What Happened When I Had Five Kidney Infections

Lessons Learned from a Brush with Chronic Illness

Four years ago I went down the path of applying to medical school. My motivations were noble. I wanted to help my clients more. And to navigate with greater ease the bureaucracy and hurdles of mainstream medicine.

I had a somewhat insurgent attitude of “if you can’t beat them join them”. During that time of studying physics, electrochemistry and molecular biology for the entrance exam, I had five kidney infections over 6 months, some of which required staying at the hospital.  I knew that this was a sign that I was out of alignment but my determination (and you need a lot of determination to even have a chance of getting into medical school – plus this stubborn Capricorn can get carried away) overrode what my body was trying to tell me.  And my goodness, the signs were pretty loud, feeling constantly half there, nausea, chills, dizziness and the very odd sensation of deep organ pain.

The Soulful Wake Up Call

As soon as I realised that this was not the path for me not another kidney infection occurred.  It was strangely an opportunity to have a high level of contact with doctors and hospitals and know that this is so not where I belonged.

I’m so grateful for antibiotics and acute medical care! But it was the soulful wake up call, plus naturopathic approach of resting, herbs, a replenishing diet and supporting my immune system that broke the infection loop and had me feeling like me again.

It’s not an experience I regret because I learned so much about the inner mechanisms of healing as well as the inner workings of medicine.

Health imbalances occur when we’re out of alignment…

…with either our inner lives, external environments or both.   When we have strayed too far from ourselves, our bodies will always send signals inviting us back….without fail.  There can be a great deal of stress and overwhelm created by not knowing why we have found ourselves in such a stuck place or how to get ourselves out of it to a better place.

When I was a naturopathy student I fell in love with the brazen, down to earth and green wisdom of Susan Weed,  a herbalist in the United States,  who so clearly articulates the ecology of the old healing ways.

The spiral represents the wise woman way.

In life we move in cycles, going around and around. And there are nodes in life where we reach thresholds that invite us to change (and poor health is an invitation!).   Susan speaks of the 13th step. 12 is the number of completeness. It can be divided into halves, quarters, thirds or sixths. But 13 is the disruptor. It is the step off this cycle (and it could be a cycle that we’ve been in for a very long time)  and into a new one.

If we learn to trust and step into the fertility of the unknown we will always grow. And instead of moving in circles, we begin to spiral. Our orbit widens and allows us to embrace parts of ourselves that have been patiently waiting all along.  This is where the healing is…and the growth, magic and path that leads us back to our perfectly whole self.

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Clara Bailey Naturopath and Herbalist

Healing Wise

May 26, 2018

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