Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Anniversary, and the Mind/ Body Connection

One year ago today, I drove myself to the hospital emergency room at 9am, thinking that my abdomen was about to explode. The weeks of extraordinary pain in my mid-section, ridiculous body swelling, horrid PMS-like symptoms and 15 pound weight gain, almost overnight, had finally become too much. I called my gynecologist, who was too busy to speak to me, I was in tears, barely able to talk through the pain and fear of not knowing what was going on with my body. The nurse/ secretary was rude and was very annoyed with my sobs and my cracking voice as she instructed me to go to the hospital emergency room. So I pulled myself together, grabbed a book and drove to the ER, calling my mother on the way. I then pulled over into the parking lot just before the hospital and broke down into a fit of snotty, teary, retching sobs. Again, I tried to compose myself and walked into the ER. Once inside, with all eyes on my and my swollen puffy face and eyes, the tears began again, I was just terrified, I had never experienced these feelings in my body, and I wanted them to stop and more importantly, figure out what was wrong.

Of course everyone said I was pregnant, which I knew was not the case. But the doctors and nurses treated me as though I was just a stupid, knocked up, clueless girl. Actually, my ER doc did not, he was calm and very kind. A bit HOTTER than I would have liked, considering he did have to give me a pelvic exam, but c'est la vie. Finally, tests came back negative for pregnancy. No shit. I suggested to the doctor that I may have an ovarian cyst, as I had been researching my symptoms online ever since they developed. A sonogram and an ultrasound later, lots of waiting, some reading and a few naps, my results came back. The doctor found a very large cyst on my left ovary, which was larger than the ovary itself, and a fibroid in the outside front of my uterus. There was nothing they could do for me, except to get another ultrasound to be sure the cyst had shrunk or disappeared in a month or two. So after pulling a shift in the ER, I walked out just after 5pm.

I felt better knowing what was wrong, and immersed myself in research both online and in books, learning as much as I could about these conditions and their treatments. What I found was frustrating, most doctors just recommend "watchful waiting" and "very few women experience any symptoms at all!" Excellent, I'm such a damn overachiever I even have to get sick better then most.

So I sought out other women with similar experiences, and found many sharing my frustrations. Frustration doesn't really do it though, too many female problems are ignored. In fact in my research there is really interesting studies that show that the ovaries don't wither and die when women go through menopause, but actually change function, with one area becoming less active and another one more active in a completely different way! The power of the female body and the magic of our reproductive system is amazing to say the least!

Here I am, a year later, and through a lot of pain, depression, anger, self-destruction, frustration and money, and a self-diagnosis of PCOS, I find myself in a better place than I have ever been. I surrendered, realizing that this was something I had to live with, and I had to find a way to live with it, and with myself. It was a year of self-examination as I probed deeper into the underlying problems. I think I am finally on the right path to wholeness and health. Of course I have made the necessary changes and decisions and am on the path to becoming who I was meant to be, inside and out.

The other day I picked up "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" again, and found this paragraph, which I had never seen before, in spite of my devotion to the book over the course of the year:

"When a woman does not heed her innermost creative wisdom because of her fears or insecurities about the world outside herself, ovarian problems can arise. They may arise in situations in which she perceives herself as being controlled or criticized by forces outside herself. Financial or physical threats in the outer world affect the ovaries, especially if a woman believes she has no way to alleviate the threats. Thus, a woman who is abandoned by her mate or feels stressed on the job may develop ovarian problems if she feels she has no means of escape from her situation and that the "outer" world is preventing her from changing. Just as life stresses may cause uterine problems, they may also cause ovarian problems. Uterine and ovarian problems are often intimately related, but there are also differences. The primary energy involved in uterine problems is a woman's perception in her innermost self that she can't or shouldn't or doesn't deserve to free herself from a limiting situation or create solutions that can support her. The uterus is very intimately linked to the third chakra and self-esteem. Uterine problems result when a woman's personal and emotional insecurities keep her from expressing her creativity fully. In these cases, she believes that she herself lacks the inner resources to do so; in other words, she is doing it to herself."

Exactly.

I guess I knew it on some level, my journey is all about creative expression and not being tied down or trapped. The mind body connection is beyond amazing, and so is the power of women. Girl power!
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a diamond in the rough

a diamond in the rough
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