My name is Lorraine Giordano.
I’m a Jersey girl who was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2006.
Such a silly sounding name for such a painful condition.
A nurse dropped off the endometriosis news after I had laparoscopic surgery to remove a couple of cysts. It felt like she’d dropped off a fertility bomb. My doc had an emergency, so a nurse told me the upsetting news. She stressed that my gynecologist told her he’d never seen that many adhesions. For those not familiar, adhesions are scar tissue that can grow around your uterus or other organs.
To listen to The Womb Happy Hour radio show on endometriosis – listen here.
Endometriosis hasn’t been my only challenge “down there” over the years.
Location matters, and not just in real estate. In my mid-twenties, after an earlier laparoscopic surgery, my doc told me my uterus was in the wrong place but not to worry because he’d cut my broad ligament to let my uterus hang properly. To this day, it still hangs a bit more to the left.
Prior to my endo surgery in 2006, I found myself in the ER a few times in excruciating pain when I ovulated or got my period. The pain so intense I thought I’d explode into a million pieces and throw up all over the place. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed and had to stay home from work or make up excuses to cancel plans with friends to avoid telling them I was in unbearable pain.
In 2008, I had irregular bleeding that inspired me to go to the doc rather than blow it off. I learned I had endometrial hyperplasia. Another weird sounding problem that none of my friends had ever heard of. In simple terms, the lining of my uterus had thickened. Really thickened.
Shortly after learning about my fat uterus, I found out the root cause of what had been messing up my health for more than seventeen years. It’s an extremely rare condition, and I’m not going to get into the details here. We’ll get into that another time. As an FYI, I’m writing a book about it.
Besides my history of womb challenges, I’ve had plenty of physical ailments. One good story is when a huge gust of wind picked me up and tossed me across a four lane street, where I crashed into a newspaper vending machine, catapulted into the air like Superman, then slammed to the pavement. That bizarre accident hurt my lower back, knees, ankles, and neck.
I’m sharing these snippets about myself because physical pain and I have hung out for many moons. It not only frustrates and enrages . . . it also isolates, segregates, and decimates.
Womb pain—pain down there—presents additional layers of complexity.
For example, what condition other than endometriosis are you aware of that causes incredible discomfort and takes seven to ten years to diagnose?
As women, we’re wired for pleasure with 8,000 nerves down there. (The fellas only have 4,000.)
But if you’re feeling intense pain from endometriosis, all those nerves could be tingling with tension rather than pleasure
I’ve felt the weight of Advil in my hand before popping heavy doses to ease the intense, back stabbing, throbbing pain when I was close to ovulating and getting my bleed on.
Ovulating sometimes felt more painful than getting my period.
I assumed that my somewhat brownish blood was because I was getting older, but it was sign of endometriosis.
I’ve gotten totally riled up when my gynecologist, endocrinologist, and other doctors couldn’t give me detailed answers about what was going on with my body
Plenty of days went by where I . . .
Hated my body.
Felt betrayed by my body, especially my womb.
Thought that nobody understood what I felt.
Wondered if I could return my defective womb and other body parts for a new model.
Questioned what I’d done wrong to deserve all this pain.
I could write a list for days about how pissed I was at my uterus, at endometriosis, and with feeling like I’d drawn the short fertility stick.
I get it.
It sucks big time.
I share a hug with you if you’re going through a hard time down there.
I might not be there in person with you, but I’m holding your hand as you read this.
I’m whispering in your ear that better days are inside you. Inside of you meaning that your unique answers are within you. Tuning in to the messages your body is sharing with you directs energy for solutions to present themselves.
It’s possible to feel better, to heal, and to like your womb more than you do in this moment.
Don’t let your doctors, anyone you know, and especially yourself tell you otherwise
One more time –
Don’t let your doctors, your friends, your partners—anyone you know—especially the voices in your head that might be extra loud tell you that you can’t get better, that you can’t get pregnant, that you can’t be free of pain.
Way deep, deep down inside, at the core of your heart and womb, you and your body know that it’s possible.
If you get a serious cut, you don’t scream at your cut and yell at it to heal. Your body knows what to do.
If you’re saying to yourself, It’s not possible, I’m telling you it is.
If a stubborn lady with a misplaced, mummy-like, fat, extra bloody uterus with tons of adhesions turned a corner for the better, why not you too?
Endometriosis isn’t an end.
It’s a message to:
Try something different from what you’re doing right now.
Trust that you/your body can heal!
Your body is asking for your attention, not judgment. It’s not about right or wrong, good or bad, it’s sending a loud message it’s looking to re-connect in a healthier way.
Here are some practical suggestions in understanding and opening up to healing your endometriosis:
- Avoid thinking that if you have endometriosis your fertility is impaired.
o 2016 research indicates that many women with endometriosis don’t experience fertility issues.
o Infertility risk might be half of what was previously estimated.
- Understand how important your female hormones are to your health.
o Endometriosis is typically caused by an excess of estrogen.
o Prolonged stress causes excess stress hormones and robs your body of progesterone that can cause excess estrogen.
- Pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking.
o Avoid foods that are hormone heavy: non-organic meats, non-organic dairy.
o Booze and fatty foods clog your liver, which makes it harder for your body to flush out excess hormones.
o Get familiar with prostaglandins and avoid creating them!
o Make sure you’re hydrated and drinking enough water each day.
o Minerals are very important to your womb—especially magnesium. Your womb is a muscle, and magnesium is crucial for muscle contraction. Many women need to supplement their magnesium intake.
o Ayurveda tips:
* Castor oil packs have been used for thousands of years to remove toxins, reduce cramps and support your female reproductive system and digestion
* Black sesame seeds are known to help reduce menstrual pain and also promotes digestion
o Focus on eating more fiber (see pooping note below).
- Make sure you’re pooping!
o Your colon is neighbors with your womb. If you’re carrying a lot of crap in your colon, that crap is creating a toxic area around your uterus.
o Some cramps aren’t caused by your womb. For some of you, they could be caused by lack of space in your colon. Consider a colonic, lymphatic massage, and/or ionic foot baths to get toxins out of your body and flush out excess hormones.
- Go green—go clean!
o Avoid products that have toxic chemicals—read labels. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, don’t put it on your body. Many chemicals absorbed by the body throw off hormonal balance.
o Your vagina is highly absorbable, and most tampons and pads are made from synthetic fibers that are typically laced with toxic chemicals. Use organic, non-GMO tampons and pads; consider a menstrual cup or menstrual cloth.
o Don’t douche. It affects the pH of your vagina, negatively impacts fertility, and doubles your risk of ovarian cancer.
I’m an energy healer now. As an Usui Reiki Master, I teach others about the different layers of our energy body: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy layers
During Operation Save Uterus, I learned that my physical pain was interrelated to my emotional, mental, and spiritual pain. I realized that if I wanted to save my uterus, my healing wasn’t just about my body. It was about those other layers I’d avoided for most of my adult life.
- Seek out non-traditional medicine to complement your gyno or other doctors. Holistic healers help in different ways than your doctor. They’ll present options outside of logic, pills, and statistics.
- Do you know you have a sacral chakra? It’s an energy center located in your lower abdomen that’s related to raw emotions, creativity, passion, relationships, and the ability to go with the flow of life. The element related to the sacral chakra is water—fluidity, no hard edges, powerful. Here are a few areas to sit with your womb and ponder:
o In what ways are you not allowing yourself to release pent up emotions?
o Are you ignoring how you’re truly feeling? Are you communicating how you’re feeling?
o How are you binding or blocking yourself or how are you shutting down on yourself?
o Is there something that you’re looking to create in life but are preventing yourself from acting toward its creation?
o Creativity creates more creativity.
o Caroline Myss Chakra Flash—check out sacral chakra (orange).
These are just some ideas/suggestions to help understand your body and considerations to help you heal. What’s most important is tuning in to what you’re feeling and know that healing is possible.
Words from an endometriosis lady gone healthier:
I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.
I’m just a lady who saved herself from a hysterectomy.
I gave me intention to save my uterus a name: Operations Save Uterus.
I’m a huge fan of my womb now.
I love to talk about it and talk to others about ways to connect with theirs.
Spend some time talking to your uterus and your other female organs.
Send your down there some extra love and care.
There’s information that your body wants you to receive to help you move forward with feeling healthful, free and in the flow of your dreams.
The most important thing I learned is that my body is my ally, not my foe.
The more I trusted it and connected with it rather than fighting with it, the more it got back in balance, and my pain went away.
Don’t think you must follow all these suggestions. Start with one or two.
Take it day by day.
Down there sometimes gets messy.
It’s okay if things flow outside the lines you’ve drawn.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Sending a big womb hug!
Many thanks to my dear friend Rose for helping women to connect and share some safe womb space.
Listen to Lorraine Giordano on The Womb Happy Hour radio show on VoiceAmerica Health & Wellness for information on endometriosis and other valuable womb insights.