Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Femininity: The symptoms that try to define us.

Menopause.  Hot flashes, memory loss, loss of libido, tiredness…these are some of the symptoms that I see when clients come to see me in mid-life.  It can be a challenging phase of health during the life of a woman.

I have a lot of compassion because I have been through a lot with the healing curve of my cycle, hormone balance, and femininity.  Are symptoms of PMS, cramps, and hot flashes connected with being a woman?  Is it something that can be escaped or is it inevitable? 

I remember going to the gynecologist when I was 16 years old after not having my first period and being told that I have PCOS.   Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.  I was told that it was a disease that I had to learn to live with.  I was told that there was no escaping the symptoms and that the solution was to take birth control for the rest of my life in order to try to develop somewhat of a normalcy of having a period. 

I remember buying a book that described what PCOS was and what impact it would have on me for the rest of my life.  I remember being emotional with my first boyfriend because I didn’t think I was going to be able to have children. 

I remember PCOS being the frame of reference to define a lot of what was happening (or not happening) in my life.  I remember days of feeling sorry for myself and trying to accept my fate as a person with PCOS.

Until one day, I woke up.  I realized that I did not have to let a doctor define my life, or a disease, or the idea of what may or may not happen define my life.   I decided that there must be a different answer than the one I was getting from all the sources that I was seeking out.

I found hope when I decided to look for a different answer.  I found hope that people had found real solutions for health problems.  I found hope in the alternative health arena.  And that is where I have stayed.

I am going to start a series of blogs on women’s health and I will weave my story in and out of the information about being a woman and attaining the health that we all desire and that we can mostly all attain. 

Unfortunately, our culture has focused health around clumping symptoms together and giving them a name of some sort of disease that may or may not have a prescription drug to help mask the symptoms and make us feel more normal day to day. 

I am not saying that prescription drugs are never necessary to help someone who is in a critical health condition.  However, for prescription drugs to become the answer to most every health ailment that someone is going through is a problem.

The reality is that there are some real answer, real solutions to our health problems.  If we dig a little bit deeper and believe that there is more to the symptoms that are ailing us, we may find the answer that we are looking for is not too far off.

16 years after being diagnosed with PCOS, an incurable disease, I am happy to say that I just had a period with absolutely no cramping, no pain, and only one day of PMS mood swings.  In fact, this year, I have had 7 cycles, which is a miracle for me because I would go 8 months at a time without a cycle.  That was my “normal,” when I was dealing with the real symptoms or PCOS.

I would love to share my story with you and hope that it helps you, gives you a different perspective on your health, and gives you answers to your own health issues.