Life can take unexpected twists and turns. It happened to me this last week, I ended up requiring hospitalization and an unexpected surgery. I wanted to share a little about that and how I used essential oils through this difficult time. I hope you gain insight and see how essential oils can support you along your journey.
No matter where you are at, essential oils are good to have around. For centuries, essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they can be used to treat a variety of issues, from anxiety to skin conditions. However, essential oils should never be used as a substitute for professional medical attention.
Abdominal Pain and Essential Oils
About 2 hours after dinner I developed a pain in my right upper abdomen. I also had a feeling of fullness and bloating that was uncomfortable. No problem, oils to the rescue!
I grab my lavender, peppermint, and sweet marjoram essential oil along with jojoba oil to make a quick blend. I then applied this mixture around the area of discomfort and to the rest of my belly.
The pain didn't improve, in fact it got worse so I applied more of the oils to the area again. Still no relief, and in fact the pain was a more intense squeezing and started radiating to my back and chest area.
At this point the pain was telling me there was something more going on that essential oils couldn't fix. I even tried extra strength Tylenol and antacids but again still no relief.
Emergency Room Trip and Hospitalization
Since the pain was way worse without relief from essential oils or over the counter medication I decided I better go to the emergency room. Before leaving I grab the 3 essential oils I was using earlier with the jojoba oil and threw then in a ziplock bag along with my Rose Water spray from Spark Naturals (love this stuff!).
The pain was excruciating by the time I had gotten there and unfortunately I was not the only one having issues that night because the emergency room was busy with several emergency and traumas coming so my wait time in severe pain ended up being over 4 hours. Prayers, focused breathing, visualization, and support from my husband got me through until I was able to be seen by a doctor.
I ended up being admitted to the hospital for urgent gallbladder removal surgery. I was suppose to have surgery that day but ended up getting bumped to the next day because of traumas requiring more emergent surgeries then mine.
7 Essential Oil Tips from My Hospitalization
You don't need a huge collection of oils to get physical and emotional support from essential oils. While in the hospital I only had lavender, peppermint and sweet marjoram. Here are some practical ways on how I used essential oils during this ordeal.
1. Calming Anxiety
Essential oils have been used for centuries for their healing and aroma benefits. The use of calming essential oils can provide a variety of health benefits, including reduced stress levels and improved sleep quality. And a variety of oils—like lavender, sweet marjoram, and roman chamomile—are known for their calming effects on the body and mind.
Besides dental surgery, I hadn't ever had surgery so I did experience anxiety related to this. Since I had lavender and sweet marjoram essential oil with me in the hospital I was able to add a drop of each oil to my palms, rubbed them together and then deeply inhale the aroma.
I also used the rose water spray that I brought with me as well to reduce my anxiety.
2. Natural Skincare
Rose water is a nice addition to any DIY skincare routine. It's a good way to add a natural, pH-balanced astringent to your skincare routine, and is also anti-inflammatory and antiviral. Thankfully I grab my rose water bottle before running out the door, this was blessing to have with me.
I didn't have my normal skincare items so I substituted my routine with rose water spray. I just washed my face with warm water, towel dried, then would thoroughly spray my face with rose water and let it air dry. I would also spray my face and scalp to refresh my skin and hair throughout the day. It is simple yet wonderful. I wasn’t expecting how much my skin was benefiting from the practice, my skin looked great when I left the hospital!
3. Promotes Sleep
I have found that I sleep smoother and deeper when I use essential oils for bedtime, and I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start my day. Sleep is difficult in the hospital, you are in a strange place, in a different bed, have staff members coming in throughout the night, etc.
Inhaling directly from my lavender essential oil bottle before going to bed helped me to relax and get a better night’s sleep while I was in the hospital. I also spritz my pillow with the rose water spray and that helped to create a calming and soothing environment too.
4. Soothe Pain
Many essential oils have natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making them a natural option for pain relief. Whether it is chronic or acute pain, essential oils can help with the discomfort.
While awaiting surgery I was not allowed to eat or drink anything. Even though I was being hydrated with IV fluids my body wasn't getting food. When I don't eat for long periods of time I usually get a headache.
I used a blend of peppermint and lavender essential oil to help combat the headache I developed from not being able to eat. The soothing and cooling effects of peppermint and lavender were a welcome feeling.
5. All Natural Moisturizer
Dry, cracked, itchy skin can be really uncomfortable, and can make you feel self-conscious. Luckily, there is a lot you can do to get rid of dry, itchy skin and feel good again. Oils can help lock in moisture, especially when applied directly to the skin in the form of a body oil.
Seasonal weather changes left the skin on my legs dry and itchy and while in the hospital they seemed to get worse. Since I did bring jojoba oil with me I was able to make a quick body oil with sweet marjoram and peppermint essential oil. I applied this mixture to my legs and not only did it help with the dryness and itching, my hospital room smelled wonderful!
6. Removing Stickiness
One of the most popular ways to use lemon essential oil (as well as lemons in general) is to clean with them. Like lemons, lemon essential oil is extremely acidic, making it a great cleaner for removing sticky residue from most surfaces. You can guarantee that after a hospital stay there will be sticky spots on the skin from IV lines, lab draws, tape, EKG pads, etc.
Once home, I added a few drops of undiluted lemon essential oil to a microfiber cloth and rubbed it directly over the sticky spots, the friction and lemon oil made the tape residue come off easily. I did have to repeat the process a few times, reapplying the drops of lemon oil to different areas of the cloth before I was able to get all the tape residue off.
7. Healing Bruises
Bruises are unpleasant patches of discoloration that appear on your body after bumping, hitting or otherwise injuring your skin. While they’re not serious, they can be painful and unsightly. Thankfully, nature provides a natural remedy for bruises.
During my hospital stay I ended up getting poked 6-7 times for IV lines and lab draws while there, these pokes left some bruising behind. I applied tea tree and helichrysum essential oil to these areas the day that I go home from the hospital and the bruises are healing so fast!
Essential Oil Support
I hope that in sharing my essential oil experience during hospitalization and surgery you will be able to see some simple ways to add essential oils to your life. While they didn't "cure" my gallbadder issue, they were able to support my health and wellness throughout my stay and beyond.
Also remember, you don't need a HUGE collection of oils, I only had 3 essential oil bottles with me and look at the variety of ways I was able to utilize them. Be inspired and let essential oils walk beside you on your life journey.
Where to Buy Essential Oil?
I am frequently asked what essential oil brand we use at Loving Essential Oils. We are not exclusive to one company and actually enjoy trying a variety of brands and essential oils. When buying oils it is important to buy only 100% pure essential oils from a reputable company. Don't just buy on price alone, research the company if you are not familiar with them.
Here are several reputable brands we use:
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