Endometriosis: Excision vs Ablation

Graphic depicting excision vs ablation
Detail,”The Endo-Graphic” by Sarah Soward.

So, you may be reading this because you have a surgery pending, or you’ve had surgery and want to know if it was the “right” one.  Well, when it comes to Endometriosis, there are typically two ways of dealing with the lesions that I’ve read of. If there’s more, share with me, please!  Whichever way your surgeon opens you up : laparotomy or laparoscopy, robotic-assisted or not – your surgeon will still need to decide how best to handle the lesions he or she finds within your body.

  1.  Excision – removing the entire lesion by cutting a margin of healthy flesh around the lesion – see the graphic above, scooping the healthy soil around the flower to get the roots, and then some.
  2. Ablation – destroying the lesion by burning the surface away.  Like freezing off a mole or wart, but burning away the Endo.  The graphic above with the flamethrower may leave the roots of the lesion, and unhealthy Endometriosis tissue, behind…

Is one better than the other?  That’s purely a matter of opinion, but the popular opinion is, “yes!”  There are countless studies that agree.  But why?

Ablation only affects the surface of the lesion by destroying the tissue.  It may leave unseen portions of the disease beneath the surface, which may allow for speedy recurrence of Endometriosis growth and symptoms.  Ablation may also cause further scar tissue to develop – you are literally burning or melting the lesion away.  Other names for ablation may include cauterization, vaporization, and fulgeration.  Terms for some of the tools that may be used during ablation can be electrosurgical devices, thermocoagulation devices, lasers, a harmonic scalpel, helium or argon plasma therapy, and the cavitron ultrasonic surgical aspirator (CUSA).

Excision (sometimes called resection) removes the entire lesion, as well as a healthy bit of flesh around the lesion.  The surgeon hopes to remove all traces of that particular lesion, in the attempt to make recurrence more difficult.  The more lesions that can be excised, the better chances you may have at a longer symptom-free life.  Tools can be cold, hard cutting tools such as scissors or even lasers (but…but…heat energy – burning!?!) – nope, lasers are often used for excision surgeries to cut around the lesions and harvest it out whole.

You may be interested to go back, grab a copy of your operation report, and compare these tools and techniques.  What exactly DID your surgeon do?  Or you can use this information to better ask questions of your doctor prior to a pending surgery.

Avocados demonstrating excision v ablation for endometriosis

Imagine an avocado (mmmmm avocadoooo) – you slice that bad boy open, remove the pit, and discover a bit of browning on the surface.  Nasty bruises and icky…But, there’s plenty of good avocado still to be enjoyed.  If you only scraped off the surface of that brown spot, you’d likely still have MORE brown spot beneath it – that rotten little bruise extends deeper into the avocado flesh (delicious green flesh).  You’d want to take a spoon and scoop out the brown spot in it’s entirety, and enjoy the fresh avocado that you have remaining.

Icebergs demonstrating surface Endometriosis vs deep Endometriosis

Also, think of an iceberg.  The tip is only visible above the surface of the water, but the iceberg can extend for quite a long while beneath the waves.  Endometriosis lesions do the same.  Who knows what’s lurking beneath the surface.  And if the entire iceberg – um, Endometriosis lesion – isn’t removed, it may resurface.

Studies have shown that women who undergo excision surgery of Endometriosis lesions have less painful periods, less painful bowel movements, and chronic pelvic pain than women who underwent ablation.  Studies also indicate that painful sex levels remain about the same for both excision and ablation surgeries.

Women who undergo ablation surgery for Endometriosis have a 40-60% chance of recurrence, sometimes within months of surgery.  In contrast, 75-85% of women who undergo excision surgery claim long-term relief.    I personally have undergone four excision surgeries (June 2014, Sept. 2016, July 2018, Nov. 2018).  Some of my Endometriosis was in similar areas of my body as my first surgery, but some was found in new locations…My surgeon opted instead of excising (or even ablating) a lesion on my diaphragm, to leave it there for safety’s sake – nobody wants a perforated diaphragm (this lesion disappeared after my 2016 surgery)! Excision surgery may not be ideal in every situation – and a skilled surgeon will be able to know when, and when not, to cut.   Even then, it may not work and you still may be slated for a future surgery.  The only guarantee with this illness: there is no guarantee.

In the end, it’s not only about the type of surgery or the tools used – it boils down to the skill level of the surgeon and their method of dealing with Endometriosis.  How competent are they? Do they do excision or ablation?  How often do they perform excision surgeries?  What’s their recurrence rate among patients?  Ask questions! Get answers!  Be comfortable and confident with your surgeon’s skills.

And, as always – there is no cure for Endometriosis.  We may get relief from medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, or even surgeries, but there is always, always, the chance for recurrence.  Listen to your body.  And don’t be afraid to head back in for another consultation…

I’d like to extend a special Thank You to Sarah Soward, a local artist and EndoSister who granted me permission to use a detail of her Endo-Graphic as our cover photo for today.  To view the entire image and all of the information contained there, please visit her site.

(Updated June 26, 2019)

Resources:

Center for Endometriosis Care

Diamond Women’s Center

Endometriosis Australia

Endometriosis Foundation of America

EndoSupport.com

Eric Daiter, M.D.

Nezhat.org

Sarah Soward

The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology – (Unedited Manuscript; April 2017) Laparoscopic Excision Versus Ablation for Endometriosis-Associated Pain – Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Vital Health Institute

~ 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

Possible relief from painful sex or penetration? Vuva Magnetic Dilators.

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Vuva-whata-what?

I found these little pink … things … back in October 2016 when I was experience A LOT of pain with sexual intercourse.  I mean, a lot.  I was desperate.  After reading the reviews on how many women who use Vuva Magnetic Dilators had relief from painful sex, I was hooked.  But…I also couldn’t afford to purchase the kit.  And, let’s face it – I had my doubts about magnets in dilators (dildos?) helping me with anything.

So, I wrote the company.  Tara, the creator and founder, immediately wrote me back.  She, too, suffers from Endometriosis.  She also suffers from Vulvodynia and said her magnetic dilators helped her tremendously with her vaginal and pelvic pain, especially with sex!  AND – she offered to send me two dilators for free because she truly believed they would help and wanted to help women in pain.

She didn’t ask me to write this review.  I just wanted to.  And…again…I still had my doubts.

But before I get into my experience, I wanted to explain a little bit about my understanding of what the Vuva Dilators are and how they are supposed to work.

A dilator looks an awful lot like a sex toy you can buy anywhere.  BUT…a dilator is used for medicinal purposes and comes as a set of steadily increasing sizes/girths to help stretch the vaginal opening, or muscles inside the canal (no, I’m not good with scienc-y words).  This may sound painful, but you can get dilators that are *very* small, and work your way up to something that is more comfortable (or close to the size of your partner).  And it’s an incredibly slow and gradual process, stretching at your own pace, taking weeks to months. Vuva dilators are internally lined with Neodymium magnets, which supposedly help relax muscles and increase blood flow to the area.  You insert one of these bad boys for 20-30 minutes each day and that’s it.  There’s no stretching, no rubbing, no moving or wiggling around.  Just stick it in, watch a TV show while laying on the couch, and pull it on out. *voila*

For more information, check out their webpage, which has all kinds of info on why magnets are supposed to work and testimonials.  https://www.vuvatech.com/

Tara shared a study conducted by Physician Care Clinical Research comparing Vuva dilators to regular dilators.  From February 2015-December 2015, a clinical study of Vuva’s effectiveness was conducted on 12 women in Florida.  A year later, the final report was prepared.  The 17-page report outlines the study, which was a randomized, double blind, crossover study for vulva/vaginal pain.  The women had complained of ongoing vaginal/vulva pain for at least three months.  Four areas were covered during the study:  pain with tampon usage, pain of certain areas around the vagina via a cotton swab test, the way a woman felt emotionally about vaginal penetration, and sexual intercourse.

The study’s down and dirty after using Vuva magnetic dilators as instructed (well, my understanding):

  • 90% of the women reported a decrease in pain with tampon usage.  This figure is actually for women who used the Vuva Magnetic Dilators AAAANNNDD women who used the regular dilator (non-magnetic; placebo).  So, using a dilator may help women who experience tampon pain. BUT, for those who used the Vuva magnetic dilators, they experienced twice the amount of pain relief than with regular dilators.  Those who used the Vuva magnetic dilators experienced 30% less pain for the “tampon test.”
  • The cotton swab test was gently prodding a woman around her vulva with a cotton swab and recording the pain levels.  80% of the women reported a decrease in pain levels after using the Vuva magnetic dilators.  On average, 28% less pain!
  • Many women who experience vulva, vaginal, or pain with sex begin to fear the act of penetration itself.  All of the participants stated they had a higher sense of control and self-image.
  • Each woman also kept track of their sexual intercourse, as well as any pain associated with sex.  Unfortunately, half of the women didn’t have sex curing the length of the study.  But for the half that did, 80% of them had sex more often than before!

BUT what about me? Ready for TMI?

Before I started the Vuva magnetic dilators, sex was uber painful.  Don’t get me wrong – it can still be painful…but, we’d have sex, and it’d hurt 6-8 out of 10.  And I’d cramp for several hours (sometimes even into the next day) afterward.  Granted, I had my laparoscopic surgery on September 21, 2017 and was still healing by late October, BUT sex was uber painful and crampy long before that surgery.

Here’s a little tracker on my sex pain, Vuva usage, and my thoughts:

Oct. 16: had sex (me on top) and pain during sex was a 6 out of 10.  Afterward, my cramps were a 3-6 out of 10 and lasted for an hour and a half.

Oct. 29: had sex (me on top) and pain during sex was a 6 out of 10. No cramping.

Nov. 7: I began using IntiMD dilators (just a regular dilator).  Even with the largest dilator, I did not experience changes or anything.  Followed instructions and felt this program was not right for me.

Nov. 10: Used my Vuva Magnetic Dilator for the first time!  No pain or discomfort.  Felt warm and full/fluffy (…down “there”) after 20 minutes of use…in a good way, like having soaked in a hot bath.  Magnet magic? Maybe.  Began to use regularly (every day or every other day).

Nov. 11: Had sex (six hours after using dilator, that weird sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain was a 2 out of 10, cramping was a 1 out of 10 and only lasted an hour.

Nov. 17: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain was a 1 out of 10, cramping was a 3 out of 10 and lasted a few hours.

Dec. 1: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex and me on my stomach).  Sex pain was ZERO!!!!  Cramping was a 2 out of 10, and lasted about 30 minutes.

Dec. 3: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex and me on my stomach).  Sex pain was a 1 out of 10, cramping was a 2 out of 10 and lasted about an hour.

Dec. 4: Had sex (me on top, my laying on my stomach, and doggy style).  Sex pain was a 3 out of 10, cramping was a 2 out of 10, lasting about 30 minutes.

Dec. 14: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain and afterward cramping were a ZERO! Oh my god.

Dec. 22: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain and afterward cramping were a ZERO! Again!!

Dec. 24: Had sex (me on top).  Sex pain and afterward cramping were a ZERO!!!

Then I took a break from using my Vuva dilators due to the holidays…bad idea:

Jan. 4: Had sex (doggy style).  Sex pain was a 7 out of 10, cramping was a 3 out of 10, lasting about 30 minutes.  Vowed to renew Vuva usage!!  We’ve also since realized that doggy is just too deep for my nifty anatomy (I have a septated canal and two cervix) so we stick to less-penetrative positions now.

Jan. 19: Had sex (standing, from behind).  Sex pain and cramping were a zero!

Jan. 29: Had sex (standing, from behind).  Sex pain and cramping were a zero!

Feb. 23: Had sex (standing, from behind).  Sex pain and cramping were a zero!

March 7: Had sex (missionary, and sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain was a 3 out of 10 and cramping was a 3 out of 10, which lasted into the next morning.  I had to take a Tylenol PM due to the pain.  It was also the day after my period ended, so things may have still been tender.

March 12: Had sex (me on top).  Sex pain was a zero, but cramping afterward was a 2 out of 10, which lasted about an hour.

**

That’s the extent of my tracking our sexual encounters and pain. We went from having sex maybe once every month or two to multiple times per month!  I felt like I was getting the “old me” back!  I was far more confident, less scared (although still a bit scared…), and very grateful.  And I even instigated several of our sexual encounters.  Woohoo!

Whether it was the magnets in the Vuva dilators, or the placebo affect making me feel better, or having recovered more fully from my September surgery (but remember, I did have this pain prior to surgery), or whatever – I’m grateful.

I must be honest – I haven’t used my Vuva dilators since March because life has been hectic and I haven’t set aside 20-30 minutes of my day.  I’ve been experiencing minimal pain with sex once more, and very minimal cramping.  But guess what?  After typing up my log today, it has renewed by desire to pick the program back up.

I am so grateful to Tara for the products.  And her support and encouragement.  If her products can help other women have less pain, I think that’s wonderful!  If you’d like to look deeper into Vuva Magnetic Dilators, the idea behind them, the instructions, the testimonials, or even purchase a set yourself, please check out https://www.vuvatech.com/

 

 

 

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

Keeping a Healthy Pooper to Help my Endo

Diagram of human bowels

Here we go again!  Discussing taboo topics that nobody ever really wants to talk about.

You may remember a few months ago I met with a gastroenterologist to discuss my complaints of pain before, during, and after bowel movements. Anyway, he referred me to a colorectal surgeon here in San Diego for some further testing.  A few months later and my insurance finally approved the appointment!  And *poof* my very first visit to a colorectal surgeon took place last week (nearly five months after my initial visit with my PCP to discuss these complaints)…

Again, we talked about my Endometriosis and my fear that it may be on my bowels due to my recently-returned issues with stabbing daggers and pain, constipation, and diarrhea.  He (and I) also agreed with the GI’s plan to ride out the symptoms as best I can until a second Endo excision surgery is (if needed) ever scheduled…we’d check out the bowels then rather than scheduling a potentially needless exploratory surgery.

Butt (haha see what I did there?) Dr. Worsey (the colorectal surgeon) wanted to examine my guts with a little camera, which is something I’ve never had done and wanted to  make sure I checked out fine.  Two enemas that morning before my appointment and now I’m in a very (dis)graceful pose on a mechanical table, my toosh up in the air 45 degrees and my face pointed toward the floor. Let me tell you : a flexible sigmoidoscopy is not a pleasant experience.  Not one bit and I took the rest of the day off of work due to the discomfort.

So, everything inside my bowel (up to the sigmoid colon) looks great.  The only thing he found wrong was an anal fissure.  Well now, that doesn’t sound good…It’s a tear in your bunghole or your bunghole canal.  “But how can a tiny little tear cause such severe pain throughout my pooping process,” I wondered.  Apparently, they can cause “severe pain during, and especially after, a bowel movement, lasting from several minutes to a few hours,” rectal bleeding, itching, and funky butt discharge…all of which I have had in the past.  And 10% of patients who visit colorectal surgeons for poopy pain end up having anal fissures.  So he gave me fierce instructions with a wagging finger to include more fiber in my diet and gave me a gallon-size ziploc baggy of sample packets of various fiber powder packets.  He also prescribed…medicated suppositories *oh joy* to help the fissure to heal.

So, since February 10, 2016, I’ve been drinking my powder fiber drink (easing it into my diet once a day per the instructions; will eventually up that dosage to three times per day) and using my nightly suppositories (he gave me a 12-day supply).   And guess what?

My gut still burns right before I have to poo…but that’s nice because it’s a kind of tell that I better get over there soon.  But since two days after my appointment and medication regimen, I haven’t felt the daggers/stabbing pain/glass tear through the length of my gut.  Or the excruciating stretching/tearing pain of my poop-hole, either.   My poops have been…quick, easy, and dare I jinx it…normal.  And every day…sometimes multiple times a day!  I used to go maybe once every 3 days…this is so much better!

But what does fiber have to do with helping my pain? And my Endo? And my peace of mind?  Well, besides smoothing out the transportation of my angry poos, it is believed that fiber may actually decrease excess levels of estrogen in the body by binding to it and pooping it out.  Why is that important?  Many physicians believe that Endometriosis is an estrogen-driven disease.  It’s also believed to do the same with toxins and the “bad things” in our guts.

I eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and beans in my diet.  I figured that was enough fiber for me…apparently not.

Looking for good fiber to include in your diet?  I went through the sample packets given to me by my colorectal surgeon (these included Metamucil and Konsyl).  Read the labels!  All of the sugar-free samples contained Aspartame.  And they also all contained psyllium, which may plug you up worse if you’re not drinking enough water.   Do your research and find the right one for you.  I take Maxi Health Fibermax once a day…I used to drink it with orange juice, until I realized how much sugar was in OJ.  Now I drink it with watered down V8 Harvest Vegetables.  And it gets me half my daily requirement of fiber, and I’d like to think I get the rest of it with my daily food : 1 serving of shredded wheat with berries, as well as snacking on fruits and veggies.

I’d like to believe that the anal fissure was causing my very painful bowel movements and that the addition of fiber and these medicated suppositories have helped immensely.  So I’d like to believe the anal fissure was the sole cause of my crazy pain in my gut.  And that the fiber intake and healing suppositories will fix it.  

Unfortunately, in July of 2018 during another excision surgery they found Endometriosis on my small intestine. In of November of 2018, I underwent a bowel resection to remove some of my intestines and appendix. All came back covered with Endo lesions (most of which was microscopic!)

I’ve spoken with several EndoSisters (who don’t know if they have Endo on their bowels or not) who have also complained of the same stabbing/knives/glass dragging through their gut pain, or painful poops.  I encourage you all to see your physician and get a referral to a specialist in the butt-area.  It may be Endo (or not), but it may be something else…possibly as simple as a lack of fiber in your diet or a tear on your butthole. (Sorry, just really trying to keep this lighthearted…rhymes with farted…hehe).

And, remember, “Some people are so positive, that when they slip in dog poop, they pirouette.” ~Josh Stern

*Have you had poopy gut pain and found out the cause?  Feel free to drop us a comment!  I’d love to hear what it was, if you fixed it, and how…*

(Updated March 27, 2019)

Resources:

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons – Anal fissure

Flo Living – Endometriosis symptoms and how to heal

Home Remedy – Diet remedy for Endoemetriosis

Livestrong – Good foods to eat when you have Endometriosis

Love to Know – Diet for Endometriosis

Medical News Today – Anal fissure : causes, symptoms, and treatment

Medicinenet.com – Anal fissure

Physicians’ Desk Reference – Endometriosis treatment

The Wurn Technique : Improve Infertility and Adhesion Pain?

Logo for Clear Passage Physical Therapy

Have you heard of the Wurn Technique?  I hadn’t until a few weeks ago when I received an email from Clear Passage with links to a recently-published study showing the Wurn Technique can improve infertility issues, as well as reduce Endometriosis pain.  Are they claiming to cure Endometriosis?  Not at all.  But they are claiming their technique may help reduce your pain and may increases your chances of becoming pregnant.  So, curious as I was, I read up on it, asked questions, and now I present this information to you!

Personal Note: I am not endorsing Clear Passage or the claims made in these studies or their webpage.  I am simply pointing you, the curious reader, in a direction you may not have located otherwise.  Always, always, ALWAYS do your own research.  And choose a treatment that feels right for you.  If you have any questions about the Wurn Technique, please reach out to Clear Passage by email or 1 (352) 336-1433.  They will answer your questions and, if you so desire, schedule a phone consultation with one of their therapists (for free) to see if this is a viable treatment option for you.

Update 1/12/16 : If you’re located in the San Diego area, Clear Passage now has a San Diego location.

Clear Passage

Clear Passage was created by Belinda and Larry Wurn after Belinda was diagnosed and treated for cervical cancer in 1984.  After enduring surgery and radiation therapy, Belinda’s insides were scarred, creating a “frozen pelvis.”  Conventional medicine did little to ease her suffering, so she and Larry studied physical therapy techniques in the US and abroad and practiced the manual physical therapy they had been learning.  And, it was working!  They began developing their own methods and manual therapy techniques to ease her chronic pain, which ultimately became known as the Wurn Technique.

The Wurn Technique

The Wurn Technique involves 200 manual therapy techniques, each created to palpate the restricted areas of the body, freeing up adhesions and restoring the proper flow of the body.  It is generally a 5-day treatment comprising of 20 hours of bodywork.  Again and again, Clear Passage was able to “reverse infertility” for many women, freeing Fallopian tubes from scar tissue, and restoring their proper function.  Many women have praised Clear Passage and the Wurn Technique for the ability to conceive, and successfully deliver, a child.  All without surgery.

Representation of the Wurn Technique
A representation of one of the hundreds of protocols employed by the Wurn Technique

KSAT12, a Texas-based news station, broadcast a story on August 19, 2015, about the Wurn Technique.  (Update 3/18/19: unfortunately, it appears the video has been removed and the link is now dead.)

Infertility

Testimonials are a great way to do business; however, Clear Passage wanted scientific proof!  They conducted a small clinical trial of a woman whose Fallopian tubes were both severely blocked, and she had been diagnosed with a frozen pelvis.  Previous surgical intervention to unblock her Fallopian tubes failed and she was resigned to not having any children.  After working with the therapists at Clear Passage and using the Wurn Technique, they were able to completely unblock one of her Fallopian tubes!  Fantastic results, but not enough proof.  So…they went BIG and began a 10-year study of their technique and infertility results.  And it was recently published in the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine journal.

In that study, they examined and treated nearly 1,400 patients over a ten-year period.  Of them, many women had Endometriosis-related infertility and astounding 43% of those patients conceived after their Clear Passage/Wurn Technique treatments.  A figure which surpassed even the surgical intervention figures (38-42%).  Women with both PCOS and Endometriosis also reported a successful pregnancy rate (75%).  Undergoing IVF?  This study found that Clear Passage and the Wurn Techniques had pregnancy rates 1.5 times higher than IVF alone.  Overall, Clear Passage and the Wurn Technique had a 60.85% success rate in opening one or both blocked Fallopian tubes! How does it work?  “…the Wurn technique… appeared to work by deforming adhesions in the body, thereby allowing increased mobility, motility, and function of the structures involved in fertility.” (Alternative Therapies, May/June 2015, Vol 21, 3, p. 37)

Further studies are needed to evaluate if the Stage of Endometriosis has any bearing on the treatment outcomes.

Endometriosis Pain

Painful sex and painful periods.  Two very painful things most women with Endometriosis have to deal with…

Graphic depicting adhesions around endometriosis
Click for larger view

In 2011, Clear Passage again hit the scientific and medical community to see how their Wurn Technique affected these painful issues associated with Endometriosis and the study was published in 2012.  All of the study participants had been previously surgically diagnosed with Endometriosis and 78% of those women also had pelvic adhesions.  One study consisted of 14 women who complained of painful sex; another consisted of 18 women who complained of painful sex and painful periods.  Each of the women underwent 20 hours of physical therapy using Clear Passage’s techniques.  The studies concluded that painful sex and sexual function were statistically significantly improved and painful periods statistically significantly decreased for the study participants.

In 2014, they submitted an update on that study! Seven of the 18 patients from the 2011 study were available for follow-up a year later.  Fifty percent of the women still did not experience any pain with sex!  Fifty percent!  And the participants also reported a continuing decreased amount of menstrual pain.  The Wurn Technique may prove useful to a woman who is having painful intercourse or painful periods prior to undergoing another laparoscopic surgery, or if she cannot afford a(nother) surgery.  An alternative option, which may lead to a year of reduced symptoms.  But, again, this appears to be only adhesion-related; shifting, freeing, and stretching the adhesions.  It may not work in all painful cases if adhesions are not the causation.

The Interweb’s Two Cents

I decided to wander around the Internet for testimonials, questions, and nay-sayers about the Wurn Technique.  So I waded through the first 20 pages of Google search results and present you with a few results:

Zoe was a satisfied customer from 2007.  She stressed that the Wurn Technique is neither massage therapy or physical therapy, but a “deep deep deep body work…”

Pogo1 wrote on a forum in 2008 and was met with a good experience of the Wurn Technique in the UK.

Amber3 reached out in 2011 for anyone who had experience with the Wurn Technique.  FaithHopeLove responded that she had the Wurn Technique to treat ankle scar tissue with fantastic results.

Mojo1234 posted in 2011 that the Wurn Technique did not work for her, but “…I think it does for some.  It depends on the extent of adhesions and what’s attached.”

Bookbabe posted an inquiry online back in 2013, and was met with skepticism, but also a few positive remarks.  She had her physician talk to Clear Passage and, “[h]e said what they are doing makes sense to him and that there is a chance that it would work.  He also called an ob/gyn friend of his to see what she thought of it and she said that when they do surgery to try and remove scar tissue and they are also stretching and tearing so it make sense to her as well, although she had never heard of it before.”

Mark Crislip posted shortly after the 2015 study was released with some points as to why he feels the results of the study, and the study itself, are disingenuous.

Craig Bowden’s daughter started a Gofundme campaign to help with medical and travel expenses for his Wurn Technique treatments.  He had severe abdominal adhesions after several surgeries, but updates, “[b]efore heading down to Clear Passage, I had a persistent/painful bowel obstruction, could only walk short distances with a crutch, had trouble going up/down stairs, experienced tremendous pain in my abdomen on a daily basis, had a very limited diet of crackers/similar items, and required a significant amount pain medication everyday. Only a mere five days after their treatment, I’m writing this as a person who can walk extensively without a cane, stand upright with great posture, and move freely without pain. I have diminished my baseline of pain and I am tapering down my pain medication. It’s absolutely incredible!”

As always, you must decide for yourself what you will believe and what course of action you will take.

I would like to thank the Clear Passage team for being a wealth of invaluable information and putting up with my endless questions and requests during this blog-writing process.  If anything, Clear Passage’s dedication to improving womens’ lives is very evident to me.  They truly believe in their work.  I hope that they are able to continue to ease the pain and suffering of others while also continuing their pursuit of additional scientific proof.

(Updated March 25, 2019)

Resources:

Adhesions.org

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (2015; Article) Ten-Year Retrospective Study on the Efficacy of a Manual Physical Therapy to Treat Female Infertility

Babycenter.com

Clear Passage

Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders (2012; Article) Decreasing Dyspareunia and Dysmenorrhea in Women with Endometriosis Via a Manual Physical Therapy : Results from Two Independent Studies

Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders (2014; Letter to the Editor) Update on “Decreasing Dyspareunia and Dysmenorrhea in Women with Endometriosis Via a Manual Physical Therapy : Results from Two Independent Studies”

~ 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

Poor Posture & Pain

Diagram showing poor posture

Growing up, you’re always told to “sit up straight” or “don’t slouch!”  I don’t know about you, but as an adult, I do anything but.

I spent most of this last weekend sitting at the computer wasting away on the internet, smooshed into a little ball on the chair. Either hunched over or leaning back into a curved husk.  And it got me thinking : what does bad posture do to my body? Internally. Mentally.  Physically. So, you know me : let the research begin!

Good posture!

Just what is good posture?  Thanks to rethinkingcancer.org, they’ve broken it down for us:

“When sitting, get you low back and hips close to the back of your chair -if you don’t, stress is created by the curved position of your back and this curve will gradually become a postural habit (defect). Try to keep your stomach reasonably in and up – the same with your chest – sit as tall as you can, keeping the shoulders relaxed. It is better to keep your feet flat on the floor or crossed at the ankles rather than crossed at the knees. If you must bend over you desk when working, keep your back straight and move forward from the hips – don’t bow your back. When standing or walking, keep tummy comfortably in and up, chest fairly high, head not bent forward, keep your shoulders loose. If walking, lead with your front thigh on the striding leg, land lightly on your heel and rock up to the ball of the foot and try to keep your toes pointing straight ahead. When standing, don’t sag on one hip.”

Their page also offers several links (at the bottom) for ways to work on obtaining better posture.

Skeletal & Muscular Issues

Poor posture can misalign the spine, which may lead to pain or even muscular or skeletal issues.  It may also cause issues with the cartilage and connected tissues between your joints, which are now bearing the load of your shifted weight, your poor posture, your hunching over, your slouching.  This may also add to any pain or long-term skeletal issues.  These misaligned or over-stressed connective tissues may also alter the muscle growth, strength, or stature.  And *augh* the degredation of those discs and connective tissues may lead to osteoarthritis, which none of us want.

The altered state you place your body in with poor posture will likely increase any muscle soreness.  You’re stressing your muscles and sinews in a way that your body wasn’t intended to support your weight.  This added stress may lead to chronic neck and back pain. Feeling a bit tense?  Try to be diligent in your posture, see if it begins to help alleviate that pain.

Blood Vessels

Blood vessel constriction may be caused by spinal misalignment. What is blood vessel constriction? It’s when your blood vessels are literally constricted, reducing the flow of blood and oxygen to cells in your muscles.  In the case of spinal misalignment and blood vessel constriction, you may be depriving vital muscles and nerves around your spine of oxygen and nutrients. Blood vessel constriction may also increase your chance of blood clots or DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

Nerves

Like blood vessel constriction, spinal misalignment may also cause nerve constriction, or “pinched nerves.”  When a nerve becomes pinched, it can send pain not only to the immediate area where the damage is occurring, but anywhere along that nerve.

Breathing

Studies have found that sitting with poor posture, or hunched, may reduce your lungs’ efficiency and capacity.  Your breathing is shallower, and your heart is getting less oxygen, having to pump a little bit harder…a little bit faster, in order to circulate oxygen throughout your system.

Sitting with hunched shoulders also restricts the ribs, lungs, and diaphragm.

Intestines

Sitting scrunched or hunched may alter your regularity.  Visualize with me : your intestines are no longer free like a bird : they’re trapped in a hunched up position.  They may not be movin’ and groovin’ as smoothly as they normally should.

Fatigue

Some have suggested that poor posture can cause fatigue : that it takes a lot of your body’s energy to hold and maintain poor posture.  Since it’s not a “natural” position, you’re burning more energy to hold the position.  Add to that your diminished breathing and oxygen-intake.  You may just be feeling more sluggish these days because of your posture.

Mood

There was a professor who asked his students to walk down the hall in a slouched position and to also skip down the hallway.  The students reported less energy and were more depressed when walking slouched; and more energetic and happy while skipping.  This may not prove that your mood is truly effected by your posture, but what can it hurt to walk a bit straighter…or skip?

I for one need to work on bettering my posture.  But having learned that it effects more than just my neck and back muscles, I’d like to work on it on a regular basis. I encourage you to do the same 🙂  Sit up straight! Suck those abs in! Breathe!  Stretch and walk around.  And stand up straight! Ha. Our mothers were right…

(Updated March 27, 2019)

Resources:

AZ Central

Blackdoctor.org

Breathing.com

Livestrong

Rethinkingcancer.org

Whatsyourposture.com.au

~ 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

Lupron Depot : My Experience

Syringe and needle for Lupron Depot injection

Many of you know I fondly refer to my Lupron Depot treatments as “Liquid Crazy injections.”  I’m happy to say that January 19, 2015, was my last Lupron Depot injection for my Endometriosis!  I had a total of six months treatment; 1 injection per month.  I was also taking the “Add Back” pill, Norethindrone, on a daily basis.

I figured I’d write about my side effects and symptoms, just in case anyone else was going to be starting or has started, the same injections. I’d love to compare notes and see how you’re feeling if you had Lupron.  Most of the side effects I experienced vanished in about 2 months…but I did suffer from insane night sweats for a year-and-a-half afterward!  And my fingernails have never recovered…I’m also wondering if you have any long-term side effects that you attribute to the Lupron Depot injections…

If you would like to read how others fared with Lupron Depot, please read the comments of Life After Lupron.  And a study published in the March 2018 edition of Journal of Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology followed a study from 2008 to 2012 about the side effects of Lupron Depot with the Add Back Pill.  It found that:

  • 96% reported side effects during treatment
  • 80% reported the side effects lasted longer than 6 months after they discontinued treatment
  • 45% reported side effects they believed were irreversible, including “memory loss, insomnia, and hot flashes”
  • Despite the side effects, two-thirds of the patients said they’d recommend Lupron Depot others, as they felt it was the “most effective hormonal medication for treating Endometriosis pain.”

I won’t sugar coat it one bit.  I hated the entire treatment. But it did get a little bit easier as the months progressed.  Here we go:

Body Aches: During the first two months of treatment, there were several days where I could not get out of bed.  Even moving my fingers was agony.  Body and joint pain beyond explanation.  I missed time off work, nearly got written up for it, had to get a note from my doctor, and walked like I was an 80-year-old woman.  Thankfully, the aches didn’t stick around after the second month.  But man, they were unbearable.

Brittle nails: My nails have continuously been tearing, bending, breaking, chipping, and flaking since about my second treatment.  It’s just horrible.  I’m not sure that it’s related to the treatment, but prior to starting Lupron, my nails were strong and would only break during extreme mishaps.  Now it’s every day, at the slightest brush. I have to keep them trimmed down to nothing so they don’t snag on anything. Poor things. (2018:  my nails have never been the same.  They chip at the slightest offense, they break, they peel off, they bend backward…)

Depression: Now I’m not a person who suffers from depression. It’s just not in my nature.  But OH MY GOD…this medication put me into such a downward spiral funk, some days it was hard to remember none of this is my fault. And that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And that my friends and family do love me.  If you’re already susceptible to depression prior to this drug, please, PLEASE have a strong support network of friends and family prior to starting. It’s just vicious.   Luckily, this side effect faded quickly after treatments ended.

Fatigue & weakness: The fatigue and weakness has only started to get better this past month or so.  But there have been times where I needed multiple naps (2-4 hours long) every day.  I would become completely worn out just with one quick trip to the grocery store (my day would be ruined with naps and zombification) or even just my short commute from work would lay me out for the evening.  I couldn’t walk around my neighborhood without feeling like a zombie and slowing to a crawl.  Stairs and uphill slants were next to impossible. As an active and avid hiker, this has been miserable (may I just say : cabin fever!). My entire body was against me.  Near the end of my six-month treatment, I was able to maintain a good, strong pace around my neighborhood (which is barely 1.0 mile), with only minimal discomfort and loss of pace.  (2018: I’ve yet to regain my strength and endurance for long walks or hikes, but I think that’s what I get for not exercising since my Lupron days years…time to change that!)

Hair loss: I know we all lose hair, every day.  I’m used to having to clean out my hairbrush once a week.  I don’t freak out over the hair in my fingers after a nice shampoo in the shower.  BUT since the early months of starting Lupron, I’ve had to clean my brush EVERY day, pulling out a massive rat’s nest of hair!  It’s so full!  And the amount of hair in my fingers in the shower has doubled, sometimes tripled.  Even my hairdresser has noticed when I go in for a trim.  I don’t have any bald spots or anything, but it’s been such a massive difference!!  My hair has also lost it’s luster and has become stiff, dry, brittle, and prone to an incredible amount of split ends.  (2018: with proper care and TLC, my hair regained it’s luster and health)

Hot flashes: Thankfully I didn’t have too many of these.  I prepared for them, buying a small portable fan and a FrogTogg, which I kept in my purse regularly.  But, yes, I did have several.  And they were nauseating.  But they were done and over with quickly.  These were the least bothersome of my side effects.

Incontinence: Just call me “Pee Pants.”  It’s sort of a laughable joke now.  The last few months of treatment, the slightest sneeze, laugh, or cough would send a trickle down my leg and me running to the restroom.  But one evening while on the phone with my mother, disaster!  One small toot (yes, trying to keep this…civilized…I said, “toot”) and I flooded my couch cushion with urine.  I didn’t even know I had to pee…At first the warmth was confusing: was my gas super-heated?  But then the wet!  Not only did I run to the bathroom to grab a towel and soak up the couch, but I had to change my pants and hang my head in shame, although Mum, myself, and my boyfriend were also uproariously laughing. 😉  I did a bit of research and women going through menopause have weaker vaginal walls and bladder muscle control. Incontinence can be a regular occurrence for menopausal and post-menopausal woman. Oh joy.

Increased appetite: Ravenous! The whole time.  I eat numerous times a day.  Healthy, but numerous.  I have breakfast between 8:00 and 9:00, a mid-morning snack by 10:00, lunch between 11:30 and 12:00, mid-afternoon snack by 2:00, dinner between 4:30-5:00, followed by an evening snack.  Every day. It’s like a dance these days!  But I’ve put on my missing 10 pounds since surgery, which is good (I needed it).  And have managed to keep my weight at a healthy 140 pounds.  I’ve learned to eat healthier snacks (banana instead of cookies, salad instead of burgers, that sort of thing).  But, yes, ravenous the entire time I was on Lupron Depot.

Increased bust size: My boobs grew! MY BOOBS GREW!  My tiny little As are now a full B (small C, depending on the bra brand!).  My nurse has no idea if they’ll stay this new size once the medication clears my system.  But it’s a noticeable little difference, and I’m ecstatic over this side effect. 😉 (2018: My boobs never reverted back to their tiny original state!!  Best Side Effect…EVER!)

Increased thirst: Just like my appetite, I am insatiable when it comes to water nowadays!  Thirsty. So thirsty. I have to keep a full water bottle with me at all times! And refill it multiple times per day.  Constantly drinking water at work, and when I get home.  Almost always have  glass handy.  I don’t know why this is, but it is.  And, again, it’s a healthier kind of side effect, so I hope I continue this newfound habit long after the Lupon leaves my system. (2018: I am not as incredibly thirst as I was when I was on Lupron, but I still tend to drink more water than I did before the treatment.  That healthy habit hasn’t faded).

Lack of sex drive: Bah. Need I say more? My previously-epic libido is now non-existent. Gone. Fini. Come back to me, Libido. Come back….(2018:  After Lupron Depot, I went on a year of continuous birth control pills.  Libido: gone.  BUT…I went off the pill in Sept. 2016 and my libido has come roaring back to life.  Look out, hubby!)

Lack of monthly cycle: I haven’t had my period since September 25, 2014.  That’s the Lupron at work.  It’s been fantastic. No cramps. No bleeding. No bloating. No back pain.  Amazing!  I know I’ll be starting my period sometime soon (even though I’ll be starting birth control), so it will be an interesting experience.  I now have NO clue when I’ll be starting, what my new cycles will be like, how long they will last, or if they will be predictable.  We shall see!  (2018:  I was on the pill for a year.  During that time, I only had 4 periods.  But my Endo pain was nearly daily and came back with a vengeance.  After my 2nd laparoscopy (Sept 2016), I chose to get off of the pill.  Now my cycles do what they want, when they want, are as long or as short as they want, and hurt as bad as they want…)

Mood swings: I became a sobbing, blubbering, yelling, mad, insane, loveable, calm, snappy monster. Unpredictable. At the drop of a hat, I could sob. Or laugh. Or snuggle. Or claw your eyes out. May I just say that my boyfriend, family, and friends have all been incredibly patient and wonderful through this stupid process.

Night sweats: Now these are horrible. Almost nightly I wake up with the sheets drenched, my entire body covered in a sheen of cold sweat. Disgusting. There’s no dry spot on my side of the bed anymore. They’re awful! Hurry up and go away, Night Sweats! I don’t want you anymore…(2018: these lasted nearly a year and a half after I went off the pill.  I get the occassional sweaty-episode, but not nightly anymore).

Pain at injection site: So the day or so after the injection, my poor buttcheek is killing me. Sometimes that pain & discomfort radiates down my leg.  Bah. It’s just an annoyance, but daaaaamn my buttcheek!  Think they can make that needle any longer? 🙂

Pain during sex: I blame this on thinner vaginal walls and a lack of natural lube.  Even the slightest jolt is painful. So our sex life has changed a lot: slow pace and I’m on top most of the time (for control of depth).  It’s not enough pain to discourage sex (I truly enjoy the intimate connection sex brings to a relationship).  And we’ve had to incorporate the use of condoms (the doc says you can still get preggo on Lupron and they want to avoid that) and lube into our intimacy.  Neither of which I’m a fan of, but the lube is SOOOO necessary these days. (2018: sex can still be painful. We’ve learned to alter positions since some cause more pain, I use a different lube, and we still use condoms.  I don’t think this will ever go away…but then again, I do have two cervix, which may be a cause of my painful deep sex).

Susceptible to sunburns: Lots of sunscreen and big, silly, floppy hats.  Ladies (and men) on Lupron are far more susceptible to sunburns due to the lack of a hormone that protects skin.  That lack of protection could lead to nasty dark discolorations, too.

Vaginal dryness: I don’t make one little bit of natural lube anymore. I’m dry like a communion wafer, the Sahara Desert, and China Lake. I’ve become good friends with KY lube (nasty stuff).  I truly thought with the amount of goo my body regularly produced, that this side effect wouldn’t effect me.  Boy, was I wrong.  I’m all dried up. (2018: man oh man, was I glad when this one faded)

These are only the side effects I know about.  Lupron Depot is infamous for causing bone loss and some women also claim it has caused neurological issues.  For now, I am glad I went through with the treatments.  Anything I can do to thwart the growth of my Endometriosis!! I know Lupron doesn’t help some women with their Endo pain, or even stop their bleeding, but it did for me. Every woman will react differently to this medication.  I’m looking forward to reclaiming my life prior to this medication.  At $1,000 a pop (but thankfully my insurance covered most of it), I never want to have to endure this economically or physically. Ever again.

**Updated March 25, 2019**

Resources:

Journal of Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology (2018 abstract) Long-Term Effects of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonists and Add-Back in Adolescent Endometriosis

~ 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

Reader’s Choice : Enough is ENOUGH!

Untitled-2 copy

A personal choice for every woman with Endometriosis : When have I suffered enough pain and when do I step up the treatment?

Some women prefer natural methods of controlling their Endometriosis symptoms : supplements, vitamins, diet, and essential oils.  But these methods may not work for other women. I’ve gone the route of prescription narcotics, surgery, and chemical hormonal treatments. Other women have undergone hysterectomies.

When and how do you decide which is right for you?  Only you know the answer to that question.

Supplements:

May women swear that they have obtained hormonal balance and gained control of their Endometriosis symptoms by a change in diet and following a regimen of natural herb, supplements, and vitamins.  I have altered my diet along their same lines and have enjoyed a much healthier lifestyle.  Unfortunately, I am also undergoing Lupon Depot injections and am unable to distinguish if my lack of pain and symptoms is due to the diet change, the Lupron, or both.  In a few months when the medication is out of my system, I will be able to more readily judge.  More information on diet and supplements that may help with Endometriosis can be found here and here.

Medication:

Prior to learning I had Endometriosis, my primary care physician had prescribed me Naproxen Sodium to handle the pain. It was the only medication that helped.  Of course, it came with it’s side effects, but the benefits outweighed any issues the medicine itself created.  As stated above, I am currently on Lupron Depot…more of what that is and what it does can be found here.  Once my regimen of Lupron Depot is completed, I will be going on constant birth control to keep my hormone levels in balance, hopefully slowing the growth of any new Endometriosis implants and adhesions.

Surgery:

Laparoscopic excision surgeries are common for women with Endometriosis.  It identifies and removes any implants and adhesions, temporarily relieving pain. More on that surgery can be found here.

Hysterectomies are no cure.  But it is what modern medicine leans on a fix.  Although temporary for some Endo sufferers.  Hysterectomies also come in various shapes and sizes,so to speak.  Not all hysterectomies are created equal.  More on hysterectomies, the different types, and why it may not work to relieve Endometriosis can be found here.

Counseling:

Talk to your physician when you need to make a decision regarding the best way to treat your Endometriosis.  Then get a second opinion.  Talk to your friends and family.  And fellow Endometriosis sufferers.  Get advice from every source you can think of.  Then take a few days to digest it all, weigh the pros and cons, look deep within yourself and figure out how you best want to handle it.

Only you can decide.

I have one reader who has been suffering with Endometriosis all of her life, had a hysterectomy in her 20s, and now in her 40s (32 surgeries later), has recurring symptoms, even after a hysterectomy.  This is a story I hear quite often…

Another friend of mine had a hysterectomy a decade ago and her symptoms are just now beginning to return.

Several Endo Sisters I know use supplements, but struggle to find a balance to maintain control of their pain.  Others do not struggle at all and have found what works best for their bodies.

Some swear off “modern medicine” while others embrace it.

I have only recently had my first surgery and am going the “modern medicine” route.  But who knows what my feelings will be if I need to go in for a second surgery.  For me, recovery was miserable…and I don’t know if I would have the mental and physical fortitude to withstand multiple surgeries (and more importantly, recoveries).  But also knowing that a hysterectomy definitely is not a cure scares me from going that route.  I do not know what I will choose when I’ve hit the “enough is ENOUGH!” point…only time will tell.

What about you?

*Sunday is “Reader’s Choice” where my readers, friends, and family get to suggest a topic.  Today’s topic came from my friend, Lauren Siciliano, “When to decide enough is enough, either take pain medication or do surgery.” So research began!  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

Inconspicuous Pain Relief

Hypothetical, but it happens more often than not : So it’s one of those flareup, crampy days.  But you HAVE to go to work. You have to run errands. You have to face the world.  What do YOU do?  Can’t plug a heating pad in and walk around all day – you’d need one hellava long extension cord…Painkillers may not be an option for you that day.  You may need your full faculties. Lord knows I do…

So I’m exploring options as far as “inconspicuous” pain relief.

ThermacareIn the past, when I need to be mobile, I’ve used Thermacare the small sticky, self-heating pads.  They are activated when you open the packet and expose the pad to air.  They stick to your clothing up against your abdomen, they are thin, and provide heat for several hours.   They also make a large size for your back, in case that is also in pain.  They’ve never actually *fully* taken away my pain, but the warmth does help, and is a comfort. Thermacare’s webpage and more information is located here, and you can purchase them in pretty much any store or online.

hotshotzI’ve seen HotShotz at trade shows and various online vendors, but have never tried them.  They use small crystals that activate when you press a little capsule inside the pack.  Supposedly, they offer heat for a while and then you can take it home, boil it for a few minutes, and it resets the crystals & capsule to use again on a later date.  They may be small enough to slip under your shirt if you’re sitting at work.  HotShotz offers a variety of sizes and shapes as well.  To see the their product line, click here.

MN8There are several books, articles, webpages, and videos regarding the power of magnets and pain control.  I was able to locate several products (all costing several hundred dollars), but this one, MN8, is specifically created for menstrual cramps and will not break the bank.  It’s a small magnet that you place attaches to your underwear, slightly beneath your bellybutton.  MN8’s page also states, “It has been reported for many years that MN8 helps with Endometriosis.”  Interesting.  I may have to try this out just for the hell of it!  More information on the MN8, including purchase information, can be found here.

warmawearIf you can stomach it (ha, get it?), there is a battery-operated heating pad.  No cords tethered to the wall to give you away.  Warmawear appears to be a thin and small heating pad.  It boasts of fast heat and the battery life (3 AA batteries) lasts about 3 hours.  One more reason women can keep an abundance of batteries in her lingerie drawer, eh?  Again, I may have to look into one of these for myself!  More information on where to purchase the Warmawear can be found here.

Heating PadI personally keep this in my drawer at work this small, microwaveable heating pad.  It’s filled with rice, flax, and lavender.  A quick 1 minute in the microwave, and I slip this bad boy beneath my shirt.  If I get hauled into a meeting, I slip it out and hide it back in my drawer.  It’s not the best for mobility, but it’s hidden all day beneath my shirt.  If interested, you can find several different type and patterns on Etsy.  I recommend this shop here.

What do YOU use for your pain relief?  Something small that you can tuck away and hide discreetly.  Leave a comment below 🙂