Haemorrhoids don’t Have to be a pain in the Butt
My holistic healing haemorrhoid journey
According to studies on PubMed, the prevalence of haemorrhoids is 4.4 per cent in the general population, worldwide. Although, on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website, it is stated that about 50 per cent of all people will have haemorrhoids by the time they turn 50. Why are so few people talking about it? Is it due to shame about the area affected or is it because we feel alone and don’t realise how many people struggle with it?
Haemorrhoid symptoms are different for everyone and can range from slight discomfort to itching, bleeding and severe pain. It can have devastating effects on your sexual health, intimacy, social wellness, quality of life, as well as overall health and happiness.
My journey for getting the HALO (haemorrhoidal arterial ligation operation) started early in 2023. This procedure is not necessary for everyone and I encourage you to seek help as soon as symptoms start, as there are many other, easier procedures and remedies.
I experienced weeks of extreme pain, inflammation and not being able to do much – barely walking, no exercise (this is one of my stress relievers) and no socialising. I literally just laid in bed for a couple of weeks and mustered up the courage to do just what I had to do and let the rest go, in honour of my own healing process.
I’m many things, but shy is definitely not one of them. When I started experiencing severe symptoms and people asked, I told them what was wrong. So many people opened up and admitted that they struggled with it too. From friends I’ve known for ages to family members and even people I met for the first time. It was quite eye-opening and shocking that no one felt safe to talk about it before. Interestingly, haemorrhoids are an imbalance of the root chakra (our sense of safety and security).
I share my story, hoping that, if you struggle with the same, you will know you’re not alone and it is safe to get support.
I consulted multiple doctors with so many different opinions and prescriptions, ranging from different ointments, strong anti-inflammatories to schedule five pain medications… NOTHING WORKED!
After about three weeks, I stopped everything and reverted back to natural remedies, as this is what I truly believe in. I used cannabis for pain, hot toddies for the inflammation (Dr Arien van der Merwe’s recipe – a pinch of ginger, turmeric and cinnamon with hot water in a shot glass), aloe vera with tea tree to apply on the area, supplements (including our antioxidant, liver support, neuro balance to support me on cellular level), affirmations, to gut-healthy foods (including. spinach, beetroot, avocado, artichokes, water). And finally the severe symptoms subsided.
I ended up having the HALO more than three-and-a-half months later. I had to do intense inner work to help me cope and deal with the situation, in order to feel safe and secure. I had to deal with my darkest fears, limiting beliefs and even parts of my personality that were no longer serving me. My top life and health lessons I’ve learned:
Fear of death
Since I was young I’ve had a severe fear of death (from my dying, to loved ones) that reveals itself often in my life, especially during times of change. I had to deal with this one on a deep level, because things can go wrong when you go under general anaesthetics and I had to face that.
Control what you can; let the rest go
This journey was 15 weeks and was delayed multiple times, due to things out of my control. This meant the operation was rescheduled four times. I went through an emotional and mental health rollercoaster four times! I had a choice – be angry or let it be, knowing it’s all part of a bigger plan. I was angry, but I expressed it appropriately, came around and chose the latter. Yes, it is a choice! An easy one? Definitely not!
Let go of past limitations
The hospital I ended up going to was where my grandmother passed away and the last hospital my dad went before he passed away. I knew something larger was at play and I came to realise how poetic it was. What a great place to let go of the pieces of me that no longer served me, the pieces of which I was dying to be free.
The doctors said I was too young to experience the severity of symptoms, I replied: ‘I was nine when it started’. They were shocked and couldn’t understand why.
My passion is holistic medicine, my scientific mind was curious to figure it out and I got to work. I researched physical, mental, emotional, spiritual reasons and more! According to Louise Hay’s book (Heal Your Body) the probable cause for haemorrhoids include ‘anger of the past, afraid to let go, feeling burdened.’ These were spot on for me, but at first I denied it completely. During my healing journey, I repeated the following affirmation daily (from Louise Hay’s book): ‘I easily and comfortably release that which I no longer need in my life. I release all that is unlike love. There’s time and space for everything I want to do.’
This was probably the most challenging one. Now I know that this was the amount of time I needed to feel okay mentally and emotionally about the operation. This meant that, on the day, I was at ease and had already made peace with it. I also had to wait 10 hours before being operated on. Impatience would have made everything worse. A day procedure turned into my having to sleep over in the hospital. I had nothing with me and really didn’t want to, but everything worked out for the better! I woke up every two hours that night due to pain and the nurses took really great care of me. I had to remind myself constantly that this was for the better and I needed to allow myself to receive support.
A holistic reminder
I was in St Patrick’s Ward, aka the symbol of luck. It also symbolises the three parts of the Divine (in Christianity – Father, Son and Holy Ghost). For me, it was also a reminder of the three parts within ourselves – the body, mind, soul unit. When we can balance all three sides, we can heal anything and can be truly healthy and happy.
Changing my perspective
Throughout this journey I had to continue to become the observer, step outside myself, look at the bigger picture and change my perspective regularly. I had to choose and focus on the lessons rather than the obstacles. If I didn’t, the journey would’ve been way more challenging.
Expressing anger appropriately
Anger is an emotion and it’ll be a part of our lives until the day we die. We are taught by society to shove our uncomfortable emotions deep down and not to show them, even more so with anger. I had to deal with anger from the past and I learned (with help from my mentors) that there is no shame in anger, you need to feel it, in order to heal it. Now if I get angry I scream in the car or into a cushion or I punch it and it passes.
This journey taught me so much about the stigma associated with haemorrhoids, but more importantly I learned so much about myself. I hope that my lessons can help you on your journey and remind you that you can do anything you put your mind to. Remember the way you perceive your life is up to you. Do you believe life is working for you, or against you?