Today I was visiting with another therapist. There I sat on her veranda, we had just finished lunch, when a car pulled up. She was not expecting anyone else, but peered to see who it was. Three ladies alighted. Then her daughter remembered to say that someone had called for her earlier. Hmmm. The ladies approached us and after greeting the therapist with hugs and kisses, they came over to hug and kiss me. No, no one wore mask. The mother of the two teens was a returning client. After pleasantries, she was escorted to the massage room. I was asked to follow the therapist to her kitchen. There she asked if I could participate in the session. Agreed.
I sat cross legged filling out the consultation form in the massage space. The client was already on the table. No draping was done…the norm for the client, and fine by me. Everything is not for everyone. Folk who are hugging and kissing their therapist can’t then be expected to hide under covers. I doodled across the lower back of the diagram of the lady on the form, down the posterior side of the right leg, and also the lower abdomen/pelvic area. The client complained of pain in the hips which radiated down the hamstrings. Sometimes the pain went around the front and down into the pelvis. I wrote that her doctor said that she had a pinched nerve and prescribed anti-inflammatory medication, which she was taking. But after a while, human touch becomes necessary, so clients have been returning to the therapy room.
As the therapist worked she spoke with the client about another condition from which she suffered. I began scribbling again on the form: Client has been spotting light to heavy daily for 7 months – caused by prescribed contraceptive (injection). Doctor advised that this is normal and may occur for 1 year before balancing out. I then got up and took a seat closer to the client’s head. Could you tell me that again? How long have you been bleeding? Seven months, she said. And your Doctor said you have five more month of this? Possibly. (Permission to speak loosely or swear granted, and taken.) He said this is normal? This is flabbergasting. The driver of the car is her husband, who is also a client, but today he sat outside in silence while she got the attention. I’m still choking on the 7 months. How do you even have a husband? Not that he should not be supportive…
Interestingly, the client has two sisters using the same contraceptive with the desired outcome. She is the only one having to make the daily choice of liner, pad, or tampon. We spent a moment on her diet. I suggested dropping ginger tea (a regular habit) for a week and see what changes. Ginger loves to clean the womb. For example, you can have two periods in one month with ginger beer, so there is wisdom in moderation. There are other things for her to moderate, but one at a time so that she is clear on what is contributing to her condition, apart from the obvious. And obvious questions were asked, not requiring verbal responses. Like… Is it so important to not get pregnant that you are willing to bleed like this? Could there be, has there been conversations with your husband about him using contraceptives? How do the young ladies feel about having another sibling? The teens were called in to participate. There was an awkward start talking about menstrual pain, then we got around to new sibling, and helping mom do research on her medication and formulate a few written questions that she can ask the doctor on her next visit.
We did a bit on the endocrine system and speculated to our hearts’ content about the thyroid, the pituitary gland, and the ovaries themselves. The therapist felt the client should not have the follow-up injection, but rather allow her menstruation to return to normal. Give it seven months if necessary. The client felt the doctor would disapprove discontinuation and is afraid to upset him. Finish the year, was my suggestion. Pay attention to the ups and downs of it. Do a journal if necessary. The knowledge you gain could help both you and the doctor to make the best decision for you in the end. As these things go, my presence was slowing up the massage. Much talking can automatically cause unnecessary repetition of strokes. The client was still prone after an hour. I expressed appreciation to them for sharing the space/moment/time with me. The sentiment was returned. My experience with them today was unpredictable, hurtful, and yet fulfilling. Someone said it is pain, not love, that binds us.