4 articles Tag endometriosis

5 Health Benefits of CBD Oil

Benefits of CBD oilWhen you suffer with several chronic illnesses, the constant daily stream of tablets can get really tiring, especially when a new symptom arises and with it, the possibility of needing more medication. Recently, I discovered CBD oil and the many health benefits of using it, and I use it daily to deal with several different things, so I thought I’d share with you a few of the health benefits of using CBD oil.

Pain Management

One of the conditions I have, endometriosis, can be really painful at times, and while there’s the option of taking strong painkillers, it’s not something I really want to do on a daily basis as it can damage other organs in the long run. Taking a daily dose of CBD seems to keep my pain to a minimum or at a manageable level even on bad days, and means that my painkiller intake has reduced by about 90%.

Anxiety

I’ve suffered with anxiety on and off for years but refuse to take anti-anxiety medications because of the horrible list of side effects that can go with them, as well as not want to feel like a zombie on a daily basis. CBD really quietens my anxiety down and on the odd day that I forget to take it, I can really feel the difference in my symptoms.

Skin Issues

As well as suffering with psoriasis, I also have issues with hormone-related spots because of my gynae problems, but since using CBD my skin has been SO much better. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD work wonders on a whole load of skin conditions and using it via vape pen as an e-liquid means that you can take a metered does every day and avoid the slightly unpleasant taste that is associated with taking it other ways.

Nausea

Nausea is something that I deal with on a semi-regular basis because of some of the medications that I have to take, and I’ve found that vaping CBD is a massive relief when the nausea gets too bad.

Blood Sugar Levels

I take daily medication for my diabetes, and my blood sugar is usually well controlled, but since I’ve been using CBD on a daily basis, my blood sugars have been the best they’ve been in ages. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend using it as an alternative to regular diabetes medication, but supplementing with CBD certainly can’t hurt!

Do you use CBD oil? What do you use it for? Leave me a comment below.

Endometriosis and my 20-year Journey Towards Diagnosis #spon #aminumber5?

Christmas Day, 1993. The presents had been opened, the turkey eaten, the crackers pulled and the adults had sat down to watch the Eastenders Christmas Special. My belly was hurting, so I excused myself and went to the loo, where I discovered that Mother Nature had a belated surprise for me; my periods had started.

I was nine.

Skip forward 3 or four years and the hospital visits started. I went to the hospital about 6 times in a year, only to be sent home again with “grumbling appendix”, reeling from the fact that I had to have a doctor examine me by sticking a finger up my bum, every single time (despite the fact that I never had the usual fever and vomiting, just unexplained abdominal pain) and that nothing was being done to help me. My periods were heavy, even from this young age and I thought it was just what everyone dealt with. My mother, in the meantime, had been diagnosed with endometriosis after battling with doctors since the age of 19 about her horrific periods and pain. They treated her with hormone implants directly into her uterus to try to slow the spread of the growths, but ultimately it was too late and she had to have a full hysterectomy aged 35, including her ovaries and fallopian tubes, and her lesions were so severe there was talk of her losing part of her bowel, although luckily for her they managed to save it.

I think, in some way, I’ve always known that I had the same disease. I’ve seen a dozen different gynaecologists, been told a number of different potential diagnoses, and despite the familial link, my questions about endometriosis have always been brushed away. Last year, it got too much. I sat in my gynae’s office after YET ANOTHER ultrasound where they concluded that I was perfectly normal and cried. I asked them, through the tears, how it could possibly be normal for a 32 year old woman to sometimes be in pain for hours after sex and how penetration can sometimes feel like a knife to the belly? I asked them how it can be normal that sometimes my periods are so heavy that I can barely leave the house, how I lose huge clots and so much blood that I can, at times, feel it literally gushing from my body? I asked how it can be normal to be in almost constant pain during certain times of the month?

Endometriosis and me. Me, aged 11 – the pain from endometriosis started not long after this photo was taken, although it was misdiagnosed for over 20 years.

I think it was only because of my apparent hysteria and my resolute refusal to accept the same old line of “some women just have to deal with these things”, that made him offer me an MRI. A definitive window into my abdomen which would pick up even the slightest imperfection, something which could realistically have been done a long, long time ago, something which would have given me an answer and maybe made me and others believe that I wasn’t going mad.

And, lo and behold, the results came back.

“I’m sorry to tell you, Mrs. Crammond, that you DO have endometriosis. It’s a deep, infiltrating type which needs to be dealt with by a specialist, so we’ll be referring you to University College Hospital in London to have it seen to”.

And this time, there were no tears from me. I actually laughed when the doctor gave me my result. My accompanying “I KNEW IT!” may have been a bit too much, given the circumstances, but being handed this diagnosis was more than just a name for my problems. It was the key to a solution, and more than that, it was vindication. Proof that I wasn’t going mad, that I hadn’t just been being a drama queen all those years and confirmation that the pain and the bleeding and all the other issues weren’t even close to being ‘normal’.

One thing which has been abundantly clear, throughout the past twenty years of suffering, is that the onus has always been on me to just deal with it. The problems I was facing weren’t life threatening, and although they affected my day-to-day life, my pain just wasn’t considered important enough for anyone to find a cause for it. If I hadn’t fought, tooth and nail, for someone to take me seriously, I’d still be none the wiser and in my experience of other women and this problem, this is a prevailing attitude when it comes to gynaecological care.

It’s affected my life in so many more ways than just ‘a period’. I’ve missed social events, had days where it’s physically impossible to exercise because the bleeding is so heavy, not to mention the fact that it’s exhausting at times and regularly leaves me massively anaemic. Both the kids and Husband have had to deal with me having days where I’m in so much pain that all I can do is sit and quietly cry to myself, not to mention the effect it has on my mental health and feelings of absolute helplessness.

The most recent problem was being put on the mini-pill, which can apparently help to limit the growths, but no mind was paid to past mental health issues when prescribing them to me and I went on a downward spiral of increasingly dark thoughts about not wanting to be here any more. Fortunately for me, Husband realised that I was being sucked into the mental quicksand and that my downswing had coincided directly with me starting these pills. He begged me to stop taking them before I did something which could have destroyed our family and I sit here feeling unbelievably lucky to have him on my team, through thick and thin.

The Am I Number 5? campaign, reflecting the 1 in 5 women affected, aims to help raise awareness for heavy periods. It’s an educational awareness campaign to help women recognise and understand that heavy periods are a medical condition which can be treated. That there is a solution and you don’t have to fight through years of pain as I did.

Am I Number 5?Am I Number 5?

Both fibroids and endometriosis can cause heavy periods, as can a number of other conditions. But despite affecting so many women, heavy periods can be a ‘taboo’ topic, with many women too embarrassed to discuss it.

More women need to realise that you don’t have to just live with heavy periods and that, actually, they aren’t a ‘fact of life’. Your life shouldn’t revolve around your menstrual cycle, and if it is affecting your life to that degree, you should ask for help. Prepare to be turned away or treated like a drama queen, but DON’T GIVE UP. Ultrasounds are the go-to early diagnostic tool for gynae problems but they rarely ever pick up endometriosis and an MRI is usually the only definitive way to get a diagnosis.

Although I got my diagnosis back in March, I’m still waiting for my referral to London to see the specialist, and I reckon by the time I finally get my appointment it’ll be close to a year since I was told it’s definitely Endo. The NHS is obviously pretty stretched at the moment so I’m trying to remain pragmatic about the fact that I have a diagnosis and will be seen…at SOME point in the future. When that might be, remains to be seen.

Wear White Again is a campaign which aims to educate women on what’s normal when it comes to bleeding and the different treatment options available. It’s SO important that campaigns like this exist and that we really up the ante with regards to getting help for women, like me, who are suffering unnecessarily.

Do you suffer from heavy periods? Have you been waiting for a diagnosis for years? Do you feel like your periods are unmanageable and are causing an impact on your life? If you’ve experienced any of this, leave me a comment below, but more importantly; DEMAND HELP. You can get involved with the Am I Number 5? campaign by painting your nails (with one nail a different colour to the rest as I have above) and posting them to social media with the #AmINumber5 hashtag.

I’m working with Hologic and BritMums to promote the Am I Number 5? campaign. Visit www.wearwhiteagain.co.uk for more information and advice

Four Conditions Which Medical Marijuana Can Help

medical marijuanaHere in the UK, medical marijuana is rarely prescribe, which is a terrible shame as it’s proving to be a hugely helpful drug for so many conditions. Cannabis clinics in Canada  are prescribing for more and more conditions and the explosion of marijuana as a medical treatment is having a knock-on effect on both crime rates AND contributing huge amounts to the economy. I’ve been doing some research myself recently about medical marijuana and was surprised by some of the conditions which can be treated using it, so I thought I’d give you a look at some of the many things that can be helped by cannabis:

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus can grow in other parts of the abdomen and even in other organs such as the lung and brain. As well as heavy bleeding and infertility, endometriosis causes chronic pain and muscle contractions, both of which can be helped by medical marijuana. Many opiates don’t have an effect on endometriosis pain, but cannabis has been hugely beneficial to sufferers, who’ve replaced strong pain killers entirely.

ADHD

Adult ADHD is a massively under-researched condition which is finally getting recognition and more diagnoses. The effects of marijuana on adhd can be truly profound and many sufferers prefer to use marijuana than conventional ADHD drugs as there are far fewer side effects. Marijuana can help with focus issues, sleep problems and some of the impulsiveness and tics which can be associated with ADHD.

Cancer

There has been masses of research done into the effects of marijuana on cancer, and despite the fact that it’s still rarely being used, it’s being shown to have huge effects on cancerous growths. As well as helping the cancer itself, cannabis can be used to help stimulate an appetite in patients who are being treated with chemotherapy, which in turn can help patients to avoid weight loss and loss of energy during treatment.

Epilepsy

According to a study which was conducted back in 2013, marijuana can reduce seizures in patients by up to 50%, which could potentially be a huge number of people who could be helped. Epilepsy can have a profound effect on a person’s life, so something as simple as cannabis as a treatment rather than expensive drugs which have negative side effects could change the lives of millions of people.

Do you have a chronic condition which could be helped by medical marijuana? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear about it.

The Age My Mother Was Then.

I’ve had this post brewing in my head for a while now but I had to get my Mum’s permission to splash her private life around my little corner of the internet.

When my mother was 35, after a lifetime of gynecological problems, she was given a full hysterectomy. Uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, the lot. My sister was around five and I was about 13 and as far as I was concerned, my Mum had kids and she didn’t need her reproductive bits anymore so it was best to get them gone. She had endometriosis and her insides were so badly fused together that she had to have tissue removed from her bowel and spine and was told that this could mean, in a worst case scenario, she could also lose a portion of her bowel and have a colostomy bag, so when she came out of surgery and they’d managed to save her bowel, all we could feel was relief.

In the years since, I’ve heard my Mum talk about her grief at losing her ability to reproduce at such a young age, but it’s barely registered. Until yesterday, when I was sat on the bus on the way home from work. I’ve been having some gynae problems of my own, pain that the Doctors cannot explain and wouldn’t investigate (I was told a couple of years ago that they wouldn’t do a laparoscopy because I was too fat. My GP has since sent a strongly worded letter about how ridiculous this is).

I was sitting on the bus, going through the worst thoughts that were whizzing around my head, and it suddenly occurred to me how awful it must have been for my Mum. I’m almost 28, not quite the same age, but somewhere in the ballpark and the thought of having the decision to have more kids taken out of my hands in the next 7 years is devastating. Genuinely scary.

I rang my Mum last night, just to let her know that I finally get it. I know it’s a bit late for sympathy, but she said to me that if she could have she’d have carried on having kids until there was about six of us to look after. That’s what my Mum does, she looks after people, she’s even taking her Nursing degree at the moment. I wish I’d known at the time and could have been more sympathetic to her grief. I guess sometimes it takes a bit of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to really get it.