Growing up I never enjoyed the taste of medicine, and as I evolved to have a voice of what would go inside my body I never partook in medication. From Tylonel to birth control it was a hard no for me. I didn't like the way it tasted, or made my body feel. By this point I had well surpassed the age of getting vaccinations, except one ... the flu shot. Each year the time would come around and I would choose to pass on this vaccination.
In 2014, at the ripe old age of 21 I found myself working in the emergency room of a hospital. I absolutely fell in love with the medical field here; the trauma area of the ED (emergency department) was full of heart palpitating adrenaline and it is what sparked my desire to become a trauma surgeon, and later, a neurosurgeon. Let's not understate the severity of being a trauma patient, or the work of the physicians, nurses and other clinical staff. It can be as grueling and sad as it is happy and successful - I had the privilege of watching a team work together like a well oiled machine, and they inspired me to want to be apart of that world (among other reasons).
As I entered the sliding doors of that ever-so-familiar ED, and made my way to the ambulance bay, I saw carts of vaccinations moving throughout the HUB (the central area where physicians, nurses, PCT, and other clinical and non-clinical staff alike sat). As they approached my work station, my palms began to get clammy. It was time for my flu shot, and I really just hate needles. I reluctantly lifted the sleeve of my forest green button up, and asked for a countdown before the non-avoidable poke. 1-2-3 it was finished, and I quickly got back to work. The shift zoomed by, as it always did in a busy ED, and I was never more excited to get home to sleep. With an aching arm, my head touched the pillow and I was asleep.
The next morning I awoke and my left arm was a bit tingly; as if I had fallen asleep on it wrong and it needed to wake up. As I slowly sat up, and tossed my legs over the side of the bed, I realized that the numbness feeling was actually on the entire left side of my body. I tried to shake it off, and went on about my day, preparing to go back to the ED for another shift. The numbness did not subside; it didn't inhibit my ability to complete my tasks, it just felt strange. I mentioned it to a few people at the hospital in a joking manner and we all giggled. A few weeks went by and I was still struggling with the numbness. It just wouldn't go away.
When I was 18 I began having symptoms that always made me wonder if I had Multiple Sclerosis. Growing up my dad lived (and still lives) a seemingly uninhibited life with the disease. I was very familiar with it, felt like I might of had it too, but never did anything beyond contemplating thoughts. Until 2014 post flu shot.
There were a few diagnosis tossed around, but after some research I found a neurologist, scheduled some MRIs and was on my way to finding answers. Sitting still for someone with MS is quite difficult, so you can only imagine how difficult an MRI can be. Four hours of laying in the same position, creating songs in my head to beeps and clicks of the machine, staying awake to ensure my eye movement is minimal, all to avoid a repeat MRI. At the end of a few series of MRIs (I honestly can't remember now if it was 3 or 4 sessions) I anxiously awaited the doctors call to go over the results. He suggested I come into the office... I knew in that moment. I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS. He handed me a booklet of medications to review, asked if I was ok, and home I went. Honestly, I was ok because I felt like I had already known for sometime. I could just feel it in my bones... I have always had a gift of medical intuition. On the drive back to my Vanilla Bean scented apartment I called my mom and dad and asked them to come over so I could share the news. As I started to tell them what the doctor had said I broke down, this is the first and only time I have ever cried about having MS. I gave myself one night to sulk to out, to ponder what could be, took a deep breath, and said ok how can I help others with this. All the while I reviewed the booklet and said nope! I am not going to kill my body just to cover up symptoms.
I took to social media and asked if anyone new of any natural options for numbness, pain, and other ailments that may come with MS. One of my friends suggested I try essential oils. She offered time and time again to come chat with me, but honestly I just blew it off. Until one day (months after my diagnosis, and her offering to just provide information). My friend spent the afternoon explaining the oils and sharing how to use them. She had told me that she knew others with MS who had success using Frankincense. I immediately snagged a bottle and slathered my left side in it. I did not dilute the oil, which is highly recommended, especially when you have never used them before. I went to bed that night with Frankincense on my night stand, accompanied by a diffuser wafting Frankincense throughout my room. The smell was peaceful, and I drifted to sleep, not noticing that the numbness was fading, and I was beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin again.
The next morning I awoke with absolutely no symptoms. To my surprise, I felt back to normal. To this day, I still have episodes of sided numbness and moments where I want to crawl out of my skin. It is a feeling that is hard to put into words; it is annoying and frustrating. As I type this blog post to you, I am experiencing left sided numbness and my face is beginning to itch (because it's going numb). It is almost a daily struggle (some more severe than others), but Frankincense is my saving grace. It is what makes my body responses calm, and return to a normal state.
This blog post is written entirely from my experience, and I have personally had success in using essential oils to minimize body responses to my disease. I do not in any way claim that essential oils or this post should be used to treat, diagnose, or cure, your ailments or health conditions. Please seek the help of a physician if you have questions regarding your personal health.