads* better even if I do need to manage some issues on an ongoing basis.
The theory is that I have one of two things going on: Either I have adenomyosis, which is a condition where endometrial tissue is actually *in the muscle* of the uterus, where it causes debilitating pain during the secretory cycle. After twenty plus years of this, the theory is the pain is being referred to surrounding organs such as my bladder. I suspect and hope this is what’s going on, because my pelvic floor physio therapy is helping quite a bit, in conjunction with my dietary changes, the curcumin anti-inflammatory (which I now have to stop taking as it increases risk of bleeding during surgery) and pacing exercises I’ve been doing, and frankly, the loving support of my dear friends.
The other possibility is that in conjunction with adenomyosis, I may also have endometriosis, causing swelling, pain, and bleeding *into my peritoneal cavity*. If there is endometriosis on my bladder, this would explain a lot. And if it’s there, I am being taken care of by one of the top surgeons in the country.
I am extremely grateful to be able to travel by plane to stay for a week in Vancouver and have this surgery. A regular obgyn would *not* have the skills to handle endometriosis. Conventional treatment of cauterizing endo has an extremely high failure rate, with close to 80% of women experiencing a return of symptoms within two years – some of them within weeks of the procedure. Far more effective, is the method of “excision”, where the endo is cut out, rather than burned off. The cautery apparently does not remove all of the disease, so it regrows, recurs, and spreads.
Endometriosis and adenomyosis afflict 10% of women everywhere, and very likely more than that. Only the cases that are severe enough to warrant extensive investigation are ever discovered in the first place, and many women go through at least 10 years of referrals and surgeries before they even receive a proper diagnosis. Endo can affect fertility, quality of life, self-esteem, jobs, family, and intimate relationships. I have learned a lot about this in the past six months, and the moments of astonished “That explains a lot!” have really added up.
So, surgery soon! Hurray! It’s November 28th, so if anyone would like to give me some reiki during the evening of November 28, I will happily reciprocate when I am healed up.
I wanted to write about an extremely strange experience I had this weekend, which resulted from dealing with this condition.
I have had to go to the ER for medication to bring my pain down to manageable levels, for the past four months during my period. This is not fun. Going to the ER is a last resort for me. Fortunately, the injectable medication, a powerful anti-inflammatory called Ketorolac, works quite well for me… but only for 6 hours at a time.
After hearing so much about CBD on Channeling Erik for so many years, and after reading the testimonials of many women with endometriosis who have found CBD combined with a trace amount of THC has controlled their pain more effectively than narcotics, (Ketorolac is not a narcotic, but the next tier of pain management is narcotics.) I decided to ask my doctor for a prescription, which she happily provided.
That was my pain control plan this month. I talked to my doctor, my pharmacist, and the techs through the company which I obtained the high CBD strain of marijuana, and a syringe of a product called “Phoenix Tears” which is a concentrated form of THC, but is measurable / dose-able in the syringe form.
At every stop, I was very clear, I did not want to get high. My goal is to *increase* my functionality, maybe make it possible for me to get more done during my cycle rather than being confined to bed for four days.
I had a plan. Try one capsule of CBD, then four hours later, a second capsule. If that didn’t work, I would take a *tiny amount* of the Phoenix Tears, as the pain-relieving effects of CBD sometimes need a bit of a THC kick to get them going.
I was advised to start with a “grain of rice” size amount of THC. **** Basically, 1 ml. I took 0.5 ml
**** EDIT: CORRECTION!!!! I apparently *completely freaked out* one of my nursing friends who I had no idea reads the blog, but this person came to me to clarify exactly how much I took. I should have written 0.1 mL was recommended, and I took HALF of that! Here’s the visual:
If I had taken 0.5 mL, I would have had to take half of the entire syringe – that’s not what happened! I kept it in the fridge, and had to run it under hot water for a minute to get it soft enough to even push out of they syringe. I took the *smallest amount I could manage to dispense.* Teeny-tiny.
It was challenging to try to translate the 5 g / day of medical marijuana my doctor recommended into CBD and THC dosing. I spent a lot of time on the phone. The chemical composition of each strain of plant can vary significantly. I talked to the pharmacist who is educated in medical marijuana products, I talked to the *legal distributors* of medical marijuana products by phone, I consulted other women taking it therapeutically for endo. Everyone had slightly different answers, and I went with what I thought was the most conservative plan, with products I could measure.
Here’s the math in case you’re interested:
The entire 1 ml syringe contained 500 – 600 mg of THC. That is max 60mg per 0.1 mL. I took half of that, 0.05 mL, which would be 30mg of THC. I had been advised that 50mg is a good starting place. I probably should have been advised to take 10 mg. Dosing advice varies *wildly* and I thought I was being conservative, as at every turn I emphasized I did not want to get high, I was trying to improve my function. I don’t even know how I could have diluted this product down enough to get only 10 mg.
It was simply the wrong product for me.
It *destroyed me*. I have some limited experience of smoking week recreationally, and I had no issues with it. But smoking is very different than ingesting.
I felt like my consciousness was kicked right out of my body, and I was barely coherent. I couldn’t move my own limbs, I couldn’t communicate except for “uh huh”, or maybe a few words with extreme effort.
Despite being absolutely out of my body crazy high, *I was still in pain*.
Folks, this is the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life.
I have broken bones. That’s not really a significant pain compared to what I’ve been experiencing with my bladder and uterus, but for comparison’s sake, let’s call a broken toe, collar bone, or torn ankle, a 6 on the scale of 1 – 10, where 0 is no pain at all. Broken bones, soft tissue injuries, a 6.
When I hurt my back a couple of years ago, my coworker found me at my desk, tears streaming down my face. The ER doc offered me morphine promptly. (I turned it down.) That pain was a 7.5
My period pain has always ranged from a 6 – 7.5 for most of my life. It’s incapacitating, but not ER – worthy. The bladder pain that started up last summer was an 8. It was crazy.
The problem is, when you say “bladder pain” it doesn’t get treated as promptly as back pain. I was told to take ibuprofen, until a week later when I demanded he do something else, he prescribed Pyridium which thank God, worked. (I switched doctors after this.)
I have never experienced a severe burn. I have never experienced nerve pain. I have never given birth to a child. So those of you who have, probably do know what a 10 on the pain scale feels like.
I apparently have a hypersensitivity to THC. This is new. It’s likely a combination of being THC “naive” (ie, I am not a smoker), the formula of the Phoenix Tears, and the way I ingested it. (Smoked marijuana wears off in 30 min. Ingested THC lasts for hours… 30 hours in my case. Everything I’ve read says it should have worn off after 8 hours.)
As intense as the THC acted on my nervous system, it didn’t *touch* the pain. What it did do was completely derail all of my usual coping methods.
I gained a new appreciation for all I’ve done over the years to cope with this pain. I’m used to ignoring / shutting it out, working with it and through it, honouring it and reducing my activities, coping with it, grieving the losses, and using the miriad of meditation techniques I’ve honed over the years to reduce my perception of pain and improve my experience of it.
When I was high, I couldn’t focus enough to do *any* of those things. In fact, the THC worked against me, and it caused me to focus in on my pain, and feel it more completely and acutely than I’ve ever experienced it before.
Pain is an interpretation of the brain. The nerves send signals to the brain that are usually triggered by tissue damage, and the brain rings the alarm bells. When you have chronic pain, those nerves can start to get trigger-happy, and start convincing your brain you’re in *far more* pain than you actually are in.
This is where neuroplasticity comes in, and this is where my somatic experiencing therapy, pelvic floor physiotherapy, and meditation has been incredibly helpful. I don’t catastrophize my pain, I try not to resent it or let the physical pain cause me too much emotional suffering. I’ve been managing pretty well, considering, but when the pain sneaks up to a 7 or an 8, I have to go to the ER, because I need help.
Well, without my coping skills, my ability to moderate my pain experience – and with my nervous system all jacked up from this new chemical in my system, I hit a pain level I had never experienced before.
It was pretty terrifying. I knew I wasn’t going to die, but I definitely thought, “This is what dying of cancer feels like, except I’m not dying, so I can’t let go.”
That was the first of a few interesting thoughts, which brings me to the purpose of this entry:
Spiritual Experiences I *think* I had while high and in intense physical pain.
First of all, I must emphasize, DO NOT TRY THIS. I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT. I am writing about it after thinking on this for a week, and I feel like writing about it will at least bring some significance or purpose to what otherwise is a terrible four days. I feel like there must be some reason for me to go through that, and I honestly feel something has changed.
I can understand, now, why some people travel to use ayahuasca under supervision of an experienced shaman. I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT, but I get it.
Of all of the “God Moments” I’ve had in my life, moments of pure joy and clarity, THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. Even without the pain, what I experienced during this high was not the same as the joy and unity I’ve experienced during sessions, during meditation, and even while galloping with horses.
This was not a God Moment… but I think it was spiritual.
I think I actually was severed from my body, because I had the following thoughts.
Before I go on, remember, these are *ideas*. Remember to engage your own sense of truth here, and while you have an open heart to my experience, you may or may not agree with me that a part of this experience was spiritual. I am happy for some readers to just write off this whole experience due to the presence of drugs in my system.
So here we go:
I felt like I was travelling through levels of consciousness. At one point, I realized “Here is where people with “locked in” syndrome exist.”
If you don’t know about “locked in syndrome” it’s where everyone thinks you’re in a coma (ie, unconscious and spiritually, you are not suffering and you’re quite as free to explore as if you were dreaming or dead.) If you’re “locked in” you’re not unconscious. You’re CONSCIOUS. You FEEL EVERYTHING. You just can’t communicate in any way whatsoever, and everyone around you thinks you’re unconscious.
I passed through a state of consciousness where I couldn’t communicate or move, but I was aware of not only my pain, but of physical touch. However, I had no sense of time. While Sweetie was driving me to the hospital, I asked her to tell me the landmarks we were passing. Every time she called out a landmark, I knew that only 2 or 3 minutes had passed, but I *felt* like we had been travelling for hours.
I passed through a different state where I became hypersensitive to the non-verbal cues of others. However, as inexperienced as I am with THC, this could have been a singular effect of the phoenix tears. Or perhaps my feelings of insecurity and vulnerability were the sole effect of the drug too. Maybe it was just paranoia.
I was pretty damn sure I was being judged for being so high, and I felt very self-conscious. I also felt very angry when one person said, “Well, they work!” referencing the phoenix tears. I think I said, “No they don’t. ” in response. I wanted to explain I’d taken them for pain, and I was still in *so much* pain, but I couldn’t get more words out, and I had the impression I wasn’t being listened to or taken seriously.
Officially, I’m confident none of the medical staff actually judged me, they’re my coworkers and friends after all. At some point during the intake process, which could have been mere moments later but felt like a very long time, when the nurse asked me if I was still in pain, I burst into tears and sobbed my heart out.
Then I realized, “This is what babies feel like.”
We’ve got to remember that babies are fully conscious, thinking, comprehending beings too. They just can’t express themselves well, they haven’t developed decent motor control, they have no coping skills, and a limited ability to focus. Babies are incredibly sensitive, vulnerable, fully conscious beings.
I’ve been thinking about babies a lot. It must be the upcoming hysterectomy.
Once the lovely nurse brought me an injection of Ketorolac, and it started to work after a short while, the ball of searing hot lava in my pelvis started to release and I was able to lay on the bed with my legs stretched out instead of curled up. As the pain abated, the rational part of my brain was able to examine the high.
At some point, another nurse came in, who is actually a good friend of mine, and I started talking to her about her dead friend and what she had to say. This is a *huge* breach of protocol for me, and terribly embarrassing. Yet, on the child-like level of my brain, it was such a relief and enormously fun to simply parrot what this familiar spirit had to say to my good friend. She was utterly professional during it all, which is exactly what she should do, but it only reminded me of my own unprofessionality.
At some point, the giggles kicked in. I have no idea what we were laughing about, but I know it was generally perceived as Sweetie and I having some fun. This was also a shitty experience for me, because *I* wasn’t laughing. It felt like a seizure, or a convulsion. It felt a lot like the crying I’d done earlier, except I wasn’t in pain. I have no memory of what we said, but I was aware I was laughing and that people thought I was fine, yet I felt profoundly *un-fine*. That whole conflicted ball of yarn I blame entirely on the THC. Again folks, I DO NOT RECOMMEND.
I think this is the main reason I don’t recommend it – it’s really impossible to tell what was a legitimate spiritual experience, and what was just an effect of the THC. I will have to have a conversation with Bob Marley again.
As the pain lifted, it seemed the tether holding me to my body loosened.
I felt like I was travelling through time… and what a cliche thing to say… but it was profound.
Again, this is a very typical high-as-a-kite revelation, but I wanted to write about this because it *actually jives with information I’ve been receiving during sessions*.
I remember telling Sweetie, “Hey. You know how we are planning on making this one change, and we have this long game plan? Well, I see shortcut, and it’s this other option.”
I was more specific, but as this discussion is ongoing with Sweetie, we’ll keep it to ourselves for now. But we have continued the conversation, and we may move forward on it next year. We’ll have to see!
The sensation of travelling through time came with a simple but total realization. Maybe it’s better described as an alignment or attunement to a different reality. Time has absolutely no spiritual relevance.
I’ve written about this before with George Harrison, but I have never actually felt like I utilized the information for myself. It’s not astral projection – that’s something I occasionally experience in sessions or meditation. This was more complete. I want to use the word “catastrophic” because this perspective obliterates every sense of separation, of distance, and of chronology. I saw the universe.
I know. I was high.
This is the point where I debate whether this experience is actually something I should write about. I DO NOT ENCOURAGE the use of any substance, weed, mushrooms, any drug or alcohol, for the purpose of spiritual exploration. I DO NOT RECOMMEND.
This is the reason for so many decades, mediums and ministers would tell people that family members who had committed suicide were either looped straight back into life (Sylvia Browne) or they were being safely held in limbo (most other mediums plus some churches) or they went straight to hell (some other brutally conservative religious types who lack compassion.)
The reason we hesitate to speak the truth around these tough topics is that we do not want to encourage someone to do something that will cause them to put themselves or anyone else at risk of harm. And again, I cannot emphasize enough how unpleasant this experience was for me. I have had FAR BETTER and more profound experiences in meditation, and I believe if this had never happened to me, I would still have come to these understandings and ideas eventually.
I’m simply choosing not to stuff this experience down the memory hole. I truly wish I *had* experienced this during meditation instead. I’d feel more confident about sharing it.
But it is what it is, and I don’t want to waste the experience.
So, there I was, with my consciousness holding the universe as gently as a child with a chicken egg. I recognized it’s shape from a previous conversation I had years ago with Erik. I regarded it with contentment and interest (as I was no longer in pain.)
Then I noticed something. The universe isn’t the shape of a donut. It’s the shape of a cell in the midst of mitosis.
We are in the right side of the universe. And the left? *That’s a whole freaking other universe!*
It’s FULL. That other universe is FULL! It has expanded to the point of slowing down, then it appears to stop for a while… it stops until it buds off a completely new dimension.
New infinite space full of dark matter and potential.
That universe is not full of because of physical matter… it’s full of consciousness. All the beings in this universe have manifested so many spiritual lives, so many realities, so many timelines, incarnations, possibilities, scenarios examined, lived, released to the cloud consciousness.
You know who lives over there?
Our friends, the ETs. Lots of them. SO MANY OF THEM. They are not even that separate from us – their universe and our universe is separated with a permeable membrane. The very universe is like a cellular organism, and it’s contained within the tiniest electron in the smallest atom in existence. It’s a paradox that makes existence possible.
The multiverse is an organism that is all-encompassing, and while the universe seems boundless, it is expanding and slowing down.
The universe manifests physically, therefore it has limitations. Each cluster is a multiverse. All of it together is infinity.
The purpose of each universe is to create a container of physicality and linear time. It exists to be limited, so that infinity can be pared down to finite chunks of trillions of years, with stars and planets billions of years old, which hold consciousness that allows life to form on planets in physical form. Life allows for even smaller, more finite formations of time. Life gives us the illusion of limitation. Limitation is a container for this experiment. Each universe, an experiment, an expansion, a bubble off of another universe, our twin who is already grown up, our clone who is our parent.
If I had been sober, I’d have more confidence in what I’m writing here. The context of the THC in my system deserves scrutiny. But before you write these ideas off entirely, remember my post about the chickens.
I was thrilled to discover that chickens see the world in psychedelic colour. A few months later, my friend sent me an article on a recent study concluding that chickens can see the electromagnetic trails left by insects, and this led to a study of the purpose of the iridescence of feathers, and that birds may be communicating, visually, much more complex information than we currently understand… because we can’t see the iridescence of bird feathers with our human eyes. Usually we can’t.
It struck me that the chickens were showing me a world I had heard described before – by people who have taken magic mushrooms. (I DO NOT RECOMMEND! I have never tried them but Sweetie has, and she DOES NOT RECOMMEND THEM!) Okay, okay, you know I do not want you guys to go out and experiment with drugs, but I think we have all watched enough movies depicting the psychedelic state of mind to be able to imagine what these chickens were showing me.
It made me wonder, well, actually it has made me conclude that sometimes humans are capable of experiencing the same sensory input of other species… we just have learned to interpret our physical world differently. If mushrooms brings this out in humans, it just supports my idea that the reality or sensory experience we go through when under the influence is, potentially, a valid state. The paranoia and utter self-consciousness I was experiencing I’ll put down to the drug, but the rest of it I’m interested in kicking around.
Maybe it’s not “just a hallucination” but an actual energetic input we are sensing when our conditioning to tune it out has been disabled.
Like my own ability to block out pain was taken offline by THC, maybe these substances just remove all of our default settings.
Those default settings have a purpose. They help us function, they help us relate to each other, they help us focus long enough to accomplish things like writing a blog entry or developing an effective medication.
I LIKE my default settings, and I prefer to push my boundaries under my own steam. But this experience with THC has reinforced a few of my theories, and even though it was terrible and I DO NOT RECOMMEND, it still seems significant.
I saw the universe. I understood the multiverse. For me, making lemonade here, it was a spiritually significant experience, which almost makes the pain worth it.
By the way, as I was writing this post I wondered “Have spiritual experiences under the influence ever been studied?” And indeed, it has.
Both articles seem to corroborate my experiences with pain and THC. Even though the articles address mushrooms and not THC, it’s still very interesting.
Thank you, everyone for reading this through!
As a little easter egg at the end of such a long entry, I’m going to give you a little heads up:
*I am now taking bookings for New Years Report Cards!*
New Year Report Cards are now done verbally, over the phone with you, because I can get *so much more information* into a phone call than a written document. However, if you still love getting your New Year Report Card in .pdf form, if you ask me kindly, and give me some extra time to get it done, I’ll happily oblige you.
As I have blocked off the entire month of December for my surgery recovery, I am now officially booking into January 2018, so book your report card soon!