My Healing Journey - Part 2
So we left off at the end of Part 1 of my healing journey in previous post discussing how I began my recovery with adrenal fatigue and chronic pain. Go check it out here if you haven't read it already and I would suggest to read that post first before this one:
And now let's jump into Part 2!
So once my energy had returned and I was feeling stronger both physically and mentally with my health I was able to look more into what could be holding me stuck in chronic pain from an emotional perspective because as we know, the body keeps a score and I certainly have clocked up my fair share of trauma so it's not surprising my body was presenting in pain that was unexplained.
I had been on a 3 day, 84 kilometre, mountain biking adventure on the incredible Heaphy Track at the top of New Zealand's South Island (pic above taken on Day 3) and on Day 1 my front tyre hit a small stone on the track and bounced me out the the left. There was quite a drop off/cliff to my side and I put my leg out to brace myself from falling and that small movement was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. That tiny, insignificant event that opened a massive can of worms. I didn't actually hurt myself but my left hip went into a pain state about 3-4 weeks after this that lasted nearly 3 years. 24/7 pain, no real reason why. I went to EVERY type of medical practitioner you can imagine. All my scans, x-rays, blood tests and investigations came back clear. "There's nothing wrong with you" they told me. At the worst point in this time frame I couldn't even walk to the letterbox. I couldn't sleep on my left side at all. I was waking 1-4 hours nightly in pain for 3 years. Sure, there's nothing wrong.
By pure chance a sports medicine doctor I saw from Wellington put my onto a specialist in Auckland who'd just been to New York to a conference about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and she felt I presented with a lot of the symptoms of the hyper mobility strain of EDS so off I went to Auckland and got diagnosed with hEDS (Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) in Jan 2018. This was the cause of my pain they told me. There is no cure for it and it's basically about managing the pain/condition which I was already doing so nothing really changed. What is EDS? It's a connective tissue disorder that mostly affect the skin, joints and blood vessels. Symptoms include overly flexible joints that can dislocate, repeated injuries, injuries that take longer to heal. Skin that's translucent, bruises easily, has less elasticity, scars don't mesh together tightly and produces faulty collagen. In some cases the symptoms can be very severe including organs rupturing so google it if this interests you.
I walked out of there and really didn't take much of this diagnosis on board and wasn't about to sit around saying to myself "well this is it, a lifetime of pain with no cure" so I continued to get curious and dove into learning all about the mind/body connection to pain. This is me above a couple of days before the appointment. You'd hardly know I was in so much pain. And that is a key representation of EDS and many chronic illnesses, looking like nothing is wrong. In medicine, the term “zebra” is used in reference to a rare disease or condition. Doctors are taught to assume that the simplest explanation is usually correct to avoid patients being misdiagnosed with rare illnesses. Doctors learn to expect common conditions. 1 in 5000 people have hEDS.
I studied, I worked hard on learning as much as I could about how trauma can effect the body on a physical level as well as mentally. I worked with a couple of practitioners, the first doing bio field healing and then intuitive/personal coaching - both were good and I took something away from their services but was still in pain so I kept searching. It's been a very lonely journey at times and incredibly hard but I am so proud of myself for keeping on going.
Next I came across emotional body therapy or somatic release work. There are multiple names for this work but it's basically a somatic emotional release process, based on the principles of psychosomatic therapy tapping into suppressed emotions from past traumatic events that may hold us stuck in a state or pain, disease or illness. Bingo, I had my game changer that shifted me to 98% pain free. I released emotions attached to several past traumatic incidents and one in particular sent a sharp stabbing knife feeling into my left hip and the chronic pain that had been there for 3+ years left my body and hasn't returned. INCREDIBLE! So needless to say this became my focus and passion to not only do more of this work on myself but to study and learn how to do it on others. You can read more about it here: https://www.ninakennett.com/services
This work can be a bit like peeling layers from an onion. Sometimes we need to really strip away those layers of trauma to get to the bottom of it. We remove one layer then another appears then repeat. It is hard work but oh so rewarding. It's an ongoing work in progress and I still do release work on myself but my physical pain has changed, as has my emotional state, overall well being and my ability to cope with stressful situations and life's curve balls.
I have been sharing my healing journey and growth over on Instagram, www.instagram.com/ninakennett_ for the past 3 years now so be sure to give me a follow and read more about what I have implemented! Not on Instagram? No worries, you can follow me on Facebook too https://www.facebook.com/ninakennettcoaching but this account was only created at the end of last year so doesn't have as many stories about me, my health and wellness journey.
I look forward to sharing more with you over on my socials so would love to hear from you!
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