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by Dawn Depke

I’m willing to bet that you or someone you know suffers every month with menstrual cramps so intense that labor pains are a close competitor. Or do you know someone who plans their life around their menstrual cycle because they will be so much pain they won’t be able to get out of bed? Endometriosis seems to be on the rise more and more these days. Well, I can tell you through personal experience there is hope.

I was one of the “not so lucky ones” that received the gift of menstrual cramps with nearly my 1st menstrual period at age 13 when my cycle began. It was the first time I had experienced pain in my abdominal area. I immediately drew the conclusion that having my period automatically meant having this cramping sensation internally.

I remember asking my older sister about the pain I was feeling and she knew exactly what I was talking about because she experienced it as well. She was someone I always trusted and looked up to, so it gave me comfort to know I was “normal” because it was happening to her as well. She did however know something that I didn’t. How to get rid of the pain! The day she brought me the orange horse pill that relieved me of all the pain I was in was the day she became my hero!

Years later I realized what she had given me was simply IBU profin but it was 800mg, a very strong dose. This “magic pill” worked for many years to mask the pain and seriousness of what was happening to my insides and one day the “magic pill” stopped working. By this time I was almost a senior in college and the pain was becoming more and more intense without any relief from any over the counter pain killers.

I was referred by my GYN to a specialist who put me under the knife, as this was to only way endometriosis could be confirmed. I had never had surgery before so I didn’t know what to expect. Post-surgery, the monthly pain I had been experiencing seemed to have decreased severely. Yes! I was home free, or so I thought. The months went by but the pain returned, increasing with each month. It had returned in full force and intensified so much that I had to have a 2nd surgery in 2004.

It wasn’t until after that surgery and the “best surgeon in Milwaukee” told me that I had a 50/50 chance on ever having children and that there was no cure for endometriosis. She suggested getting on OCP’s (oral contraceptives) and trying to get pregnant right away; as this was the most fertile I would be (just after lasering the scar tissue). She also told me that those were only solutions that she could offer. She continued by telling me most likely I’d be back every 2 years or so for continuous surgeries.

There was nothing about her recommendations that were acceptable to me. It was that moment that the most important piece of my recovery took place. I promised myself that I would NEVER have surgery for this ever again, and I meant it. Every cell in my body knew that I would do whatever it took so that I didn’t end up on that operating table again. If any of you reading this have had this type of laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis can understand that the healing process is a slow one.

I love one of the laws of the Universe called the Law of Attraction. Looking back I realized that it was working for me with this situation before I had ever heard of it. Only one month after my surgery I met one of the founders of the Endometriosis society and he told me the research they were finding about endometriosis was that it was an autoimmune issue. I didn’t know what that meant so I looked it up on-line and found an herb called Astragalus root which boosts the immune system and began taking it. From that point on amazing people entered my life that assisted with increasing my knowledge to lead me ultimately to the transformation I had and currently have with this “disease”.

I met Sue Olmos, who introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils suggesting clary sage as a natural estrogen and YL’s natural progesterone cream called progessence. Immediately I felt so many of the remaining symptoms that I still had even after my 2nd surgery vanish. My PMS vanished, my mood swings gone, and the clotting I was continuing to have also vanished! It was like a miracle had happened. I never knew my body has such an amazing ability to heal itself with the right tools to assist that healing.

From there I met Glen Depke who was the founder of the Natural Health Practitioners Association in Illinois and is now my amazing husband. But back then he gave me 2 critical pieces to my healing régime that I was missing; customized nutrition and emotional work.

I truly feel for my body to heal I needed all of these; the promise to myself that I would do whatever it took to find a way for my body to heal, the belief that my body could do that, a naturally balanced hormonal system, the correct nutrition for my individuality and the release of stress, current and past traumas that I was holding onto emotionally.

Your healing path might be different than mine but I promise you, when you give your mind, body and soul what it needs, it will heal. It has been almost 6 years to the day of my last surgery. I know I will never have surgery for endometriosis again as long as I am taking care of myself. I am blessed to have a monthly detector or meter to let me know how I am doing health wise. For the most part I am symptom free, but I also know if I slack off on eating right for my genetic individuality or let a stressful emotional state become chronic, I have the risk of a flare up. Health is about finding harmony in our life which is reflective in the state of our body, mind and soul. I challenge you to find your state of harmony and strive to maintain a healthy flow within your limits, still enjoying life, but also reaping the benefits of a healthy, long, harmonious life.

If you have any comments or questions please post these and I will address them personally.