Navigating your endometriosis symptoms is far from easy. Often, the healing process is not linear — you don’t just cut out gluten and feel great. For many of us, it’s a gradual process of tweaking and refining, of having good months and bad. If you plotted the progress on a graph, I imagine it would have slopes and dips and highs and plateaus.
Going through this process alone is often overwhelming. Trying to find the right information, implementing it correctly, being your own motivational coach, and then doing the detective work if your health takes a bit of dip — it’s a lot of work for a “healthy” person, let alone someone battling endo.
I’ve found support in books, courses, podcasts, blogs, and talks. I haven’t yet been able to stretch my finances to cover having my own nutritionist. I often wonder what my experience would have been like — and would still be like — had I recruited the help of an expert to guide me along the way.
There seem to be roughly two camps in the endo community: those who stick fast to traditional methods of surgery, hormones, and painkillers, and those who swear by alternative therapies such as acupuncture and naturopathy. Admittedly, there are people in the middle, and in my opinion, there are certainly times when medical treatment is necessary, and most definitely times when a gentler, more natural approach is beneficial.
But the problem is, you don’t often find a wealth of information online about natural treatments that are specific to endo. There are plenty of official governing organizations that share information on conventional methods, but the other camp is only just emerging. While you can find quite a lot on women’s health and hormonal health, you usually have to sift through it all to get to the endo-related bits.
My almost frenzied hunts for information back when I began managing endometriosis sparked off a fury of frustration. Ultimately, it led to This EndoLife being born. I wanted to share what I was learning along the way in one place, so others didn’t have to dig down internet tunnels for a tiny nugget of information.
What you may not know is that when that frustration ignited, it also sparked off a deep desire to train and specialize in endometriosis. My barrier? I was broke as hell.
It’s no secret that my income took a nosedive as I tried to work out what helped me to manage endometriosis. Going from a full-time job to a part-time job to eventually being self-employed is, quite frankly, not kind on your finances. So, while the dream never died and I spent years looking for the right course, it wasn’t a feasible option until last year.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this or sell a story about how I started with nothing and worked my way to affording a several-thousand-pound education. I didn’t. My finances are still recovering, and it’ll be a steady but slow rise back to financial health. What did happen is that my mum sold her house.
I didn’t grow up with money, and our parents hadn’t put aside any savings for their children, but when my mum decided to leave the city for the seaside, she realized she could buy a new home without a mortgage – thanks to the crazy prices of London real estate. My mum wanted to gift us all a little of the leftover money, as she’d never had the opportunity to do so before.
Immediately, I knew exactly what I was going to do with that money. I’d already chosen my course and was counting down the days (or years) until I could afford it. I applied for a scholarship and got it, which meant my fee was heavily discounted.
Endometriosis and that money changed my life.
While I’ve researched and been heavily involved in the endometriosis community for three years, I’ve always felt limited in terms of how much I can truly help without a qualification. I am training to be an Integrative Women’s Health Coach, specializing in endometriosis and pelvic pain, and eventually, I’d love to train as a nutritionist, too. This certification and education will allow me to share free information that is evidence-based and accessible, while also allowing me to create a life around supporting people with endometriosis on a one-to-one or group basis.
While I think we need more doctors specialized in endometriosis, I also think we need more specialized health experts. A mix of both means people can get the right tools they need to make informed decisions about their endometriosis treatments.
It seems that when they found my endometriosis, I also found my calling.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.