Saturday, April 20, 2013

Healing Bone Fractures, Part 5

This is the fifth in a series of posts in which I am documenting the process of treating a serious fracture of my right leg. In Part 1 I discussed the details behind the injury and the initial protocols that I used with the remedies I had available while I was still away. In Part 2 I provided a detailed account of the protocols that I implemented when I returned home. In the remainder of the posts I am providing an update on how things are progressing and any modifications that I have made to the protocols that I am using.

At this time I have to report that my leg is healing amazingly well. Since my last post I gradually increased the amount of weight I was carrying with my injured leg while still walking with crutches. On April 7th, about nine and a half weeks after my surgery, I walked without crutches for the first time! It kind of happened spontaneously while we were sitting around a fire. After that I increased the amount that I was walking without crutches each day. On April 10th I drove for the first time. I purchased a cane that day because I had to drive into Toronto on the evenings of the 11th and 12th and I knew I would be walking quite a bit. I thought I might need to use it for awhile, but except for those two evenings, I haven't used it since. On those two days I didn't use my crutches at all during the day except when I took my dogs for a walk in the woods. On the 13th I walked them for the first time without crutches and I have been crutch free ever since! This is pretty amazing given that the original prognosis was that I wouldn't be able to even begin to put weight on my leg until the middle to end of May. My healing process is about eight weeks ahead of schedule. Thank you plant people!

The "complications" that I discussed in my last post are pretty much resolved. I got rid of the remaining infection underneath one of the scabs on my incision. The astringed skin still isn't completely back to normal. It takes quite awhile for the skin to completely heal when the deeper dermal tissues get astringed, so am still applying things to this area at a minimum.

I had another x-ray this past week and the slightly darker area in my lower tibia below the bottom portion of the metal plate is still there, but not as dark as before. The surgeon can't explain it, but it isn't as noticeable as last time and, based on everything else, an infection in my bone has been pretty much ruled out. There is still a moderate amount of swelling around my ankle, although it is improving, but this is not due to infection. It turns out I have a pretty badly sprained ankle. This is typical with the kind of injury that I have. At this point my bone is doing fine and it is the sprain that is giving me the most difficulty. I still can only stretch my ankle about 80% of its normal range. It's a bit painful when I walk and it causes me to walk with a slight limp. However, I still refused the anti-inflammatories and ankle brace that the surgeon suggested. I've been doing some additional kinds of stretches with my ankle and in the last two days it has improved a fair bit. Today I had almost no limp even when I was walking my dogs. Tomorrow I have to teach a six and a half hour field workshop out in the woods. We'll see how well I hold up with that one! On Wednesday I'm off to Mexico for a week and a half, then I'm back for a day and off to Lake Superior for another week. This is part of my work, not a holiday. I am very grateful to be able to go as it was looking unlikely right after my injury. It will probably be awhile before I can run or carry a heavy pack, but otherwise my life is pretty much back to normal!

So here are the changes to the protocols that I have been using:

Systemic Herbal Formulation: In Part 4 of this series I provided the details of the third and fourth systemic formulations that I used. At about the nine week point the fourth formula ran out. The fifth version of the formulation contained wild bergamot herb (Monarda fistulosa) 20%, boneset herb (Eupatorium perfoliatum) 20%, common comfrey herb (Symphytum officinale) 18%, wood nettle herb (Laportea canadensis) 15%, maidenhair tree leaf (Ginkgo biloba) 15%, turmeric rhizome (Curcuma longa) 10%, and white pine leaf/twig (Pinus strobus) 2%. I added the wild bergamot because of the risk of infection in my tibia. It is an excellent herb for circulation and inflammation, but it is also an amazing antimicrobial. Yesterday I ran out of my fifth formulation and once more I made a slight change, substituting common burdock herb (Arctium minus) for boneset, and reintroducing stinging nettle herb (Urtica dioica) instead of wood nettle. Otherwise the formulation is the same. These changes were primarily implemented to prevent my body from getting too used to the formulation. I am continuing to take 6 ml three times per day on an empty stomach, 5-10 minutes before each meal.

Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), my dear friend and colleague!

Herbal Sleep Formulation: I have been sleeping great, but probably not enough because most nights I have been working late. To support my healing process by making sure that I continue to get good sleep, I am still taking 0.75 mg of melatonin and an herbal sleep formulation when I go to bed. I have made additional adjustments to my sleep formulation so that my body doesn't get used to it and it continues to be somewhat coordinated (overlapping) with my daytime formulation. I have made two additional sleep formulations since my last post coinciding with the two most recent systemic formulations for my leg. The first one contained English lavender flowering spike (Lavandula angustifolia) 20%, wood nettle herb (Laportea canadensis) 20%, St. Johnswort herb (Hypericum perforatum) 20%, common comfrey herb (Symphytum officinale) 15%, hop strobilus (Humulus lupulus) 15%, wild bergamot herb (Monarda fistulosa) 9%, white pine leaf/twig (Pinus strobus) 1%. The most recent one that I prepared a couple of days ago contains English lavender 20%, stinging nettle 20%, St. Johnswort 20%, hop 20%, common comfrey 10%, wild bergamot 9%, white pine 1%. I am continuing to take 6 ml immediately before bed. Very rarely I've needed to take an additional 3 ml dose when I've woken up at the crack of dawn and had difficulty falling back asleep.

Homeopathic Remedies: I am continuing to take the same homeopathic remedies that I indicated I was using in Part 3.

Supplements: I am continuing to take the same supplements that I indicated in Part 2 except, as I mentioned in Part 4, I no longer need to take probiotics.

Topical Herbal Preparations: As I mentioned above, the infection underneath a scab that I discussed in Part 4 is gone, but the skin around my incision is still a bit astringed from doing too many poultices. As a result, I've had to cut back further on the topical preparations compared to what I was doing before. In spite of this, I have hardly any scar! Here's what I am currently doing:
  • When I wake up I apply the liniment I am using (see Part 2) to my whole lower leg up to and including my knee, but not to the area of the incisions themselves. I actually ran out of the liniment and made a new batch. It has the same essential oils in roughly the same proportions, but I increased the potency to 3 drops per ml of base oil and the base oil is now 2/3 the infused oil I have been using and 1/3 castor bean oil (Ricinus communis). I made these changes because I was concerned about the possibility of an infection in my lower tibia. This has now been ruled out, but I am continuing to use the higher potency liniment to help address my sprained ankle. I do not apply anything to the area of my skin around the scar that is still somewhat astringed.
  • In the evening before I go to bed I reapply the liniment as in the morning, but this time I apply castor oil to the astringed areas of my skin. This has been an interesting experiment because I haven't really used castor oil before. Nevertheless, I know a couple of people who have had great success treating bone fractures almost exclusively with castor oil packs. The castor oil is very drawing and it is accelerating the exfoliation of the dry scaly skin. However, it is also slightly astringent. Initially I tried applying it twice per day and it actually aggravated the astringed skin a bit. I've found once per day to be working much better. Once the astringed skin heals, I will go back to applying Monika's scar ointment to the area of the incision (see Part 4).

Castor bean oil (Ricinus communis) has many healing properties.
It can also help reduce infections deep in the tissues.

So there you have it! Needless to say, I'm very happy with how things are going. No matter how much we think we know, healing is still a very powerful and mysterious thing. It never ceases to amaze me, whether I'm experiencing it first hand or supporting other people with their healing process.

I'm going to be out of commission for the next few weeks as I will be off working in Mexico and then near Lake Superior. I will report on how my leg holds out when I get back ... and then maybe it will be time to write about something else. Enjoy the spring (or fall if you live in the deep south)!

1 comment:

  1. It’s great to hear that you’re doing fine now. While modern medication and therapy really help speed up the progress, resorting to holistic care is also a good option. The reason is that this kind of method heals not only the affected part, but the whole body as well. Take care!

    Romeo Perales @ Primary Care