Sunday, October 01, 2006

What's a Castor Oil Pack?

A castor oil pack is a piece of cloth soaked in castor oil that you heat up and place on your belly then cover it with a piece of plastic and then put a heating pad or hot water bottle on top of that. You usually do it for 15-20 minutes once a day, at night before bed most typically. It is supposed to improve blood circulation and increase the white blood cell count locally.

What it definately will do is get you to slow down and relax. Disadvantages are that you end up with an oily belly right before bed and heating it up if you don't have a microwave (which I don't) can be a pain.

My naturopath had me do castor oil packs for a while. I found them to be a pain and they didn't seem to change anything -- my fibroid didn't get smaller, my cycles didn't get more normal, my basel temps stayed where they were -- I'm skeptical.

The book Sex, Lies and the Truth About Uterine Fibroids mentions castor oil packs, and that there aren't any studies showing that they work. There are studies showing they increase white blood cells in the skin area that is treated but nothing more than that. Evidently it is a traditional treatment used in many cultures.

My acu asked me to do them this Spring and I wasn't into it -- I just would use my hot water bottle to apply heat directly to my lower abdomen to keep the blood flow active in the area and left it at that.


I started feeling bad two weeks ago with the sniffles and then a little cold. I wavered off and on over the past couple weeks, first missing work a week ago on Friday. This past week I woke up and went to work on Wednesday and was so tired I wanted to go home and get back in bed. Within the hour I got a call though from my sister's boyfriend that she had been struck by a minivan while crossing the street so instead I just left work crying due to the anxiety of her condition -- she hit her head -- and probably mixed in a little with pg hormones and coming down with something.

She's doing okay, but she was seriously roughed up with big scrapes on her arm, a broken finger and a huge lump and abrasion on her head. Drive carefully folks and always keep an eye out for pedestrians -- and if you are in the habit of talking on your mobile phone while driving DON'T. Pull over to talk if you must but your attention span really isn't great enough to make 60 decisions a minute while driving while talking to whomever on the phone.

Wednesday night I was starting to feel so achy and Thursday morning I didn't feel better, and felt largely worse so I stayed home all day. I had to work all day though, but I did manage to get an hour nap in the afternoon. Thursday night I was aching so badly I had to get up for a couple hours, then went back to bed. Friday I was still worse and so I worked from home again, with aching in all my joints -- but hardly a stuffy nose. I wasn't able to get a nap but I did go to bed early.

Yesterday and today I've just been sleeping, camped out on the couch or eating. I've been in PJs for 4 days and I still don't feel like getting dressed.

The one benefit is that I haven't seen my mother-in-law or sister-in-law but hell if the flu isn't a good excuse. I leave in a few days for New York to see family and friends one more time before baby comes so I hope I'm all cured by then.