Saturday, March 1, 2014

Infertility Hurts. Period. (Yellow Shirt Day!)

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      Today is yellow shirt day for endometriosis awareness. Endometriosis is a disease very close to my heart, my uterus, my intestines, my bladder and other organs.  If you have read my posts on infertility before you know that this is the disease responsible for my infertility. Endometriosis affects one in ten women and is the leading cause of infertility. Endometriosis is when the endometrial lining that sheds each month grows outside the uterus. This can grow anywhere, it has even been found in the brain. Each month this lining sheds from the organs it has attached itself to which can cause excessive pain, exhaustion, diarrhea, burning bladder pain, headaches, vomiting, painful sex, and much much more. It can also act as a paste attaching organs together. Some women experience very little discomfort if any and for some women this pain is debilitating. Not life threatening, but quality of life threatening.

There is no cure for endometriosis. The only way to get rid of the excessive growth is to undergo surgery. This will temporarily remove it but it will grow back. Many women suffering the effects of this disease will undergo surgery every couple of years, have parts of their other organs removed,  and in some cases have a complete hysterectomy.

Infertility is more often discussed in todays society and I think that is a really important thing. I think it is awesome more and more people are speaking out! I do however think it is important to talk about the after affects of infertility as well. The causes behind infertility do not always go away once someone has been successful in pregnancy or decided to no longer seek treatment. For many of us infertility was a long and painful emotional process that began with a long and painful disease, and continues with a long and painful disease.

I am thankful for my infertility in that I have been given the most beautiful gift from this journey. My son remains the icing on my cake every single day. I still battle this disease though, it is still very much part of my life.

For those reading this that may have endometriosis I will share a few things that have been huge life changers for me! (These will not help everyone but they helped me)

1. Accupuncture. Without a doubt I have had amazing success with this. It is worth a try for those desperate for relief and many specialize in these issues.

2. It is common for women with this disease to have wheat and milk allergies! I had no idea until last year when I was at the end of my rope. Going off wheat changed my life. I mean that sincerely. Changed my life. Daily pain minimized. Exhaustion affects me less and less. I have not had a headache in 3 months!

3. Interstitial cystitis has been referred to as endometriosis's evil twin. If you experience bladder infection  symptoms each month you may have this disease as well. Do not make the mistake I did and take cranberry pills for this! Cranberry, lemon, citrus are all irritants of this bladder disease. Here is a link to the bladder friendly diet recommended.

4. And here's a tricky one that is easier said than done but it helps me.  Relax! I know, I know, hard to do when you feel awful and sick, and want to rip your uterus out but it makes a difference.  Stress affects our hormones and this is an estrogen dominance disease. I take Vitamin B which is a big stress buster to help keep me calm... Sort of. Calm is still a work in progress.

Today is our day girls to spread awareness and talk about how this disease has impacted us. Please share your own stories and insights and if you have anything that work for you! I am always after new  tricks to help fight this disease.

Big hugs to all you women. You are warriors and I have the utmost respect and empathy for anyone who is suffering from this. Our numbers are large, and our voices need to be heard. Speak out. Share your stories. Support one another. We need you.

Love, J xx


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