In this post, I share a personal story. One that involves a ruptured ovarian cyst, and my recovery using Chinese Medicine.
I’m sharing this story because women and men need to know that Chinese Medicine offers solutions for women’s health issues. These issues include period pain, cramps, bloating, irritability, breast tenderness, menorrhagia, amenorrhea, infertility, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Chinese Medicine is also effective for cysts and fibroids. This is where my story begins.
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My Cyst Story
I’m going to start mine in the middle. It was Spring of 2013. It was a regular day and I was sitting on my couch typing away. Suddenly a sharp burst of pain occurred in my right lower abdomen. It kept coming. Sharp stab after sharp stab. Usually, I’d wait it out. Push through the pain and let it subside. This time was different. The pain was consuming and I couldn’t ignore it.
After speaking with my mom on the phone, she advised I take myself to urgent care. While at urgent care, the nurses took blood and urine samples and palpated my abdomen. She also made two phone calls to two separate doctors to confirm her diagnosis. Collectively, they came to the conclusion that I had ruptured my appendix. The nurse suggested I rush to the emergency room. If you’re not familiar, a ruptured appendix is a huge threat to our bodies. It can kill you within minutes to hours of rupturing.
I was scared and unsure. Still in pain, I drove myself to the hospital. Once admitted, I sat and waited. My long wait time was puzzling. The urgent care nurses had called the hospital to let them know I was coming. Yet, my fatal diagnosis wasn’t of urgency to the ER nurses.
Emergency Room Care
As I waited, the pain subsided to a dull feeling. I was now nauseous and light-headed.
After several hours, I was seen by a doctor who sent me in for a CT scan of my lower abdomen. When the results of the CT scan came back, the doctor said, “Well, we’ve got good news! It wasn’t your appendix, but a ruptured ovarian cyst.” Given his polite smile and cheerfulness, a ruptured cyst was the better of the two. Maybe for him.
The doctor quickly discharged me and sent me home with one prescription for the pain and another for nausea. I dusted myself off and checked out.
After the Emergency Room
Now, what was I suppose to do? According to the doctor, a ruptured cyst was nothing. For me, I still felt ill. Shaken. Disoriented, lightheaded and wiped out.
The day this happened, I was in the middle of my Spring semester of graduate school for Chinese Medicine. I had assignments to complete, tests to take and classes to attend. The graduate program was rigorous. I did not have time to take care of myself.
Reluctantly, that evening, I emailed my instructors about my situation. They lovingly suggested I take tomorrow off and any additional time I needed to recover.
The stress of graduate school weighed heavy on me. To miss one day would result in being behind. I took about 36 hours of rest then went back to class. My instructors were surprised to see me.
At the end of herbal medicine class, we were asked to give a short presentation about what we had gone over that day. It was my turn. I stood up and all the energy in my body sank. I began to speak. The words that came out were senseless. My body was present, but my mind wasn’t. My classmates furrowed their brows at me and one whispered, “are you ok?” That’s when I realized a ruptured cyst was more than I had thought.
Recovery with Chinese Medicine
I left class and immediately went to my acupuncturist's office. Thankfully he was able to see me within a few hours. He heard my story, took my pulse, looked at my tongue and said to me, “Malerie, you’ve experienced a trauma. A cyst ruptured inside of you and your body is trying to recover.”
I cried. He gave words to how I felt and knew the damage this had caused physically and emotionally. He assured me that Chinese Medicine would help me heal.
This practitioner also helped me understand a ruptured cyst from a Chinese Medical perspective. As a student of Chinese Medicine, an understanding was important for me. As a patient, I wanted to know because it helped me connect to my body, which helped in my healing process.
After six weeks of treatment, I felt like myself again. I felt physically and mentally stronger. My treatment plan included acupuncture, Chinese Herbal medicine, diet adjustments and daily self-care. Through this experience, I learned a great deal. Most of all, I learned the power of healing.
I hope that my experience has encouraged you to turn to alternative therapies like Chinese medicine for your health issues, especially those related to women's issues.
Women's health may seem out of our control or something that we, "just have to live with." That is not true. With the assistance of Chinese Medicine, we may be able to avoid invasive procedures and the use of synthetic hormones found in birth control.
There are natural and highly effective methods to help us take the best care of our bodies. We can heal, even from the most traumatic events.
To read more on about my path to Chinese Medicine, read my post, "How I got Here."
For more on how acupuncture can help with Women's Health issues, please read this article written by Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.