Feel Good Fridays!

index.jpg

Well, I’ve been sitting back and having a restful week.  Spent a few days at a family cabin with no internet or TV, just reading by the fire.  It’s been glorious!

So tomorrow marks the end of 2016.  I thought it only fitting to share Melody Beattie‘s words:

“Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.

Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.

What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?

What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?

What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career?

Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down – as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go.

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”

Have a glorious New Year!!

Feel Good Fridays!

a-christmas-gift

It’s Friday! Made it through another week; this one may have been filled with rushing around to get ready for Christmas (if you celebrate) or packing for holiday travels.  *whew* breathe…

Anthony J. D’Angelo imparts a bit of wisdom on us today:

“The greatest gift you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention.”

Something we may often forget as we strive to please others.  Slow down, take a moment, pamper yourself.  Whether it be with physical gifts, quality time, relaxation, a good book, a soak in the tub, a fancy meal, a haircut, or even just a moment to breathe – just try to do something nice for yourself this season.

You’re important, too. Very.

Happy holidays! Merry Christmas!!!!!

Yours, Lisa

Kenya: Endometriosis Care & Support

kenya-1758957_960_720

I’ve had the pleasure of talking with a new EndoSister who lives in Kenya.  She had all kinds of questions and I would like to find her some information about Endometriosis care in or around Kenya, as well as connect her with any local EndoSisters for support.  So let the research begin!

For those of you who may not know, Kenya is a small country (about twice the size of the state of Nevada) and is located in East Africa, bordering the India Ocean.  Approximately 47 million people live in Kenya.

There are four Kenyan hospitals that came up while searching for Endometriosis care.  If you don’t already have a gynecologist, please locate one in your area or consider seeing one at these facilities:

Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi

Ladnan Hospital, Nairobi

The Karen Hospital, Nairobi

The Nairobi Hospital, Nairobi

The International Centre for Minimal Access Surgery is a private hospital in Nairobi which performs laparoscopic surgeries for many conditions, including Endometriosis.  Not only do they offer surgeries for patients, but also workshops and training for surgeons.  And they provide many community services and low-cost/no-cost surgeries to government hospitals and rural hospitals.

A 2013 article in Healthywoman Magazine Kenya follows the story of Esther Mbugua, who was diagnosed with Endometriosis and (as of 2013) had undergone three surgeries for the disease.  Her story delves into her pain, the embarrassment, her depression, her medical care and treatment, and her positive outlook, even though she still has not conceived.  She has a great family support network, has changed her diet, and continues to exercise.  The article also features a great Endo Q&A with Dr. Wanyoike Gichuhi of Upper Hill Medical Center.

A 2015 article featured in Kenya’s The Star discussed Endometriosis and other common causes of infertility.  It offers some tips regarding treatment, and trying to maintain a positive attitude while attempting to conceive.  The Star also featured a second article in March 2015 describing what Endometriosis is and the symptoms/treatments.

A 2016 article in Nairobi News recants the story of Elsie Wandera, who suffered with Endometriosis for 13 years before discovering it even existed.  Dr. Wanjiru Ndegwa-Njuguna of the Footsteps to Fertility Centre  in Nairobi is featured in that article and discusses Endometriosis and the hormonal options, surgery, and lifestyle changes which may help improve symptoms and chances of becoming pregnant.  I confirmed with the office that Footsteps does laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis and women who wish to seek advise or have a consultation can reach them at +254700041955/20 528 3218.

Due to her battle with Endometriosis, Ms. Wandera created the Endometriosis Foundation of Kenya, which you can join their Facebook group here .  Elsie also shares her story, in-depth, with MummyTales…or you can email her directly here.

In 2016, Standard Digital published an article about a young woman, Njambi, who has suffered from Endometriosis pain since she was 13.  She has Endometriosis on her diaphragm and lungs, which causes collapses within days of starting her period.  Njambi hopes to continue to raise awareness of Endometriosis in Kenya, as well as encourage physicians to educate themselves on the signs and symptoms.  The Standard Digital posted a follow-up article in August 2016 that Njambi had graduated college and continues her efforts to raise Endometriosis awareness.

There is also the Endometriosis Foundation of Africa working to raise Endometriosis awareness in Africa, as well as bring EndoSisters together.  They are also trying to influence the government’s policy on managing Endometriosis and bringing better treatment to Africa.

There is also a beautiful blog, Stories of Courage, featuring EndoSisters and their Endo journeys.

There is also the Facebook group Endo Sister’s East Africa, which you can find here.  They also have monthly meet-ups and discuss Endometriosis at local schools.

Esther set up and runs Yellow Endo Flower, sharing stories of what it’s like to live with Endometriosis in Kenya.  She also talks to local girls about the disease.  You can find her page here or follow her blog here.

The most important, and impressive, thing I learned today is how brave the women of Kenya are for expressing their Endometriosis journeys and banding together to do something about it.  It’s WONDERFUL that the media also helps raise awareness by featuring stories of these courageous women.

If you are in Kenya, suffering with the pain of Endometriosis (or think you may have it), please reach out to those around you.  Join the Endometriosis Foundation of Kenya.  Contact Ms. Wandera or Njambi!  Talk to your healthcare physicians and advocate for your medical care.  And – do not give up hope.  You are not alone in all of this.

Resources:

Central Intelligence Agency

Endometriosis Foundation of Africa

Endometriosis Foundation of Kenya (Facebook support group)

Endometriosis Foundation of Kenya (Instagram account)

Endo Sisters East Africa

Footsteps to Fertility Cenre

Healthywoman Magazine Kenya

International Centre for Minimal Access Surgery

MummyTales – (Article, March 2015) Elsie Wandera: Severe Period Pain has Been My Normal for 20 Years

Nairobi News – (Article, March 2016) Endometriosis: Why Many Kenyan Women are Suffering in Silence

Standard Digital – (Article, March 2016) I’ve Been in Pain Since I was 13

Standard Digital – (Article, Aug. 2016) Njambi Koikai Finally Graduates

Stories of Courage

The Star – (Article, March 2015) Facts about Endometriosis

The Star – (Article, Jan. 2015) Kenya: What Infertility Remedies are Available?

Yellow Endo Flower – Facebook page

Yellow Endo Flower – Blog

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Free Endometriosis Webinar!

images

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at 7:00pm PST the Riverside Medical Clinic Charitable Foundation’s Endometriosis Family Support Group will be hosting a webinar with Aubree Deimler, author of From Pain to Peace with Endo: Lessons Learned on the Road to Healing Endometriosis.   If you haven’t read Aubree’s book, I recommend it.  You can purchase copies online, or borrow a copy from our library (although it likely wouldn’t make it to you in time for the webinar).  Although, it is NOT required for you to have read her book prior to the event.

If you are interested in attending the webinar, please register by email with Erin Lang at Erin@RMCcharity.org to sign up.  Don’t have e-email?  Call her at (951) 321-6514.  Registration is free and mandatory – and is the only way you’ll get the instructions for logging into the webinar.

More information will be made available over the next few weeks.  Or you can follow their website here.

A paper on the holistic treatment of Endometriosis

Loose_leaf_chamomile_tea.jpg

The Ohlone Herbal Center published Whitney Staeb’s apprenticeship paper in October 2016 about the holistic treatment approaches of Endometriosis.  If you’d like to read the 16-page report in it’s entirety, please click here.

It discusses herbs and flower essences that may help ease inflammation and symptoms.  Although it does not discuss doses, it does talk about the supposed medicinal properties of each and combinations that may help during cycles.  If intrigued, read the paper and consult with your healthcare provider and an herbalist.

Diet and proper nutrition play a large role possibly controlling Endometriosis symptoms.  She identifies some “ideal foods” that may be incorporated into, and excluded from, your diet.

Lifestyle changes such as switching feminine hygiene products, exercising, taking warm baths, using heating pads, and practicing good self-care may also ease the physical and mental issues of Endometriosis.

I encourage you to read her paper yourself (click here).  See if any of it speaks to you.  And, again, please do your own research (look for the pros and cons of each listed suggestion) and speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.

Have you ever, or do you presently, take any of the herbs/supplements referenced in this paper?  Please share your experiences with us in the comments below. Your journey may help others!

Yours,

Lisa

Feel Good Fridays!

sunset over a meadow

Happy Friday!!!  I hope today you’re well rested and not swamped with Holiday Madness!

Fawn Germer wrote,

“Stop what you are doing. Go outside and breathe. The world will not end if you take ten minutes for yourself.” 

I’d love it if you were actually able to do this today.  Take that breath and those few minutes to yourself.  Find beauty in the small things around you.  Embrace the scent and the chill of the air.  Find something that makes you smile. Refocus.  It’s okay to do it. Every day. ❤

Have a wonderful weekend!

Yours, Lisa

Nostrils are for breathing

unnamed

My Mum often sends me neat tips and tricks that may help with my Endometriosis, or overall health.  She knows how excited I was to learn and practice mindful diaphragmatic breathing in November and forwarded me something I may want to try to add onto the benefits of breathing.

Have you heard of alternatively breathing through your nostrils?  This was a new one for me.  And it’s said to bring a bit of peace of mind.  Seeing as how much diaphragmatic breathing has helped with my focus, my stress, those GRRRRR-I’m-So-Worked-Up moments, and my pain, I look forward to incorporating a bit of this nostril breathing into my daily routine.

How do you do it?

  1. Take a nice, slow, deep breath through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.
  2. Before your next breath, block your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril.  Hold it.
  3. Unblock your right nostril.  Pinch off your left nostril with your free fingers and exhale slowly through your right nostril.
  4. Wait a few seconds, keeping that left nostril blocked.  Inhale through your right nostril, hold it a second, then switch fingers (pinch closed your right nostril and open up your left nostril), and exhale slowly through your left nostril.

For more detailed instructions and a bit of the benefits this alternative breathing may offer, click here.

Thoughts?  What do YOU do to stay calm or focused, especially during the stressful holidays?  Have you found mindful breathing also helps with your pain? Drop us a comment below.

And thanks, Mum, for the info! I love you!

Resources:

Breaking Muscle

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Blood Biomarkers & Endometriosis

Updated information from a Nov. 2016 study on biomarkers!

Bloomin' Uterus

Vacutainer_blood_bottles

You may have read some of my previous blogs about biomarkers…blood tests for things which may help doctors diagnose Endometriosis without surgery, such as CA-125 levels.  There are a lot of hopes that indicators may help save costly diagnostic surgeries, surgical risks, and painful recoveries.

A study published on May 1, 2016, reviewed 141 past studies and analyzed the data.

It does not look good for us, ladies and gents.  Well, not yet at least.  It concludes, “Overall, there is not enough evidence to recommend testing for any blood biomarker in clinical practice to diagnose endometriosis.”  If you’d like to read it for yourself, please click here.

A study published on July 27, 2016, however, holds hope that the CA-125 test may “rule in” Endometriosis.  You can read it here.

A November, 2016 publication stated that women with Endometriosis may have elevated MiRNA (micro RNA) gene biomarkers.  Strides are being made to…

View original post 131 more words