Written by my Spring 2018 apprentice, Felisha Alers a health and wellness coach passionate about educating women who suffer from hormonal imbalances.
Have you ever said to yourself or out loud…
Why is this happening to me?
Why doesn’t anyone listen?
Can’t they see I am in pain?
Is there anyone who understands what I am going through?
Will I ever be normal?
Will I ever be able to hold a job or have a career?
Will I be able to go out anywhere and be ok?
These are the questions I used to ask myself daily. I felt so alone. According to “everyone”, I had these “unusual” women’s health issues and no one could relate or explain.
I experienced excruciating cramps where sometimes I passed out, very heavy long periods, breast pain, brain fog, mood swings, perspiration, fatigue, anxiety, night sweats, feeling cold, hot flashes, blood clots in my menstrual flow, diarrhea, stomach issues, nausea, lower back pain, acne, headaches, depression, PMS, stomach pain/issues, canker sores, yeast infections, hives, bacterial vaginosis, cysts and/or boils.
No one seemed to believe the pain was real or they thought I was exaggerating.
My friends or family could not relate or sympathize because they did not experience my ongoing unpleasant symptoms. Some of them had never even had menstrual cramps!
I was on this painful and frustrating journey with no one to turn to but my all-knowing doctors. I just needed one doctor who would listen, care and help me.
It all started in high school
I will never forget the school nurse who did not believe me or take my symptoms seriously. I remember an unbearably sharp stabbing pain where I was doubled over, nauseous, sweating, crying, shaking and pleading for help. I even blacked out.
She looked at me and told me I should go back to gym class because it will help with the cramps!! I will never forget how angry, hurt and abandoned I felt at that moment.
I just couldn’t grasp why she could not understand how I felt, how my female body felt and why she could not give me any insight into what was going on. She was a woman and she was a nurse! This was the beginning of a long journey of medical personnel who could not comprehend my symptoms, empathize or be supportive.
Doctor visit after doctor visit
After this experience, almost everything seemed like a blur with my doctors. They all said the same thing, and after a while, I tuned them out. All I’d hear would be waaaap waaaap waaaap (Charlie Brown).
All I knew was that the pain was real! No one ever really diagnosed me or took the time to see what really was going on. They just gave me birth control pills to shut me up. I felt like I didn’t have a choice and the pills were the only answer. I was being bullied into taking them no matter how bad they made me feel. I felt lost and hopeless, and usually ended my day in tears!
I was raised not to question authority and that included doctors! Can you relate?
I recall one time at my job – one of my episodes happened where I’d be caught in debilitating pain with all the symptoms! I was on the floor under my desk in a fetal position and a co-worker spotted me. She asked if she should call EMS but I refused because I knew they would say “oh it’s just your period” like everyone else and “you will be ok!”
In my early 30’s I found a gynecologist who had a good bedside manner and seemed knowledgeable.
She explained to me I had a condition called endometriosis and mostly everything I was feeling was because of it. Finally, some answers!
This wasn’t a cruel joke, I wasn’t going crazy, and most importantly there was now a name to go with these awful symptoms!
Unfortunately, she said the most effective way to deal with endo was to take birth control pills. So, I was back in a familiar scary place again.
At this point, I was so happy to get diagnosed that I took the pill she recommended. I had new knowledge but I still didn’t feel 100% right taking these new pills. It took me about 2-3 years to come to my senses and realize that this was not working for me. It was just a band-aid. I could no longer live with this crutch. I decided I’d rather take off the training wheels and see how I’d do without the birth control pills.
Taking a stand for myself
I remember I went to her office and told her I would no longer take the pill because I felt awful being on them, and they were not helping me. She was not happy with my decision and tried to coax me into using them for a little longer. I refused.
She ran some tests and told me I had unexplained infertility and fibroids, but I shouldn’t worry about the fibroids. She then said that unless I took the pill she could not help me! Perhaps she was upset with me because I refused the birth control pill. Who knows?
All I know is that was it!!! I decided then and there that I was going to be in charge of my health and was now going to start listening to my body, mind and soul. I was taking my health back!
I was determined to fix me and find answers. Eventually, after lots of research, I was able to take my life back with some lifestyle changes, the right nutrition and holistic therapies. I never knew it was possible to enjoy life without feeling sick until I started to say “No” and go with my Woman’s Intuition!
You can learn more about Felisha, the work she does, and her personal journey on her website
www.Healthy-influences.com, and on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/healthyinfluences/, and also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Healthyinfluences