Saturday, December 18, 2010

Amarillo by Morning!

Well were are try this again. Last year we tired to get to Amarillo but got stuck on the Hwy right outside Wichita Falls in a BLIZZARD! We we locked in by snow for 9 hours! We spent our Christmas eve dinner at Dennys and got the last room at the Super 8. LOL Looking back now it was a great First Christmas as a married couple bc we will NEVER forget the ordeal LOL

We are attempting this again. We are leaving to Amarillo early Thursday morning until Sunday. Honestly Amarillo is pretty boring but its Js friend and Family that make it so much fun! I can't wait to get there. I am just praying my period doesn't start in the middle of all the festivities bc then I'll pretty much be incapacitated :(

Great Books I have read while recovering

Tired of Baby Food!

Ugh since leaving the hospital about two week ago I am still on pureed or soft foods. But even with in that diet still no dairy, no soy, no caffeine, no red meat, no pork, no refined sugars, no caffeine, no chocolate, no wheat, no gluten no alcohol. Basically I eat small amounts of chicken and fish (I think eventually these will also be cut out) with lots of fruit and veggies. BUT even the fruits and veggies have to be below 50 on the glycemic scale . Sheesh...If I have to eat any more pureed food I think I am going to throw up which isn't that big of a deal since the look relatively the same.

And honestly, I have endometriosis but I have found that I relate much better to Colon Cancer survivors, since the surgery is relatively the same. Taking out two sections of my bowels has really turned my world upside down.

I want to go out to eat! But there is NO places for me. Not even vegetarian restaurants bc they still use alot of dairy. At least we are going to bliss tomorrow. that seems to be the only place I can eat at. I should be their spokeswomen LOL

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How to Pray

How to Pray
TUESDAY, 31 AUGUST 2010 05:25
Here’s a helpful look at how to pray, that I got from a friend.

I think its all about where are heart is when we pray and how we pray..

Have you ever read Matthew 6:5-13?

How should I pray?
Be real-Mt 6:5;
Be alone-Mt 6:6,
Be simple-Mt 6:7,
Be thankful

The Lord’s Prayer Matthew 6:9-13. This prayer was not to be repeated, but to be used as a model. Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray:

1) Acknowledge relationship. v9: Our Father in heaven.
2) Offer worship. v9 May your name be kept holy.
3) Submit to Him. v10 Your WILL be done.
4) Make requests. v11 Give us this day____
5) Ask for forgiveness. v12 Foregive us our debts of ___
6) Forgive others. v12 as we forgive our debtors such as ____
7) Ask for Spiritual protection. v13 Deliver us from _____

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Most Powerful Pain Reliever

by Christina Lasich, MD

What is the most powerful pain reliever? Morphine? Oxycontin? Fentanyl? Oxymorphone? Methadone? Hydrocodone? Cymbalta? Lyrica? Lidocaine?

The answer is none of the above. None of these chemicals have enough power to top this weapon against pain. The most powerful pain reliever is not a chemical, a machine, or a potion. I will give you a hint. It starts with a "D" and ends with an "N". Give up?

Distraction. Yes, that's right; distraction is the most powerful pain reliever in the world according the David Butler, author of Explain Pain and world renowned expert. At the time, he was speaking to a group of manual therapists and doctors. No one in this audience could guess the answer. But, when he said, "Distraction is the most powerful pain reliever", everyone else said, "Of course, brilliant!" Now, before you react to this eye-opening information, imagine this:

Your house is on fire, flames shooting from most windows. All you can think about is poor, precious Mr. Kitty in the house. So, you heroically run into the inferno to save your best friend in the world, Mr. Kitty. Thankfully, you found him under the bed. Tucked under your arm, Mr. Kitty is saved. As you run to safety, you fail to notice that you are covered in 2nd degree burns until a firefighter comes to your aid. You do not even notice the pain because all that matters at that moment is that Mr. Kitty was saved from certain death. You are too distracted to notice the pain.

Maybe you have heard about other amazing pain stories that reveal the power of distraction. Did you hear about the man who was alone and pinned by a boulder in Utah a few years back? This man cut off his own arm with a Leatherman tool to save his own life. Wow, that is some serious pain control. Shark bite survivors also tell about their failure to notice any pain when they were trying to get away. Distraction is the most powerful pain reliever because you have an incredible drug cabinet in your brain. This drug cabinet is 60 times more powerful than anything manmade (much to the dismay of the pharmaceutical companies). You have a powerful built-in pain relieving system. That is something to be proud of!

Now, the question is: How can you use this knowledge to deconstruct your pain? You do not have to be in a life-threatening situation to unleash the power of distraction. Some relieve pain by participating in hobbies. Others help those in need or volunteer to distract themselves. Some people love new challenges and love to learn new things.

With enough distraction, you too may find the road to recovery, or at least pain relief. Be brave because distraction truly can be the most powerful pain reliever.

Tell us how you like to distract yourself away from the pain in a comment below. Sharing creates solutions!

15 things you can do for someone with endometriosis

Talking with my fiancĂ© and other loved ones has shown me that Endometriosis is extraordinarily hard for family and friends.  It is miserable looking at your wife, or girlfriend, sister, or friend… and not knowing what to do.  There is no cure for Endometriosis; surgeries can alleviate pain, pain medications can make daily life semi-bearable.  But for those of you who aren’t doctors–what can you do?  Trust me, there’s a lot.

1 Run her a hot bath and add epsom salts or lavender soak.

2 Do her grocery shopping.

3 Clean her house. (We always need help with this one)

4 Offer to give her a shoulder & back massage.

5 Tell her you are so proud of her, she is brave and tough, and you are amazed at her strength.

6 Cook meals for her.

7 Drive her to doctor appointments and surgeries!

Buy her a heating pad.  If she already has one, get it ready for her and let her know.

Simply ask her if there’s anything you can do.
Pick up her medication at the pharmacy.  Argue with the doctor and pharmacist if necessary (this may get you extra points).
Understand if she has to cancel plans.  Endometriosis does not care about plans or movie dates.  She does, but she cannot help it.
Let her know you are thinking about her, praying for her, etc.  It will mean the world to her!
Hugs, hugs, hugs!

Bring home/buy/download a comedy film for her.  Laughter will be her saving grace, I promise.
Come to her doctor appointment with her, ask questions, and listen.  It’s one of the best ways you can show your support.
Above all, remember to be patient.  We do not choose our illness.  Plans will be cancelled, tantrums may be thrown.  It is difficult for everyone involved.  If you can tell she’s have a particularly hard day, give her a hug and let her know you’re proud of her.  Let her know that you understand.  Tell her you are amazed by her strength.  It will make a difference–you’ll be surprised.

If you or someone you know has Endometriosis, feel free to leave a comment with more ideas on how to help those who are suffering.  The more we communicate, the easier our fight becomes.  I hope everyone is having a great evening.  Remember to breathe, and you are not alone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stats on Child Sexual Abuse

1 out of 3-4 girls and 1 out of 7-10 boys will experience unconsenting sexual assault before their 18th birthday.

75% of all reported sexual assault on children are committed by someone the victim knows and trusts

87% of all sexual assault victims are female

97% of all offenders are male

These facts based on the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Phychiatry

10 Ways to Avoid Getting Stress in Your Holiday Stocking this Season for fellow Endometriosis sufferers

(Note: this article originally appeared in an ERC newsletter in 2002. It has been updated for 2010.)

The holiday season is upon us! We all know that stress levels can run high during this time of year, and with stress comes an exacerbation of symptoms - affecting both your mind and your body. Living with endometriosis is stressful how can we avoid extra stressors during this time when our daily routine is fraught with pressures and pitfalls? Read on...

First, let's examine what “stress” actually means. Stress is any factor, be it physical or emotional in nature, which threatens the health of the body or has an adverse affect on its functioning. Disease, injury and worry are three common stressors. Stress can cause both physical and emotional reactions, from changes in the balance of your hormones to sweaty palms; heart palpitations to nausea; fatigue to headaches; tightness in your throat to depression; anxiety to anger. Simply put, nothing good can come of being stressed out!

If you can't respond to this fight-or-flight response from your body in a way that removes the stress, it can take its toll on you. The longer stress continues unabated, the worse the symptoms will be and the harder a toll it takes on your body. Worse still, experiencing one form of stress can actually decrease your resistance to other forms.

Not only do we need to cope with existing factors that stress us out, we need to learn how to avoid stress factors that are within our control. During the holidays, there are a few things that we can do to ensure we keep stress out of our holiday stocking. No matter how nicely it's wrapped, it's never a pretty gift.

Number one, and most important of all: Thou shalt remember that thou art the most important priority! If you are no good to yourself, you won't be any good to anyone else.

Number two: Thou shalt make a list - and check it twice. Planning and organizing is a sure-fire way to avoid adding extra stress to your day - if you need to go shopping for gifts this season, make a list of all those you are buying for, what you plan to get, and what locations you might be able to purchase the items at. Also - allow yourself plenty of shopping days! Don’t wait till the last minute.

Number three: Thou shalt remember that thou art not superwoman. This calls to mind a dear endosister, whom we'll call "J"....J. has a superwoman cape that she wears daily. As superwoman, she is mom, wife, businesswoman and world problem solver every day. The holidays make it worse. Many of us have our very own superwoman cape hanging in our closets...we have to learn that sometimes, it's ok to take them off. Do what you need to do for yourself and your family; don't take on extra tasks and responsibilities that someone else can - and should - be doing. For further reference, please see number one.

Number four: Thou shalt learn how to relax - and make it a priority. Relaxing offers so many benefits! First, it gives your body an opportunity to heal from the day's events. Rest makes for a stronger body, and a stronger body makes for a higher resistance to stressors. Meditation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, massages, hot baths, imagery and good old-fashioned sleep are just a few ways to relax. Put it on your schedule if you need to!

Number Five: Thou shalt not drag thyself to the mall if thou cannot rise up off the couch. If you are healing from surgery, having an especially hard time with your endometriosis, or are feeling just altogether horrible, remember the true spirit of the "Giving" does not mean purchasing, wrapping and then giving; it means giving of yourself and your time. If you are unable to get out and about, invite your loved ones over for some quality time (if you feel up to it!). If you have children, spend time with them doing one of their favorite (low impact!) projects. They will appreciate it more than any gift Santa can bring. If you're feeling well enough, make and wrap up something homemade...cookies or other baked goods, collages or other artwork, a heartfelt homemade card or poem. And - there is always internet shopping!

Number Six: Thou shalt grieve if thou needs to. The holidays can be really devastating to someone going through infertility, who has lost a loved one, or who has suffered through any traumatic event. Remember that it is ok to give yourself time to be sad if you need to be. Don't be afraid to seek professional assistance to help you cope.

Number Seven: Thou shalt watch thy diet. We’re not talking about waistlines; we’re talking about the food and drinks so many of us strive year round to avoid because we know our symptoms will be "kicked up a notch," as Emeril says. During the holidays it seems that everywhere we go, we are handed foods and drinks – literally on a silver platter - and encouraged to eat to excess and drink to elevation. Ask yourself if the pain you know you will experience as a result of ingesting foods and drinks you don’t normally tolerate well is worth it.

Number Eight: Thou shalt not sweat the small stuff. And, as a very wise person once said, "it's all small stuff." So what if you didn't get that angora sweater you promised your sister for a gift? Give her something else she'd value even more - another gift choice and your subsequent good health for not having worried yourself sick about it!

Number Nine: Thou shalt call thy healthcare practitioner if thou feels thou needs some extra medical care this time of year. Don't put off getting or keeping an appointment with your doctor because you think you have to go cut down a Christmas tree by yourself...the tree will still be standing there an hour later, after your appointment.

Number Ten: Thou shalt refer to Number One at all times! While we are making light of this subject a little bit (laughter is also a great stress reliever, by the way), the serious fact of the matter is that this time of year can make us feel worse than we did the in the previous months.

Remember that you can make a difference in how you handle stress by a.) avoiding it altogether whenever possible; and b.) coping with it effectively before it debilitates you.

You have the right to say “no” and you have the right to make choices about how and where you spend your time this holiday season!

Happy Holidays and remember, be kind to yourself. Some days, we’re the only ones who are.

"Is there a church in your house?"

5 points on how to make your home a church:

1. Prayer (Pray with each other and for each other)

2. Read Scripture (have a quiet time daily)

3. Worship together (sing or listen to christian music)

4. Ministry (serve others in your church/community)

5. Missions Trips

But as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord! Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

9 weeks Open Bowel resectioning-Post Op

So much has happen since I last wrote. I turned 29 and had a small relaxing birthday party with all the people that love me. I got so many presents. My sis even ordered gluten free cupcskes for me! They were dee-licious!

Well it's been about 9 weeks post op and endometriosis wise I feel so much better! My past two periods were pretty painful but nothing like before. I can actually feel less pain with each subsequent period.

Now on the other side of all this is my digestive system. Having had two section of my bowels removed has proven the hardest part of all this. I had a complication with the resectioning surgery that has lengthened my recovery. Dont get me wrong I'm so much better than 9 weeks ago. My period pain is diminishing and I hope it will be non existent soon. My digestive system is another story. The pain, bloating, the being tethered to the bathroom has been hard.

I am trying so hard to stay positive but pain has this funny thing it does to you where you pretty much become hopeless and desperate.

I am trying to look up towards God and since this week is Thanksgiving I am focusing my time on being thankfill for all the many blessing I already have.

Our church, Trinity has been an amazing support system!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fertility Specialists of Houston - Meet the Expert Physicians

My Story Endometriosis Story

Endometriosis by Geordanna the Artist

I have been living with Endometriosis for 15+ years but was just recently (positively) diagnosed with stage IV during a laparoscopy this April 2010. I had never even heard of this disease until this year. I thank God for the internet bc the internet is what helped me better understand this horribly debilitating disease. I learned about my options and the best methods/doctors out there.

My life has always revolved around my intense cyclical menstrual pain and extreme fatigue--thinking it was just a burden I had to carry as a women.Now that I know its not my "duty" to go through this I am looking everywhere to find help. I def can't live like this forever!

Also, it has been now proven that my infertility is a direct correlation of my endo. At this point in my life all I want to do is be a mother so to be robbed of that choice is heart breaking. I am trying to stay positive and am hoping that through surgeries and fertility meds J and I can one day get pregnant.

The only other person that this has drastically effected is my poor husband J. We haven't even been married a year and I joke that we have gone through more in one year than a normal couple go through in a decade!

The cyclical pain, fatigue and emotional toll is unbearable at times but I know others are going through the same thing. I hope I can connect with those others that are going through or have gone through the physical and emotional roller coaster of this disease called endometriosis. I welcome anyone to "like" my page and I hope by being transparent and putting it all out there the world will start to take this disease much more seriously! No its not cancer. I cannot die from it but this disease, at times, makes me wish I could die. I want everyone to realize that just because I look ok on the outside doesn't mean I am not suffering.

I had my 2nd laparoscopy Sept 22, 2010 in Houston TX with Dr. Rakesh Mangal that actually tunred into a laparootomy becasue i simply had too much extensive damage. Dr. Mangal is a endometriosis specialist that uses CO2 laser excision and is VERY familiar with endo on the bowels and bladder. He believes that women with endo need a TEAM of doctors and specialist. He referred me to Dr. John R. Mathias a neuro-gastroenterologist who discovered I also have enteric nerve disease and put me on a strick diet and anti-seizure meds. he wanted me to calm my enteric system down before I had the surgery. I also have a Pain Management Specialist to better understand my pain and ALL my options since meds like vicodeine can actually make my symptoms worse.

During my surgery Dr. Mangal was accompanied by my colon-rectal surgeron, Dr. Pickron and a urologist because the endo on my bladder and bowels needed to be removed. I had two sections of my colon removed and my appendix removed. I had a medium sized cyst removed from my left ovary, had a D&C and stents placed.

I am also on the hormone progesterone to suppress my periods before and at least 3 months after surgery. Hormones and me DO NOT mix and it has been hell these last few weeks. CRAZY mood swings, crying, depressed, anxious, easily irritated, you name it I am going through it. I just don't feel like myself! I literally feel like I am going insane.

PAST: As far back as I can remember I have always had to miss at least 3 days every month of school or work. I have tried every kind of birth control pill (to regulate my period and minimize the pain but the pain only got worse) but my body simply is too sensitive and I can't stand them. For about the last 5 years my monthly pains have been getting progressively worse and worse. I now only have about 2 weeks a month that I feel good. The rest of the month I am either too fatigued, too emotional or in too much pain or all three! I have had over 10 doctors and the last 4 were just in the last 2 years! All the doctors before were dismissive and just kept telling me to get on birth control pills even though I would tell them that the pill just makes my symptoms worse. No one would listen. I finally got fed up because I knew there was something obvious wrong. The progression this last year (2010) has been significant. My health was deteriorating fast. I had to do something.

After the 8 Hour surgery, Dr. Mangal, came outside to talk to my husband and family letting them know that I had ALOT of endo and that I have been in excruciating pain for quite sometime. Although I do not doubt they knew I had been in pain I think it REALLY hit home when the doctor described to them in detail my pain and why. My mom started crying bc she felt so bad that she never knew it was THAT bad. Dr. Mangal also said that the endo had damaged my fallopian tubes. He said my ovaries and Uterus are great but he fears J and I would have a VERY difficult time conceiving naturally. Even if we do conceive naturally he is afraid of miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies (tubal pregnancies). So he advised that J and I do in vitro. So, That's where we are at now. I am set to see Dr. Mangal on my birthday Nov 3, 2010 to discuss our plan. Our window of opportunity is very small bc Dr. Mangal said the best chances for us to get pregnant would be 3-6 months after this surgery.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Post 8 hour Open Bowel and Excision Surgery for Stage IV Endo

September 22, 2010 I had major surgery for stage IV Endometriosis.

I was hoping it would be a few hours long and that laparoscopically would suffice but alas that was not to be. I now have a 9 inch "bikini cut" incision and after an 8 hours surgery this is what they did:

removed 3 "diseased" areas of my bowels (re sectioned with anastomosis), removed diseased appendix, excised all the endo from around my uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, removed a large ovarian cyst on my left ovary, had a D&C and urinary stents placed.

It's been about a week now and I would be lying if I said this was getting better day by day. This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through.

I am only 28 years old, still a newly wed and haven't had children yet....

I plan on writing more but I am in just too much pain right now. I will try to write later today or tomorrow.

On a happier note: We got our wedding videos!

My poor husband has been amazing through all this. We have only been married about 10 months. I know this is something he definitely didn't not expect to be having to go through.

Here is the trailer:
J and Geordanna's Wedding Trailer

Friday, June 11, 2010

So no one else will suffer!

So no one else will suffer
Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009 1:00 am
By Lisa Fipps managing editor

Kristi An Rose suffered with endometriosis for 12 years, from 1997 until May 7, 2009 – the day she put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger.

It was a tragic ending of a life that held great promise, a life that is dearly missed, a life that could have been different if more in the medical community knew how debilitating the condition is, knew how much those with it suffer, and knew to take it more seriously, according to her mother, Sherill Rose Hill.

Nightmare begins

In school, Kristi was very outgoing. After graduating from Northwestern High School, she was a workaholic, said Sherill. Kristi worked several jobs and loved it. She always loved art, especially photography. But at the age of 17, she was already having medical problems.

“Kristi had really bad pains in her abdomen during her periods,” Sherill said. “It wasn’t your typical cramps. It was abnormal. I took her to a couple of doctors. They all said, ‘She’s a teenager trying to get attention.’ That wasn’t Kristi at all. I ended up taking her to Indianapolis to Dr. David McLaughlin of Women’s Specialty Health Centers. He said, ‘I think I know what’s wrong.’ He did a laparoscopy on Feb. 12, 1997. He said she had endometriosis. She was so thrilled to know what was going on because everybody had said she was making it up. She knew she wasn’t.”

Endometriosis “occurs when tissue like that which lines the uterus (tissue called the endometrium) is found outside the uterus – usually in the abdomen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus; the area between the vagina and rectum; the outer surface of the uterus; and the lining of the pelvic cavity,” according to the Endometriosis Association.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, symptoms of endometriosis can include but are not limited to the following:

•extremely painful (or disabling) menstrual cramps; pain may get worse over time

•chronic pelvic pain (includes lower back pain and pelvic pain)

•pain during or after sex

•intestinal pain

•painful bowel movements or painful urination during menstrual periods

•heavy menstrual periods

•premenstrual spotting or bleeding between periods


A few months later, Kristi had a microlaser laparotomy to vaporize the endometriosis.

For the first time in years, she felt better. The pain was gone. She was happy. So was Sherill. It’s excruciating to watch your child in such pain, Kristi’s mom said.

But then the endometriosis came back.

“The most recent studies have shown that endometriosis recurs at a rate of 20 to 40 percent within five years following surgery,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Kristi’s came back in less than a year. She had another surgery to vaporize more of the tissue. It returned again.

In October 2000, Kristi and Sherill flew to Oregon to see a specialist. That doctor performed an oophorectomy, removing her left ovary. They found out that her fallopian tubes were packed with eggs. The endometriosis had prevented them from dropping down to the uterus monthly. Some would ask why Kristi didn’t have a hysterectomy. Doctors were hesitant to do that considering how young she was, Sherill said.

Besides, a hysterectomy is not a cure. Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis. Even having a hysterectomy or removing the ovaries does not guarantee that the endometriosis areas and/or the symptoms of endometriosis will not come back.

After the surgery in Oregon, Kristi was still in pain. “That was a big let down,” Sherill said. “We thought it would be great. We thought it’d be all over.”

Kristi was in constant pain. Her mom searched the Internet trying to find someone who could help. In 2003, Kristi and Sherill headed to Birmingham, Ala., to see a specialist at the Chronic Pelvic Pain Treatment Center.

“When we drove there, we had big hopes,” Sherill said. “By the time we walked out of there, they’d diagnosed her with five different problems – all related to endometriosis.”

Severe pelvic congestive syndrome, vulvar vestibulitis, pelvic floor myalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and abdominal wall trigger points.

Kristi also suffered from severe interstitial fibrosis of the bladder with chronic interstitial cystitis, a condition that results in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region.

The autopsy report gives a glimpse of just have pervasive the endometriosis was in Kristi’s body. It was on her liver. It was on her bowels. It was on her right kidney. Her right ovary had multiple cysts with large “chocolate cysts” (cysts that form when endometrial tissue invades an ovary), including one that had ruptured right before her death. Her fallopian tubes and right ovary had adhered to her uterus and pelvic wall. There were multiple fibrous pelvic adhesions.

“The doctor who did the autopsy said she had more endometriosis than anyone he’d ever seen,” Sherill said.

To say she was in pain is an understatement.

Kristi gave up. She was tired of doctors. She was tired of hospitals. She was tired of the pain.

In 2006, Sherill’s husband, Kristi’s stepfather, Mike Hill, developed cancer. Sherill was torn between helping her daughter who was suffering and her husband who was suffering.

“I told her, ‘We’re going to find something for you,’ ” Sherill said. She pleaded with her daughter to hang in there until they found someone who could help. By then Kristi had no insurance. Her mom and stepdad helped pay for her medical expenses. Kristi hated that. She was independent. She wanted to take care of herself.

On April 16, 2009, Mike Hill died.

“Kristi said, ‘Look at him. He’s at peace. I would love to be at peace,” Sherill said.

She began to worry about her daughter. She was sinking deeper and deeper into depression. A letter Kristi wrote on April 4 details her thoughts: “I am so tired of the pain. It is enough to drive someone crazy. Having constant pain all the time is enough to want to give up. Enough to want to put my fragile body to rest. My body can’t take any more. My brain is past the breaking point. My heart is broken. God, my heart is broken.”

“She was having grand mal seizures and pretty much bed-ridden then,” Sherill said of her daughter. “I got an uneasy feeling,” Sherill said. “So I hid the gun we kept in the house. Three days prior to her dying, she said, ‘I don’t want this anymore. They can’t fix me.’ I begged her. I said, ‘Please, let me see what I can find out. We’ll find something. She said no. ‘You’re not going to take me to another doctor, who will just take your money and say, ‘Well, we don’t know what else to do for her.’ ”

On May 7, 2009, Sherill was on her way home from a short trip to Kentucky and called her daughter.

“I told her I was almost home,” Sherill said, tears flowing down her cheeks. “She said, ‘I want you to remember one thing.’ I said, ‘What?’ She said, ‘I love you very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very much, Mom, and she just kept saying it. And I said I love you very, very, very much, too.’ ”

As Sherill drove home, Kristi searched the house and found the gun. She went outside to the back yard. She put the gun to her head. She pulled the trigger.

“When I got home, the police were in the yard,” Sherill said, sobbing. “I couldn’t pull into the driveway. My son, Tom, was there. I have another son, Michael. Tom had been in the house, and the neighbors came and got him. They said, ‘Your sister’s lying in the backyard.’ My son went out and got her. That’s just been very hard for him. He said, ‘I held her and she wasn’t talking.’ He said he kept thinking, ‘I gotta get this fixed before mom gets home.’ When I pulled up in the yard, as soon as I got out of the car, Tom grabbed a hold of me so tightly I could hardly breathe. He said, ‘Kristi shot herself.’ He held me so tight and he wouldn’t let go. I said, ‘Is she alive?’ He said, ‘Yes. They’re trying to get her stable.’ They wouldn’t let me go to the back yard. It seemed like forever and then they brought her to the front and put her in the ambulance. I yelled at her to fight like hell, and then we were on our way to the hospital. It wasn’t very long before they came out and said she didn’t make it. I said, ‘Can I see her?’ They let me see her, and when I looked at her I knew it was over for her. She suffered so much pain. Pain was a daily thing. The doctors didn’t take it as seriously as they could or should have.”

There was no funeral. Kristi had always said she wanted to be cremated. “I was with her every step of the way, I wasn’t going to let her go through that by herself,” Sherill said. “I’m not going to let her down now. I went down to Greenwood where they do it. I kissed her. I talked to her and then I watched as they took care of her.”

Sherill broke down in tears.

Her daughter killed herself 20 days after her husband died. Twenty days after her daughter’s suicide, Sherill had a dream. In it, Kristi was smiling, running, happy, free.

“That’s the one thing that’s kept me going because I know she’s not in pain anymore,” Sherill said, crying. “I’m just crying for myself now. I’m just so lonely I don’t know what to do with myself. I just don’t know what to do.”

What she has done, with her from her two sons, is have a fundraiser in Kristi’s memory, with the proceeds going to the Endometriosis Research Center.

“I wanted to help somebody else,” Sherill said. “So no one else has to live that way. I just want everybody to know how much pain she went through, how much she suffered, so this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

To contact Sherill about the fundraiser, send an e-mail to endokristi [at] yahoo [dot] com

About Endometriosis

About Endometriosis
By Lone Hummelshoj | June 02, 2010


We've just finished a month dedicated to women and mothers. In the U.S., we celebrated "National Women's Health Week" and before it Mother's Day. One study suggested Americans would spend a total of $14.6 billion in May alone to honor our mothers. And we should honor our mothers!

However, for millions of women with endometriosis, motherhood is elusive. In fact, an estimated 7.5 million women in the U.S. -- one in 10 -- are affected by endometriosis during their reproductive years.

Since endometriosis is one of the biggest causes of infertility, too many women will never experience the joy of motherhood -- and for them "Mother's Day" becomes a day of grieving for the children they never had.

It doesn't stop there. The chronic pelvic pain that so many women also experience -- every single day -- is limiting. Unfortunately, all of today's treatments have some degree of side effects and there is no known cure.

An average diagnostic delay of eight years, coupled with "hit and miss" treatments, has put the estimated cost of endometriosis to society at $22 billion a year. That is higher than the cost of migraine and Crohn's disease.

Furthermore, that amount does not account for a woman's personal costs, nor indirect costs such as not being able to go to work or school, or being less productive while there.

Yet there is a lack of funding for research into the underlying mechanisms of the disease -- research that could help us find a cure or even well-tolerated long-term treatments.

I worry that mismanagement in endometriosis is costing national healthcare systems billions of dollars unnecessarily. Dollars that could be spent more wisely in developing early and effective treatments -- with significant savings down the line. But my concern is not about healthcare systems alone.

I am concerned about the large proportion of women with endometriosis who have to take time off work every month either because of severe symptoms or because of doctors' appointments and treatment regimes.

I am concerned about the women with endometriosis who report reduced productivity at school and at work because of their painful symptoms.

These circumstances have a profound effect on society, but most certainly also on the women themselves, whose personal cost -- both financially and emotionally -- is substantial. The effect on relationships, especially when fertility becomes an issue, must not be underestimated either.

For decades I have advocated around the world to get endometriosis and its impact recognized, speaking to legislative leaders and at conferences. Just two weeks ago, I addressed these issues in New York City at the Endometriosis Foundation of America's first medical and scientific conference.

The attention at the meeting was great.

But we need a great deal more than medical conferences.

We need to collectively urge our governments to fund research that will significantly enhance awareness, reduce time to diagnosis, improve treatments, and ultimately find a cure for endometriosis.

Otherwise, this devastating illness will continue to rob millions of women of their quality of life during what should be the most active and productive time of their lives -- those precious years when they should be finishing their education, commencing a career, building relationships, and having children -- something too many will never experience!

I believe we have finally begun the kind of research that is needed to move forward.

As Chief Executive of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF), I have been working for the past year with 12 centers in 10 countries (including the U.S.) on the first-ever prospective study to assess the hidden costs of endometriosis (direct and indirect) to society and to women with the disease.

The EndoCost study has a goal to identify areas that can be addressed for improvement and subsequent reduction in cost from endometriosis, and we expect to publish our findings during the second half of 2010.

We hope the results will spur national governments to take endometriosis seriously and invest in research to prevent the next generation of women from having to suffer during the prime of their lives the way this generation has!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


*original letter by Heather Guidone*


Dear Parents, Partners, Friends, Families, Co-Workers, Employers & Doctors:

We have spent the last years of our lives apologizing for being stricken with a disease we did nothing to contract, and we can do it no longer. We are not responsible for not living up to your expectations the way you think we should. What you seem to fail to realize, is that you are just as much a part of the cycle of the disease as we are, because you are not getting the whole of our person and capabilities.

We are not anti-social, dramatic, pessimistic, lazy, too tired, too crazy and we do not make the pain up in our heads.


We know that we look healthy on the outside, and that is sometimes harder to accept than if we exhibit the disease in our every day appearances. What you don’t see is what our organs look like on the inside, and you don’t see what living with it has done to our mental state.

When we call in sick, it’s not because we need a mental health day or to “go shopping”. It’s because we can’t get out of bed from the excrutiating pelvic pain, extreme fatigue, nausea, low grade fever, sharp intestinal pains and splitting headaches. Do you think we like letting our careers pass us by? Would it be easier for you to understand if we said we had cancer and looked the part?

Most, if not all women with Endometriosis (accompanied with the debilitating pain) also suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, severe digestive problems, infertility, allergies, a hormone imbalance, anxiety and depression. Did you know Endo is also believed to be an Autoimmune Deficiency Disease? Makes since now since we are easily susceptible to colds, flu’s, viruses. Some of these symptoms can be cyclical, meaning we can feel great for a few weeks out of the month but then are in agony the rest of the month. Some of these symptoms can be continuous

And to top all that off we have a special dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, soy-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free, red meat-free, pork-free diet we must adhere to. This surely makes us the life of the party! Imagine such a strict diet...we can never just grab something quick to eat, eat at the latest restaurants, or even take road trips and eat along the way…

When we get emotional and cry at the seemingly silliest things, or get angry for even less reason, it’s not because we are “flaky females”. It is because Endo is a hormone imbalance. It’s because we are taking drug/hormone therapies to combat the disease, or perhaps because we have come close to the breaking point after dealing day in and day out with the pain for which there is no defined cause or absolute cure.

When we can’t have intimate relations with our partners, it is not because we don’t love you or not want to. It’s because we can’t. It hurts too much. And we aren’t feeling very attractive right now.

When you as our parents can’t understand that since you are healthy, we should be but aren’t – try harder. We don’t understand it either. We need your support more than anyone’s.

When we can’t go to family gatherings or accept social invitations, it’s not because we don’t wish to share in your fun. It’s because we feel like pariahs. You are all having such a nice time with your children and loved ones – we can’t remember the last time we did that, or at least the last time pain-free. We can’t have a nice time with our children because most of us can’t have them. Maybe we were robbed of that chance before we were old enough to even care about having them in the first place. Do you think we need to be reminded of our battle with infertility by watching you and your babies? Or for those of us who were blessed enough to be able to conceive, do you think we want a constant reminder that we never feel well enough to spend enough quality time with our children, or worse – that we might of passed this disease down through our blood into our daughters?

When you married us you didn’t know that we meant the “in sickness and in health” part literally, did you? We bet you were counting on at least a 50/50 split of that combination, rather than the 90/10 ratio you got. You are our caretakers, the ones who drive us to and from our doctors, countless surgeries, and emergency room visits. You are the ones who hear us crying in the night and see us break down during the day. You are the ones who wait on us hand and foot after surgery. You are the ones that go for months on end without sharing our beds with us. You are the ones that deal with our infertility right along with us. We strike out at you when we are hurting and angry, and you take it in stride. You are perhaps bigger victims of endometriosis than we ever are. You are appreciated more than words can ever say.


To medical professionals, we are coming to you for help. We are asking you to do the job you were trained to do and ease our suffering. We do not need you to tell us that we are imagining the excruciating pain we live in or worse yet, that it’s “normal for women to hurt”. Keep up with your research, find the cause of this disease and better yet, find a cure! Stop taking the easy way out and drugging us to oblivion so that we will quiet down. We are not going to quiet down. We want answers and it is your job to provide them. You were the ones that took the oath to heal, why do we have to try to do your job? Do you understand what it means when we tell you that we literally can no longer live a normal life and care for ourselves and our families? Are you not up to the challenge to find the answers?

To those we have called friends all our lives, why have you deserted us when we needed your compassion and understanding the most? Do you see the selfishness of your actions? When we can’t “hang out” and get together with you, it’s not because we don’t like you or we don’t care – it’s because we are no longer capable of enjoying healthy leisure time. Our minds are consumed with our next doctor’s appointment, what surgery we are going to have next, and why we feel so sick all the time. This is not about us. Please try to remember what the term “friend” means. Please remember that friendship is a two-way street. If we don’t keep calling or reaching out to you ,we probably wouldn’t be friends anymore. Why don’t you reach out to us?

Try to walk one minute in our shoes. We have fought a war for the better part of our years. We are faced daily with physical pain we can’t understand and mental anguish we can barely cope with. We have to face a society which doesn’t even know the word Endometriosis, much less the ramifications of living with the disease. We have to face uneducated and unsympathetic doctors who tell us things like, “it’s all in your head”, and “have a hysterectomy, it will cure you”, and “get pregnant, it will also cure you”, (when we know that it won’t and we have been dealing with infertility for the last however many years). We in our 20s and 30s do not wish to give up our organs just yet. That would be like giving in to the Endo.


We have to fight to get medical treatment the insurance companies don’t deem necessary, or worse, we deplete our savings because we aren’t able to obtain proper care unless we pay for it ourselves. We have to have surgery after surgery and subject ourselves to horrific medications just to be able to get out of bed in the morning. This is not a conscious choice we made, it was the hand we were dealt. It is enough of a war we wage just to try and live with some modicum of normalcy don’t make it harder on us by not seeing the reason why.


Take the time to learn about it and understand why we are the way we are. If you can do that, and you can join us in the battle for a cure, then we can one day return to our old selves and live a normal, productive life. We can have a healthy relationship with our loved ones. We can contribute meaningfully to our work environments. We can stop taking the pain killers that numb our suffering to a degree and become part of the living again.

Help us get rid of the xenoestrogens in our make up, lotion and beauty products!! Xenoestrogen feeds our disease.

Please don’t judge us and declare that we are all the things we are not – until you have lived with this disease ravaging your mind and body, you cannot speak on it. We will not hide this any longer! This is nothing to be embarrassed about. We will shout this to all that will listen! This affects us all!

Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, someone once said. While Endometriosis may not kill our physical body, it kills our spirit. It kills every hope and dream we ever had of doing the things that make us happy. All of us are out here searching for a cure to put an end to the disease….we are asking you to take part in that battle and work with us on doing so. Wouldn’t it be nice to have back the daughter, wife, sister, friend, or family member you once knew?



I added more of my own personal words so my family and friends could better relate but the original Letter was authored in 1997 by Heather Guidone<--- MY MENTOR This letter has been distributed around the world countless times and has reached nearly a million unique readers. It has been translated into other languages; shared extensively in patient communities; read to the crowd on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC at the first annual EndoWalk for Awareness; been given to families, physicians, caregivers, spouses, friends and government officials; and it is currently used by advocacy organizations in the US, Europe and Australia to facilitate their efforts at raising awareness and validating those who live with the disease. The Letter is intended to give insight and understanding as to what it is like to live with a chronic, painful illness that is under-treated, under-diagnosed and widely misunderstood – and perhaps, even, ignored - by society at large. More importantly, this Letter is for all the Endosisters around the world who hold their heads high every day, *in spite of* Endometriosis.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Endometriosis Facts & Statistics

Most women with endometriosis suffer pain—and present symptoms—up to a full decade prior to diagnosis.

The average woman is 27 when she is first diagnosed with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of female infertility. While it is one of the most treatable it remains the least treated.

Abdominal and bowel symptoms linked to endometriosis are commonly misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Endometriosis is often misdiagnosed as Pelvic Congestion or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).

Many infertile women with endometriosis experienced debilitating painful periods as teenagers and beyond but were misdiagnosed.

Many women suffer silently because they feel that their pain, especially pain associated with sexual intercourse, is just too personal to discuss with their gynecologist. This is more common in some cultures than others.

Most cases of endometriosis can be cured with Laparoscopic Excision Surgery. Hysterectomy should only ever be considered as a last resort. There is no oral medication to cure endometriosis.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Promise of Problems

Today's Truth:
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good." Genesis 50:20

Friend To Friend
If you are like me, you prefer days when the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and not a cloud in sight. Problems tend to irritate me because they make me realize just how frail I am as a human. But I have come to realize that every problem points to a promise.

Promise of direction
God uses problems to show us the way. We would walk through the wrong door if He didn't close it. "Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways." Proverbs 20:30

Promise of correction
God uses problems to correct us. I have come to realize that some lessons can only be learned in the darkness, through pain and failure. "It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws." Psalm 119:71-72

Promise of protection
A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it keeps you from being hurt by something more serious."You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good." Genesis 50:20

Promise of perfection
Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. A female motivation speaker recently spoke for a women's conference that used the theme of "Problems into Pearls." Strands of pearls were everywhere - the center of each table, on the podium from which She spoke, draped across tables - and many of the ladies wore pearls that day. When the worship leader welcomed her, she said, "We have to get you some pearls!" Digging in her purse, she produced the most beautiful pearl necklace and placed it around her neck. As the day went on, She spoke several times, counseled and prayed with numerous women and tried to meet as many women as possible. When everyone had left, the woman came to retrieve her pearl necklace. The speaker was embarrassed. She had worked up quite a sweat with all of that hugging, laughing, talking. She brushed her apology aside and said, "Sweat is good for pearls. It helps them keep their luster."

"We can rejoice when we run into problems ... they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady." Romans 5:3-4

God is at work in and around you. You may not see His hand, hear His voice or even understand His process, but you can rest assured that you can trust His heart. Remember, every problem points to a promise.

• What problem are you facing right now? Put it into words and record it in your journal.
• Pray, surrendering that problem to God and ask Him for the promise it holds.
• What good can come out of the problem you are facing?
• What scripture promise do you claim because of this problem?
• Write that promise on a 3 x 5 card and tuck it in your purse. When the going gets tough, pull out that card and read the verse aloud as a statement of your faith in your Problem-Solving God!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Women, Food and God author Geneen Roth on Oprah

I’m so glad I had this episode of Oprah on my DVR! What really touched me is the part where Oprah and Geneen Roth, author of “Women Food and God,” talked about looking into the mirror, deep into your eyes, down into your soul and asking yourself, “What do you see?” Looking past your fat, all of your imperfections, all your blemishes and really asking yourself that question.
Have you done that before? What was the answer?

The philosophy the book seems to be promoting is that when we have no inner connection with our creator (or maker, or God, or whatever you want to call it), we tend to suffocate our feelings with food or some other addiction.

When we eat when we are NOT hungry, we are suffocating something deep inside of ourselves. It could be past pain or emotions, it could be insecurities, it could be anything.

We have to stop hating and beating ourselves up. We HAVE to be KIND to OURSELVES and others.

Here’s one of the quotes Oprah read from the book:
“Can you remember a time perhaps when you were very young, when life as it was – just the fact that it was early morning or any old day in summer – was enough?
When you were enough not because of what you looked like or what you did, but just because everything was the way it was. What if you could live that way now, and what if your relationship to food was that doorway?”

I can remember a time such as this. A time when I felt safe, loved and food didn’t matter, my appearance didn't matter, my messy hair didn't matter, my blemishes didn't matter. A time when I was unconditionally happy because that’s what I was and that was simply the way things were. My heart wells when I think of that time in my life as a young child.

I usedto have so much fun doing the simpler things. Like running around bare foot, letting rain land in my mouth, the softness of my moms arms while she hugged me, washing dishes... instead of worrying about what food I’d be eating or how I looked to others.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Padma Lakshmi bring light to Endometriosis on the Today Show

Padma Lakshmi bring light to Endometriosis on the Today Show

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Endometriosis Diet

Endometriosis Diet
While there are various medical treatments for endometriosis available, as well as surgical ones, many women have found that changing their diet can help to effectively manage their symptoms. In some cases, dietary changes may be enough to help you live your life symptom free.

Why Change the Diet?

Making changes to your diet when you have endometriosis is not just about easing the signs of endometriosis. Following a healthier diet and eliminating those foods that aggravate your symptoms will not only help to reduce your estrogen levels, but it will also contribute to normalizing your hormone levels and it can even stabilize your emotions.
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Endometriosis 101
What is Endometriosis? Learn the Causes, Risks & Treatment Options.
Similar to the candida diet, which helps people dealing with recurrent vaginal thrush infections, an endometriosis diet aims to eliminate those foods that encourage your symptoms while increasing those foods that lower your prostaglandins. Prostaglandins, which are stimulated by estrogen, are the hormones responsible for those painful cramps you feel during menstruation as well as possibly menorrhagia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea that you may also experience.

Prostaglandins actually break down into three different forms: prostaglandin E1 (PGE1); prostaglandin E2 (PGE2); and prostaglandin F2a (PGF2a). While PGE1 can help alleviate endometriosis symptoms, PGE2 contributes to menorrhagia and PGF2a to vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea. Together, PGE2 and PGF2a produce the immense period pain women with endometriosis must deal with. However, by changing your diet, it is possible to block PGE2 and PGF2a while encouraging the production of PGE1 to help your symptoms.


We all know that diets high in fibre are helpful to digestion and keeping the bowels working. However, fibre may also reduce the levels of estrogen circulating in your system. Some good sources of fibre include:
Whole grains
Fruits and vegetables
Brown Rice

There are many benefits to consuming omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to helping your over physical and mental health, though, omega-3s have also been found to promote the production of PGE1. Some good sources of omega-3s include:
Flaxseeds and oil
Pumpkin seeds
Oily fish (i.e. salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel)
Sunflower oil
Evening primrose oil
Fortified foods

While dairy is an important part of a balanced diet, as dairy is an excellent source of calcium, women with endometriosis may benefit from minimizing their consumption of dairy products. Dairy can contribute to stimulating the production of prostaglandins, thereby worsening your symptoms. If you are planning to eliminate dairy from your diet, it is important to find other sources of calcium in order to meet your daily intake requirement of 1000mg/day. Alternative sources of calcium can include:
Dark green vegetables (i.e. spinach, broccoli, bok choy and kale)
Calcium fortified tofu
Sesame seeds
Salmon and sardines
Other food items fortified with calcium, like orange juice

Animal meat, though a good source of protein, is another food source that can aggravate your symptoms. In particular, meat, as well as lard which comes from animal fat, is known to promote PGF2a, so reducing your consumption may be helpful. To ensure you still have adequate protein intake, though, try incorporating some of these protein-rich foods into your diet:
Nuts (i.e. pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, chestnuts)
Seeds (i.e. sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flaxseeds)
Other Foods to Avoid

In general, there are a number of foods that women with endometriosis are advised to avoid.
Caffeine (i.e. coffee, tea)
Saturated fats
Butter and margarine
Drinks and foods with a high sugar content
Refined carbohydrates (i.e. pasta, bread, cakes, pastries)
Fried foods
Furthermore, while soy products are often touted as a great alternative to meat, they may not be ideal for those with endometriosis, who are sensitive to estrogen. Some of the isoflavones found in non-fermented soy products have been known to disrupt and interfere with certain tissues, especially in women sensitive to estrogen. Limiting your consumption of soy products that are not fermented to two to three times a week or less is best.

Also, keep in mind that every woman is different. It is very likely that you may have specific foods, like tomatoes or hot drinks, that aggravate your symptoms. Paying attention to how your body reacts to certain foods will help you understand better which foods to eliminate during menstruation.

Finally, in order for women to have healthy diets, it may be necessary to use supplements to make sure you are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals. If your periods are exceptionally long and/or heavy, you may want to discuss with your doctor using iron supplements to guard against iron deficiency or anemia.

The endometriosis diet should diminish your endometriosis symptoms; and for those looking to lose weight, changing your eating habits to minimize endometriosis symptoms should minimize your waistline as well, since maintaining a healthy balance and cutting out bad-for-you foods is central to both!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Welp I have Endometriosis, Stage IV

The diet DID help a little. I think the disease (weird typing that, I have a disease)had progrssed too much from 15+ years of other doctors NOT listening to me, that diet would ony help alleviate a little. I was still having incredibly debilitating pain. I finally had Surgery April 23, 2010 and yup, I have Stage IV Endometriosis....The Doctor proceeded to burn on the "bad" tissue away. He said I should be back to normal in a couple of days. Uhh it's been an entire week and i'm NOT back to normal.

Natural Treatments for Endometriosis:
Severe Endo should def first be treated with surgery and then the following:

1) Reduce Chemical Intake
Although earlier studies in women were conflicting, there is increasing evidence that chronic exposure to the environmental chemicals dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is associated with an increased prevalence and severity of endometriosis.

One way to reduce intake of these chemicals is to cut back on animal fat, especially high-fat dairy, red meat, and fish. Dioxin and PCBs both accumulate in animal fat, and it is our main route of exposure.

Interestingly, studies on diet and endometriosis also support this link. For example, an Italian study examined data from 504 women with endometriosis and found an increased risk with a high intake of red meat and ham. Fresh fruit and vegetables were associated with a reduction in risk.

2) Vegetables and Flaxseeds
There is evidence that a group of plant chemicals called flavones can inhibit aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens. Good food sources of flavones are celery and parsley.

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy, contain compounds called indoles, which appear to improve estrogen metabolism.

Flaxseeds are high in lignans and fiber, which have been found to be beneficial for estrogen-related conditions.

3) Progesterone Cream
Alternative practitioners sometimes recommend progesterone cream. Progesterone is thought to slow the growth of abnormal endometrial tissue. Although it's not considered a cure, it may improve symptoms such as pain during menstrual periods and pelvic pain. There haven't been any studies on progesterone cream for endometriosis, so we don't know for certain about it's effectiveness or safety.

Progesterone cream is derived from either soy or Mexican wild yam. A molecule called diosgenin is extracted in a lab and converted to a molecule that's exactly like human progesterone and added to back to the cream. Some companies sell wild yam cream, but unless it has been converted in a lab it is useless, because the body can't convert wild yam to progesterone on its own.

Natural progesterone cream is applied to the wrists, inner arms, inner thighs, or upper chest at a dose and schedule that should be recommended by a professional. It's important to be supervised and to have progesterone levels monitored on lab tests, because too much progesterone can cause such side effects as mood changes, depression, water retention, weight gain, and absent or abnormal menstrual bleeding.

Natural progesterone cream is available from a compounding pharmacy (the website has listings) or at regular drug stores.

4) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. They are also available in fish oil capsules, which may be the preferable form because good brands contain minimal amounts of PCBs and dioxins.

Several studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for people with endometriosis. For example, an animal study by the University of Western Ontario found that fish oil containing two specific compounds, EPA and DHA, can relieve pain by decreasing levels of an inflammatory chemical called prostaglandin E2. Researchers also found that fish oil could slow the growth of endometrial tissue.

5) Stress Reduction
Cortisol is a hormone involved in the stress response but is also needed to make other hormones such as progesterone. Prolonged stress can lead to elevations in cortisol, which alternative practitioners say may decrease the available progesterone and result in a hormonal imbalance.

One study involving 49 women found that cortisol levels were significantly higher in women with advanced endometriosis compared to women who didn't have this condition.

Herbs and nutrients that alternative practitioners commonly recommend for stress reduction include:

* Ashwaghandha
* B vitamins
* Vitamin C
* Zinc
* Magnesium

Other stress reduction methods include:

* Relaxation Response
* Mindfulness Meditation
* Diaphragmatic Breathing

6) Hydrotherapy
A contrast sitz bath is often recommended by alternative practitioners for endometriosis. It is a home remedy and has not been studied.

A contrast sitz bath involves sitting in a small basin or tub filled with hot water for three minutes, then getting up and sitting in another basin filled with cool water for one minute. The hot water-cold water cycle is repeated another 3 times. It is not usually done during menstruation.

7) Ginger Tea
Ginger tea may relieve the nausea that can occur with endometriosis.

8) Bacterial or yeast overgrowth
William Crook, author of The Yeast Connection believed there was a strong connection between endometriosis and candida yeast overgrowth.

A study by the Woman's Hospital of Texas examined 50 women with endometriosis and found that 40 women showed bacterial overgrowth. After eight weeks of treatment, here was a significant reduction in symptoms.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Doctor thinks I have Endometriosis

Well on top of EVERYTHING my doctor thinks I have Endometriosis. Surgery is the last resort so my dr's want me on this diet for the next few months to see if it helps alleviate the pain at all. Even if I end up having the surgery most likely I will always be on this diet...

The following are 10 foods to avoid with endometriosis -

1. Sugar - Sugar, in all its forms (refined, artificial, natural), can produce a more acidic environment which can encourage the inflammatory pain of endometriosis. Therefore, it's a good idea to limit the consumption of chocolate, sweeteners, drinks and sweets with high levels of sugar, and honey.

2. Wheat - Wheat contains phytic acid which can aggravate endometriosis symptoms. Furthermore, wheat contains gluten, and studies have found that many endometriosis sufferers appear to have gluten sensitivity which can cause and increase painful symptoms. Products containing wheat and gluten should be avoided or limited.

3. Soy products - Like wheat, soy contains phytic acid; however the levels of phytic acid in soy are considerably higher than wheat. Phytic acid is known to irritate the digestive system and reduces mineral absorption, especially calcium. Soy is found in many food products including granola, pasta, imitation meat, soy milk, soy based cheese, etc.

4. Caffeine - Caffeine, especially when consumed in high amounts, has been found to increase estrogen levels, which can trigger endometriosis attacks and cause the condition to develop. Caffeine foods to avoid with endometriosis include coffee, tea and soda. Consuming more than two cups of coffee a day may cause estrogen levels to rise.

5. Alcohol - Alcohol eats up vitamin B stored in the liver. Liver function plays an essential role in clearing out excess estrogen which helps to control endometriosis. Eliminating alcohol on the body puts excessive stress on the liver, hindering it from expelling other items from the body.

6. Dairy products - Dairy products stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a, which can worsen symptoms. The primary dairy foods that you should avoid with endometriosis include milk and cheeses. To help keep calcium levels up you can find other sources of calcium in sesame seeds, almonds, salmon, sardines, seaweed, figs, and calcium fortified foods (I.E. tofu, orange juice, etc.) Note: Remember to be careful when substituting dairy products such as pasteurized milk with soy milk, as soy can also aggravate symptoms.

7. Red Meat - Meat promotes PGF2a production. Furthermore, red meat may contain growth hormones that include estrogen. If meat is your main source of protein, you can obtain the protein you need through other protein-rich foods such as beans, tofu, tempeh, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and peanuts.

8. Saturated fats and oils - Foods that are high in fatty acids stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a. Fatty acids are found in saturated fats, oils (IE coconut oil, palm oil, etc.), butter, margarine, lard, organ meats, and plenty of fried foods.

9. Refined carbohydrates - refined carbohydrates (I.E. white bread, pasta, flour, pastry, cakes, etc.) have had most of their natural nutrients removed. Refined carbohydrates deplete the body's nutritional stores as they are needed in order for the body to absorb the nutrients in the refined carbs. This can lead to endometriosis symptoms. Instead of refined carbs, stick to unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, pasta, rice, etc.

10. Additives and preservatives - processed, frozen and pre-packaged are foods to avoid with endometriosis as they are full of additives, preservatives chemicals, and many other ingredients that promote ill-health and PGE2 and PGF2.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Needs of a Child Sexual Abuse Survivor

Every survivor of sexual abuse has their own unique and individual needs and they each have their own way of reacting to the abuse. Every survivor can find hope and healing and there is no preset timetable for healing. Each survivor must decide for himself or herself at what pace the healing process will take place. The list of needs below is certainly not a complete list of needs but rather a general list that would apply to almost all survivors of sexual abuse.

Survivors need and deserve to be loved.
Sexual abuse survivors are frequently filled with confusion about what love really is. I was told by my abuser that he loved me and what we had was a "special kind of love." This led me to be confuse sex with love, attention and affection for many years.

The most difficult thing for me to learn is that I can be loved and cared for by people that honestly do have my best interest in mind. Survivors do need unconditional love.

Survivors need acceptance and recognition
Many sexual abuse survivors have a very low self-esteem and often see themselves as not good enough. In the minds of many survivors of sexual abuse, nothing they do or say is worthy of being noticed.

One of my talents is sewing. When my daughter was a small child, I made most of her clothes. As soon as a project was finished, all of my friends and family would comment about how cute it looked and how it was well made. It sure wasn't that way in my mind. I would focus on the smallest invisible flaw and despite the number of comments my daughter would get about her new dress or summer outfit, I couldn't see it as worth noticing.

Still many people around me showed me acceptance and eventually I did learn to accept myself and learn to value myself and my many talents.

Survivors need nurturing and support
Survivors of sexual abuse are accustomed to meeting the needs of others and neglecting their own. As children, they were not protected and instead of being cared for and nurtured, they were used for the sexual gratification of the abuser.

The need for nurturing is a strong one and for many survivors, this need was completely abandoned in their childhood and they were left with feelings of confusion. This need still remains when the survivor becomes an adult and the result is a tremendous emptiness in their lives. Supporters of sexual abuse survivors can help fill this void by nurturing them and helping them get their emotional needs met.

Survivors need help learning to trust again
Sexual abuse teaches the survivor not to trust others. The abuse experience itself taught them that them that their feelings, needs and just about every part of them clear down to their very soul has been exploited. They have lost their sense of safety and this makes them feel vulnerable. As a way of coping, they don't automatically trust anyone. It is often difficult for the survivor to know who they can trust and who they can't. They often adopt the philosophy that nobody is to be trusted until they earn trust.

Supporters can offer the survivor their unconditional support and reassurance can help the survivor learn to trust again.

Survivors need to feel safe
Many survivors feel that they need to take additional steps such as purchasing security devices or weapons, or creating new living arrangements to make their homes and lives safe. While some such measures can increase safety and security, encouraging the survivor to be alert to his or her surroundings is a very important safety measure to take.

Recommended Reading:

•Beginning to Heal (Revised Edition): A First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused As Children

•I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

•The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Revised Edition)

•Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child

•What About Me? A Guide for Men Helping Female Partners Deal with Childhood Sexual Abuse

"Sexual abuse distort’s a child’s understanding of sex and its wholesome purpose when used within God’s design. Sexual abuse interrupts a child’s delicate process of emotional, social, and sexual maturation."

What is sexual abuse?

To understand the damage of sexual abuse, we must first identify what it is and how victims are affected by it. Any sexual activity initiated by a peer or adult without consent is abuse, including physical, visual or verbal stimuli.

Unsurprisingly, many abusers themselves were sexually abused. Most are male, but more cases of female abuse are reported each year. Most abusers are people the victim knows—a family member, friend or trusted authority figure, and they’re in the churches, grocery stores, schools, theatres, scout troops, anywhere children are found. They are citizens of every socioeconomic, racial and ethnic status of our society.

As a victim of child sexual abuse, I can personally attest that the effects of abuse touch every aspect of my life—emotional, physical, relational and spiritual. I am living with a victim mentality . For over twenty-five years now I have only seen myself as a victim. Only recently have I started to try to see myself as a survivor.

I was and still am angry with everyone, and afraid to trust anyone. Shame and guilt are my constant companions, convincing me that I somehow encouraged the abusers' advances. I have built protective barriers to avoid loving and being loved. This in itself is what is causing even more harm in my life. You see I am married. I am married to a wonderful man who is extremely comfortable with his sexuality. Who needs to show love and see love through sexual intimacy. I am killing him softly everyday when I run from his advances or flat out reject him. I still wonder why he decided to marry such a broken person like myself.

Because my abuser was my grandfather, my father's father! I find it hard to trust anyone, even God. I used to think that my family and... God, seemed so indifferent to my suffering . Well correction my Mother, Father, and sister have always supported me and have tried to help me forgive. But early in my life I didn't understand a God who would allowed for my sister and I to get abused. I was afraid of that kind of love, so I rejected God...only now am I turning to him to heal and free me.

I suffered silently for more than twenty years before it became imperative that I face the issues of sexual abuse in my life. I couldn’t carry the burden and pain alone. I had to face the past, deal with the hurts and learn to live in the present. The “protective tools” I selected as an abused child—anger, bitterness and refusal to forgive—is causing me more pain rather than relief. I need to love myself so I can finally love my husband the way he deserves.

I know I need to BUT...I don’t want to forgive. Forgiving my abusers seems to reduce the significance of the crime and their need for punishment. Anyone who abuses others is guilty of a criminal act in all fifty states and in God’s eyes, has committed a wicked sin. I feel warranted in my desire for justice. It’s normal to be angry when an innocent person suffers the consequences thrust upon her by an abusive individual. It’s also natural to be cautious about preventing additional abuse and violation.

I am learning that God is also angry and grieved by sexual abuse, and He promises to repay for the evil that’s done and to avenge any sins committed against children. True justice can be gained only through our judicial system and by allowing room for God’s vengeance and judgment. But what makes my situation much harder is that now I am 28...I was abused at 4. My father's father (I will not call me my gr**father) was immediately asked to leave our house and he returned back to Costa Rica. For almost 25 years he has lived a free man. His wife and other children seem to just ignore it. No one talks about it. No one acknowledges it! Actually my father's side of the family have always shunned my sister and I. They are cruel to my Mother and Father believing my mom "stuck" these things in our heads.

Again my immediate family have acknowledged my sexual abuse but when we return back to Costa Rica I despise having to go visit my father side of the family because HE will be there. I do it anyways because of my grandmother. She is a loving women who though has never accepted her husband is a child abuser "out loud" I believe her guilt is shown by all she does for me. Sadly nothing she can do will give me back my innocence or childhood. Her husband committed murder. He killed who I should have become. I was meant to be happy, to love, to be loved, have healthy relationships...Because of what happened to me I struggle with being happy. I am constantly holding depression at bay but sometimes I get tired and let it in. My marriage is great in all aspects except for our sex life. We have none. I still see sex as a "bad" thing. I love my husband with all my heart but sex is just not important to me. This I know is destroying him. I know if I were him I would struggle so much with all this. So now my abuser hasn't only affected and ruined my life--he is affecting and ruining my husbands life.

I did nothing to cause the abuse—it wasn’t my fault. However, I am responsible for my refusal to forgive and my willingness to hate and harm rather than to love using healthy boundaries. I know I am wrong for judging all people as evil because of the crimes of a few but can't stop myself. Refusing to forgive, to accept and receive love and to constructively deal with my anger and fear is hurting me, not my abusers. I know this. I know I have to stop running from this, but I am afraid.

This realization is sending me into a fierce battle—a matter of life and death. I feel I am teetering on the ledge of sanity versus insanity by the tips of my fingers, my body dangling above the abyss of despair. I am afraid of change, but even more afraid of the pain I carry. But I am not trying to hide from the truth this time.

I understand the abuse was so invasive it will be a lifelong recovery process. Just the thought of letting go of the anger and the grief is hard to bear so I pray for God to send someone who will help me bear the burden and teach me how to forgive. I pray that person is my husband. Eventually, I know God will eliminate the pain from my past. I’m yet learning to deal with the present, which is strongly influenced by my past.

This is what happens to victims of abuse. They need compassion, love, understanding and encouragement to focus on the things gained through their adversity rather than allowing the past to control the present and the future. We need to be held accountable for our actions and our sin of refusing to forgive. The world can gain our experiences and perhaps the continued spread of this crime can be prevented.

Abuse changes lives forever, but healing is possible if the choice is to overcome the victim mentality, and work to become a survivor.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blog Therapy

I created this blog awhile back and never got to writing about anything...until now.

I am going to try to use this blog as therapy for the journey I am about to reluctantly embark on. I will be using The Courage To Heal Workbook by Laura Davis and I hope that through my transperancy and determination I will become a better person, better wife, better sister, better daughter, better friend. Through the strength I will gain from God, my husband, my family and friends I hope this blog will others help others, even if in just a small way.

So here goes...

I am an artist, a lover of animals, first generation American, first generation college graduate, a new wife, a new aunt, right brained & left brained. I believe its our duty as citizens to volunteer our time and resources on a regular basis...

but sadly, though I wear so many different hats, I have always and still only see myself as a child sexual abuse victim. I am still that 5 year old hiding under the bed because my sister hid me there to protect me from our perpetrator. My sister sacrificing herself for me becomes a recurring theme through out my life.