For something a little bit different, I’ve put together a list of must have self-care items that I have made sure to have available. Over the years, I’ve learned that having these items readily available every month makes it more tolerable.
I hope that it inspires you to put together a self-care kit for yourself as well.
As an aside, I’m super fortunate to have had access to both conventional and Naturopathic treatment for my endometriosis through my schooling, my work and my own learning via seminars/webinars/conferences for my continuing education as an ND. I have been living symptom free for almost 15 years now. Having said that, below are what I relied on during my worst years from high school through my undergraduate degree.
1. A REALLY good heating pad
It’s incredible how much a heating pad can ease the lower abdominal pain and lower back pain. It’s the FIRST thing that I would grab whenever I knew that my period was coming.
When my cramps were super severe during my high school years, if I didn’t apply a heating pad before the pain started ramping up, I knew that I’d be destined to be in fetal position on the floor in no time. So I never went without my beloved super reliable heating pad.
2. A warm fleece blanket
Whenever I experience pain (even to this day!), I get the uncontrollable shivers and chills, then come the cold sweats, and then the nausea/vomiting and then I end with blacking out. So, I ALWAYS made sure that I had a soft warm fleece blanket readily available so that I could curl up in fetal position under the warm softness!
3. A hot ginger tea
Essentially for the same reason as the blanket, a hot cup of tea always made me feel better — even if it was just to hold and warm me up. Have some ginger tea available, and it’s also great for nausea!
4. My customized botanical tincture
I had a customized blend of herbal medicines in an alcohol base that my Naturopathic Doctor made for me that was specific to my case. I would take this religiously every month in order to help ease the pain.
5. An IV appointment with my Naturopathic Doctor
I used to do these every month the week before my period was due and I NEVER skipped a month because the one time I did, my pain was significantly worse. All of the ingredients put into my bag would be helpful for balancing my hormones and giving me an energy bump — plus also supporting my immune system because why not since I was already hooked up!
The main ingredient that I KNOW made a huge difference for me was the magnesium. I know this without a doubt because I once waited too long to get an IV and happened to be able to get squeezed in for one just as I was getting my period and the cramps were ramping up. I wasn’t a happy camper when the IV was hooked up but half way through the bag, I could literally feel the muscles inside my abdomen (ie. my uterus!) relax and stop spasming. It was surreal. And from then on, I never miss a single month for about 3 years until I got everything under control via my diet, lifestyle and supplements.
6. My magnesium supplement
Over the years, I had tried what I felt like was every supplement (and even medication!) under the sun to help relieve my endometriosis symptoms. Of course pain medications worked but I had rather not have relied on a bandage solution — albeit super effective in the moment when the pain became too much.
I always made sure that I didn’t run out of my magnesium supplement because I’ve found that it was one of the things that could effectively keep the severe pain at bay if I took it early enough.
7. An acupuncture session with my Naturopathic Doctor or acupuncturist
If I had had a super stressful month, I would give my ND or acupuncturist a call to set up an acupuncture appointment to help me reset things and help me relax.
8. My “nurse dog”
My dogs over the years gave me SOOO much comfort while I was feeling at my worst.
My first dog that I got when I was 16 was a golden retriever. She would jump up on the bed and snuggle right into the small of my back — exactly where I needed pressure and heat. I don’t know how she knew to do that, but she did every single month. She never left my side.
My second dog was a labrador retriever. She was the sweetest thing and would snuggle right up against my back and put her chin on my shoulder or chest. Again, she just knew to do that and would always be there when I needed her.
My third dog (and luckily final dog who had to deal with me and my endometriosis symptoms!) was never a snuggly dog. However, every single month, she would hop up on the bed and curl up with me to keep me company while I would just try to sleep the pain away.
I’m not saying that you must get a dog, but you should definitely consider it IF you love dogs and are able to care for him/her like a family member!
** Please note that this is NOT medical advice and that you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking this supplement
If you’d like to work together to discuss how I can help you with your endometriosis, CONTACT ME HERE to set up a complimentary 15 min discovery call/meeting to get started.
What’s a discovery call/meeting? It’s where we get to know each other better to ensure that I’m the right practitioner for you and that you have the opportunity to ask your questions about Naturopathic Medicine before we move forward with an initial Naturopathic consultation.
Here are a few more posts related to endometriosis that you might also be interested in:
- Women’s Health
- Vitamin D and Menstrual Cramps
- Birth Control Does What Else?!?
- My Endo Story
- To 12 Year Old Me
- Endometriosis & Estrogen Dominance
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