A healthy food & lifestyle blog specifically catering for & dealing with the symptoms & conditions of : Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) & Intracranial Hypertension (IH).
Looking at healthy food & food alternatives- redesigning classic recipes & new recipes;
Dealing and living with chronic health conditions on a daily basis- & research about the conditions;
Alternative therapies & remedies, gardening, arts & crafts...
Before undertaking any recipes found on this blog please look to the note in 'Cookery' !

Saturday, 17 November 2012


My Laparoscopy, on Tuesday 13th Nov, went well.
There was a fair amount of endo cells: located
predominantly in  the right side of my pelvis;
some on the left side of the pelvis; and a few in the middle- nice to know it links up with my pain patterns. 
I do not know exact areas yet (but I do know there was none on my major organs, and no endo cells on my ovaries {just cysts}), as I haven't had a lengthy discussion with my pelvic pain specialist, I will get that chance in three weeks time.
They got all of the cells out which is great news.
 Each day I am getting a little better.  I am still fairly bloated/ swollen and sore, so I'll just take things slowly and steadily for a while (but do little walks, as this will help with the healing and will ensure I don't get cabin fever), as I don't want to aggravate the incision sites (inside and out) .
The swelling is starting to go down, my tummy looks a bit distorted atm - I am sure when everything settles it will look fine again! I can move a bit easier as the days goes on as well, so this is great progress.
I am looking forward to next week and seeing how things are then!

I am slightly let down a bit that there wasn't more endo cells, I was hoping for more so that then there was a direct correlation between the cells and the amount of pain I live in on a day-to-day basis. 

As I said there was a fair amount, but Dr. V said it was more like a stage three/ three and a half to four, not stage five like my last lap. back in 2010.
Though everyone says that with endo that the amount of cells does not always equal the amount and severity of pain a patient lives in!

So at my appt in three weeks time we may look at other things to help with the pain -- other than pain killers : I am on a hell of a lot and wouldn't mind reducing them; and neuropathic pain medication as I have been on both amitriptyline and lyrica at different times (not together) and neither have done much to help with the pain!
We do know that my PCOS is a little out of control atm, and that could be causing the pain as well, but it is hard to tell...
I suppose I will just have to bring all of this up with my specialist.

Late Wednesday afternoon, just after I came home from the hospital I turned on the tv and there was a documentary on SBS Two: 'The Brain That Changes Itself'- based on a book, same title, by Dr. Norman Doidge.
He talks about neuroplasticity, which is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable- IT CAN CHANGE.
This is an except from the blurb, but is quite good -
"It is a plastic, living organ that can actually change its own structure and function, even into old age. Arguably the most important breakthrough in neuroscience since scientists first sketched out the brain’s basic anatomy, this revolutionary discovery, called neuroplasticity, promises to overthrow the centuries-old notion that the brain is fixed and unchanging.
The brain is not, as was thought, like a machine, or “hardwired” like a computer. Neuroplasticity not only gives hope to those with mental limitations, or what was thought to be incurable brain damage, but expands our understanding of the healthy brain and the resilience of human nature."
 The documentary (and book) features studies of several patients suffering from neurological disorders, psychological disorders, people with learning disabilities and people with Chronic Pain! 
It goes into detail about how the brain adapts to compensate for their disabilities, disorders and pain.
 Is it odd that I am soo excited by all of this???
I am still having quite a lot of trouble with my balance, memory, word faculties, depth perception, tinnitus, visual distortion and of course headaches- all IH symptoms.
Then there is the whole psychological aspect of things.
But I also live in chronic pain due to the hormonal conditions, the chronic inflammation in my body and the fact that my pelvic floor muscles don't turn off, ever.

I didn't get to see the whole thing, but I did see a lady with severe vertigo (way worse than mine); a woman with 'chemo fog'- something very similar to what IH patients experience (loss of memory, struggling for words, etc.); a man with chronic pain - the use of the mirror box (I have heard about this before, but never seen it, was amazing. Esp. for someone like me who lives in chronic pain everyday!).
I am immensely interested in this, and what effect this could have on IH symptoms and chronic pain. 
I did a google search for neuroplastcicty in Australia, there are some researchers who are interested in it, but they are mainly looking at stroke victims.
I did come across a group/ 'company' of physical therapists who use techniques similar to/ combine neuroplasticity.

Scientists are now looking at neuroplasticity to approach a wide variety of cognitive problems and disorders including:
Loss of senses — vision, balance and hearing
Learning disorders and reading problems
Auditory processing problems
Autism and hypersensitivity
The ageing brain and memory
Issues related to love and sex
Stroke and brain injury recovery
Cerebral palsy
Chronic pain
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Psychological trauma
Depression and anxiety
Cognitive problems after brain surgery or trauma
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy also clearly links in to neuroplasticity- through collaborative talk therapy, by changing perceptions and perspective, we can change the brain, which changes thinking and, by association, behaviour - for real.
CBT is a type of treatment that helps people learn how to identify and change destructive thought patterns that have a negative influence on behaviour, feelings and actions.
Offshoots of CBT also has very clear links to neuroplastcity.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) differs from CBT in that rather than trying to teach people to better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories, actions and other private events, ACT teaches them to 'just notice', accept, and embrace them, especially previously unwanted ones. ACT helps the individual encourages 'self-as-context'- that you are always observing and experiencing and yet distinct from ones thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and actions.
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), a derivative of CBT, helps patients identify thoughts, beliefs and assumptions that make their lives challenging and then learn different ways of thinking and reacting.
It is looking at the relationship between the rational mind and the reactive mind. It is good for people who shut themselves down to feeling. It's about feeling your feelings and then understanding what they are, why they are there etc.

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