Endometriosis affects every girl differently.
All of our pain is at different levels and what works for one woman won't always work for another.
Warm Lemon-Honey Water
But in the spirit of helping each other out a little bit, I think it's really important to bounce pain-relieving methods off of each other and give suggestions that someone else may not have tried yet!
These days, most of my endo pain can't really be controlled by anything other than heavy pain medication, but for the times that there's just that discomfort, dull aching, or a small amount of pain, I have found a few things that help me get through the day without having to drug myself up.
Here are a few of my go-to remedies :
I like to mix 1 cup of water, juice from 1/2 lemon, (or a tablespoon of lemon juice) and a teaspoon of honey. I actually drink this every morning, but when I'm hurting, I'll make myself another cup later in the day. Drink while watching Friends re-runs for best results.
A Hot Shower
- We all know that heat helps but while I love my heating pad, it can only concentrate on one general area at a time. When my back, legs, and stomach are all tense and cramping, I hop into the shower. It's a bit of a pricey solution, I guess, when it comes to paying the water bill, but I will sit in my shower for anywhere from a half-hour until the hot water is completely gone. I use this most as a filler when I'm waiting for my meds to kick in. If I just took a pill and I know I've got a half-hour or so before it starts working, I'll sit in the shower and just wait it out. I usually grab a beach towel, keep it rolled up, run it under the hot water and then use the warm wet towel as a padded back rest against the shower wall. The shower is also a prime place to use aromatherapy and try to meditate, pray, or breathe through the pain. (Edit on 5/12/14: My current go-to is to soak in an epsom salt bath! In the last few months I've found it relieves my muscle aches immensely! And this past Christmas, my parents thoughtfully bought me a bath pillow! No more rolled up beach towels for me - movin' on up in the world! ;))
Lavender Essential Oils
- Speaking of aromatherapy... It doesn't do much to help soothe my pain necessarily (though using lavender essential oils are supposed to help with cramping and muscle spasms, it may just not work for me) but I've found it helpful for staying calm through bad flare ups. Many times, the pain gets so bad that I end up just feeling completely overwhelmed and I start to panic. The lavender is calming and also makes me feel a little more human on the days I'm not well enough to get up and make myself presentable. "I don't look good... but at least I smell good." (My boyfriend's a lucky guy, obvi.)
Mama Bee Peppermint Leg & Foot Cream from Burt's Bees
- In a perfect world, there'd always be someone available to do this job for us, right? haha :) But for the days that I'm feeling well enough to massage a bit of this lotion onto my own legs, I've found that it really does help them feel better. This leg cream has a tingly, cool sensation, encourages circulation, and it smells divine. Massages are really wonderful for leg pain and this lotion is a great addition to that.
- I love yoga... but I'm sorry. There's no way on earth I can do yoga (or anything active for that matter) when I'm having an endo flare up. I can barely move - there's no way I'm going to pretzel my body to "relieve cramps" on a day like that. The only yoga pose I ever find myself falling into when I'm in pain is child's pose. It's basically you, curled over your legs, with your head on the ground, arms stretched out in front of you or to your sides, feeling a little more control over your body than when you're just hunched over, in pain. It stretches your spine, alleviates back pain, and is a good way to make yourself feel more productive on the days you can't do anything. "I got out of bed and did yoga this morning!" I don't care if it was savasana or child's pose and you fell asleep doing it, you go girl! Exercising through that endo...
A Good Cry Sesh
- You are tough so much of the time. When it's bedridden day 4 and your friends are all going to Vegas for the weekend and you can't keep food down and you're scared you might lose your job from having to call in sick too many times... Let those tears fall, my friend. You've earned them. Seriously, don't underestimate the value of a good cry. And after your weep-a-thon, watch this and let yourself laugh. You'll feel a little better, I promise.
#Endometriosis on Instagram
- After a bad week of pain, it can be so easy to start feeling like you're completely alone. No matter how much support you have from other people, at the end of the day, many of them will never fully understand it. And you are the one hurting - they're the ones who hang up the phone and go on with their lives while you stay home and wait to feel better. And that can really suck. I started browsing the endometriosis hashtag on instagram one day while I was stuck in bed and now it's one of the most beneficial things I can do for myself when I'm hurting. To get in touch with #endosisters who completely understand and are going through the same thing makes me feel like I'm a part of a community. And it's a community of some of the strongest girls around. Offer a friendly word to another woman who is going through the same thing and even if it's a simple "YEAH, ENDO SUCKS" you'd be surprised how much better you'll feel just getting it out there to someone who you know understands and agrees with you. And it will probably make them feel a little less alone too. We're all in this together.
So what about you? What are your go-to remedies for mild endo pain?
Hang in there girls!