Living with Endometriosis

#VeganLife I’ve decided to fully go back #Vegan starting Monday. It’s definitely a challenge and takes LOTS of discipline. This time I’m going Gluten Free too. I just discovered at my Gynecologist visit that my Endometriosis has returned. In January 2018, I had surgery to remove Fibroids. I was alarmed recently that every month I’m vomiting and in major pain. 😫😫😫 This is the life of an #EndoGirl. The Fibroids which caused heavy bleeding are gone. The #Endo that causes vomiting and heavy cramps crept back in my life. My gynecologist wants to avoid another surgery. It would be my fourth surgery. She recommended that we medicate for now with Motrin for the pain and Zofran for the nausea. She also suggested that I try to modify my diet. For a month I’m going to try the #EndoDiet that avoids foods high in hormones and gluten. Vegan life is beneficial in many ways. I want to dispel the myth that it’s expensive to eat healthy. I’ll be doing Vegan on a budget. If you are interested in joining me try it here:

My $1.50 a Day Challenge: Eating a Plant-Based Diet on an Austere Budget

In Memory of Roderick Dunston – Pay Attention to the Signs (Stroke Awareness)

My love Roderick Dunston just passed away. Life is too short. Roderick was only 45 years old. He previously survived two major strokes and congestive heart failure. He celebrated his 8th year anniversary of survival on February 22, 2018. He was a big advocate for stroke survivors through his organization the Roderick Dunston Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Roderick was such a good person with a Big Heart. I wish I had more time to tell him how much he meant to me and how much I appreciated him before he passed away. I chose to end our relationship two weeks ago because I thought it was best. He had taken such good care of me following my surgery in January but I thought we both needed to step back and focus on our health and recovery.

This weekend we were supposed to go away to Pennsylvania on a ski trip to see Fantasia and Musiq Soulchild. The following weekend we were supposed to attend the CIAA together. He was a retired NCAA referee and I wanted him to experience the games as a spectator and just enjoy the CIAA experience. He was excited about both trips. We never made it. I’m in shock. Processing. You just never know when it’s time. We all need to be thankful for what we have, because it can be taken away from us as fast as a wink. I’ll never have that opportunity to tell him how much I loved him or how proud I was of him. Rest in Heaven Roderick. I love you and until we meet again…💔💔💔

#roderickdunston @roderickdunston #rip #strokesurvivor #HeartLove #HeartMonth

#Sponsoraheart

#DontIgnoretheSigns

#RoderickDunstonFoundation

Endometriosis – Suffering in Silence

I’ve secretly suffered with the pain of Endometriosis since I was a 10-year-old girl. Imagine a young girl walking the halls of elementary school with jackets and sweaters tied around her waist in the summertime scared that I might have an embarrassing “accident” due to heavy bleeding. Not understanding why for days at a time I had to lay in bed with disabling pain, vomiting and unable to keep food and pain medication down. Ginger-ale, crackers and heating pads became my sanctuary for days at a time each month.

At 12-years-old I remember vividly getting diagnosed with Endometriosis. My gynecologist prescribed to me birth control pills. My primary care doctor said to me (a child) “now this doesn’t mean you can go out and have sex without condoms.” Then she preceded to give me the abstinence talk and essentially chastised me for needing to take the birth control pills. I was so ashamed I actually signed up to visit Planned Parenthood a “safe” place where I could get my birth control pills at no cost and without judgement. No child should be shamed by a doctor for seeking medication that was prescribed to help a serious medical condition like Endometriosis (but I was.)

The birth control pills helped for several years but not without multiple side effects. I experienced hormonal changes. Constantly cried. Had periods of depression. I gained weight. My hair fell out multiple times. My skin would sometimes experience acne. I had spotting. Each time I would tell my gynecologists and primary care providers they would dismiss my concerns.

During the ages of 18-years-old to 32-years-old I was able to successfully serve in the United States Air Force. I struggled with Endometriosis, Fibroids, and Ovarian Cysts. I was constantly at sick call due to heavy bleeding, vomiting, severe pain and anemia. I had multiple surgeries to diagnose and to alleviate the pain. Nothing worked. Many times I was accused of malingering meaning “faking my sickness.” Men and women supervisors did not understand “why I wasn’t getting better.” There was very little compassion. I learned to deal with my suffering in silence. There were moments when I went to work and quietly vomited in the stalls during my shift-work. I would bring heating pads, crackers and ginger-ale in my bag. Mission came first!

At 30-years-old I decided to stop taking the birth control pills and to undergo the fertility workups to see if I could have children. Infertility is common with those who suffer from Endometriosis. I endured painful months suffering quietly with my periods. The doctors performed exploratory surgery to remove the Endometriosis. At this time my military chain of command threatened to punish me for undergoing an “unnecessary” surgery. It was difficult to explain to the woman that was my military leader how severe the pain was during my menstrual periods. She didn’t empathize because she had never experienced such pain. In her mind it was completely made up. I ultimately decided to end my Air Force career and focus on my health. I wanted to beat Endometriosis and needed peace of mind and freedom to seek the necessary healthcare treatment.

At 35-years-old, my periods became heavier. I once bled for 45 days straight. My anemia had reached severe levels. I remember going to the emergency room. It was a Catholic hospital. They refused to give me the birth control needed to stop the bleeding citing religious reasons. My gynecologist previously inserted an IUD to “help with the bleeding” but it made matters worse. The emergency room doctors immediately removed the IUD. I was suffering in my own hell.

As a civilian I thought the workplace support would get better. It didn’t. My civilian manager actually called me into her office and said: “Your sick leave balance is low. My leave balance has never gotten this low. It looks bad.” She never once thought to ask me what was going on or what I needed. I voluntarily showed my management all of my medical paperwork. I was able to go to my medical appointments, take the necessary time off when I was in chronic pain or vomiting and get surgery without going into the negative on leave. I ultimately was forced to file an EEO complaint for discrimination due to a documented medical disability.

Fast forward to the present. At 38-years old, after multiple surgeries, prescriptions and diagnosis of Endometriosis, Fibroids and Ovarian Cysts I still suffer with the chronic pain. I’ve tried Chinese Medicine, herbs, accupuncture, herbal teas, exercise, vegan eating, just about every treatment recommended. Nothing has worked. There’s been countless times where I’ve missed work, social events, and other commitments due to being in the emergency room or being in bed unable to move. My quality of life has suffered severely due to Endometriosis. Unfortunately a hysterectomy may be my only relief. I hope a cure is found soon to help those of us suffering in silence with Endometriosis.

~Love,

Simply Ebony a Chronic Endometriosis Sufferer

#SayHerName Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam Found Dead in Hudson River

#SayHerName I’m sitting here reading the stories about the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first black woman to serve on New York State’s highest court. Judge Abdus-Salaam was found dead Wednesday in the Hudson River. The police alleged that she died of an apparent suicide. One thing that is alarming is that both her mother and brother committed suicide. Mental health issues are definitely an issue in our community. My CSI radar is going off rapidly though. It is very odd that this trailblazer judge, her mother and brother all died from suicide in a fairly short period? I think this case should be thoroughly investigated for foul play.

Here is an excerpt from The NY Times story: In the hours after her body was found, the police said they were treating her death as a suicide. The judge, 65, had recently told friends and a doctor that she was suffering from stress. And tragedy had followed her closely: On Easter in 2012, her mother committed suicide at age 92, according to two law enforcement officials. Two years later, around the same holiday, her brother shot himself to death, the officials said.” https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/nyregion/sheila-adbus-salaam-new-york-judge-hudson-river-committed-suicide.amp.html

I truly hope that the New York Police Department conducts a thorough investigation to determine if her death was a possible homicide. The entire situation is sad. May Judge Abdus-Salaam Rest In Peace.

Fit and Fierce

#Fitness #FitChick #Health #Wellness #GSC
This was me a year ago! Let’s see if I can get back on my healthy living and fitness journey. I rarely talk about my health goals but it’s important to share and hopefully inspire others. I lost 12 lbs naturally by drinking my green juice every morning, eating a healthy breakfast with eggs and turkey bacon, lots of salad for lunch, chicken, fish, and turkey, and I eliminated sugary juice from my diet. I still treated myself to chocolate occasionally. My goal is to lose 30 pounds this time around and tone this body through fitness and healthy eating. I rarely take full body shots or look in the mirror so I normally don’t see my progress. This time the purpose is to get back down to my comfortable weight and go shopping at my favorite stores for new cute outfits. The road to fitness is a lifelong journey! What fitness tips do you have to share with others?