Ok, maybe that title is a little misleading. I mean it should read “almost anything”, but that wouldn’t be very punchy would it? I decided to just go the whole hog with the title of this one and then slowly back out of the “anything” concept by trying to explain myself a little better. As far as trying to fix my body after trauma and improve my fertility goes, I will try anything. There, make more sense?
I have made no secret of the fact that our fertility journey after losing Teddy has been a rocky one. I have been under constant consultant care since October 2016, and the start of this year marks no difference with that. My latest meeting with my consultant (and that infamous dildo wand) showed that my ovaries are “quiet” (her turn of phrase, not mine). I envisage them turning up to social gatherings and standing awkwardly in the corner with nothing to say. I wonder if they might be sad and that’s why they are behaving so quietly?! To me it has created a vision of them sitting there and quite simply giving up on me; although I know that not to be the case. I know that I have in fact ovulated in recent months, just not every month, and I know that they sometimes decide to “behave polycysticly”. They sound like awkward little bastards too?
The truth is, I don’t blame them. They have been through hell and back, and I am pretty sure if it hadn’t been for my healthy lifestyle over the last twenty months, that everything else “down there’ probably wouldn’t be in fine working order either. It is just so annoying when the scan shows that everything “looks normal and healthy” and then those guys are letting the whole team down! I decided that after eighteen months of reflexology, acupuncture, fertility massage, fertility nutrition plans and yoga (hell, I even sleep with crystals under my pillow these days?!), that it was high time to try something new. Yet another thing. Possibly a wild stab in the dark, granted; but quite possibly the thing that might help me get my cycles (and most importantly my ovaries) back on track.
I am talking about Chinese herbs. For me, it conjured up an image of an ancient looking Chinese man with a long white beard cooking up eye of newt and crocodile tail over a steaming cast iron pot; I know, very predictable aren’t I? I could not have been further away from the truth. After several conversations with friends and experts about what I had/hadn’t tried in relation to my fertility health, Chinese herbs was one that came up again and again. After a personal recommendation from a friend who had used this particular expert and for whom it had been hugely successful, I decided it was my time to give it a whirl.
When I arrived for my appointment I could not have been more surprised; a beautiful little clinic in the heart of a town. The Chinese doctor who has been treating me is, in fact, not Chinese, but an English woman not dissimilar to me and perhaps a little older. I found talking to her like talking to a friend and she was able to tell me so much about my health. Some were things I thought I knew, or that I had suspected; that my cold tendency was contributed to by my poor kidney function (without telling a life-story here, my right side kidney hadn’t worked for many years and was “fixed” when I was 20). She also told me that it was probably the case that I didn’t always ovulate because of this poor energy in my body. I always think it’s fascinating to learn more about your body and your health, and for me it has always helped me to become so much more aware of what I am feeling each month.
I think when I was younger I just took for granted that my monthly cycles would happen, and I didn’t really understand why or what the real process was. I mean I knew the basics, but not all of the things that I could do to help everything to function or to ease pre-menstrual tension or pains. I suppose, if anything, having struggled over this past year it has been a real eye opener for me into fertility health and just how important it is, whether you are trying for a baby or not.
After an hour consultation she had made her decisions on how she thought she could best help to treat me with Chinese medicine. It involved me taking (drinking) pre-granulated herb mixtures every day (morning and night) until my next visit. There were actually four prescriptions in total; one was to be taken during the days of my period (or day 1-6), the next was to be taken in the days leading up to ovulation (generally days 7-13 but a little longer for me); the next one was taken during the days you think you are ovulating and the last prescription was for the days afterwards (in the lead up to your next period). She emailed my prescription through to a Chinese medicine pharmacy, who called me the following day to take payment and sent my prescriptions to me.
When the boxes arrived the following morning, I was a little shocked as to how I would remember to take it all at the right time and not muddle everything up. Luckily, although they were in the same packaging, they had been coded to help me from making that mistake! I won’t lie, the first one tasted like pond water, that or like licking the ground outside (not that I have every had the delight of either, obviously), but it was just not nice. With each one I held my nose, downed it and quickly followed up with a glass of water. I have to say, they did not get easier to stomach.
I went back to see the Chinese doctor a couple of weeks ago. She seemed pleased with the results (so far), although I am not quite sure what that means or what has changed? I feel good for taking them, but I don’t know if that’s just because I feel like I am playing a part in my own health? I have another prescription this month; not dissimilar to last, but with a few changes. I shall persevere and hope that it does me some good.
Perhaps I feel more positive because I am taking my own steps towards helping myself, rather than just thinking (or hoping) that western medicine can “fix” me. I suppose that much of it might be psychological, but I could also be wrong. I guess only time will tell; but I am one hundred percent certain that we don’t know until we at least try these things, do we; and like I said, I’ll try anything once…..
(You guys now know that to be a downright lie)