As a follow up to my post about parasites, I want to talk about intestinal parasite pain. In short, it’s awful. To give a basis of comparison, it can be as bad as natural childbirth, and in some ways, I think it’s actually worse. The uterus is a muscle that is meant to contract and push out a baby, though that’s still quite painful. The intestines are not really designed to endure violent cramping, and thus, the pain feels even more unnatural.
When I am dealing with intestinal parasites, it’s miserable. I usually end up having ten plus extra soft and caustic bowel movements a day which to put it politely, irritates one’s anus. The parasites interrupt sleep. They cause nightmares when they are dying off. There’s not a huge amount to do to help with it all. I take L-Ornithine to bind with the ammonia that some parasites release as a byproduct. Both chlorella and chlorophyll also can be helpful to eliminate toxins from the parasites. But in general, even prescription painkillers like hydrocodone don’t even begin to touch the pain from the parasites dying off.
When parasites die off, they cause episodes of major pain for me that would last for anywhere from one to four hours, and then my abdomen would be incredibly sore for many hours after that. With each round of intestinal parasites that I’ve battled, I have found that different things brought me minor relief. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for what would work. Each time the next round started, I’d have to figure out what would work for me that day. Most of the time, I would pray to any higher power that might be listening for sleep, and when I could sleep through it, even if it was only for 30 minutes at a time before a major cramp would wake me up, I considered myself blessed because that was 30 less minutes of conscious pain.
With one set of intestinal parasites, the homeopathic blend Diarrhea made by Heel BHI gave me some cramp relief, but it didn’t help in future episodes. Neither heat nor cold on my abdomen seemed to help much, and at times it made the pain worse. Baths and showers sometimes helped and sometimes made me more miserable. At times I found that walking in straight lines helped relieve some of the pain; other times it was walking in large circles that helped. Sometimes I needed to be lying in bed as straight as could be, but other times I needed to be curled up in a ball. Yet other times I was most comfortable sitting inclined in a recliner. Frequently, listening to music was helpful in keeping me relaxed through the pain: I listened to CDs by Joshua Radin, Josh Groban, Matt Nathanson, and Celtic Christmas more times than I can count on perpetual repeat all night long.
In one of the oddest solutions, I started craving chewable vitamin C tablets like crazy during one of the intestinal parasite episodes. I decided that the worst it could do was create more diarrhea, so I started sucking on the vitamin C like breath mints. Whether it was the sucking motion, the release of saliva, or the C itself, I don’t know, but they seemed to help a bit that particular evening.
Parasite pain almost always struck me in the evening. This meant I spent a great deal of the time fighting them alone. On one hand, that was a good thing as my kids could be with their dad and I didn’t have to try to handle them while I was in excruciating pain. On the other hand, that meant I was fighting the pain on my own. While I had done all of my active labor with my youngest child on my own, that was in no way as painful as what I went through with the parasites. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed for a parasite doula to come help me through the pain.
© 2014 Green Heart Guidance