Maybe I can find morphine… It’s a thought that has crossed my mind every single month at least once, while I’m laying in bed writhing in pain during my menstrual cycle. It’s embarrassing to be honest. I am a huge advocate for natural remedies and alternative therapies. I am not a fan of pharmaceuticals. Not for any reason. Especially not pain. I believe that there’s always a better way. Although, experiencing this pain has helped me to understand people better-people who have, or are currently suffering in excruciating pain. I’ve been there. I’ll do almost anything to alleviate the pain. It’s debilitating. This has been the story for many years. I’ve worked with countless specialists and healers-and still, the pain has come-every month. I give so much time and attention to every aspect of my health, though I haven’t fully dealt with this recurring issue. It’s almost as if I block it out of my mind as soon as I’m not in pain; I don’t even want to think about it.
My incredible partner is supportive, yet I’ve felt so guilty going into panic and fear every month wondering how bad it was going to get. I would wait as long as I possibly could to reach for a painkiller. I believed that I was getting more mentally strong everyday and I could just manage the pain better. It always became, maybe next time it won’t be as bad, maybe next time I won’t have to medicate. Next time seemed to never come. I couldn’t seem to ever manage. I’d beg for Joe to find me more powerful drugs (which he never did) and moan in pain for days. I once had a friend offer me painkillers that I quickly realized were worse than the cramps. I only made that mistake once. I’d rather be in pain than feel like I want to itch my skin off.
There was no avoiding it anymore. I couldn’t block it out. It came right to the surface. At a friend’s place, I sat in a circle of four, my good friend, my stepson Joey, my husband Joe and I. The practitioner knew me quite well, and knew my reaction to the medicine. I received the usual five points, and breathed through the discomfort. I began to feel a moderate cramping sensation as if my moon cycle was arriving early. I asked for the points to be removed. I’d purged and I was feeling the wave
subsiding. I knew that in the past, my body would recalibrate almost instantly-after the points were removed. The practitioner removed them, and the cramps did not subside. The intensity increased. I figured it was the effect of the medicine, and asked if there was an antidote. The practitioner mixed up an herbal tincture and prepared fresh lemon juice for me to drink from the kitchen. The pain did not subside. The intensity increased to the point where I thought I would purge from the pain. I’ve never been in a physical battle, though I imagine that what I was experiencing could be similar. I imagined large swords slicing through my uterus, one after another, in less than one second intervals. I was covered in sweat, writhing on the floor in tears, unable to catch my breath. The practitioner reminded me of my strength, and in that moment, my mind felt strong, though I just couldn’t translate the strength physically. I felt weak and powerless. I’ve had one surgical abortion, which was the most painful experience I’ve ever endured, and yet this was even more excruciating. It was as if I was reliving it. I clenched Joe’s hand as he sat by my side in effort to calm me and offer support. I questioned whether or not it was going to end. I honestly questioned if these were the sensations before death? My mind was jumping to every extreme. Was I bleeding to death? It had to be death if it hurt this bad, right? I had no idea what I was experiencing or if I could endure another second. I couldn’t find a position to comfort myself, so I rocked back and forth, just the way I did, in the clinic, just after the abortion. I asked for pain killers, and ended up taking 3 ibuprofen. I took the herbal antidote and lemon juice as well. I couldn’t manage the pain until an hour in when I went outside in the sun and held my knees, still rocking back and forth. Perhaps it was an hour and a half later that I actually felt functional, maybe longer.
I noticed that I’d bled quite a significant amount after that hour and a half and just assumed that my moon had began early. The rest of the day was hazy. I felt cloudy and disconnected, yet light. I had no idea what had happened, though I knew that I couldn’t avoid the problem anymore.
When I had the abortion, at a low-cost clinic in Chicago, IL. I was told that I’d need follow up treatments. I was struggling financially and had quit my job to study abroad and didn’t have insurance. I decided that I’d be fine without the follow up, even after an ultrasound that revealed I’d need a DNC to clear any remaining “debris” from the surgery. I completely avoided the hospital after this news and never looked back…until Kambo.
This experience was the last Kambo treatment I’d received before departing for the training to become a practitioner myself. It was my seventh or eighth treatment. I hadn’t increased the number of points, or changed the location on my body. I still cannot say for sure why this happened, besides it was just time. I went to the training with little fear. I was adamant to complete with flying colors. I volunteered to do the first treatment and be the demo. I took this spot because I know my tolerance (or I thought I did), and I like to have the minimum effective dose, always, and for everything. I consider myself to be extremely sensitive to stimulus and all medicine. This demo treatment was three points, on my lower right leg. I was a little nervous going in, as I always am, and the last experience didn’t even cross my mind.
The intensity of this three point, basic treatment was something I could have never anticipated. I teetered on the brink of passing out within seconds it seemed. I heard voices, and my teacher informing the students of what I was going through, though I couldn’t respond or fully understand the utterances. I couldn’t speak at all. The last thing I heard her say was, “she’s in no man’s land now.” I came back to, not knowing how much time had passed since I’d heard her speak, and purged. I was feeling elated. Okay, I’ve made it through to the other side. Within a minute, I felt the flare in my uterus. It came on even faster this time. I was on the floor in tears in minutes after the points were applied. It was happening again. I was praying. I was cursing. I was so confused. I moved into every position I could seeking comfort. I had a group of incredible people supporting me, and Joe by my side, once again, though I couldn’t manage the pain-once again.
It was another hour that had passed, and once again, I was beat. I had to lay in bed for hours after the treatment. The color had drained out of my face, and I had no strength to walk or move at all. It was as if my body had truly fought a battle. I had went to war-with myself.
The fear of enduring this pain for a third time was debilitating. I couldn’t complete the training. Even worse, I couldn’t move forward with my life. I had to face this. I left the training feeling like a failure and completely embarrassed that I didn’t have control over my body. I was out of alignment with my belief system. My beliefs are stronger than anything-or so I thought? Then why couldn’t I believe myself to be well and able to manage anything that arises? I was extremely hard on myself after I left and literally put my life on hold for almost five months. Every day, I would wake up wondering if I’d ever be able to complete the training. Would this pain stand in the way of my goals and dreams? I prayed that Kambo would be the bridge that would lead me to the other side. I was ready to leave behind what no longer served me and move fully into serving Kambo. Was I not ready? Why this hurdle? I committed to returning to the training, but was consumed by fear. I spent hours everyday reading online, finding experts on women’s reproductive health, seeking out specialists, doctors, and healers. I spent countless hours and a few thousand dollars. I called every friend I knew in the alternative health world, and listened to every podcast I could find about reproductive health. I didn’t give any effort or focus to anything else. My life was on hold, while I attempted to resolve this issue, and it felt terrible and wonderful all at once-because I was getting answers, insights and solutions.
I found myself at the Women’s Herbal Symposim in May with my dear friend Chantell. I’d left the Kambo training in early March, and thus, it was all fresh. I was on a mission. I was seeking answers. I was open as if I’d removed an armor that allowed magic to flow in. Chantell and I reviewed our workshop options for the first day of the Symposium and decided on the
Lymphatic Breast Massage intensive. I arrived not knowing what to expect, and figured that my breasts were fine so I wouldn’t be able to fully utilize much of the information. I had completed underestimated the wealth of information that was provided by Deanna Batdorff. It was beyond fascinating, and truly nourished me on a soul level. There was a drawing after the class for a few women to receive a brief lymphatic breast massage session and be a demo in front of the class. I put my name in without much faith. One of my silly beliefs that I’m still learning to let go of, is “I never win anything.” This shifted the moment DeAnna put her hand in the basket. I heard a voice in my head as if my higher self seemed to be chiming in, “They’re going to call my name. I need this.” Less than a second later, I heard DeAnna’s voice announce, “Lana Baumgartner!”