A 36 year old female accountant contacts me for a consult. Her chief complaint is digestive problems and undiagnosed IBS. She cites extremely runny bowels with great urgency. She explains this has been a lifelong problem and that she experiences gas which she feels moving around her bowels often, as well as copious daily eruptions. Her bowel movements are 6-9 times a day with great urgency. When she becomes inflamed she manages these issues with diet by eating nothing but mung bean, curry, rice and carrots for 3 – 5 days then slowly reintroducing non-gluten, non-dairy foods, a different one every week until she’s able to eat normally again. These bouts usually come 2-3 times a year and last for a month to three months.
As we did a review of systems I found that she’d had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) two years ago. She has suffered from neurocardiogenic syncope (NCS) since she was 12. She was on beta blockers which she felt weren’t helping and hasn’t taken them for over 10 years now. When she feels an NCS attack come on she explains that she sees an auric light around everything. Her finger tips, lips and tip of her tongue get numb and seconds later she passes out. She’s had an attack at least once a year and in some of the more stressful years 2-3 times a year. The particular night of her TBI she was out dancing with friends and started to see the telltale aura around everything. She quickly tried to get herself over to a barstool but before she could sit down she passed out, smacking her face on the bar. She cracked the left front of her skull on the forehead just above her eye, chipped a few teeth and damaged her knee and left arm in the crash. The bar staff had an ambulance take her away – hastily treating her like she was just drunk.
Unfortunately the treatment she received at the hospital was not much better. They also just treated her as if she was inebriated, although she had a huge gash on her head with incoherent communication and an arm that was completely numb. Thankfully a friend was able to get to the hospital and relay she had a NCS attack. At the time the patient could understand what was being said to her but couldn’t communicate but a few words like “hit head” and “can’t move arm”. She was sent home with a bandage on her head, no x-ray, and to follow up with her PCP.
In the week after her injury she still could not speak coherently nor find the right words to communicate her needs. Her ability to discern her environment compromised. “It was like looking at the rainbow. Where does one color really end and another begin?” The curtain became part of the wall, the hand became part of the table. Then she would lose the words for all those items – hand, wall, table. She would get this distortion both visually and mentally when she was looking for the words. Then she would get lost in the esoteric thought of the item / word she wanted to say, feeling like she was high.
These situations were very scary for her and made her feel like she was losing her grip on reality. The instances usually happened when she was trying to communicate with someone, such as after trying to find the word glass but couldn’t, seeing the glass become the table, and would begin thinking about how amazing water is – just bursting into tears mid-sentence because all she wanted to do was ask someone to hand her the glass of water, but she couldn’t communicate it.
She couldn’t really do anything to take care of herself or her child. She’d pass out several times a day from the NCS, crawling to the bathroom and for other needs so she wouldn’t pass out and smack her head again. She’s experienced lots of dizziness to the point where when she tried to stand up, it completely threw her off balance. That on top of the spaced out distortions of what was the wall or the door or where the wall and door differentiated themselves made it very confusing. She was able to get an emergency visit to the PCP. After an X-ray and MRI it was determined that she had a cracked skull and non-descript bruise on her brain and was sent to a neurologist as the next step. After 6 weeks of the symptoms minimally dissipating (the NCS attacks each week went from 50-45, 45-32, etc., mobility and some feeling returning to arm, etc.) She was seen by the neurologist who recommended bed rest and to follow up with her in a month. She was advised to sit in a dimly lit room, no reading, no TV, not a lot of commotion or activity, no work, nothing that really makes her brain work.
Over the next month her friend took over all domestic needs for her and her child. Sometimes she could walk to the bathroom and be fine while other times she couldn’t be on her feet for more than a few minutes without becoming so dizzy she lost balance. Multiplication and mental math were impossible which made her life as an accountant virtually impossible.
At six months after the accident she was able to return to work for a mere 15 hours a week. She was on her own for all domestic tasks which lead to her being more stressed out, increasing NCS attacks and was often weepy over her condition. She now has attacks of time loss.
She now sits with me two years after the accident. She’s still in a similar spot, unable to multitask, losing time once a month or remembering things differently from how they happened. Her NCS attacks are down to once every few months. She explains to me that she was always spacey and ADD as a child and came up with coping mechanisms to process the world. She had a good memory which was her saving grace as she puts it. These coping mechanisms that she’s used her whole life aren’t working because she simply can’t remember.
Generals – Faintness
Generals – Hypotension
Generals – Faintness – sudden
Generals – Faintness- numbness – tingling with
Generals – Convulsions – epileptic – aura
Mind – Unconsciousness
Mind – Absorbed
Mind – Stupefaction
Mind – Delusions – consciousness – higher consciousness; unification with
Mind – Delusions – divine being
Mind – Spaced-out – feeling
Mind – Mistakes – making- time in- conception of time- has lost
Mind – Absentminded- dreamy
Abdomen – Gastrointestinal – complaints
Abdomen – Flatulence
Abdomen – Flatulence – eating- after- agg.
Upon finishing our interview Cannabis Indica 30c was recommended and taken. I wanted to give her a gentle push initially without irritating her NCS.
Follow up four weeks later: Patient states that she’s feeling clearer and more present. She hasn’t lost any time over the last few weeks. She hasn’t had any NCS attacks this month. Her gas isn’t causing bloating and is less rumbly. BM’s have decreased to 4 a day with less urgency. Recommend 200c Cannabis Indica as the initial reaction was favorable.
Follow up 3 months later: Patient states that she’s started her reiki / spiritual counseling practice part time and working her accounting job part time. She’s found the time to be able to get her website and Facebook page together and came up with a marketing plan. She’s not had an NCS attack since the one stated before she came to see me initally. She’s able to get to work on her own and manage her schedule fine. No missed patient times or lost time “day dreaming”. She’s still having issues with gas and IBS but she’s able to trace irritations back to a specific food or food combination ( I.E. coffee on an empty stomach). BM urgency is less frequent down to 3 times a day from 6-9 and not having to run immediately to the bathroom. I decided to wait on giving any other remedies and let Cannabis Indica continue to work.
Follow up 6 months later: Patient states that she’s able to go full time with her practice. She’s been somewhat sleepless and stressed with the transition and worries about money. She’s not had an NCS attack though and feels like she’s really coming into herself. That she’s never felt more present in her skin. Digestively she’s having less gas now and steadily holding 3 BM a day with no urgency. Recommendation wait and let the remedy continue to work.