TMI

Let’s get personal, shall we?

I’ve got PCOS. It sucks. I also have a prior history of a DVT, which (among other things) means no hormonal therapy ever. (Read: no birth control for menstrual management.) This has been a small curse, but has turned into a bigger blessing than I ever anticipated. You see, I’ve had to take a natural approach to my PCOS. This isn’t new for me. I’ve always leaned towards natural healing. I believe the body to be more powerful than we could ever imagine, if we can just tap into the resources within us.

So for years now, I’ve tried different methods and techniques. I’ve gone no dairy for a while, I’ve increased my exercise, I’ve changed the way I exercise, I’ve gone without sugar… the list goes on.

Something about this summer has been different, though.

Last November 14 (2013) my body started what appeared to be a normal menstrual cycle. However, the bleeding didn’t stop. I bled through every major holiday and even the minor ones at the end of the year. The bleeding stopped due to a true miracle on January 20, 2014. After that, my cycle was the most regular it has ever been. I was able to predict it! This has NEVER happened to me before. Never! All seemed well and good until May 5 of 2014. There was a lot of sudden stress in my life, involving a sudden move from the home I loved. I started bleeding, and it didn’t stop. I bled for 3 months – THREE MONTHS! – before seeking out medical help. I tried things in the interim, researching herbs and supplements and trying various foods and exercises, but nothing seemed to tap it. (Ok, there was one night of yoga that seemed to slow the flow… but it didn’t last.)

So I called a gynecologist. I told them what was going on (I’d been bleeding constantly for three months!) and they politely said that the soonest they could get me in was 3 weeks away, unless I was pregnant (I was not, as my body was in a constant state of bleeding. It was a miracle I was alive. There was no way I could keep a growing alien alive inside of me too!) I bitterly scheduled the appointment, hoping something else would turn up between now and then because in 3 weeks, I would have been bleeding for almost four months. Not cool, Robert Frost.

I posted on Facebook, asking for any women who suffered from PCOS and asked what they had done. I got several replies, but most people just told me they dealt with the symptoms with birth control, and to let them know if I found anything else.

Hey ladies, I found something.

I felt like I should research Traditional Chinese Medicine. I had done acupuncture in the past and loved it, so I figured it would be worth a try. I found a TCM practitioner fairly close to where I live and emailed her on a Saturday, explaining my situation and asking her if it was something she treated. She replied first thing Monday morning explaining that she did, but she was booked. She did however have another practitioner in her office who had more availability and suggested I call him. I did, right away, and was immediately connected with Dr. Keith Stevens DAOM (Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine). No secretary, no recording. I was talking to the doctor. Remarkable.

I learned Dr. Stevens got his doctorate in women’s health. (Wahoo!) I explained what was going on and he said “You’ve been bleeding for three months? We need to get you in here immediately. Can you be here in an hour?”

Do you see the difference already!?

I said yes, changed all my plans, and was at his office a short hour later.

There are many things we’ve talked about regarding my health, and I know that every woman deals with PCOS differently, but what has been remarkable has been the approach to my healing. It is my body that can heal, and we’re working with my body to see what it can do. Dr. Stevens said his first goal was to get the bleeding to stop, and then focus on healing. What a coincidence: this was my goal too.

He asked questions that didn’t seem related at first, but as we talked more I understood how much blood affects entire systems within the body. The blood was affecting my eyesight, my sleep, my bowels, my mental capacity, my memory, my peace of mind, my energy, my appetite, and my enthusiasm for life. I was hopeless. I was depressed. It was not pleasant!

That initial visit gave me so much hope! I’ve seen him several times since, as we’ve worked to get the bleeding to stop, and guess what? It has. I’ve been blood free for over 24 hours. My energy, enthusiasm, and well-being are all returning.

I am so relieved to have found a doctor who understands the power the mind and spirit and body have when they work together. It’s a journey to healing, now, which I am looking forward to, but the transition from my hopeless state to now has been remarkable.

I’m going to try a modified paleo diet, which I’m looking forward to. I don’t believe in extremes, and so this moderate approach is something that should be interesting. I’m excited for the things I will learn.

Everything is related, whether we like it or not. I believe Western medicine has its place, but I also believe in Eastern medicine. The two can work together beautifully if we open our minds to that idea. There are things that have been learned in the East in 4000 years that have yet to be discovered in the West, which has been researching for a tenth that time.

It will continue to be an interesting journey. I look forward to what I will learn. At this point, I have learned patience like I never knew possible. I have learned how to rely upon the Lord to heal, and have learned how He speaks to me to help me understand myself and the body I’ve been given. We are powerful creatures, you and I. We are only just beginning to discover it!

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