Got mail. Subject: Why me?
An update on what’s going on in one part of my life.
I recently noticed a pain in my left breast. I decided to visit a Doctor (Public Hospital…worst service ever). He examined me after asking a few questions and prescribe some pills after concluding that my body is fighting off an infection and that my nodes (lymph nodes) seems to be blocked. He further explained that the antibiotics he prescribed will dissolve the lumps he called blockage in the nodes in my breast.
He asked why my belly is so high and my age. I responded “I have fibroids and I’m 24”. He then ordered me to do an abdominal ultrasound. I collected my pills and went over to the Emergency Section to do as he said. That building was packed with people and I knew for sure that if I waited, I wouldn’t have gotten out of there until 7pm so I left.
A few days after I went to a private hospital, did the ultrasound and spoke with the radiologist who stated that I have huge fibroids and that he’s never seen such big ones in his years of practicing. He recommended that I see a good gynecologist.
I found out about the fibroids after I came back from vacation two years ago. I was also told that it was genetic and that I’ve had to have it for about 7 years judging from the size. I was asked a series of questions which led to the above conclusion.
-Do you have children?
-Did you ever do an abortion?
-Do you experience heavy bleeding during menstrual cycle?
-Do you have abdominal pains outside of your menstrual cycle?
I said no to all of the above. I only experienced pain 2 nights before I decided to see the doctor two years ago and I have never since experienced that pain. It is said that Negro/African women in their 40’s suffer from this. Recent research has shown that a deficiency in vitamin E and calcium can lead to this and that it’s genetic…which is probably how it was developed in my case. This coming Saturday I would have to carry my results back to the doctor and listen to what he has to say.
Having said all of that…I was provided with two options to rid myself from whatever it is that the medical people pronounce: surgery or drink herbs. I started doing the latter since I found out of this, but saw no improvements and I felt nauseous every time I drank the mixture so I discontinued. I was recently provided with another option which is to go to the Naturopath. Here is where I don’t know what step to take.
-I do surgery, they might take out my womb and it’s costly.
-I drink the herbs, I feel nauseous all day. (Doctor said not to do so because it weakens the immune system and the body can pick up infections).
-I try out try out the Naturopath, I go bankrupt and end up dying not fixing the issue.
I’m troubled and don’t know what my next step should be. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you wish and voice any suggestions/advice. Thanks
She read my Weightloss blog and decided to share those events with me. I felt a bit of anxiety, performance anxiety. Please be advised that I am a work in progress like everyone else, on a path of self-discovery. What is discovered is not always pretty, but it is not shouted from the roof. I breathe deeply, ask for Divine guidance, and continue along the path. If I seem to be fine when I am not it’s only because the source of my help is not physical. I am publishing this because it may resonate with someone, and/or someone may have advice that I can channel back to her.
I am still attached to my past students so I felt every word of what she said and had to tiptoe to find the right balance with objectivity and my emotions. Here is part of my response:
This is a health issue, but it is also a spiritual one. At the end of this ordeal you will know your body better and be able to provide useful advice those in need. I like to say that Therapists are not perfect people, but rather they have had their own struggles from which they’ve learnt things that they could not learn in classrooms, and when they bring that knowledge to their practice clients appreciate that they are real. There are many treatment options that can cause confusion, so you need to pray. Not long prayers, but regular honest sentences of your observations and desires. God is listening. Ask for help. Determine that this will be your story of how you overcame, not how things fell apart.
I don’t think your spouse signed up for this, so appreciate the comfort when it is offered, and be patient with him in the moments when you need his support and he can’t seem to find it. And as unprepared as you think you might be for it, try to get pregnant as soon as this is over. Marriage, or no marriage. In hindsight, teenage pregnancy might not have been so bad after all. Life is so flipping strange. This is more hurtful than I can say. I want to do something to fix you so you can accomplish your goals at your pace, but some journeys are lonely, and it’s like our parents and school teachers forgot to educate us on what to expect. I cannot remember sex education in school having anything to do with fibroid. They were too busy talking of condoms and STDs.
I do not have an answer for the ‘Why Me’ question, but I can say that playing the victim will not bring the results you want. When you give up, a part of you dies. That leaves less of you to fight. On the other hand, fighting drains your energy, so if you’re going to fight this you’ll need to have a strategy…for rest too, or burnout will soon hit. It can knock the will out of you and leave you at the bottom of a well where you can’t see the light to move ahead. So try to pace yourself. Pick your battles each day and try to do your best to manage the goals of the day. Leave the rest for tomorrow, and to God.
I also advised on draining the lymph and suggested that she look at videos about same. She is no longer living in Trinidad so I cannot offer to do a few sessions with her, but she knows our connection is alive and whenever she reaches out I will try to be as encouraging as possible.
On this note I’d like to advise that as of March 2016 I will be offering a 4-week certificate course in Lymph Drainage Massage…see attachment. It was initiated before I knew of her condition. The course provides training on self-treatment, as well as effectively working with clients who suffer from post-traumatic and post-surgical edemas. It also pacifies the Medical Practitioner who is hesitant about having clients receive massage by a Therapist who does not have LDM-specific training.
Everything we’ve learnt in the Lymphatic System module still applies, but the module we will be using takes us into pathologies that lead to lymphostatic and lymphodynamic edemas and the use of massage techniques (with the prescribed amount of pressure, speed, frequency, direction, rhythm, and duration) in complementary opposition to successfully provide drainage. We know that the lymph vessels have valves like the veins and they can become faulty. One shows itself varicose veins, the other as various types of swelling. Massage as an early intervention continues to be effective in managing the fluid content of these vessels so that they are not widened to the point where valve remain dysfunctional.
I would have mentioned a client who has had some of the nodes and vessels in the left thoracic region removed after an accident. It’s been over a year, but he recently called: Hi Rinalda! This is a voice from the past! Hmmm. Came over for a massage and I remarked about the swelling I observed. He looked at me curiously explaining that he had gained some weight…fat. I did not argue. He is not paying me for that. But in my mind I understand that once lymph sits around long enough it starts to form connective tissue in that area because a percentage of that fluid is protein. Fat is connective tissue, but that’s not the (only) one he’s forming.
As women we sometimes can’t lose the belly fat after a C-section. For all our dieting the paunch remains because it is not belly fat. With no massage after the surgery (because everyone was afraid to touch the area) the lymph went ahead and set some foundation blocks. We really need to get our hands on clients soon after surgery, but the only folks who seem to know that are the women returning from Venezuela with their tummy tucked in or their breasts reduced/enlarged. With so many types of surgeries being performed to guarantee us a lifetime of business, why aren’t we making headway with this niche? Do we need stand outside surgeries like touts? Or should we behave like paparazzi each time a Surgeon gets in or out of his/her car?
Maybe representation can be made for us, but the nature of our business requires a personal touch. And I must admit that in marketing (not knowing when the efforts will bear fruit) I never expected my career to include this angle. This crept up when I was looking elsewhere, so I was/am never fully prepared for the times when there is blood or sewing that seems like the handiwork of a child on her stuffed toy. The visual lacks appeal, but with the client showing initiative in reducing their recovery time I do my part. So yes, what we are doing is working, but if you want to participate because the additional training could help you better serve your clients or widen your scope of practice, do let me know.