May 09, 2007
My family members have come to be true believers in the naturopathic form of healing, more likely to sniff eucalyptus oil than take Sudafed or seek out cranial sacral therapy for headaches. We get belligerent at airports trying to educate security officials about the necessity of Arnica gel or Ylang-Ylang for heart palpitations.
For me, vitamin C, yoga and a preservative-free diet are health insurance even though I pay a hefty fee each month to an insurance company which in turn pays for none of the things which keep me healthy. However not everyone is in the same frame of mind. I learned this when a good friend ended up in the emergency room.
She called to say she'd hit her head really hard on the corner of a medicine cabinet (see the danger of a medicine cabinet) and was bleeding, could I come over right away? I arrived to find her with a small gash just below her eyebrow standing about as steady as a newborn colt. I felt slightly unprepared as I had brought tea tree oil and a Band-Aid. After a phone consultation with a walk-in clinic, it seemed clear we'd better head to the ER to deal with a possible concussion.
I gathered her and her things to drive to the hospital. En route I could see that she was feeling really queasy, and her head was pounding. "I have some lavender oil you could sniff," I offered helpfully. Lavender oil is the Swiss army knife of aromatherapy – calming, soothing, and great for cuts and burns. I literally saved the skin on my left hand which I had accidentally poured boiling water over (okay so my pre-caffeine motor skills are right up there with the newborn filly) by keeping it steadily soothed with lavender oil, and it's amazing, there's no scar.
So in any case, my friend just looked at me like I'd asked if she'd like to stop for a cappuccino on the way and said, "Uh, no." I decided not to belabor the point as mostly I wanted to keep her talking to see how her memory was doing.
We arrived at Southampton Hospital, and I helped her in – luckily it was a Tuesday morning in May so there was hardly anyone there. I congratulated her on the timing of her possible concussion because if she'd hit her head on a Sunday in July we'd be screwed. She did not quite see this silver lining.
They wheeled my friend back to have a doctor check her out, and I went outside to use the phone to cancel my hair highlights appointment, an ultimate act of friendship sacrifice topped only by offering to drive someone to Newark Airport. After the CAT Scan, they allowed me to sit with her, and she complained of thirst and a headache. Apparently they wouldn't give her water or aspirin until they received the results. I took out the Bach Flower Rescue Remedy from my purse, great for trauma and all natural, but with a nurse entering the room just took some myself.
The doctor came in to make notes on the chart and looked up at us asking the date. I pulled a total blank, and we both looked to my friend. "Hey, I'm the one with the head wound here," she reminded us. He delivered the news that the CAT Scan was normal, and he'd just take care of stitching the wound. She protested the needle. I asked about his plastic surgery skills. I offered to hold her hand but she said she might break it. Bandaged up and set to go we headed back to her apartment.
I told her I had to get back to work but offered to bring her some food or water. "That's OK," she said, "I'm just going to have some Fruit Loops." Gulp. This is blasphemy in the naturalist world. I didn't say anything but ran immediately to Provisions to purchase her a health shake and not only dropped it off but insisted she drink it in front of me.
She seems to be on the mend but I'm trying to figure out if I should have her start using the fabulous essential oil scar blend now or wait until the stitches are out.
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