Monday, May 18, 2009

Gratitude Monday – Relaxation Edition

David Thompson Highway at Preacher's Point. Photo is unrelated to post, but is relaxing.

Hypnosis is a wonderful tool when done properly. I studied it 13 years ago and am reasonably adequate at it. I’m pleased and grateful to say that I am really good at self-hypnosis.
This comes in very handy when I have to do something that makes me shudder. I used it to remain calm during laser eye surgery, to relax my body so I wouldn’t gag during dental work, and last week I used it so I could handle getting my throat sprayed.

I had a Transesophageal Echocardiogram prior to my catheter ablation. The TEE involves sending a tiny camera down the throat to sneak a look behind the heart in case there are any nasty clots hiding.

The TEE proper is easy. I was sedated for it and only became aware at the very end when the camera was being removed.
The problem is getting my throat sprayed to make it numb so the camera can slip down to do its work.
The first time I had one of these done it took six shots and involved plenty of gagging.
Because I knew what to expect this time, I knew how to get past it. I suggested I’d remain calm and relax and not gag. I said it would only take one shot. They gave me three simply because that’s what they do, but the first one was easy.

I had to say “aaah” for the next two. This increased the difficulty.
Spray is administered while the patient is lying down on his or her left side. The spray attachment is put toward the back of the tongue. Making the tongue work for this made me want to choke, but I was so relaxed from my hypnosis suggestions it all went well.

I am grateful for that.


MizFit said...

Ive thought a lot about this with regards to my daughter and wanting to arm her with tools for life.
not specifically hypnosis but being able to have and find and GO TO a "serene place" when she needs to in life.
we've started doing Toddler Yoga & this post makes me curious about learning hypnosis for myself so I can, perhaps, teach it to her someday.

hang in there, Leah.


Crabby McSlacker said...

Glad you found the means to get through a difficult procedure! Hope the results were good and that you'll be done with all of this medical stuff and feeling great soon.

I used to practice more self-hypnosis but I never got good enough for it to work under actual stress, when it would be most helpful. The best I could do was go from already pretty relaxed to very relaxed. But you sound like a pro!

I have an extremely strong gag reflex so that spray thing sounds like a nightmare! Glad you got through it so successfully.

Leah J. Utas said...

MizFit, if memory serves, children from about age seven to at or near mid-teens are about the best hypno subjects ever.
It's easy to learn, easy to do, can be applied in a way similar to meditation, and comes in handy at the darndest times.
And thanks.

Crabby, thanks. I am so glad I learned hypnosis. I've used it on myself for many, many things. I gave myself a trigger so I'd relax as needed. I said I'd use the Vulcan salute and then my suggestion would take effect.
My gag reflex is pretty danged efficient, too, that's why I had to do something to get through it.
My first TEE was unpleasant for all concerned.

Hilary said...

That sounds so unpleasant, I gagged through reading about it. I'm so glad you were able to cope with the procedure this way. Good for you. I hope your results will be good ones.

Missicat said...

Wow - you are lucky to be able to go to a calm place during that procedure! Does not sound pleasant at all!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Leah,

I am grateful that you are back with us. I hope all your procedures were successful.

Hugs. Terrie

the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah - I have a strong gag reflex, too, and can totally sympathize. Glad you found a way to get through it!
Hypnosis is such a useful tool - dad used to use it on some of his dental patients, and there were several patients who refused to go to anyone else!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks so much, Hilary.

Missicat, I am so grateful to know hypnosis and to be a good subject. It's been a great help.

dfTerrie- Thanks. I'm sure all is well.

df Bag Lady, it is so useful in dentistry, and everywhere else. Your dad was smart to learn and practice hypnosis as an adjunct to his work.

Reb said...

Lovely photo, very relaxing. Good for you that you can do that. Me, I just tell myself it will be over soon. Then I sing in my head, trying to remember the words to songs helps to distract.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks. Good for you for finding a method that works for you, Reb.

Redbush said...

It sounds like self-hypnosis is a great tool for you! I'm glad it worked with what you had to go through! It sounds like something that a lot of us would have a very hard time with. You're a very brave lady with a good constitution! Take care!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you so very much, Redbush.

Barbara Martin said...

That's quite the medical procedure, Leah. Rates right up there with colonoscopies.

I freak with eye tests despite the drops when my eyes were checked for clots. The doctor wanted to to put an instrument up against my eyeball and I said 'no'. Not for me.

From reading the previous posts everything has turned out well for you, so the divine is taking good care of you.

Leah J. Utas said...

Oh, I freak with the eye business, too. I am so grateful I know--and am susceptible to--hypnosis.
Everything appears to have worked out, Barbara. All I need to do is recover.