My stomach/intestines have still not recovered from my experience on the PCT. There have been many, many days since I returned home in which I have been rendered incapacitated in tremendous pain. The only thing I can do is lie down and sleep for hours. This pain aids in keeping my energy and activity level down and doesn’t help with writing or any other creative endeavors. Yesterday was one such day. Lately, these days have been occurring about once every 7-10 days (lasting from 1-4 days) with days of lesser pain in between. I still have not had a normal bowel movement since sometime last May- over one year ago! Sometimes, I can barely manage to walk the couple of flat beach miles near my home. Once, after making it home, I almost couldn’t stand up to boil water to make some ginger tea!
I took a month of probiotics with 80 billion strains (“critical colon”) in March and after that did not improve anything, I tried another month of 150 billion strains (“mega potent”). (These doses make the ones I bought from the drugstore on the PCT laughable- no wonder they did not do anything!) I also tried acupuncture, as recommended by another hiker on the PCT. It helped her fully recover from an amoeba infection that she had struggled with for 2 years. Since there is an acupuncturist that offers community acupuncture across the street from me, I finally decided to try it for about 2 months.
Unfortunately, none of these things worked for me (a result I am very familiar with!). I am going to give the probiotics route one more try by increasing the dose to 200 billion strains (which is more than the body can even handle in one dose!). I was not exaggerating when I said that the antibiotics given to me on the PCT destroyed my entire system!
I still can’t believe how I was able to hike the PCT in that state, with the amount of pain I was in and without the ability to eat! Every time I read a blog in which the hikers are talking about all of their food cravings and about how they can’t eat enough, I remember how I was denied the ability to eat at all for four of the five months I was out there! Some days, I remember where I was on the PCT last year, and my first memory was how much pain I was in that day.
Before I can even think about another hike, I have to get this problem under control. I can’t even live regular life like this!
I’ve also been struggling with a few other physical ailments in addition to my digestive system. For the past several years, my PMS symptoms have been drawn out to 2 weeks in advance of my period with pre-bleeding and cramping. This means that I experience one week without bleeding per month. Not a pleasant way to live! My acupuncturist says that is definitely stealing some of my energy away from me. I did see a doctor about this before I left for the PCT and even had an ultrasound. As usual, they said they could find nothing wrong. My eyes also dried out during the winter and I am still struggling to get them reasonably healthy. They have been problematic since the AT when I really injured them. Apparently, scar tissue built up and now they dry out extremely easily. This year, they have been watering constantly. I have looked up vitamin solutions for both of these issues and after a couple of months of taking them, they might be helping a little… My acupuncturist kept telling me it was allergy season, and despite my explaining to her several times that this was not an allergy-related problem, she did not seem to hear me. She also told me that I was probably ovulating when I pointed to the place my intestines were hurting the most. I was definitely not ovulating, and the pain was directly due to my infection! I also continue to suffer daily from a sinus infection that resulted from a mistake my surgeon made during my double jaw surgery in 2006. I have learned that he scraped out all of the cilia in my nasal passage and because it is a structural problem, there is no remedy for the daily build up of think congestion which now has now way out. (Again, my acupuncturist did not listen to what I told her about this problem and spent time trying to fix it as if it were allergy related). So, after giving acupuncture a try, all of my issues remain unhealed.
I’ve tried vitamin therapy, a previous attempt at acupuncture (the acupuncturist said my base energy was too low for it to work on me), reiki, went to an herbalist and tried her tea therapy, and regularly saw a chiropractor in 2012, all of which failed to make a change in my energy or conditions.
I know what the origins of my low energy are, but I haven’t found a way to overcome this issue as of yet. I think that finding a purpose and filling my life with things that light me up will help the most with this issue. As for the other problems, I really don’t know…