Tag: cold water therapy

Me and Endometriosis

Me and Endometriosis

I have always had painful periods, and as this runs in my family I didn’t think much of it until I was really in my 20s and things were worsening not getting better. I had all of the usual investigations and at that time endometriosis was not something that was easily diagnosed or talked about and it was never mentioned.

I went from GP to GP and eventually got referred to a gynaecologist and I saw a few of those who ruled out various things and told me if I’d just go on the pill, all of this would go away. Sadly this is a typical experience, especially then, of not believing how bad symptoms are in women patients.

When I started being investigated for endometriosis I had terrible period pain and nothing could stop the pain, I had to be very careful of when my period fell and if I was able to be at work during that time. Thankfully my boss at the time was understanding and I was able to be flexible for the most part.

Then as the endometriosis progressed, the pain was also at ovulation as well, 1 – 3 days around that time, I would also be in excruciating pain.

Eventually the adhesions grew so bad in my abdomen that I was struggling to be able to walk every day without pain. Every time I took a step I had severe abdominal pain, regardless of the time in my cycle. It was worse at certain times but always there and it meant that I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t do anything really.

I was keeping track of the pain and took charts and data to my gynaecologist, thinking that this would be helpful if I was talking the same language. Surely this was scientific? But he laughed and said we’ll send you for a laparoscopy and the wait at that time was around 6 months.

Thankfully by this time I was able to get my diagnosis, following a laparoscopic operation (where they also lasered the endometriosis they found). They confirmed the adhesions as well.

After I had healed from the surgery it was like being a different person, I couldn’t remember a time when I could bend down and put on shoes without pain. I could suddenly live my life again and thankfully, using herbs, diet and exercise, for the most part I was able to keep the endometriosis at a really low level for around 8 years.

Around this time I was just starting my herbal practice and was able to use my own experience to help other people. I treated a lot of people with endometriosis over the 10 years I was in practice. 

Every person had a different experience and that is the joy of holistic treatment, each treatment was different and tailored to that person.

After this point, I started to get flare ups again and as I am approaching peri menopause the symptoms are getting worse again, I’m back to having excruciating ovulation pain and for several days during my period the pain can be very bad. But this is for the most part manageable but I have noticed that things are worsening.

I am still trying to keep on top of things and I am not keen to go under the knife again, having a second surgery and severely worsening endometriosis symptoms because you are creating more scar tissue and adhesions every time you have the operation.

The thing that really annoys me though, is how it affects my cold water swimming, I can’t swim for the first 3 days of my period as it makes me lose my cold water acclimatisation. I’m fine in warmer water, so I do try to switch to pool swimming at this time and I have been able to compensate but it does make training for swim events more difficult.

I am pleased to say that I will be joined by other healers who also specialise in endometriosis in our healing retreats. More on that soon.

My Healing Journey

My Healing Journey

So where have I been over the past 6 months?

I really wanted to take the time to heal myself fully, to take the time away and really focus on finding a new normal after the pandemic.

Being a healer and someone who works in a spiritual and energetic way, things take their toll, often in ways that I am not always conscious of at the time. For me, I knew that it would take several years to get back to this new normal.

I knew that I would be healing on a much deeper level and it was going to take time to feel myself again, or a version of myself at least. I think we are ever changing and it’s natural to change and grow in all aspects of life.

A huge part of the healing was on an elemental level and I think this is why cold water swimming has been such a lifeline for me. The feeling of being held by the water, in this vast expanse, it’s something that speaks to me on an elemental level.

And yes I have become one of those people, so I will be mentioning the benefits of cold water a lot! (Sorry!)

I was definitely suffering from burnout and had been for some time, but that can be difficult accept in yourself to really say, no, I’m not going to do that anymore. I was limping on and hoping that things would improve but of course they never do.

So really I was struggling on all levels and that is difficult to accept, because I knew that I would be facing a lot of challenges and would have to make changes, some of which were going to be uncomfortable and I felt that I might be judged for that too.

I am keen to help others heal in this same well, particularly healers and therapists, or those people who feel drawn to that role. We have been put through the ringer and I want to help us get back to our new selves. That is why I am running Heal the Healer workshops and programmes. More on that soon.