Monday, 16 April 2007

A testing time

Why is it that, just when you think you have things straight, you’re exercising, eating right, getting your @#$% together, life turns around and kicks you in the butt?

It’s easy to get smug when one compares one’s vegan, active lifestyle with carnivorous, overweight couch potatoes. You think that if anyone is going to get problems, it’s them, right? Well, not necessarily.

On two occasions this year, I’ve had three days of pain. The first time, I thought it could be painful ovulation, even though it wasn’t at the right time of the month. I put up with it, then the next month it didn’t happen, so I thought that was OK. Then it happened again, at a different time of the month, so I went to the doctor. (You see how public ranting can also backfire - I was complaining about doctors only a few weeks ago)!? I wanted to rule out appendicitis. I wondered if it was irritable bowel syndrome. He checked my abdomen, listened to my list of symptoms, and told me to book an ultrasound scan.

The medical centre has a long waiting list so I had to wait a few weeks. When I went, I told myself there wouldn’t be anything. However while the scan was being done, I saw a large solid black circle in the middle of the screen and wondered what that could be. I went home and a couple of hours later received a call from the doctor’s receptionist, wanting to make an appointment. The speed of it worried me - I thought it must be something serious if they followed up so quickly. I had a good cry, then tried to put it out of my mind over the weekend.

It turned out they found an 8cm ovarian cyst. On the one hand, it wasn’t very pleasant to think of this fluid-filled thing growing in there, possibly weighing half a pound, but on the other hand it’s not life-threatening and will hopefully shrink away by itself. I have to go back for another scan in May by which time it should be much smaller or gone. It can be removed surgically if necessary, but I’m trusting that that won’t be necessary.

So it’s been quite a learning curve for me the last two weeks. First thing I learned was how grateful I am for my friends and how their support makes all the difference. My faith in my body to heal itself is being tested - I have visited a herbalist and am taking two types of herbal tincture to cleanse the lymph and liver and have removed many possible allergens from my diet, such as soy, gluten and certain fruits and vegetables. I have been applying castor oil to my lower abdomen covered with a towel and heating pad every other day, as this apparently detoxifies the lymph.

I have done cleanses before, but this time I have a specific purpose.

I have had no more acute pain, though there has been discomfort - it feels like I have a pinched nerve in my left hip some of the time, and I’m very attuned to every twinge and ache. The hardest thing now is living without some of my favourite foods, like bananas! It feels like all the sweet stuff is gone, but it’s not for ever, so hopefully the willpower will withstand the pressure!

2 comments:

Amanda P. said...

Wow. My heart goes out to you Nicola.

I know some people who live on fast food or,if they do cook at home, heavily processed foods. Rarely, if ever, does a piece of fresh fruit or veg ever cross their lips. They are completely inactive and overindulge in alcohol and other such things - yet they go to the doctor and get a clean bill of health. I really don't get it... I share your frustration.

I am sorry to hear about your situation. I am also glad to hear it is not more serious. I will send healing thoughts your way.

Mary-Sue said...

oh, wow, Nicola. What a scarey experience! I am sending you strong healing vibes! Have you ever read any of Christianne Northrupp's books (I think I'm grossly mis-spelling her name here). I'd be rushing to read the pertinent section in her "Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom" book, I think. You are a strong goddess of a woman and you will receive the gift intended from this and come through this a stronger, healthier, clearer soul. All the best!