Coping with Endometriosis, Menopause, & Grief

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a single light pink flower on Coping with Endometriosis, Menopause, & Grief, on Not So Mommy... a childless blog

Recently, I shared that the dull ache in my back had returned and my sciatic nerve felt like it was on fire.  These endometriosis symptoms have plagued me for years.  A fellow endo warrior and friend messaged me, asking how I cope with the pain.  After sharing some of my strategies, I mentioned that I had thought about writing a blog about this topic.  I was nervous, however, to discuss “treatments” for endometriosis, as I am not a medical professional.  My friend suggested that I write from a personal standpoint, discussing “coping with endometriosis” strategies, rather than approach it from a treatment or medical perspective.

Liking this suggestion, I started thinking about the various methods I use to manage my endo.  Quickly, I realized that I have developed strategies not only for coping with endometriosis, but for coping with menopause and grief, as well.  But before I share my methods for coping with endometriosis, menopause, and grief, let me remind you…

The All-Important Disclaimer…

I’m just a gal who suffers from endo, is going through menopause, and is struggling through the grief of losing my best friend.  I don’t hold a medical or counseling degree nor am I a specialist.  I am simply speaking my truth, with the goal of educating and advocating.  In other words, …

Not So Mommy…™ is designed to provide information and motivation to readers.  This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice.  The information contained in the blogs, emails, and social media posts is the sole expression and opinion of its author(s).  Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in the blogs, emails, and/or social media posts, you are taking full responsibility for your choices, actions, and results.  (If you’d like to read the entire Not So Mommy…™ Disclosure Policy, click here.)

Also, this is not a sponsored post.  I am not getting paid by any of the products I mention.  These are simply items which I am personally using to manage my endometriosis, menopause, and grief.  In an effort to help others, I want to tell you about them so that you can conduct your own research.  Remember!  This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice.  If you wish to try any of the products mentioned, you are taking full responsibility for your choices, actions, and results.

Back to Coping with Endometriosis, Menopause, & Grief…

Whew!  Now that all that legalize is taken care of, let’s finally start talking about how I am coping with endometriosis, menopause, and grief…

Endometriosis, a chronic illness that affects 176 million women worldwide, can cause back pain, fatigue, depression, bloating, painful periods, pain during ovulation, hormonal imbalances, migraines, a lowered immune system, and more.  And nothing—not pregnancy, not a hysterectomy, not menopause—cures endometriosis.  (Read more truth about endometriosis here.)

So, how am I coping with endometriosis (or at least trying to manage it)?  Well, because I am no longer willing to use traditional Western treatment preferences, such as birth control and/or Lupron (for personal reasons that would require an entire blog to explain), my husband helped me research alternative management options.  Some of them are as follows…

Essential Oils

My hubby and I have tried several different brands of essential oils.  One of our favorites is Nexon Botanics.  They have several premium essential oil blends that I find particularly beneficial.  Because my endometriosis causes a lowered immune system, I use the Health Plus blend daily.  Although my endo does not cause headaches, one possible symptom is migraines.  My hubby, who suffers from allergy headaches, uses Zen Head to find some relief.

Coping with a lowered immune system…

Back to my lowered immune system…  Because I get sick rather easily, I make a conscious effort to minimize germs.  That being said, I add Lysol Laundry Sanitizer to every load of laundry, wash my hands often, don’t play on my phone before meals (how often do you clean your phone?), and always wipe down the shopping cart handle.  (Yes, I’m the middle-aged woman wearing a dog mom sweatshirt making the mom of littles wait to grab her sanitizing wipe…)

Herbs and Supplements

Not only does my endometriosis cause a lowered immune system, but it also contributes to my hormonal imbalances.  (Of course, menopause is playing a factor in this, as well.)  After struggling for months, breaking down in tears, arguing with my husband for no reason, and having no better explanation than “I just don’t feel good,” (and this was before my friend passed away), we researched various herbs and supplements to help balance my hormones.  Daily, I take a Female Hormone Blend, which contains black cohosh.  Also, I take Dim Active, a hormonal balance complex.  Finally, I take Adrenal Health, an herbal formula which helps maintain a healthy stress response.

Coping with hormonal imbalances…

Although I still struggle with sadness (currently, often caused by my grief over losing my best friend), the “I just don’t feel good,” crying, arguing, don’t really know what’s going on with me gal doesn’t show up nearly as often since I started taking these herbs and supplements.

Also, my husband and I started eating organic, non-GMO foods as much as possible.  In fact, I visit two different grocery stores in order to buy as many organic fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products as I can.  We drink only filtered water at home, using it in our coffee, tea, and ice-cube trays.  Plus, we switched from plastic to glass water bottles in an effort to minimize BPA.  Because endometriosis is also associated with an increased risk of heart attack and various cancers, I figure these lifestyle changes can only improve my over-all health.

Tea

Yes, one coping with endometriosis, menopause, and grief strategy I use is drinking hot tea.  My husband and I actually purchased three wooden boxes with dividers inside that are the perfect size to hold teabag packets.  Every evening, as we relax in our snug, we each have a cup of hot tea, choosing from one of the over 40 varieties we’ve purchased.  Two of my favorites are Twinings Nightly Calm and Pukka Love.  If my endo belly is flaring, I normally choose Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice because cinnamon is good for digestion.

Coping with endo belly…

Not only do I drink tea to help manage my endo belly, but I also try to eat a lower carb diet.  Unfortunately, the sweets and pasta that I love, often cause my stomach to become even more bloated.  While I do not completely deprive myself of Italian food and dark chocolate, I try to monitor my carb intake.  For example, if I know we are going to have pizza for dinner, then I opt for hard boiled eggs for breakfast and a salad at lunch.  Plus, my husband and I take a Carb Controller herbal supplement before eating high carb meals.  And we eat a prune every day.

Exercise

There are times when my back pain is too great, my sciatic nerve is on fire, and/or my fatigue is so bad that rest is required.  Normally, however, I try my best to attend my aerial dance class once a week.  Even when my back hurts and I am tired, wanting to simply go sit in my chair, I’ve learned that if I will attend class and move for an hour, I feel better.  Exercise does more to manage my stress than anything else.  Because of this, I not only attend aerial class, but I also walk and have recently begun to do yoga again.

Coping with stress…

Managing stress is vital for me because, I have learned, that stress causes my endo to flare worse than anything else.  Since losing my best friend, I have had numerous endo flares.  My back hurts daily now, plus my sciatic nerve has begun bothering me again.  These symptoms had become rare occurrences before last September.

Not only do I exercise to manage my stress, but I have become more diligent about maintaining balance in my life.  Once every 6-8 weeks, I indulge and take an hour to get a pedicure.  Every few months, I take a couple of hours during the work week and have lunch with a friend.  And I close-up my computer by 6 PM every evening and don’t work on the weekends.  (Well, except on our remodel!)

Practicing self-care and self-love, balancing work with life and family…  These are not luxuries, but necessities to help manage my pain, my hormones, my endo flares…

Rest

Chronic fatigue is another symptom of endometriosis.  Before last March, I did not know this.  I always joked, “I like my sleep.”  I never realized that the exhaustion I felt, the need to sleep in on Saturday, the inability to keep up with my hubby during our remodel…  Well, it’s all associated with the fatigue caused by my body battling endometriosis.

Coping with chronic fatigue…

Now that I realize this, I allow myself to sleep an extra hour after my hubby in the morning.  And I try not to beat myself up when I need to sleep in on Saturdays.  In an effort to get the best rest possible, we diffuse Nexon Botanics Zen Sleep every night.  Plus, I take Melatonin each night before bed.  (I actually started this when menopausal side effects, such as hot flashes, started keeping me awake at night.)  Also, I don’t look at my phone before going to sleep.  Rather, I read, allowing the thoughts and worries of the day to calm.

Western Medicine

Near the beginning of this blog, I stated that I choose not to use traditional treatment methods of birth control and/or Lupron to manage my endo.  I do, however, have a prescription for muscle relaxers, which I take when my pain is particularly bad.  I am also considering having surgery.  Because my doctor told me losing one or both of my ovaries (and perhaps my uterus) is possible, I have decided to wait—for now.  As I am currently going through menopause, I’d like to allow my body to take a natural course, rather than throwing it into full-blown hormonal imbalance.

Coping with pain and more…

I say all of this because each of us must decide (with the help of personal research, medical professionals, close friends, and family) the best methods to utilize in order to manage our symptoms.  For me, coping with endometriosis, menopause, and grief (all at the same time) means using a combination of essential oils, herbs, supplements, tea, organic/lower carb foods, exercise, rest, and pain medication to manage a multitude of symptoms.  Despite my best efforts, this does not always work, as stress (such as my grief) exacerbates my pain (especially in my back).  Plus, stress makes me want to eat carbs, which doesn’t help my endo belly!

Be kind to yourself, fabulous one.

So, be kind to yourself.  Coping with endometriosis, menopause, grief, PCOS, or any other illness or difficult life circumstance is hard.  Do your best to manage your symptoms.  Because that’s all we can do.  Try to manage, try to cope…

Oh.  And pray for a cure…  I do hope they find a cure for endometriosis someday…

Until then, I’ll keep rubbing Health Plus essential oils on my belly and drinking hot tea.  And indulging in a bit of dark chocolate.  (I mean, I can’t deprive myself of everything!)

 

How do you cope with illnesses and difficult life circumstances, fabulous ones?  Please, tell us about it in the comments.

And don’t forget about my disclaimer

  • I purposely did not link to products and gave few brand names.  I think it is important that you conduct your own research, finding the products (and brands) that are the best fit for you.

Have you joined the community?  Subscribe to my email…

 

I discussed more ways that I am coping with grief in a More to Life Webinar on Thurs, April 3.  For more information, click the image…

Through the Ups and Downs, a More to Life Webinar featuring Brandi Lytle of Not So Mommy... and Nicci Fletcher of Canbace Life

Click image to watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Photo:  Donald Tong on StockSnap.io

You may also like

6 comments

Karen July 27, 2019 - 6:58 am

Thank you for all you do!
There is so much people don’t understand about endo and ademo. It is not just “bad cramps”. Thank you for sharing your ways of coping. None of my previous doctors offered any of these tips. Always the bcp or lupron….always. Your simple tips can offer relief to so many ladies. And, there is nothing more soothing than a hot cup of tea.
I finally found the Doctor of my dreams who sat and listened to my edno/infertility story for 2 hours. The options she laid out were a mixture of Western medicine and supplements/exercises/dietary modifications. She suggested a tumeric supplement, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. If don’t take tumeric, I highly recommend giving it a try!! I did choose to have a hysterectomy. The combination of edno and ademo was just too much. But, I loved how my doctor incorporated diet/exercise/supplements into the endo care plan. And, I love how continue to spread the word!! Every time I read a blog post, I think: YES!!

Reply
Brandi Lytle July 29, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Thank you for your kind, kind words about my blog posts, Karen!

First, let me say that I’m so sorry you struggle with both endo and adeno. I’m very grateful you found a doctor to actually listen and develop a plan that includes various aspects of treatment. “A dream doctor,” for sure… I know that there are times when hysterectomy is an absolute necessity. But I also know “simple” things like a good cup of tea can also be beneficial. So, I always figure, what can it hurt to try something natural and simple, as well?! Sounds like you agree.

And yes, tumeric is an amazing supplement! My husband takes it because he suffers with chronic stomach problems. (Perforated colon in his early 30s…) I take it, as well, since inflammation is a major issue with endo. Thank you for mentioning tumeric, as I know it could be beneficial to others.

Despite the circumstances that brought you here, I am so grateful you are a part of the community! Thank you so much for joining the conversation. 🙂 Hugs…

Reply
Laura Provence April 8, 2019 - 12:59 am

I just read this after asking you for resources on coping with endo symptoms. I just started BCP constantly to skip my period. Figured I didn’t need that anymore now that we stepped off the fertility treatment train. I would love to not have a period but be able to get away from western medicine, too. Probably not going to happen, huh? Thank you for sharing your tricks, though!

Reply
Brandi Lytle April 8, 2019 - 10:43 am

Although western birth control is the only way I know to not have periods, I do hope the “tricks” I shared help as you discover how to best manage your symptoms.

Also, thank you for reading my blog! 🙂

Reply
Sherry Stout March 30, 2019 - 7:37 am

My heart aches for you.?

Reply
Brandi Lytle March 31, 2019 - 2:45 pm

This season of life is having a few challenges; however, this too shall pass… I’m learning to manage my endo, menopause will pass, and I will learn to move forward without Jennifer… The love and support I’m receiving from others is certain to help me during all of this. Hugs…

Reply

Leave a Comment

UA-103943978-1