A Brave Woman’s Choice to Get Off Opioids for a More Holistic Approach in Healing

By |2017-12-23T17:45:12+00:00November 20th, 2017|Categories: Health, Massage, Wellness|

 Almost three years ago, a client was referred to me by an acupuncturist who knew that I specialized in neck and jaw work.

When Megg first started coming to me, she experienced weekly migraines, that would sometimes knock her horizontal for days…blinds down, all noise silenced, blankets over-head. She hadn’t experienced life without headaches for almost a decade. She also hadn’t been able to open her jaw more than a finger width wide before it got jammed. Her daily pain levels made it impossible to sleep well, eat regularily, read, work or travel. 

A spiral of events including a car accident, two spinal fusions, four surgeries to place a stimulator in her spine, and a ceiling fan falling on her head – led her to be in this predicament. From there on out, she was dispensed meds like candy, starting with Fentanyl (which is stronger than Morphine). This snowballed into almost 10 years of ingesting daily opioids and a slew of other pills to manage all the other symptoms. 

To top if off, the battery pack installed in her abdomen, wired up to her spine, with the function of blocking pain, died after a few years. Leaving her with the choice of either replace the battery or remove it.  Ultimately, however, all these medical interventions hadn’t addressed her issues. They were only making problems worse and destroying her chance to design her own life. And if she’d ever like to have a child, the battery can’t remain there.

Megg was left with no choice but to heal, or she’d never enjoy quality of life again.  This
 meant she had to wean herself off the opioids along with the 10 other medications she had been prescribed and prepare herself for surgery, to remove the battery pack.

A couple months into working together, she had mentioned to me a few times that she had once been a professional singer. I noticed that when Megg spoke about singing, it was as though she had retired from the profession forever. The pain had been so unbearable for so long now, that she did not believe that she would ever return to it. She had lost all hope.

I had her explain to me what the pain was like that prevented her from being able to hit the higher notes or sing certain vowels – a pressure above the roof her mouth and sinuses, a tiresome habit involving her tongue, and a lack of motion in her jaw.

I thought to myself that, what if all the work we are doing together, and that she is doing with the rest of her team, helps her to get back to the thing she loves most? I don’t think Megg imagined at that point that it would be possible.

It wasn’t until six months into our working together, during the holidays, that I actually got to hear a recording of her voice. She gave me a CD of her and her old a cappella quartet singing Christmas carols. Holy Mother! She has the voice of an angel. I believed her when she said she was pretty good, but I had no idea she was THAT gifted! This only amplified my intentions in helping her get back to it.

One of the things that are so impressive to me about is Megg, is her willingness to do whatever it takes to repair; to the best of her ability…all the many things going on in her body. When she came to me, she was already doing acupuncture, network chiropractic, pilates, equine therapy, and counseling.

She must have done some serious forgiveness work before she and I were introduced. I was amazed by how little resentment she carries towards the surgeons and specialists who had gotten her hooked on opioids with no long-term treatment plan in place. Instead of feeling like a victim, she actually empathized with the fact that, “that’s all the doctors knew – that was how they were trained”.

After nearly 3 years of hard work, Megg is opioid-free and is the healthiest she has ever been. She accepts what has happened, having taken a look at all the aspects that have contributed to her situation. She knew that it would take time and consistency, and showing up to it every single day. She acknowledges the progress that has been made, and she attends to the next layer of what needs to be addressed, one day at a time.

I am happy to report, that she is singing again. Professionally! I have been witness to it myself and I am overjoyed! She is working again (she is the office manager/angel here at Embodiwork). She has traveled numerous times – road trips and even internationally! She even enjoys a good boogie.

Megg knows that healing work is a lifestyle. In her commitment to FEELING,  in order to thrive, she is facing her pain, growing stronger by what she has learned from this crisis. It has been an absolute honor being a part of her holistic team. Her progress has been amazing to witness!

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