Monday, 18 July 2011

Warning male readers this post is about womens problems, you can't say I didn't warn you!

Its quite ironic that I remember as a young girl, when I learnt about periods, all I wanted was to get them and I would get most upset when other girls would get them and I didn't! I remember quite clearly I was 13, it was Christmas holidays and I was going into year 8 and I got my period, I called out rather excitedly to mum! That was day 1, day 2 I was lying on the lounge with horrible cramps, mum had given me a hot water bottle. I do remember my grandparents coming over that day and when grandad looked at me he just nodded his head, no doubt he had seen his wife and daughters in this state many a time. From that day on, I wish I could take back that wish, although its meant to be viewed as a passage into women hood, I have had nothing but agony from that day on!.And if we are blessed with children and its a girl, I hope to god I don't pass it on!.

I have mentioned before that I suffer from endometrosis, which is a debilitating and often heredity (my mum had it), not my sister though, I frequently think if mum had dealt it out a bit more evenly it would have been much easier to deal with. I was officially diagnosed at the age of 17 and since, remembering I am 29 (few more months before I hit the big 30), I've had 6 laparoscopy's, for endo and ovarian cysts, many visits to the hospital in agony and doctors visits to get some sort of pain relief. It really is horrible. I have an ongoing thing with mum where I call her whenever I have skipped enough (I call more frequently than that), but this is a special call, and I tell her that I hate her, remember its heredity, its a bit of a joke, not very funny but it makes me laugh through tears of pain. Whilst I'm in the midts of pain before diagnosis, I would often be found digging into a big pizza, pasta, gluten filled treat to ease the pain as we women tend to do at that time of month, not knowing I was coeliac yet, was making everything so much worse!

I'm writing about this sometimes taboo subject because so many women I know suffer from this hideous disease and we don't need to do so in silence. At the moment my plan, is to try and skip as many months as possible, but my body doesn't like that, so I get what I call phantom pain. At the moment and most of the time its on the right side and its like someone ripping, twisting and turning your stomach out, it can give similar symptoms to a urine infection and my pain gets worse when urinating. Once again, I'm sharing my very personal story to hope that I help someone else, even if it gives one women relief its worth it, really it is.

Last night I was bad, really bad, tears, I'd taken all the super pain killers I had, I was getting ready to tell poppa smurf to take me to the hospital for an injection to ease the pain (done it before at times). Then I remembered that mum said she used to have a bath and immerse her stomach in the hot bath and it would ease the pain. I was at my whits end and was willing to give anything a go. Given my many and various injuries from the car accident, getting into the bath is something I can't do alone, so my darling hubby helped me get in, making sure I didn't hurt, my hip, back, shoulder, neck etc in the process. We know the stomach pain will ease but we need to be very careful with some of the other stuff.

So I got into my warm bubble bath, put my i phone on speaker with Eddie Vedder, Into The Wild sound track, and immersed myself. I moved around numerous times, my other injuries make it impossible to do what mum said she used to do. But amazingly it helped, I had already taken my pain killers, I'm sure the music and the bath water relaxed me, but the difference was amazing. I could actually walk when I got out of the bath, normally after really bad pain, its a slow shuffle for several hours, and getting out of the bath, although I had help, wasn't as hard as what I thought! It turns out some good old fashion strategies work and its certainly better than lying on the bed in a ball, crying and trying to distract yourself from the pain, whilst burning your stomach with the heat pack because it numbs the pain.

When I got out of the bath, it was like an old granny, but I did it, I remembered mum and and an  older wiser friend telling me about the benefits of aloe vera and it did help for stomach or endo pain. Poppa Smurf thought I was crazy at 11.30pm, wondering outside to get some aloe vera to rub all over my stomach, particularly on the right side which was still so horrible sore and swollen.

So after my super duper pain medication, my bath, my aloe vera, I had a peppermint tea (which always works), and all the things I did enabled me to make myself semi ok, to relieve the pain a bit, to be able to walk to the microwave to heat up the heat pack myself.
Ginger is also something that helps, fresh ginger grated into water, perhaps with a bit of honey like a tea, its something grandmas friend who suffered horrible pain used to use. I sometimes like to convince myself that chocolate coated ginger has the same benefits!, not quite sure if it does though!

So if you suffer from endo, or just bad period pain, try some of these old things, they do actually work, but you do need to combine them with some pain medication if its really bad.  Don't try and put up with it!

I have included the link for my gyno of 13 years, who is awesome, his website has lots of information and contains links to Sydney endometrosis.

I've been to doctors who've had me in tears telling me what do they want me to do, theres nothing that can be done. Please, please don't put up with bad advice, if your not happy get another opinion.

I would love to hear your personal little tricks that get you through those horrible times, we all have them, and imagine if we all shared each others tricks it would be so much more easier to deal with! We need to stand united!!
And please if you have any questions and you don't want it as a comment email me, my email is at the top of the page and I will promise to answer your question to the best of my ability.

Lets not suffer in silence anymore