PCOS and Me

I was (clinically) diagnosed a few years ago with Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome. I had been working to get a diagnosis for almost 20 years. Suddenly, the protocol changed, and I got the diagnosis I thought I wanted.

But what did it mean for my care? Nothing changed with my healthcare providers. I added it as a note to my medical record. We didn’t do any more tests. No further counseling, support, advice, was given. Okay, you have this diagnosis, it explains some things, have a great day.

All I knew is that my untested hormones were likely out of whack, and it could be used to explain some things I don’t like about myself. (Yes, Byron Katie, I’ll get to that work later.)

But what was I supposed to do with that information? Where were my hormones supposed to be? How does PCOS come into my life? Why do I have it? Should I care? What should I do about it?

When I got the diagnosis, I also had my oils. There are two blends for women that I immediately began using. They are known to support hormone regulation, and I had a supposed hormone disruption.

One of my oil team members recently found an expert on PCOS! So, I did the webinar, and then I was able to participate in an intro call. Sara, of Conceive with Joy, works with women affected by PCOS. Largely, she focuses on women who want to conceive. Yet, all women who need healing, she would be open to talking to, to see if she could support.

I couldn’t believe how much relief I got in a 45-minute call. Sara validated where healthcare has failed me. She validated that I deserve to have another way of living. She validated that there is hope on the other side.

We started with a meditation. There was no prompt, it just was. I applied melaleuca, and later told Sara I did so. Melaleuca is the oil of energetic boundaries. This helps me to keep healthy boundaries and open to hearing new things.  We practiced clear, deep breathing, taking intentional moments to make ourselves present to the call. Of course, social media, computers in general, and phones were all off or silenced. Across the land, we were connected. We expressed gratitude for both showing up, and we came back into awareness.

We talked about PCOS symptoms. We talked about the true test for knowing (get the testosterone checked!). We talked about things that I’ve experienced outside of PCOS that could be related. We talked about trauma, and how trauma can be something traumatic, or at the time it could be something mundane, not fully taking in how its affecting our every day. We talked about how memories are stored and where healing could happen.

Sara got her start as a doula, and she has been loving on women and healing women for close to ten years. She has the heart and compassion to lead women through a PCOS healing journey. I cannot wait until I can work with her.

Life of Toxicity

Do you read my essential oil newsletter? In it, I talk a lot about removing toxins. I talk about removing toxins from our bodies, from our homes, and even suggest removing them from our minds (toxic energy). But, why? Let me take you on a journey, starting with lunch with a friend, recently.

We were talking about our respective businesses in health, and she started to ask me about how to make laundry less toxic, and what essential oils can be used. I had to pause and take a step back. The oils are awesome, helpful, and can do so many things, certainly, but we must step backward first.

  • What kind of clothing are you wearing? Synthetics? Natural fibers? Both?
  • What kind of detergent are you using? Dye-filled, additive-filled, or natural?
  • Are you using dryer sheets? Did you know they have carcinogenic effects? Have you tried wool dryer balls instead?
  • Have you considered washing natural fibers separate from synthetics, keeping like materials together?

After those things are remedied, then the use of essential oils is a great compliment. Sure, you can use the oils beforehand, but their effect will be greater once the toxic-daily-routine is minimized.

Now, let’s take a look at how my awareness was raised. I was in my early twenties, living at home with my sister and my parents. We were all working adults. And, one of my favorite things to do with my sister was spending our limited disposable income at fun stores at the mall. We’d then, after collecting our purchases, race home, as much as we were willing to speed. No one wanted a ticket! One of our favorite things to do was get peachy-smelling lotions from a favorite store in the mall. A store, that in their title, was named after being natural.

Once home, I’d bathe as I normally do, and, then, I would luxuriate in this sweet smelling lotion. Soon, I noticed that I had a rash over my entire body! Little red bumps that were so populous, my whole body looked red. The last time this happened was when I prayed to God to be allergic to the nasty penicillin I had to have, when 5 years old. I powered through though. I wanted that sweet smelling lotion on my body. I noticed that after a day or two of doing the same thing, the rash lessened. But, triggers were going off in my brain – this can’t be right! Shortly, I abandoned the sweet smelling lotion because I did not like giving myself a rash to smell good.

A few years later, I was diagnosed with eczema. The doctor wanted to make sure my career wasn’t beholden to daily chemical use, like a photographer who develops film, because that would put my skin in a constant state of stress. That was my introduction to sensitization. Once you have eczema, an autoimmune disorder that creates flaky, irritated skin, you don’t go back. You don’t undo eczema. You only manage the symptoms.

So, how do you manage the symptoms? You remove toxins from your daily life. For me, it began with body soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and laundry soap. Getting as pure as possible meant abandoning the brands that were on the shelf, and only if desperate buying the “free and clear” varieties. Getting as pure as possible sometimes meant making my own things. Though, now, I prefer to pay someone to make soap. (Check out my friend Kristina’s soap! It’s only the basics.)

What I was (and still am) experiencing is a term called chemical sensitization. Chemical sensitization means the more exposed to a chemical you are, the more sensitive (or reactive) your body can be to it. I saw the same thing when my slow-to-potty-train son broke out in the same kind of rash after a night of soaked pull-ups. This led to an UNKNOWN diagnosis for his allergies, because he didn’t check positive for eczema. And, for some reason, we cannot do all the tests for all the chemicals. (We have been exposed to more than 80,000 chemicals and counting, and we do not understand the ramifications of all these things.)

We are living a life of toxicity. So many inputs, every single day, and we don’t know how they all interact. It was all these thoughts and more that surfaced when my friend asked how she should deal with her laundry. If you need a first step, pick a natural laundry soap. My favorite oil company makes one. My second favorite is by Biokleen.

What is one thing you can do today to remove toxins from your home?