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Endometriosis Pain Eliminated

 By Erika Mitchell


Ever since I was 11 years old, I had severe pain every month. Now when I say pain, I mean doubled-over, in the fetal position, with a heating pad, taking narcotics, just to take the edge off the pain. I tried every therapy I knew of at that time. Every birth control pill, taking two a day at one point to not have a cycle. I tried every other kind of medicine, Lupron, Depo-Provera, Megace, the birth control patch (Ortho-Evra) , and the NuvaRing. I got 2nd opinions from different gynecologists on how to treat this condition. I have had a total of 4 laparoscopies. At one point the endometriosis had spread to my bladder and rectum.  Each surgery helped for a while then the pain came back with a vengeance. 

At the age of 21, I had little to no quality of life. Missing work from the pain, unable to go back to school and do what needed to be done on a daily basis.  My husband and I talked and I begged my doctor for a partial hysterectomy.  He told me to think about it for a month and come back to see him. I did, and I decided I needed the surgery as I could not live like that any longer. My husband and I have always wanted to have children, but decided we could adopt. This was a very difficult decision for us both. Being so young, I wanted to have a child of my own, but I knew that I couldn’t deal with this pain any longer. I also knew that with endometriosis, many women are unable to get pregnant anyway, especially when it has spread so badly, as in my case.  So I had the surgery. 

The surgery helped for a few years, until I turned 24. Then the pain returned, in the worst way.  I spoke with my doctor and he found on examination that it had spread to my right ovary. I remember thinking, "Great, it spread anyway! I started taking Provera again twice a day to help with the pain and hopefully slow down the growth of this disease.

When I turned 25, the pain was getting relentless. Not only did I have the pelvic pain, but also a pain in my lower back and a throbbing in my legs every night, So bad that I couldn’t sleep. It would wake me up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat from severe pain. My doctor found that the endometriosis had attached to my pelvic wall and was pushing on the nerves in my lower back.  This was causing severe pain down my sciatic nerve. I did everything I could to prevent the growth of endometriosis: I avoided all estrogens and phytoestrogens for a year. I exercised regularly. However, with this disease, you are so fatigued it makes it very hard to keep this up. Many days the pain was so bad I couldn’t work. One day at work, I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk, couldn’t stand up, and almost fell over. My supervisor took me to the hospital. I felt as if I never had any lesions removed at all!  

I asked my doctor if there was anything I hadn’t tried.  He stated acupuncture was the only thing. I knew that this was a last resort, but I was willing to try anything. He referred me to one of best acupuncturist Richmond Va in the area with a lot of experience. I researched and found it had helped many people with chronic pain conditions.

 So I went acupuncture, once a week, for ten weeks; then I began going once a month, for three months.  The acupuncture was working.  Now, it has been several years, and  I haven't needed to go back! This is truly incredible, as the traditional medical hasn't found a cure for endometriosis, but with acupuncture, my symptoms are improved. 

I recommed acupuncture to anyone with a chronic pain condition. I know that this therapy is new to many in the United States, but it has been practiced for thousands of years in China and other countries. Be open, believe that something other than medicine and surgery can help. When you go in for treatment, try to relax. It is new to you, but not new to your acupuncturist. You may have a little pain at certain sites when the needles are stimulated, but It is more of a slight electrical feeling, numbness or tingling, But this is temporary! The pain will pass less in a minute,

I feel better than I have in years!! I am not saying I am completely cured and totally pain free. I am not quite 100% yet, but what I will say is that things are only moving up!  I am so thankful that my doctor, Dr. James  Cane, and my acupuncturist, Yan Fan, worked together to help me. I sleep through the night now, and I can do outdoor activities.  I feel like I am my age, now 26. I have more energy! I wish I tried it years ago.  It’s so nice to not be dependent on pain medication, and it’s wonderful to not worry about having such bad pain and wonder when it will strike again. I am grateful to be able to work and feel healthy again!

 I writing this in hope that someone like me can feel better without the surgeries, medication and hardship I have endured, that may be they will find a cure, that women can have children of their own with this disease. I hope that one day soon insurance will cover this alternative therapy. I am one of the many this has worked for.


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