On Thursday I got my post miscarriage/D&C period. The week prior was miserable, so much in fact that I thought I was pregnant. In fact, I felt more pregnant than I did when I actually was. While jogging on the treadmill I had to stop suddenly to resist the urge to hurl. Then, I had carb cravings so bad I got glutened, giving in to a huge bowl of wheat flour made mac n cheese, my iron clad discipline melted away by raging PMS. I had started a strict gluten free diet again the day of my D&C, but didn’t even care that I had fallen off the wagon. To make my anxiety worse, I read dozens of horror stories about the first period after a miscarriage. Almost everyone experienced super sized flow with super sized cramps. Given my history of menstrual pain (thanks Endometriosis) so bad I vomit, poop, and convulse in pain all at the same time (It’s my blog and I’ll TMI if I want too, haha), I was terrified. I was convinced that my pleasant pre-pregnancy herb and acupuncture cycle was a fluke. I was convinced that this month I would be punished for actually thinking that vodoo eastern medicine works. I stocked up on lady diapers (maxi-pads), scrounged around for an old Vicodin prescription, and unrolled my heating pad. I braced myself for hell.
But hell never came, not on the first day and not now, four days later. My flow has been heavier, in fact during my cycle-day-three-blood test to monitor ovarian reserve and count follicles, my lining measured 8.5 and the ultrasound tech told me to prepare for several more days of fun (In other news, I have 6 follicles on the left and 10 on the right. Decent for a 32-year old). Yet, despite flowing like the Mississippi I’ve felt freaking awesome. I did take some IB-Profen on day one, just in case, but I have not had a single cramp, bout of nausea or hours of unbearable fatigue in the last four days. My periods weren’t even this good when I was on the dreaded birth control pill. Chinese Medicine works people! It really really works! My husband thinks my lap in December has something to do with my reduction in pain, but it wasn’t until I began daily herbs and weekly acupuncture that I began to feel a marked difference. Not only was I able to get pregnant (something you can’t do if you’re an endo sufferer taking BCP or Lupron to stave off pain), but each cycle has gotten better and better and better! WITHOUT SIDE EFFECTS. Without the weight gain and spotting and threat of blood clots via the pill. Without the possibility of bone loss via Lupron. Without increasing my cervical cancer risk and messing with my hormones. Holy guacamole I wish, wish, WISH I had tried and stuck with acupuncture and herbs YEARS ago!
So I’m hooked. I’m hooked because I believe, deep into my gut and with my whole entire heart, that Chinese Medicine (CM) can help me stave off pain AND get pregnant at the same time. I don’t have to suffer anymore! I haven’t ruled out IVF as a long-term solution, but hubby and I have agreed to give CM a chance until December 2013. The only problem is that CM is EXPENSIVE. But why should I have to shoulder the financial burden when I have perfectly good health insurance? Health insurance that will cover pills and lupron shots that have potentially lethal consequences. I’ve been told that in order for them to cover acupunture I’ve got to have a history of chronic pain (Endo anyone?) AND have to be treated in an overnight facility. The insurance representative actually told me to hunt down a place where I can go stay once per week for 24-hours. Like that’s not going to be WAY more expensive to insurance than my weekly CM clinic visits and herbs. So I’ve decided to put my law degree to good use and appeal my insurance company’s decision not to cover Chinese Medicine. I’ve been tortured by my own body for far too long, particularly in the last two years. Keeping my life pain-free, side-affect free, while making room for the possibility of pregnancy, is worth the fight, don’t you think?
Pain free cycles are awesome! I’ve never had super painful cramps but I’m sure the relief you feel is amazing! It’s definitely worth the fight with the insurance company in my opinion.
I hope I win! Those suckers can be tough.
I had issues with painful sex and cystitis – acupuncture sorted it and I really believe in CM too. Good luck kicking some insurance ass! Really pleased to hear you didn’t have to face hell.
Thanks for the encouraging post! I’m getting ready to add herbs to my acupuncture mix tomorrow… excited but nervous!
Can’t wait to hear how it’s going for you! The herbs might taste gross at first, but you’ll get used to them. I’m drinking mine now and have grown to kind of like’em!
Oh my gosh… they’re SO gross! I feel like I’m drinking dirt hahaha. I can’t imagine growing to like them… but I hope you’re right! 🙂
I’m glad to hear it’s working so well for you! I think I’m going to look into CM. I never knew I had endometriosis, but I was on the pill for many, many years. Now I’m worried about it getting worse. I’m afraid of the cost, but plan to start doing my homework at least.
Good for you for appealing your insurance company’s decision! Good luck!!!
The cost does suck, but I admire you for being proactive. Endo CAN get worse. Especially if you drink alcohol heavily (like I used too) and eat soy products (those things great exacerbated things for me). I also find it interesting that you were on the Pill, but still have endo. Makes me question whether or not the pill really does prevent the spread of the disease, like some doctors have led me to believe.
Stupid insurance companies! It’s just like them to not cover something that works and is cheaper and less invasive (and less pharmaceutical). I admire you for taking on the insurance company and am so glad you haven’t had to live with that awful pain.
Thanks Gardengirl! We are long overdue for a chat. Call me sooooon!
I’m so happy for you! Don’t suppose you’d share a little about what herbs, etc worked for you? My friend has been struggling with pain related to endometriosis for years and she is really into alternative medicine but hasn’t yet found anything that works for her.
I’m under the car of a Chinese Medicine clinic who I see once a week. I believe that both the acupuncture and herbs, combined, have helped me. In the coming weeks I’ll be doing a post on my herb prescription for people like your poor friend. No one should have to suffer like she and I have!
Wow. I’m so sorry I didn’t read your post earlier. This is amazing! Wonderful! Since I began acupuncture a couple years ago, I have been amazed and I don’t know that I’ll ever live without it again if I have a choice. My insurance luckily covers 26 visits a year for acupuncture or chiropractic services. I will pay out of pocket when I run out of my 26 visits because I don’t have the need for pain/anxiety meds of any kind. My immune system is as strong as it’s ever been. It’s amazing and ridiculous that insurance companies don’t encourage it rather than encouraging over-medicating. Sad.
Acupuncture is amazing! So glad you found such relief from it, too!
You just gave me a brilliant idea! My insurance company DOES cover chiropractor appointments which are extremely expensive for them (I looked at what they bill). Perhaps if I ask to trade acupuncture/herbs for the chiropractor budget, they’ll work with me. Thanks for sharing!!!!