Pain Relief in the Palms of My Hands/Misadventures in Home Improvement (Warning: Graphic Pictures)
During the summer of 2014 my husband Dan and I tackled two large home improvement projects amid tending gardens, working day jobs, chasing after 2 kids and family camping excursions. The main projects were tiling the kitchen floor and installing French doors as part of an ongoing extensive kitchen renovation. Thanks in part to YouTube and their plethora of DIY videos we felt reasonably confident that we could pull these two large projects off successfully. In the end we did just that but it was not without the proverbial blood, sweat and tears. I didn’t realize that I was going to have so many new opportunities to utilize my healing skills.
(I look back now to a time, years ago, when I was first learning hands on healing techniques and feeling vexed that no one in my family was in need of immediate pain relief. At the time I thought, “REALLY, we just came out of a 3 summer stretch where someone was falling off of their bikes daily!”)
Dan created my first opportunity. He was removing two old windows from the wall where the French doors were going to be installed. As he torqued a window trying to wrench it free from a nail that he missed with the saws-all, the old brittle glass shattered and a large chunk fell straight down and landed in the inside of his wrist leaving a large gash. After a quick lie down and applying some pressure we decided to wash it out and assess the damage. The good news was that it had already stopped bleeding, (mostly), and a large vein was not severed. The bad news was that it was a fairly large, jagged and deep gash that probably needed stiches. We bandaged and taped it up.
Dan heroically continued to work every day on the kitchen project despite the pain and re-opening of the wound every time he would flex his wrist. As we lay sprawled and exhausted in the living room watching TV most evenings his wrist would start to throb and later keep him from sleeping. Not feeling up to dragging out my Reiki table, I would lay his hand on a pillow in my lap and hover my hands over his wrist sending Reiki energy to his wound. Very quickly the throbbing would go away. He would then tire of having his arm in that position and move only to put it back and ask for more as the throbbing would come back. His wrist quickly healed and now there is only a faint scar remaining. That experience reinforced for us the power of energy and its pain relieving abilities.
The second one injured was myself. After a week of camping I returned exuberant to finish the tiling project. All that was left was the grouting. Dan was working in his office and I decided that I could do the grouting myself. I had insisted on 1 inch hex porcelain tile to match the original tile in our 100 year old house. That’s a lot of grout lines! A quarter of the way in I realized that the dark gray grout was drying on the face of the tile faster than I thought it would. With visions of having to chisel grout off of every 1 inch tile, I worked at a frenzied pace throwing my knee pad to the side and yelling, “Dan, mix more grout!” I faintly noticed my knees burning as I was working but didn’t have time to pause and check it out.
I finished the grouting, sweating and achy I wobbled out to the yard to hose off the buckets and floats. At that point I noticed my pants were soaked from kneeling in the grout and sticking to my legs. Not thinking too much of it I went into the house to strip down and take a bath. When I peeled off my ruined pants it took my skin with it! I received 2nd degree chemical burns on the front of both knees. Needless to say this was extremely painful and the burn actually worsened over the next 24 hours. (I later learned that I should have done something like put vinegar on it to neutralized the high PH of the grout mixture.) Since Dan had eaten all of the Ibuprofen after his window incident I mixed a strong vodka drink and slathered fresh Aloe Vera on my knees. I knew I needed to watch for infection and wondered if I was going to need skin grafts.
Over the next 2 weeks I alternated between 3 dressings; fresh Aloe Vera/frankincense oil/lavender oil mixture, kefir soaked gauze (before you scoff, I actually found a study suggesting that there are decent burn healing properties to kefir), and Neosporin. I kept them uncovered most of the time but that wasn’t always feasible. Just like with Dan’s cut, the worst time was at night when the pain would keep me from sleeping. I found that doing self Reiki on my knees helped the pain tremendously and would allow me to fall asleep. The hardest part was that my arms would get tired of hovering over my knees and of course I would have to sit up to reach my knees instead of lying down when in bed. The acute pain relief from the energy work was amazing even to me. I am so very grateful for it. I watched daily as new pink skin was growing in from the edges of the burns. My knees healed beautifully.