By Ellen Smith.
I live with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and sarcoidosis. Recently, I just endured my twenty-fourth surgery, to improve the quality and safety of my life. Two years ago, after a neck fusion, one of the unfortunate results was that my gut just totally shut off. Life changed to requiring needing daily enemas, weekly trips to undergo colonic treatments and gradually developing the capacity to accept learning how to accept all this. I went to work researching out to try to better understand what was wrong and how I might learn to improve the situation.
In time, it was eventually diagnosed that my issue was a motility issue. I had to learn to accept this “new me” and withdraw my head from the emotional gutter of feeling unclean and broken without a functioning working gut. It was actually harder to accept than I ever expected, but I was lucky to be alive and I didn’t want this issue to define me. I learned to get up from the breakfast table when there was clearly no action happening and make light of being off to use an enema and sit in the bathroom for a period of time in cramps as the body attempted to rid the waste.
Following an extended overnight holiday visit with our children and grandchildren this past Thanksgiving, our family departed and left us with the gift of a cold that my husband and I had not faced in ages. As the congestion set in, I remembered back to a homeopathic doctor encouraging me to try ALFALFA tablets to help absorb the congestion, since I am not able to metabolize any decongestants. So, I bought a bottle of organic tablets and gave it a try. I recalled that he expected me to take the tablets about every 3-4 hours , a much higher dose than was on the bottle, and then cut slowly back as the congestion receded. Within a short time, I suddenly not only found relief with congestion, but I also started to be shocked that the gut was waking back up after two years of inaction. I was waking up in the morning to first gas being passed, which is a wonderful sign of some action happening, to then full elimination. To my amazement, my gut became like a “real person” again and each morning I would wake up to normal elimination! It was an unexpected surprise and huge welcome gift!
I am presently now nine days post-op from a neck fusion revision. This life saving surgery had to be done and I was emotionally ready to accept that this would most likely shut the gut back down. By the third day in the hospital, I decided to again start taking my ALFALFA tablets to see what would happen. To my shock, the next AM the gut kicked back in, four days after the surgery. As I laid in that hospital, I thought of all the others out there like me and had to wonder, could this work for others with motility issues too?
So, I share my story with you. I can’t explain to you what it is about the alfalfa that is waking up the gut, but I also don’t want to be selfish with what I unexpectedly discovered, just in case this could work for you, too. If you decide to try this, I encourage you to find the organic alfalfa tablet that has no chemicals on it. And if you are like me and have trouble with swallowing, I have found the tablets easily melt away in a little water, making it so much easier to swallow and digest I have now been able to keep the gut “on active” despite reducing my intake down to 10 tablets a day and I intend to see if I can even keep reducing the quantity further.
I am terribly drug and food reactive, but somehow was lucky to discover this new magic. May this also work for someone else out there, for I know how devastating it is to work with a motility issue, that prevents elimination of the waste, which is so very critical for physical and emotional health and well-being.
Ellen Smith and her husband Stu live in Rhode Island and are co-directors for Cannabis Advocacy for the US Pain Foundation and contribute to the National Pain Report.