I mean, real, earth-shattering pain that makes your stomach want to turn itself inside out.
But more frightening than the pain was that I knew it felt eerily similar to an ectopic pregnancy I had experienced a few years earlier; when an (unbeknownst-to-me) baby decided to set up shop in my fallopian tube, busting it open at about 8 weeks of age (and 10 cm) and nearly killing me via internal bleeding. But that’s another story!
The familiar pain was enough for me to know that I needed the ER and I needed it now. After a few ultrasounds and blood work, the results were in — no ectopic pregnancy but I did have a 4cm ovarian cyst that was leaking and causing the pain. Dear word! What is that thing “leaking”? Straight battery acid?
I eventually went home with painkillers so powerful I’m sure they’d make me solid money on the streets (or the next PTA meeting) and was instructed to make a follow-up appointment with my OB before deciding if I wanted to operate.
After a few weeks, while waiting for the appointment with my OB, I was finally able to walk around without feeling pain. Just a bit of discomfort when I sat the wrong way. It was around that time that I asked my church Home Group friends for prayer. I fully believe God still miraculously heals people but I confessed to my friends that if I were being honest, I sometimes wonder if God wants to heal me. This can either be a suffering complex or another crafty trick of the enemy to keep us lacking faith.
My dear friends earnestly prayed that the cyst would just go away and I humbly prayed that God would heal my unbelief, fully knowing that no one can muster up their own faith.
It fills my heart to say that God not only answered one request — He answered both. And quickly!
That very same night, as I got ready for bed, I felt a wet sensation and found a nasty mess of puss, some kind of weird white filmy guck (that’s the proper medical term, don’t ya know?), and spots of blood in my underwear. Within a few days, all the pain and discomfort were completely gone and sure enough, my follow-up ultrasound showed the large cyst was totally gone! No operation necessary.
And yet while I rejoiced in the ultrasound showing the large cyst was gone, I found myself caught off guard by my OB’s next diagnosis: I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). My OB painted me a story: insulin resistance (typically caused by genetics) causes the body to create excess insulin which then causes inflammation, which then leads to excess testosterone being released, which then leads to ovary follicles releasing eggs prematurely, which then turn into little annoying cysts all over your ovaries.
So what kind of “treatment” are we talking about, doc? Because y’all know I’m not about to start pill popping!
My OB, whom I intentionally sought out for his holistic approach, recommended the following: stress reduction, acupuncture, and a few natural supplements to help reduce excess insulin in the blood stream. After six months of taking all three prescriptions seriously, I noticed a huge improvement in my periods. (Warning: TMI Zone Ahead!). While always timely (many women with PCOS get intermittent cycles), mine have often been abnormally heavy (6-8 oz instead of the typical .25-2 oz) and riddled with ridiculously large blood clots. Thank goodness I discovered the Diva Cup or there would be entire days each month that I wouldn’t even get to leave the house!
While the prescriptions seemed to help, I have since added a few of my own prescriptions and feel better than ever! I’m excited to share my approach with you in the coming days and I’ll start by sharing my Top 5 Steps to Healing PCOS.