As a senior in college, I remember my mom browsing a series of doctor’s appointments. She’d been complaining about lower abdomen pain for months.
After going back and forth to different doctors, my mother was finally diagnosed with an outsized uterine fibroid.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that affect women in varied ways. Some experience heavy bleeding during their cycle , intense cramping, swelling of the abdomen, and back pain.
But it wasn’t until a routine exam in 2015, once I also received a heartbreaking diagnosis of uterine fibroids, that i actually understood what my mom went through.
My mom’s treatment journey
My mom’s fibroid was the dimensions of a softball. After much deliberation, her doctors determined that thanks to her age and therefore the size of the fibroid, it might be best for her to undergo a hysterectomy.
We were told it might be a typical and straightforward operation — her doctors promised she would be back to her normal activity after a couple of weeks of recovery.
Her routine operation was anything but straightforward.
After the procedure, she began experiencing internal bleeding and had to be rushed back to the hospital. It became a multi-week stay.
Eventually she recovered, but she has since struggled with the hysterectomy triggering the onset of early menopause.
My biggest fears confirmed
After witnessing my mother’s fight against fibroids firsthand, i used to be terrified once I learned at a routine appointment that I had them also . My doctor assured me that my three uterine fibroids were tiny and zip to stress about.
So imagine my horror when at my annual exam subsequent year, I learned that my fibroids had grown in size. On top of that, the amount of fibroids had increased from three to 5 .
I immediately scheduled my vaginal ultrasound to possess the fibroids assessed.
The ultrasound tech tried her best to be as gentle as possible and warned me that i might experience some mild discomfort. What I experienced was painful, and while I waited for the doctor to share the results, i started to silently weep.
Just like pineapples
My fibroids were growing on my uterus on a stalk-like structure, meaning they were pedunculated. I knew that word.
I’d taken a family trip to Hawaii 6 months prior. While on a tour of a pineapple farm, I learned that pineapples grow on pedunculated stalks. i might later attempt to propagate a pineapple inside my home, but the North Carolina cold came quickly.
So, there I lay there within the exam room, crying and comparing these growing fibroids to pineapples.
Learning about my treatment options
Right away, the doctor offered surgery as an choice to remove the fibroids.
I was immediately transported back thereto cold room with my mother and quickly decided surgery wasn’t an option on behalf of me . I also knew that fibroids could return even after they were removed.
Uterine fibroid embolization and a hysterectomy were also suggested, but I’d wish to have children at some point , so I sought out other options.
I talked with my doctor about alternatives to surgery, and prescription medication was offered. The caveat was that typically insurance wouldn’t cover the value of the medication unless the patient had a surgery date scheduled.
The side effects of medication could include seizures, high blood glucose , attack , signs of a stroke, bone pain, and loss of movement in any a part of your body. Additionally, if I were to prevent the medication at any point, the fibroids would likely resume growth.
Armed with this information, I made the difficult decision to pursue holistic treatment options.
My look for holistic treatment
I’ve been fortunate to not experience any pain or heavy bleeding from my fibroids.
Before making the choice to undertake holistic treatments, I learned that one among my fibroids had grown to eight centimeters in diameter, three others had grown to five centimeters in diameter, and my abdomen had swollen significantly.
Learning the way to affect these fibroids and therefore the symptoms they cause has been a slow and challenging experience.
My current holistic treatment includes:
working with naturopathic doctors
transitioning to a primarily plant-based diet
learning to effectively use purgative packs
focusing on weight loss
Though I’m excited about the natural journey of shrinking — and hopefully ridding myself of — fibroids, it’s been daunting and sometimes overwhelming.
There are numerous things to think about and keep track of. for instance , I even have a running list of vegetables that contain phytoestrogen, in an attempt to lower my consumption of estrogen-rich foods.
Immersing myself within the fibroids community
I’ve found a web community that’s supportive and informative, which inspired me to make a web platform to try to to an equivalent .
I hope that sharing my journey are going to be a source of support for other women who are handling uterine fibroids.
Porshe Chiles may be a global researcher from Dallas, Texas. She’s been living with uterine fibroids since 2014 and has managed reproductive issues since her college days. the expansion of uterine fibroids led her to pursue a holistic approach to shrink and eliminate them. Though her fibroids have shown consistent growth, she continues to research all she will about naturopathic options. She’s learning to understand her ever-changing body, while working to create a supportive community for other women. Follow her journey on Instagram.