GUEST POST: MY ENDO STORY - PART 2
guest post 29/09/2017
A personal story by Helena from Fertility.sk
I have the privilege to present a series of guest posts by Helena Bielikova, the creator of Fertility.sk. I truly believe that sharing our personal stories of healing can help us all find our own way towards high quality of life and vibrant health. I hope that this series will help you find inspiration and motivation for your own healing journey. Thank you, Helena!
A big thanks goes to Heather Jacobsen, author, nutrition researcher, poet and host of the Facebook Group Treat Endometriosis and Adenomyosis Naturally (NEAT), for kindly proofreading the English text!
Read Part 1 of this guest post series. Stay tuned for the last part of the series, where Helena shares her Practical guide to managing endometriosis naturally!
Part Three - Double Surprise
(Read Part One and Part Two in the previous article)
The following period was even worse, which was quite confusing, I was hoping for some improvement in this area. I decided to go for a checkup with my gynecologist, just for peace of mind. Can you imagine the disappointment and horror, when the ultrasound exam revealed a big endometrial cyst on my remaining ovary? The doctor gave me some instructions about the next round of pre-op examinations, the hospital visit and surgical removal of the cyst. I told her, timidly, that I needed some time to think about it. I left the room and joined my husband waiting outside in the car. Looking at my face, he immediately knew something was very wrong.
What if this is it and we never had the chance for a baby? I was so convinced that I was on the right track. How could it be that it was not working? Was it always going to be like this? No matter what I did or how hard I tried, just more pain and bleeding? Never being able to live a normal life, have a family? I felt desperate about the outlook of another surgery and a possible risk of losing the only ovary I had left.
I don't know how I fell asleep that night, but the next morning I woke up with new energy and ready to fight back. I called my physiotherapist and discussed my newly discovered condition. She recommended to delay surgery as much as possible, giving my body a chance to heal naturally. Her belief in the possibility to heal the cyst without any surgical intervention gave me even more courage.
Within 24 hours I finished my action plan which involved every natural therapy I knew that could help with endometriosis and cysts. It contained further dietary improvements, supplements, Chinese herbal formulas, exercise and therapies, progesterone cream - everything neatly organized step by step from morning to bedtime. There was so much to do that I had very little time left for worrying about what happens if natural therapies fail. I delved completely into the process.
About a week later I started to feel a bit dizzy, but I thought it was just all the herbs and supplements messing with my stomach. Never mind that, I added some soothing herbal blend and went on. A few days before I expected my period I started to feel some cramping in the lower abdomen and slight spotting. "Smite Me, Oh Mighty Smiter." I said to myself "Come to me, I am ready." I discontinued my progesterone cream and prepared for the worst. But then, the spotting stopped. How curious. Another two days passed and I realized that my period was actually two days late. My periods were NEVER late. They were either on time or early.
Perhaps I should take a pregnancy test, "just in case"... I found one forgotten expired old strip test at home. I peed on the stick with literally zero expectations, only wanting to get an approval to continue with therapy. Some of the therapies I was doing are not suitable during pregnancy, so I wanted to be sure I could go on safely.
But this time, the pregnancy test was POSITIVE. What is this? I checked again and again, but there was no doubt - two distinct pink lines were blinking at me. I had never seen positive pregnancy test before... I even used to hate them for ruining my hopes again and again, never showing a positive result. It almost felt like pregnancy tests were some kind of sick conspiracy against infertile women, to tease and torture them. And now, when I did not expect it at all, it came back positive.
Why did it work out now, when it hadn't worked so many times before? I’ve asked myself this question many times since. I guess my physiotherapist was right after all, something really changed after her therapy. The worsening symptoms I experienced were probably the outcome of a so called healing crisis, slightly worsened by insufficient detoxification at that time. When I added a bunch of other therapies to support blood circulation, gut healing, detoxification, hormonal and immune balance all at once, it was finally enough to make the difference, and allowed me not only to get pregnant, but also to keep my pregnancy, and give birth to beautiful healthy 3.6kg (almost 8 pounds) baby girl nine months later.
Later I also understood, how important it was to stand up for my body and maintain my trust in its healing powers no matter what short-term results (and doctors) said. Maybe it doesn't sound like a big deal to healthy people, but those who suffer from a chronic, agonizingly painful condition, surely appreciate that it was a big leap of trust towards myself.
Helena Bielikova is a former endometriosis and adenomyosis sufferer. Her own experience with searching for the most effective natural treatment led her to create the websites Fertility.sk and Fertility.cz, providing information about available options for fertility issues in the Czech and Slovak language. Helena is an author, speaker, reproductive health coach and a big advocate of natural treatment of endometriosis, adenomyosis and other infertility issues. In private life, she is a mother of three children, a passionate cook, reader and gardener.
Part Four - Lessons Learned On The Way
Sometimes I wonder what would have become of me, if I didn't resist, if I'd accepted mainstream attitude and solutions of hormonal therapy, surgeries and assisted pregnancy.
Just lately I had an opportunity to meet a woman of my age, with a very similar health profile - endometriosis, adenomyosis (I later realised I probably had that, too), lots of pain, very heavy menstrual bleeding, anemia, digestive issues. Until now she trusted her doctors and did whatever they told her to do. Result: At the age of 37, she had undergone five laparoscopic surgeries for endometriosis and adenomyosis, three IVF cycles and has zero children. That could have been me.
Instead, by the time I was 37, I had had only one surgery, and had healed two big endometrial cysts naturally. I went through zero IVF cycles, and conceived twice naturally, giving birth to two wonderful children. I am currently enjoying lactation amenorrhea (absence of menstrual period during the time of breast-feeding), but I firmly believe, that when my period comes back, I will figure out the way to keep it reasonably healthy. If not for me, then for my daughter, nieces and so many other women suffering from endometriosis and adenomyosis, desperately seeking a solution.
If you, dear reader, are one of those who are looking for a way to get their life back, please know that it is possible. Don't give up — your body wants to be healthy and strong. Just listen to its true needs.
If you wonder WHY YOU — why you are the one that has to suffer that much, the one that can't have babies, the one that can't stay at the job you love because of health issues, the one that has to do so much for their health and still see no results — please know, that we can't have the life of someone else. We can only do the best we can with our time, in our body. Even if you are weak and in pain, you can still consider what is the best possible thing you can do right now, under the current circumstances. Don't be too sorry for yourself, don't compare yourself to other, seemingly luckier people. You never know what they have gone through (or will go through) in their life.
When I get stuck on my journey, I seek inspiration from strong people I know (How would they react in this situation? What would they think and do?) and from Nature generally. Plants and trees can be such wonderful companions if we care to watch them! So kind, peaceful, patient and strong at the same time... If a tree fails to bloom or a late frost burns its flowers, you never hear it complaining or cursing about the weather. It patiently waits, keeps growing, watching other trees, bees, and flowers around them, until the next spring, when it gets the next chance to bloom again.
I love this Chinese proverb:
"The Best Time To Plant A Tree Was 20 Years Ago. The Second Best Time Is Now."
Sure, we can take it literally and plant a couple of trees :-) Watching them grow will surely make you feel good one way or another. But you can also take it spiritually — even if you missed your chance to do the right thing for your health twenty years ago, as long as we are alive, we can do something to fix it and change for the better right now.
Another thing I've learned from watching trees is that we cannot treat them the same and expect equally good results. They are all different and need different life conditions. The ones which sprout, grow and bloom quickly and easily, are not necessarily the ones which grow into the most magnificent beautiful big trees. And people are the same - we cannot expect everyone to flourish under the same conditions. Everyone is different and needs something else to reach his or her full potential. So what's the point of comparing yourself to other people if it doesn't help you to move forward, and the only result is more suffering caused by feelings of injustice because they have an easy life and you don't? You are not them, you are yourself. If you don't live your life and always linger in the past, future, or simply a different space-time continuum, this alone will damage your mental and physical health. So stop wandering around in your thoughts, go and find out what YOU need to be healthy. Your body needs your mental presence and positive attention to be healthy.
But where to start?
Stay tuned! Part 3 containing Helena's Practical Guide coming soon!
Read Guest post: My endo story - Part 1
MORE ENGLISH ARTICLES
Suggestions for gifts to a woman with endometriosis
How I couldn't get health insurance because of endo
How I sometimes feel before my period