After being bedridden for 10 years and unable to eat solid food for eight, Gwynn knew she had to find a non-surgical solution for her pain and recurring bowel obstructions. Hear her remarkable story of fighting to get her life back and make sure she would be able to be a part of her grandchildren’s life.
Click the video below to watch.
The precipitating even that brought me here was having been in this position of literally lying in my bed for almost 10 years, lying on my side — and, now for the last 4 years, of not being able to be up for even five minutes without having so much pain that it would drive me back to my bed. In the face of having a 24 hour narcotic patch and taking a bunch of narcotics orally through the day… This is also in the face of having stopped eating probably close to six or seven years ago. I stopped eating pretty much completely, maybe even longer ago than that. We finally figured out how to sedate me at night so that I could get in enough nutrition so that I wouldn’t have to be put on a TPN, which is a total parenteral nutrition, where they put a central line in and feed you through your veins. I didn’t want to have to do that. So we learned how to sedate me at night, feed me once the medicine kicked in and put me on my left side where I would fall asleep. With the left-sided lying, things could move through most easily, and that’s how I’ve been living for these last eight years.
The surgeries started in 2005 and all this time my body is making adhesions — and I didn’t even know it because adhesions are talked about so little in the medical community. That is the most frustrating thing because what I know now, if I knew such a long time ago — this would have been a whole different ball game.
Kim and I went to visit my son who had moved to Vermont. I had not been well enough to go visit him; we finally made it up there. We were only there for 24 hours and it was very difficult just to be there with him. As we were leaving I felt particularly bad and had to lie down on his couch; I was crying. This is my son who kept me alive by being there with me from the time he was 14 till now when he’s 24. Keeping me alive by giving me a constant reminder of the fact that I couldn’t leave him or my other three kids. Ryan kept me alive. I’m lying on the couch crying and he just didn’t know what to do; he couldn’t do anything. He’s 24 now and he didn’t know how to comfort his mom anymore. I sent him a message the next day and said “I’m so sorry it was so hard for you yesterday.” He said, “It’s okay mom. I know that you’re trying but there is just one thing that I want you to do. I want you to get well because I want my mom back.”
It was after that that I started searching the internet again with a vengeance — I had searched so many times. Small bowel obstruction — how to deal with it, live with it, naturally, anything that can be done non-surgically and Clear Passage came up. I started reading and crying ,and I started watching all these testimonials. The more I read, the more I knew that this was my picture, that the doctors has just down played the role of adhesions in post-surgical pain and in small bowel obstruction — full or partial obstruction. The next day Belinda called me and I knew that this was the place for me to come.
The pain has decreased dramatically — I even ate. I mean. this is a person who hasn’t eaten solid food during the day for eight years maybe — it’s been a long time since I’ve had solid food during the day. I have not been able to even bend my head back enough to rinse my hair in the shower without pain because of the pull here in my solar plexus. I can stretch my arms over my head now! I haven’t been able to do this in I can’t tell you how many years! It’s amazing, it’s incredible — I’m thrilled. This has been a godsend; this has been more than I could ever have wished for or dreamed of — and I can’t say that strongly enough. I just didn’t expect to learn so much. I have the tools; Kim and I have the skills now. It’s going to be a continual road to keeping me maintained and constantly getting better. I have my life back. I’m going to be able to have grandchildren — and not just watch them. I’m going to be able to play with them. That’s been my biggest fear in these last years — I have been so afraid that I would have grandkids and not be able to play with them.
The Spouse’s Perspective
I was the resident skeptic; I was the one who got to do the research on the Internet and look for flaws in Clear Passage. I went many pages deep and kept following different leads for complaints or legal complains – anything that could be a red flag for things to be careful for. I didn’t find anything. Being a part of the therapy and watching the therapy, participating in the therapy w and learning how I didn’t have to be helpless — I could be an active part in trying to make the pain go away and improve her life, which would improve my life. And here we are, at the end of five days, and the word that keeps coming to me is that it’s been remarkable. We have lots of friends who checked in this week. We told close friends we were going down here for a week and we weren’t sure — fingers crossed. Gwynn and I talked every day hoping that we would see something encouraging by the end of the week. It’s been way more than encouraging – it’s been remarkable.