02/01/2017

My Fibroid Story

“I was diagnosed when I was 28. I thought I had a miscarriage. It definitely felt like it. I had not experience such a weird sense of pain and pressure all at the same time. That was the first time I bled for over 7 days.”

 

By: Vanessa Siverls, CEO BUPeriod

As a matter of fact, throughout my young 20’s, my cycle only lasted 2 -3 days. It was great! I also believe that my fitness game helped as well. I was in the gym 3 – 4 times a week. I would also run 3 – 4 times a week and my fastest mile was 7 minutes. I also ate pretty healthy. Well, one day, I went to give blood and I was told “no you can’t give blood today”. I was shocked and thought maybe I didn’t eat enough. So I went back and was told “you can’t give blood today because you don’t have enough.” What! I thought to myself. I’m walking around perfectly fine, I felt healthy, I was working out, what did they mean I didn’t have enough blood??? So I went to the doctor and found out my hemoglobin levels were under 10 points. A healthy level is 12 or above. This was the first sign of uterine fibroids, but I did not really pay attention until I bled for over 7 days straight! I was at a barbeque in Queens, and out of nowhere the worst period pains hit me and the amount of blood that was shedding out of me was obscene. Looked like a crime of passion in my pants! I bled right through them! I ran to my GYN and he wanted to get further information. He wanted to scrape my uterine lining for more insight. I told him no. I was not comfortable with the sound of that. He then had me take a basic external sonogram and low and behold there were 4 little blood sucking fibroids that grew in my uterus.

From that day on it was a fight and uphill battle with these things. I went to various GYN’s for second options on what should be done and they all alluded to surgery, but I was still in my 20’s and wanted children. Although you can have children with uterine fibroids, you risk your’s and your child’s life depending on location and size. Not to mention they can grow right back. At the time, I was married, and I knew I wanted children so I opted out of surgery. I decided to go the holistic route, but it was a struggle. I wore two to three pads at a time and had to change every other hour. I would have to look behind me on the train to make sure I didn’t leave evidence that “Vanessa Siverls…the fibroid lady” was there. Soon  I started noticing, one by one, other women, that I knew, were being diagnosed. 1 out of 3 is today’s statistic, but at that time we were all walking around just thinking it was us, not knowing 1/3 of all black women have, had or will have uterine fibroids! That is an epidemic!

I wore pampers. Yes, I wore adult diapers to avoid spillage and leakage. I was so embarrassed in front my ex-husband that I didn’t know how to act. I felt like a baby, but never told him. I felt unattractive, but I never told him. I felt inadequate but never told him. He just thought I was inconvenienced by them and it gave me painful and leaky periods. But he never knew the full psychological effect it had on me. He tried his best to be supportive, but the truth was…I couldn’t have children. I was not able to get pregnant. I died inside, and felt I was being punished because I had not 1 but 2 abortions when I was a teenager that haunted and plagued me my entire life. I thought this was payback. And I kept it to myself. I believe I had two sons…I just felt that I did.

I decided to pull myself up by the bootstraps and fight. I knew these were not natural things growing inside of me, so to combat them I had to use only natural things. I refused hormonal treatments because to me they defeated the purpose if their job is to manipulate my estrogen levels. These things feed off of estrogen and I wasn’t about to tamper with it. Hormonal treatments can have other affects as well that I was not prepared to deal with at the time. So I went to a holistic nutritionist, Diane Paxton, and proceeded to remove myself from the entire grid until I could figure out what was causing and feeding these things.

The first thing I removed was sugar, breads, and salts. I only drank water and then I went on the blood type diet. For those of you who may not know, the blood type diet is a lifestyle approach to eating. You remove the foods and drinks and exercises that you don’t benefit as well with your blood type and you replace with foods, drinks and exercises that do. For an example, I am A +, which means, according to the diet, my ancestors from 25,000 years ago did not readily consume these foods but mainly survived on a vegetarian lifestyle. I started taking a series of coffee colonics, natural vitamins and switched my workouts to more a meditative style yoga.

For three years straight I adopted this lifestyle of allergy testing, colonics, drinking only water, and eating foods that were beneficial to my blood type. In addition, I refused to stress about my situation and focus on a solution. ALL PAIN, BLOATING, MOODSWINGS, NAUSEA, VOMITING, BREAST TENDERNESS, HEADACHES…ALL SYMTOMS REALATED TO MY PERIOD WENT AWAY!!!!!

The only thing left were the fibroids. They still caused heavy bleeding but not as much as when I was first diagnosed. I was still anemic with some side effects, but once I started ingesting natural liquid iron I was better. Finally, 8 years later I found the GYN that would work for my fibroid situation. Dr. Bernadith Russell. Turns out that she was part of the same rape and domestic violence advocacy program at LICH that I was a part of years prior. Dr. Russell’s primary goal was to ensured that my whole being was ready for surgery. Unfortunately, I was also dealing with chronic sinusitis and my marriage was failing. It took her two years to ensure that my life was balanced to the point that I could mentally, physically and emotionally receive healing from the surgery. On April 6th 2015 I finally had my fibroid surgery. 10 years’ prior I had 4…that the doctors could see, Dr. Russell removed 22 fibroids from my uterine cavity. That was the most I had ever heard off.  Yet, as of today, I am healthy, mostly fibroid free and I look forward to sharing and helping other women like me to build a lifestyle that will help them eliminate the unnecessary symptoms and manage their cycles effectively.

No solution is one size fits all, we are all unique, we all have different circumstances and issues, but we also all share the same need…the need for SUPPORT.

Let’ share our stories…why? Because OUR BODIES ARE OUR GEMS!

 

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