I awoke early this morning with what is called a "healing reaction or crisis". My RA hands were swollen and on fire along with my wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet. Looking back to last night I should have noticed the signs. As I was huddled under a blanket and feeling emotional and cold to the bone, the rest of the family were sweating and complaining it was too hot in the house. I knew I wasn't catching a cold or flu as I haven't seen anyone outside our family since starting this journey.
It's hard to describe to someone who hasn't experienced this pain themselves exactly what my auto-immune pain feels like. Or why it's different than normal arthritis or joint pain. All I can tell you is that it IS different. Very, very different. And having a flare is the worst because, at least for me, that means it's not "just" my knees or not "just" one or another set of joints, it's ALL my joints. It also means that the inflammation in the joints creates pain in the muscles surrounding them making basically every part of my body hurt including my eyeballs, yes, my eyeballs.
You may already know what a healing reaction is or this may be the first time you've heard of them.
In my understanding, a healing reaction (or crisis) happens when a person drastically alters their diet from what they typically eat to something incredibly healthy. Without all the bad, toxic foods coming in daily and all the good healing foods replacing them, the body's initial reaction goes something like this, "Ooohhh! Aaaahhh! I feel GREAT! This is AMAZING! There's no sludge, toxins and crap assaulting me continually and I'm actually being NOURISHED in the way that makes me work more efficiently so I now feel like a million bucks!" Then, after a few days of actually working efficiently the body has eliminated the immediately available toxins and has to start working on the toxins deeper in the body, cells, etc. This means that the body has fully activated it's immune system and is sending it's worker drones in to create healing inflammations in the body to remove the toxins deep within. THIS IS A GOOD THING! According to Charlotte Gerson in her book "Healing The Gerson Way":
"When the body is first turned around towards healing, what Dr. Gerson called the "healing mechanism" is being activated and the immune system begins to kick in. The body produces a healing inflammation and releases toxins from the tissues, producing a massive toxic load that has to be eliminated from the liver. The process is sometimes accompanied by a healing fever and even spells of depression and panic."She goes on to add the list of other possible side-effects including: weakness, fatigue, increased pain, fever, nausea, diarrhea, gas and changes in or lack of appetite. Although the first flare-ups are short lived and minor, later healing reactions can bring about much more impressive results such as attacking malignant tissues, healing old injuries, fractures, scars and other serious conditions as well as high blood pressure and diabetes. Go to www.gerson.org to learn more about what I consider to be one of the best healing therapies known to man.
Day seven has not been my favorite day, that's for certain. It's nearly 5:30 pm and I still feel like I was run over by a bus or something. I did all my normal things as usual, although slower. I also took a long hot soak in epson salt, baking soda, sea salt and lavender essential oil.
My first SMOOTHIE was 2 CUPS WATER, 3 HANDFULS POWER GREENS, A BAG OF STRAWBERRIES AND A BANANA.
This afternoon I've been sipping on my own 100% organic Oolong Blackberry Agave Kombucha.
Later this evening I'll make another smoothie. Maybe. Right at the moment I just want some hot tea, a blanket and a chick flick.