May I Change Careers? Well, At Least The Job Description

Once again, I find myself in the minority with PMS symptoms. Cramping. However, in this case, NO cramping... in my menstrual career.

You see, ninety percent of teen girls suffer with fairly severe if not extreme severe cramping during their cycle. As many as fifty percent of women in general suffer with some type of cramping.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, roughly 52 percent of women in the United States between the ages of 15 to 51 suffer from some level of menstrual cramps. Of these, 10 percent have such a severe condition as to require a doctor visit. Statistics from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology reveal that menstrual cramping represents the number one cause of missed school and work days among women. In fact, menstrual cramping accounts for an astonishing 140 million hours of lost school and work every year. Fresh Patents.com

And, yes, I said career. Starting from a very early age, 11 to be exact, I have soared through my career without a glitch. That is until just a few years ago when the my trusted doc sounded an alarm. Now why would he do such a thing?

His Concern?
A fast-growing large fibroid tumor. Let's just leave out the rest of the details for now. I elected to stay the course of avoiding knives, instead using supplements and life style changes; it worked, for about six years! All the extreme bleeding ceased as well as any pain. By the way, the pain was not due to cramping. And I was able to sleep effortlessly through the night without waking up feeling pressure to dash to the potty! OK, so TMI? I doubt it. Hey, these are real life issues and remember my objective is to bring wellness to your front door. In this case, your screen-door!

Then yesterday came and impolitely changed my carefully orchestrated plan. Again, I'll spare you the graphics, other than saying...OUCH. Enter: Cramps defright.

Rewinding Six Years: The day I was jolted into finding out about this uninvited guest, I ran home to dig into my well of resources. What and why was this foreign object invading my body? What did I find?

Fibroids At A Glance
  • They are also known as uterine myomas.
  • No one REALLY knows why fibroids develop. Yes, there are theories. I feel there is a combination of dynamics that create fertile ground, as in most any health challenge.
  • The majority are benign. My doc told me in his 30+ years of practice, he'd only had maybe one case where the fibroid was cancerous.
  • About thirty percent of women have them.
  • They develop mostly in our late 30s and early 40s.
  • Many times they disappear after menopause. This and the previous note might suggest that estrogen has something to do with their uninvited habitations.
  • They are not always lone rangers; a person may have scores of fibroids.
  • African American Women are five times more likely to develop them than Caucasian women.
  • In some cases, they do "run" in families. Yes, my ma had them and at 45 had a partial hysterectomy. NOTE: This was immediately after the traumatic untimely death of my dad. Some call it "The Weeping Womb".
  • In close to half the cases, no symptoms surface and in many cases the person will not even be aware that they have them until the doc discovers them during a routine exam.
  • Unless the fibroid is large, typically a woman will have little or no trouble.
  • In some cases, there will be issues with extreme bleeding, break through bleeding, and cramping.
  • Other problems like anemia, and fatigue due to blood loss may develop.
  • Fibroids can develop wherever they choose along the interior muscular wall as well as the exterior of the uterus.
  • The cervix may house fibroids as well.
  • Depending on the location, they can cause discomfort and or pain. They can press on other organs causing pressure and pain and even block the urethra, causing kidney obstruction.
  • When a fibroid grows to a 12-week size, typically the doc will recommend a hysterectomy. However, 21st century doctors are not as quick to pull out the knife, but are searching for other methods to deal with the dilemma.

What Are Our Options?

  • The only way to truly cure them is a hysterectomy. About thirty percent of hysterectomies are performed to remove fibroids permanently.
  • Myomectomy is another type of surgery that leaves the females organs in place. Some choose this as they are still in child bearing years.

  • Ablation is the chosen method for some.

  • Hysteroscopy is prescribed by some doctors. Again, this is less invasive than a hysterectomy, but again, you will need to do extensive research as to whether this is the best method for you.

  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization This is a non-surgical new kid on the block. You might want to check it out as well. It does have its drawbacks as in any of these measures.

  • Hormone therapy, which I would caution you to research extensively before proceeding.
  • Some doctors prescribe taking the Pill and some are in hopes that RU 486 will find its way to our drug counters as a means to control the challenges with fibroids. Both of these, in my opinion, are risky as with most any med. They all have their side effects.

There are a number of books on fibroids you might want to check out. What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Fibroids by Goodwin and Broder. Sex, Lies, and The Truth About Uterine Fibroids by Dionne. Fibroids by Skilling. The First Year Fibroids by Skilling. Most of these may be found at Amazon as well as other bookstores. I can't give you a serious critique as I have not read them extensively, but what I have read, at least it will give you a start in exploring your options.

As Always We Should Never Forget Looking At A Natural Route

Speaking Of Natural Measures

I mentioned that the decision I made years ago was holistic. Many of you have inquired through the years what I did to have such great success. While I do believe spiritually God has everything taken care of, He has given me a mind and a will. OK, so we aren't going to debate the free will thing!

  • What I know is that I made a concerted effort to change my life style. I quit doing a man's job on my four acres. Well, I quit most of it.
  • I began a healthy diet of supplements.
  • I de-stressed.
  • I added Pilates to my life at maximum levels.
  • Then I made better attempts of eating more. You see, I can go forever and not eat. I know, I know, it's a little weird. But so goes my life.
  • Too, I must mention that I had been through a major life crisis when this lovely uninvited visitor arrived. I'm one of those who believe stress rips into our health.

Are There Any Warranties?

Besides the hysterectomy, none of these options guarantee that the fibroid (s) will not return. Research tells us that there is about a fifty percent chance that a new tumor will form later. Most of the women I have counseled with have reported that the fibroids indeed came back and many times even larger.

Too, it is reported that many of the surgical procedures recovery processes are more painful than a hysterectomy. Again, I have heard direct testimony to this from the many ladies I've coached through the years.

But for those who are still in child bearing years and want to conceive, what other choice do they have? Yes, there are meds available now that, again, do NOT cure fibroids, but may keep them at bay for a time. Resource: Prescription to Nutritional Healing 2nd edition. If you purchase this book, look for the 4th edition as I believe, it's the newest.

So Where Do I Go From Here?

To the doctor, where else? While I typically take the natural route, doctors play a huge role in diagnoses.

Wisdom clearly directs us to give qualified doctors opportunity to see if they can be a part of the discovery. Then what we do with their information is up to us. Unfortunately, I've had some ladies call looking for answers but refusing to go to the doctor. A few of those precious ladies ended up dead or near dead in ER with an emergency hysterectomy.

In the meantime, I'm chilling out, taking quality supplements, abandoning stress as much as I'll allow. Exercising. Comforting myself by using the Pilates Shell Stretch (love it). Now for the last thing, brace yourself: Sipping on some raw apple cider vinegar. I only use Braggs. Oh, and asking my hub to bring me some food! hee hee!

I'll keep you posted.

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