It can be a hard place to sit. You are stuck between two choices. On the one hand you have the option of surgery. It feels like a drastic option but the promise of “no more pain” is irresistible and somehow it seems to almost blind you of what that means. The surgery means cutting out one of your ovaries or absolutely everything, depending on which doctor you speak to. They illustrate this as your only option. You weigh it up as having either dealing with severe pain or not being able to have children.
On the other hand you feel a sense of hope in trying new methods. You want to believe that there must be more out there to try, to explore and hopefully one of those methods will work and finally rid you of this agony, this endless torture. It is hard because each day that you experience pain, you don’t know how you are possibly going to carry on living like this. You hope that each day will be better and the days where you don’t experience pain seem so few that they become a treasure, a blessing… being pain free is the most amazing thing in the world. You envy people who seem to never suffer with pain and it seems so unfair that your life has become simply living with painkillers and hoping that the next day will be better.
Thing is, I have been in this place. I know it well. I was at those crossroads over six years ago. I just wanted the pain and the endless symptoms to end. I didn’t care about the consequences anymore. I didn’t even care how it would affect my body. I just wanted it to stop. I knew it meant I would potentially not have children but to me, the ability to live life again was worth it. Even if it was just to live life for me!
Unfortunately, the decision is not that simple and the solution of “cutting everything out” is not always the definite end to pain. In many cases, the endometriosis still manages to grow back in some women. It is still not a guarantee for all women.
So, what do you do? We are all different and I cannot advise you on what is the best decision to make for your body. Instead, I will guide you on how to make the decision a little easier.
3 things to consider:
1. How much pain are you in?
Measuring pain levels are almost impossible. I know for me, I would be in tears from the severity of pain. I believe the tears were a combination of pain and panic, all rolled into one. Which unfortunately just made things worse! Thing is, you know how much you can bear and how tough you are. Do you feel you can handle another 6 months of pain? Do you think that if there was a deadline to it all that it would make it more bearable?
If the answer is no, then perhaps the answer lies therein.
I have a good friend who had severe endometriosis. It had managed to find its way into her lower back and she couldn’t even walk. It was horrible and to her, the decision to have a hysterectomy was a given. She has been pain free for over 5 years now and doesn’t regret it.
Not all our cases are this severe. I know mine was not this bad. Though I experienced severe pain, which kept me in bed for many days in a row, I could still work and do things around it. Not well and there were many days where I had to call in sick for work, but I managed to get through. Unfortunately, even in these cases doctors will still recommend complete hysterectomies or more surgery as a solution.
2. Have you really explored and implemented natural healing properly?
I know it is hard going 100% natural. I did that too. Going 100% natural means relying completely on our bodies to heal themselves. No surgery, no mirena coil, no contraceptive pill, no hormonal treatments and even cutting out many of the over-the-counter drugs we use every day. This is hard and chances are you will begin to doubt yourself, or others around you will question your choice in doing this. It means relying solely on a natural practitioner to guide you and your body to find natural solutions.
Natural healing doesn’t work in combination with other treatments. It will certainly help you feel better when you use them in combination but you will never heal fully with these foreign things in your body. They are simply not supposed to be inside you and your body was not designed to have them in there. Every drug you take has a countereffect in there. Not just on your Endometriosis but on every function that happens naturally in your body. This might be okay for a short burst, like taking a headache tablet but it is scary to consider what this is doing to your body over a longer period of time.
Many of us dismiss natural methods as ineffective. We go and try one element of natural healing, like we might go and do acupuncture for a little bit or try a supplement suggested by a health practitioner for a period of time. Your naturopath might even suggest a series of supplements to solve a particular symptom. Thing is, natural healing doesn’t work in isolation. All elements need to work together to heal the body. It is holistic. That means every aspect of your life, your thoughts, your diet, your emotions, even where you live and what you do for work are all factors in your healing and feeling better with endo. It took me years to realize that my job in advertising was not suited for healing. I was going out drinking heaps, under lots of work pressure to meet deadlines and was working far too long hours. I wasn’t exercising or eating well. I never attributed any of this to my severe pain with endometriosis until I changed careers and noticed the dramatic difference in a matter of months.
3. Listen to your inner self
I know many of you who have written to me with this question are seeking some kind of guidance. Perhaps you want me to tell you to go natural? Perhaps you feel the pressure but your inner self is telling you not to? Thing is, I can’t make the decision for you. I can only guide you on my personal experience, which will be different to yours.
What do you feel inside of yourself is the right decision? Without the worrying about how long you have to endure this for? Or the “is my life ever going to be normal?” stuff.
Allow yourself to go still. Sit somewhere quiet and just breathe. Focus on your breathing and try to clear as much of the worrying and fears of pain from your mind. Just think of a happy place or find stillness (if you can). Now, within that space of peace, focus on what you really want for your body. If you are religious, you could also ask God in a prayer on what you should do.
The important thing is to stop your mind clutter. What I mean by that is that endless worrying and overthinking of things and to come to a resolution about those matters.
For me, I gave myself an ultimatum. I said I would try natural healing for 6 months. Really give it 100%. I would do anything—cut out gluten, cut out chocolate, cut out sugar, get needles put in me, walk on coals… if I must! I really did it properly though. I walked everyday. I did yoga, de-stressed, changed my diet gradually and did some massive emotional healing. I cannot attribute only one aspect to my healing journey, as I believe it all worked in combination.
I am not 100% healed… yet, but I can promise you that I don’t wake up in pain each day or for days in a row anymore. I don’t lie screaming in agony even after taking volumes of painkillers. I can go for walks without pain and can even enjoy sex again!
I know for many of you reading this, this sounds like a far reality from where you are now.
We all have our own journey to travel and though mine worked out for me, it may not work for you or the road may take longer or require more drastic methods to work. In some cases, the severity of the endo is too far gone and there are no further options left. Only you can make these decisions for your body… but please make sure you have really researched everything properly before you do.
This Post Has 7 Comments
I am so sorry to hear of your lifelong struggle with Endo. You are truly strong and amazing for going through it all and it is a miracle to have a son after all of it! I know it is hard to keep trying but all I can do is hope for you, that you do. I would like to suggest a proper Liver Cleanse for you. It will help tremendously. Secondly, look into the Gherson Therapy I recommended earlier. Just those two. If they don’t make a difference or impact you in any way, then opt for surgery. Naturally it is your body and you know what you need to do but I also want you to be sure, as a hyster doesn’t always cure endo either.
Please read these articles:
Finally, I would like to recommend a supplement that I have been on for the last 3months. It is called Exclyzym. It is amazing! It truly works!
Big hugs to you Renee and I hope today was a good day for you
I enjoyed reading this article. For me, I am trying to convince a surgeon that a hysterectomy is my best option. For me the disease has progressed too far for me to be able to live a normal life. I have had symptoms since I was twelve, but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was sixteen. Now at 22, I know that surgery is what is right for me. Most of the doctors that I have been to think that I am too young to have such a drastic surgery, but so far, they haven’t listened to the whole story. I started missing school in seventh grade because the pain would get so bad. When I was fourteen I started taking birth control pills to try to control the pain. The first pill made me drastically worse. When I started the second one I saw very little improvement. I started failing classes based only one attendance when I was a freshman. Soon after I turned sixteen the pain was out of control. I was told that it was all in my head and I was sent to a therapist. When I finally found a doctor that believed I was in pain I had my first surgery. I was officially diagnosed and started another birth control pill. That pill didn’t work so I was put on the shot. When that didn’t work I was put on depo lupron to put me in medically induced menopause. I had another surgery on my eighteenth birthday. I tried another pill after that and then three more. I tried natural healing for a year. I got pregnant without trying and after my son was born the disease was far worse. I had another surgery a few months after he was born. It is now less than a year since my last surgery and I have severe pain most of the time. When the pain is only as bad as delivery it’s a good day in comparison. During my period I can’t stand, shower, hold my son, sleep, eat, and sometimes struggle to breath. It is really nice to read your blog because you are so filled with hope. Endometriosis is very common and it comforts me to know that not everyone with the disease suffers like I do.
Thanks Julie for sharing this. It will give so many girls out there the motivation to keep going and that these lifestyle changes do actually make a difference! Still travelling down the coast to Queenstown and should be home by the 2nd. Hope you had a wonderful new year!
Great article!:) I agree with you that it is going to take a combination of things to heal the body. Unfortunately, with society the quick fix is often the more appealing option.It takes discipline and hard work to maintain this lifestyle. February, is when I started to take birth control, added a few supplements, dietary changes, exercise, and working on getting rid of the emotional negative energy in my life. It’s been almost a year now, and what a difference all this has made for me. The pain days are fewer, and the days that they are here are not as intense as before. Last month I had my first period without getting a cyst afterwards for once. Woo hoo!:) I am very happy at the progress I have made with this and hopefully will continue to move in this direction. My own personal goal is to beat this without having surgery. I believe it’s possible.:) Hope all is well with you!
Great article.:) February this year, is when I started on birth control for this,added some supplements,made changes to my diet, exercise, and working on getting rid of negative energy from within. My personal goal is to continue beating this without having surgery. I believe it is possible to achieve this. The last couple of months I have really noticed such a difference. I am having fewer days filled with pain and when I do have pain days they are not as intense. Usually,right after I have a period, a cyst will show up. I am happy to report that this time after having a period no cyst showed up.:) woo hoo! I am very happy the progress that I have made with this in almost a year and really hope to continue moving in this direction. I totally agree with you that it will take mulitple things to heal the body and it takes a lot of work and discipline to stay on path. I wish more women would be more open to other options besides just
taking meds and surgery.Unfortunately, society wants the quick fix which can be appealing. Hope all is well with you Melissa!
I haven’t given up on the option but to be honest I am not really sure I want children either. Here is an article which expresses it well: http://endoempowered.com/having-babies-with-endometriosis-is-it-even-possible/. I think my body is ready to carry a child but I am not sure it is something I am emotionally ready for….. time will tell 🙂
I can understand wanting to use IVF as I know how hard it is when you want a child more than anything – one of my best friends is going through this. I also believe the body needs to be ready to carry a child and IVF is perhaps forcing conception, rather than the body being able to decide on it’s own. I might have to write an article on IVF to express it better but I think you appreciate where I am coming from.
How did the IVF go? Let me know your thoughts 🙂
I have been reading your blog for a while, but i don’t think i came across your thoughts about having children.
If you don’t mind me asking – do you want to have any or have you given up this option?
I have just been through my first IVF treatment after 2 years of trying to conceive naturally, while being in a process of natural healing.
I would love to hear your thoughts regarding this issue.