Trauma & Healing

In 1982, as I described in the Emotional Flurry blog, acquiring a body cast was the worst of times. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maslIQxqKsg) To this day, that experience, from start to finish was the most rotten thing I experienced from my fall. The plaster hardening on my skin, the spasms forcing my head to retract as my limbs jolted into the metal bars, the lack of empathy from my doctors, and lastly, the pressure along my ribcage as my weight increased and the cast no longer fit my form combined to create a miserable stew.

The other night while watching The Best of Men, I flashed to my body cast removal. In the film, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann arrived at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire, England toward the end of WWII. Upon his arrival he was appalled by how the partially paralyzed men were heavily sedated and how rancid bedsores riddled the men’s bodies: some hidden from view by plaster casts. In one scene, Dr. Guttmann requested a pair of pliers and proceeded to cut through the plaster, freeing the men from their cage of misery. Although I was upright and a saw was used to crack open my plaster shell, the procedure ended with my digested insides on the floor. The PA’s couldn’t exit the room fast enough, leaving my mother to clean up after her 19 year old baby.

It was inspiring to watch Dr. Guttmann fight for his patients and treat them like human beings. He helped them to rebuild their body, mind, and spirit. Athletic competition added to the recovery of the men in his charge. In this true story, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann is credited for starting the Paralympic games. With modest beginnings, the event has grown to more than 1,000 participants.

With my 35th anniversary approaching in October, I chose to read, The Dive From Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer. On the back cover Packer asked, How much do we owe the people we love? Is it a sign of strength or weakness to walk away from someone in need? As the casualty of the fall, I was intrigued.

Mike, a main character, fell and broke his neck at Clausen’s Pier in Wisconsin. The following is a conversation between his doctor and Mike’s family about his paralyzed condition: “You’ve been waiting and worrying for four weeks, and now that he appears to be resuming consciousness, you’re understandably thrilled. The last thing he knew, he was having fun with his friends. You can’t expect him to be happy or relieved or grateful to find himself alive.”

Mike’s father: “He’s waking up to bad news, even though his waking up is good news.”

When I read this exchange, it gave me pause. My mind jetted back to the instant my life changed. Although my life was far from perfect in 1982, the moment the damage to my body registered, I asked for all of my troubles to be returned to me along with my body sensations. If only I could feel my body again, if only I could get up and walk, if only . . . . However, just as it was laid out in this book, it was all bad news to me, even though good news was right around the corner. One minute I was having fun with my friends, the next my body was splayed out over a boulder. From the chest down, life was literally vacating my body.

At one point, I put Clausen’s Pier aside as a hospital scene ignited my discomfort. However, the next night I picked it back up and continued to read. In my life story, no one walked away from me, although there were times I wished they had. Being surrounded by people when things were at their worst disturbed me. Even as nastiness emerged from every pore, family and friends remained by my side.

To truly release a trauma, the charge diminishes or it no longer captures your energy. Most of the time, my fall is like that. However, occasionally something pricks the old wound. Fortunately, it is short lived and it doesn’t consume me. These days, memories from my recovery bring gratitude. Both the book and the movie gave more to me than they took from me. I realize I am one of the fortunate ones. That’s why I share my story, to help those who are paralyzed in life; whether they can walk or not. Be well… Nancy T

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From Chaos To Order

After being on the road for a few days, I walked into the kitchen where chaos prevailed. In the laundry room, chaos reigned as clean clothes hung to dry and dirty garments laid on the floor. Every room I walk through contained some form of disorder. Moving from one room to the next, I started to puts things where they belonged. Eventually, the table was cleared, the laundry was sorted, and the mail was organized. Order outweighed the chaos.

Dr. Stone, the founder of Polarity Therapy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4vSLvebH_U ) referred to the concept of chaos to order in the healing process. When there is an energy blockage, chaos is apparent. It compares to clothes scattered on the floor. Things are not orderly. However, when the body settles, chaos is replaced by order. Initially, this may feel awkward. It’s like going from slouching to sitting up straight. It’s uncomfortable because we get used to the chaos, to slouching.

The body is constantly working to maintain order. In fact, it’s a job, 24/7. When something goes astray we are jarred. Many times we say, “I must have slept wrong,” or “I just feel off.” Behind the scenes, the body is creating order out of the chaos we subject ourselves to on a daily basis.

In 1982, when I fell forty feet and landed on a boulder my energy system became chaotic. Just as my bones shattered, my energy scattered. It took me many years to understand the severity of the experience. It’s not that I was clueless, but what was truly happening behind the scenes escaped me. All I wanted was my body to return to me. Being paralyzed, I had no idea what that meant or what that would take. Looking back, I recognize the concept of chaos to order at work. I see how I didn’t feel like myself to the point that I thought they gave me someone else’s body at the hospital. Things were extremely unrecognizable.

Through natural therapy, I discovered the beauty of chaos to order. Each step of the way, my body showed me how it could, it would, put things in order. What an incredible gift! The process wasn’t always easy, in fact, many times it was so uncomfortable that I wanted to crawl out of my skin. By hanging in there, I discovered more pieces of me and peace inside. It’s not a one step process, it is a constant work of art. And it is so beautiful. Be well…. Nancy T

  • Go to http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/ to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer (only available by email: nmt1@naturalmassagetherapy.com)$12.00 plus shipping and handling.
  • eBooks are available on Amazon, iTunes, & Nook.

Heart & Soul

In this world, there’s a whole lot of trouble baby,

In this world, there’s a whole lot of pain.

In this world, you have a soul for a compass and a heart for a pair of wings.

Why take when you should be giving,

Why watch as the world goes by?

It’s a hard enough life to be livin’,

Why walk when you can fly?”  ~ Mary Chapin Carpenter

Songs play in my head on a daily basis. Many times the song helps me solve some issue that has troubled me for days. I may wake to a song, or as I am processing, the melody plays in my head. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s lyrics, “You have a soul for a compass and a heart for a pair of wings,” stick with me. I find them quite beautiful, and they fit like a warm coat on a cold winter’s day.

In my “Emotional Flurry” blog, I spoke about my anger. Anger wasn’t simply projected outwardly, it raged deep inside me. In fact, I was pissed at my soul. The lyrics above state, “You have a soul for a compass. . . .” Due to the severity of my injuries, spinal paralysis, I thought my soul abandoned me. How could it guide me to such a miserable place? Decades later, I recognized my soul’s wisdom as countless presents arrived on my doorstep all at once.

With every breath I take, my soul is there, With every move I make, my soul is there. With every word I speak, my soul is there. Just like my heart beats without my telling it to do so, my soul has its own rhythm. In 1982, my soul took flight and kept me afloat through all of the turmoil.

The fall broke open my heart in order for me to soar. The collision of my body against the boulder scattered pieces of my heart. Over the years, I gathered what supported me and left behind that which took too much energy to contain. The wings of my heart emerged and carried me in a loving direction.

This journey hasn’t been easy, but it has been rewarding. Knowing I have a soul for a compass and a heart for a pair of wings gives me a sense of peace now. I’m happy to fly high and give back to this world. Be well… Nancy T

  • Go to http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/ to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer  (only available by email: nmt1@naturalmassagetherapy.com): $12.00 plus shipping and handling.
  • eBooks are available on Amazon, iTunes, & Nook.

** 10 % of the proceeds from “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” benefit the   Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation.

Why Write?

In “Honoring My Life” blog, I acknowledged that I wrote, “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life,” to share all that I have learned about natural therapy with a greater audience. After years in private practice, I recognized my reach was limited to the number of people entering my treatment room. Although a memoir, “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” was also written as a therapy guide. Helping others to help themselves has been richly rewarding.

Writing never came easy to me. In fact, throughout my academic career it was my worse subject. Instead of feeling encouraged, I felt criticized. A college professor actually sent me for a hearing test figuring my lack of writing skills must be related to insufficient hearing. After the tests showed normal hearing levels, I approached my professor to reveal the findings. A hat covered his bald head and a shock of white hair protruded from his ears, perhaps an internal reshuffling of follicles. My eyes honed in on his bushy ears as I shouted, “My hearing tests were normal.” It was rather comical in a disturbing sort of way.

Years later, in order for people to better understand Polarity Therapy, the modality that calmed my nervous system, I wrote articles. Initially, my partner Beth assisted me. Beth guided me in the development of a proficient use of the English language. AND, she did it with kindness, patience, and ease. In turn, Beth became my first editor. Eventually, I stopped asking Beth to edit every single word or phrase that I created. However, without her kind nature and her understanding of the written word, I’m not sure any of this would have been possible. Although I acknowledged her in “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” & “One of Eight––my perspective of our brother’s suicide,” I would like to THANK Beth L. Meyer again.

In 1989, my life changed with the suicide of my eldest brother Ronny. Ronny was a character; a person liked by everyone. It was the saddest day of my life when I saw him a few months prior to his death. The Ronny that I knew and loved was so lost. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find his way back in life and on September 22,1989, his departure from this world shook me to the core. When I contemplated taking my own life, I took to writing. With pen and paper in hand, I headed to Morton’s Arboretum to hang out in nature. Perched against a tree, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. What I learned that autumn day was that journalling is a gift that keeps on giving. Once I finished recording my sorrow, my anger, my loss, I leaned back and cried until my well ran dry. From that day forth, journalling has helped me through countless difficulties. It provides a place to document what I am feeling. To take it from the internal to the external changes everything. I don’t have to worry about how it sounds or if it flows. In fact, that day at Morton’s Arboretum I felt possessed. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. Page after page poured forth. Years later, my journal entries assisted my writing, “One of Eight–my perspective of our brother’s suicide” as well as “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life.” Quite honestly, writing saved my life.

Why write? Well, you never know where it will lead you. As the woman in Questions & Comments blog stated, “We all have a story.” Sharing is healing. Be well… Nancy T

  • Go to http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/ to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer (only available by email: nmt1@naturalmassagetherapy.com): $12.00 plus shipping and handling.
  • eBooks are available on Amazon, iTunes, & Nook.

** 10 % of the proceeds from “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” benefit the   Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation.