Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finding An Alternative Cure

Font sizeFor the first 6 years we were married, we were meticulous about using contraception because we were afraid we would get pregnant. Ha Ha Ha! Yeah right.....A few months before I hit 35, my biological clock began to tick very loudly. I went to see my gynae for a check-up before trying to conceive. I clearly remembered him telling me that I was almost 35 and that my time was almost up! Oh! How encouraging! From the viewpoint of western medicine, that's the age when a woman's fertility starts to head downhill - without any brakes! He told us to try for 6 months and see how we go. Six months went by. Nothing. Then the months turned into years. Deep down inside, I knew that my endo was a factor in our failure to conceive, but I never accepted the idea that I was infertile. That to me was an ugly word that meant impossibility. I didn't believe I was infertile because I was still having my periods regularly, painful as they were. My body was still preparing a home for a baby every month! Heck! I often joked to myself that a baby had better be worth all that suffering. But I knew the doctors couldn't fix my endometriosis, and therefore my "infertility". I was at a loss.

So one day, I decided to go the bookstore to read up more about getting pregnant. It wasn't like a military precision-planned, goal-oriented mission, but rather more like a "Hmm... I'm bored. Let's just snoop around the pregnancy books and see what it's all about" kind of a thing. I headed to the pregnancy section and there at my eye-level, the first book I saw was about - Infertility! It was called "The Infertility Cure - the ancient chinese wellness program for getting pregnant and having healthy babies" by Randine Lewis. Why they put infertility books together with pregnancy and baby books is beyond me - A tad insensitive if you ask me! Anyway, "infertility" and "cure" and "healthy babies" all in the same sentence? I was hooked! And it had a whole section dedicated to endometriosis! That book changed my life! That book is the reason why I am seeking treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) today.

Having been pro-western medicine for all of my life, understanding and appreciating TCM was very difficult for me because chinese concepts like "wind", "heatiness", "stagnation", "ying & yang","pressure points" and "qi" were so abstract, intangible and unquantifiable. I preferred scientific explanations in terms of chemical/biological analysis. But what the author did for me was to bridge the gap between western and chinese medicine and explained TCM in scientific terms that made sense to me. And she was able to do that because she had been trained in both western and eastern medicine. And I liked the fact that it was her own infertility that spurred her onto TCM when she herself found western medicine lacking in areas of infertility. She came from a place of empathy, compassion and determination.

TCM, as explained by her, made a lot of sense to me. TCM treats your body as an ecosystem, and addresses the imbalances that are the root cause of our fertility problems. Its holistic approach makes sure that everything in our body functions as it should so that our conceptions and pregnancies have everything in place for them to be successful. To illustrate this point, take a woman who is not ovulating as an example. A typical treatment in western medicine would be to administer clomid, which chemically forces her to release eggs, usually many at one time, with unfortunately, some possible undesirable side effects. It treats symptoms but does not resolve her hormonal issues that caused annovulation in the first place. TCM however will go to the root of the problem and resolve why she wasn't ovulating in the first place so she could ovulate naturally. TCM infact sounded more logical, and much safer. The treatments usually involved natural herbs, not synthetic man-made chemicals. The more I read her book, the more I liked the TCM approach to resolving infertility. And best of all, it seemed that infertility in all its forms were treatable. WOW! It was like the dark clouds had parted and a ray of hope had shone down directly onto me! From then on, I knew that TCM was the path for me. I finally found a reason to be hopeful and I was determined to beat my endo and infertility, and have a baby - naturally.

No comments: