Post Op Conversation

The nurse called yesterday. We had to go through the normal post-op routine, ensuring things are healing in a timely fashion. I was surprised when we talked, extensively, about essential oils.

I shared how I used the pain blend and other oils on Levi. She expressed surprise and awe that they let me use the oils. Frankly, I was surprised too, and both of us for the same reason – the anti-fragrance policy. I read about it, but I ignored it for a few reasons. 1) I use the oils to manage my own care, and I slather them on daily to support my hormones, my body’s response to allergies, and so much more. They have become my scent. To opt into a “no fragrance” policy means I opt-in to poor health for the day. 2) Pure essential oils are not the same as “fragrances.” I took cannot stand most fragrances, and I often suffer from allergy-induced asthma. Yes, you walk by me dripping with your synthetic perfume, it will make my lungs very unhappy, and I’ll turn to my essential oils to breathe.

This actually happened the other day, in a different part of the facility. Levi and I walked in, sat down, and quickly it got hard for me to breathe. The combination of synthetics to take care of the building, hair products, and body products, and I was quite uncomfortable. So, I pulled out my solutions, quietly using it just for myself. One-half drop of each lavender, lemon, and peppermint, on my finger to the roof of my mouth. A moment later, as I was putting my oils away, someone asked if I was using peppermint. Then, she claimed she was allergic after I offered her some. I said I had already used it for my allergies.

May I offer a point of clarification? Semantics matter. Essential oils are a fatty drop, a part of the plant. Allergies are a reaction to proteins not fat. Yes, one can have a sensitivity to an oil and can be quite uncomfortable, but you cannot be allergic.

Back to the post-op conversation. After sharing all the things I did, our nurse shared a fantastic story. First, you recall, an important piece of healing from a surgery is having a bowel movement. We discussed how that might be difficult, and then she shared how she used peppermint oil when working in a maternity ward! She would either have her patient smell the oil or she would rub it on a toilet seat. She told me it worked every time. Smelling the oil provided comfort for that first bowel movement post surgery.

What way do you use an oil that isn’t often thought of?