Endometriosis- My Struggle.

Had the most perfect day today. Having recovered from Covid19- just knowing that we are now in Boris Johnson’s ‘Herd Immunity’ group has been a relief to my family. The anxiety of not knowing when Covid would hit us, and also how we would cope with it, is no longer an issue. We have overcome it.

And the new incentive ‘Eat out to Help Out’- where we get 50% off our meals (*subject to terms and conditions*) means that Monday -Wednesdays are the new weekends for us. (Thanks Boris) And so I spent the day doing nothing and enjoyed the evening eating out with the family……

…..and then it hit me, a walloping pain in my stomach, my back seized up and my internal organs felt tight, my face flushed up and i had a sickly feeling of wanting to throw up…… all at the time of starting our family movie for the evening…… This people is my world of Endometriosis.

The hubby gets it, he has seen me suffer for the past 10 years, explaining to my boys is a lot more harder (is that a cultural thing?) or is that because generally not many people want to understand what Endometriosis is, and would rather call it a ‘Heavy period?’…… so I put my hand to my head, (why do we do that? ) and say i’m really tired I need to sleep early and head off upstairs. …….Family time gone for this week…..

Although there are 176 million women who suffer from Endometriosis throughout the world, the illness is still so uncommon, and keep in mind that these 176 million women are diagnosed, and it takes 7-10 years on average to diagnose Endometriosis so the figures are not even reliable. They are far higher……. yet if you were to speak to a neighbour or a friend 9 times out of 10 they would not have a clue or put it down to ‘Heavy period’ and ‘Low pain threshold’

What makes thing worse is in our community, any illness to do with the reproductive organs are seen in a negative light and considered a *taboo*

The Endometriosis Society of India estimates that 25 million Indian women suffer from this condition. And yet, it is rarely spoken about and seldom understood, possibly because of taboos around menstruation.

Right So………What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a long-term condition where tissues similar to the lining of the womb grows in other/wrong places, like in the ovaries, vagina, buttocks, Fallopian tubes- basically around the reproductive area of a women’s body. This ends up causing a lot of discomfort every month when its time for the dreaded monthly’s, because the blood flow now doesn’t follow the route it is sopposed to, therefore causing inflammation and discomfort aswell as scarring and damaging more tissues inside the body. This then ends up as severe stomach cramps, menorrhagia, severe back pain, feeling nausea’s and sick, either a case of diarrhoea or constipation, and severe pain during intercourse.

It is not known what causes this, but different doctors have suggested different things, i.e genetics, low immune system, and some have found common cases after a C-section. However none of these are solid findings.

In terms of treatment, their are only 2 options: Pain killers or Surgery. Two types of surgery can be offered depending on how severe the case is and the context of the surgery. For the ones who are trying for a child and the milder yet uncomfortable pain- Laparoscopic surgery is offered which involves the removal of endometrial tissues. However this is not a permanent solution and usually within 5 years the fibres tend to come back. For the more severe cases (where Laporoscopy has not worked) a ‘Hysterectomy’ can be approved.

Endometriosis can have a huge impact on some women and can lead to feelings of depression and loneliness because of the changes in hormones. I have managed with the pain for up to 10 years and have avoided surgery. I was suggested a ‘hysterectomy’ by my doctor, but I was only in my late 20’s and had no real idea if I wanted more children or not at that time, and also dealing with the side effects at such a young age…. it took me a while but I decided against it. Instead I went for the alternative solutions to medical care. I go for cupping, homeopathy, and acupuncture and it actually works well for me.

Its only now that I have realised that I am not the only one. Endometriosis is more common than I actually thought, and also its a hidden illness. Women generally don’t go to doctors for issues in the private areas because of the uncomfortable nature. It took me a while to be fully comfortable with stating exactly what I was going through, and that also because it was affecting my relationship with my partner, and I just needed to know what was wrong with me.

I have struggled with Endometriosis since after the birth of my second child. ( I have had 2 emergency C-sections) I was lucky that I have 2 boys, but their is a stigma associated with Endometriosis and I need to clear up- 70% of women who have Endometriosis do go on to have children, “Endometriosis does not mean you are infertile! It just means that some women have a harder time becoming pregnant.

Endometriosis can lead to other medical issues too. I suffer for menorrhagia, and it can be bad, really bad……. I have had days where I have leaked to a point it looks like a murder scene, I sometimes even wake up to a fully bloodied bed……and I have no control over this. I was off from work for half of the year in 2 consecutive years because of the menorrhagia. It was so difficult to explain to male managers what I was going through, to be honest the females were not much better. Honestly sometimes I believe we women are our own worst enemy. We don’t make it easy for each other. With the help of the Doctors notes, and the Trade Union my job was kept secure.

As well as the Menorrhagia, I also had periods where I have suffered from Vaginismus. (Something else that cannot be easily discussed in the community and has negative associations. Talk about luck!). Both these had a real impact on my relationship as can be appreciated. I was very young and naive at the time, so instead of actually finding out more, and talking to people I went into a sort of unconsciousness. I stopped socialising, I stopped talking to friends and family, I was in my own bubble pushing people away. I was embarrassed. I felt ashamed. This was a hard time as I probably have never felt so alone, and talking about the menorrhagia and vaginimus was hard as people generally in the community consider it to be a ‘taboo’ subject, or said that “its normal to have period pain” . And the ones that tried to empathise just ‘didn’t get it’…. How could they? It takes the doctors 8 years to diagnose us, they dismiss it as ‘Period pain’ most of the time…….I had to rely on good old google to find my own understanding of what my body was going through. (I do need to advise that Google is not the best of places, but on this occasion it helped me to understand myself and my body a lot more.)

We really need to make more of an effort to break down these boundaries, to break down the walls. And although I said that this is something we suffer from because of the narrow-mindedness of the Indian community, it is far more wider than that. Recently in the Guardian i saw this article:

Link to article is here

It made me realise the problem is far bigger, how a person can do a study “Rating how attractive women with Endometriosis are” really left me speechless. This is not a narrow-minded Indian problem, this is a overall, all round problem, that we are still facing in 2020. How does this study help me? How does it help my endometriosis? All resources, money, time spent on this study could have been put to better use.

Its just so frustrating that we have to go through the trauma of this, and then people are out there to ridicule us at the same time.

I’ve managed to accept that I have this condition, I have found my own ways of living with it, and treating it, all of which are the alternatives to medicine because I am not a fan of pumping my body with drugs, or even cutting it open, and dealing with the side-effects. And I must say that the awareness of Endometriosis is improving, yet there is a huge hurdle still in front of us. I think I can speak for all the ladies who suffer from Endometriosis when I say “We are strong, We are resilient, We are not asking for a miracle. All we ask for is a bit of compassion and emphathy. Thats all.

Do you suffer from Endometriosis? How are you coping and helping yourself? Have you been for surgery? Has that helped? I would love to know your thoughts and discuss further.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Take Some Time out Before you go Crazy

I knew I was loosing it, I just knew it. You know that feeling when someone breathes out loud and something inside you flips…. That feeling when someone Evan coughs and something switches on inside you- like a very ‘scratchy chalk on a black board’ and you are ready to throw anything that comes in your way, for no reason what so ever…… Or when a knife grazes on a ceramic plate……..and it feels like a pin pricked inside your brain….Yup that feeling! You know it right? Or when someone walks into the room and leaves the door open! You know exactly what I am talking about! Right? Thats when you know…… ‘I need time out’ .Especially in these turbulent times…. Taking time out is so damn important.

But it’s not just any sort of ‘Time out’….. Evan the word ‘Time Out’ has changed. It’s no longer waiting for the men in the house to leave so that you can jump into the tub, or watch the movie you have been wanting to watch after ages. In these uncertain time – you have to tell everyone you need Time out! You have to make this clear…… , your ‘Time out’ will involve people around you, and to make sure they don’t disturb you, you have to make it clear …..and my conversation; it went a little like this:

“I’m going in the bath, I don’t want anyone to come knocking on the door, I don’t care what you do, what you eat, what you watch…..! ..”

“Mum”

“What!! ” I snapped

“We don’t want anything, you go” … Now is that a way to make someone feel guilty or what?! I am Even more annoyed now. Oh Boris- how much more longer?…. How did we even get here!

The bath was taking ages to fill, my bath bomb wasn’t working out as I wanted it too, The water was too hot, and then it was too cold. I was getting all flustered…. And I’m nowhere near my period date! This was serious peeps! Dead serious!

I took a book in with me, but I don’t know how you all do it? I really struggle… Like do you have to keep your hands up all the time? How do you not get book wet? Head rest? I shuffle around an all…. It’s hard work guys. Is there a skill or technique I’m missing out on? Because I don’t get it….. I really failed at this, im stuck with a wet book now…. so I put the book aside and just….. Did nothing…. Nothing…

…I sank in, and then that’s it. Everything disappeared, the mess, the immense amount of cooking, the shouting, the noise, the chaos, the voices in my head…. I was alone. Finally….

No noise, no sound, no voices, just me myself and I….. and Boy did I need it

….This blog is about taking that time out because WE all need it! (I am sure im not the only one whos going crazy? right?)

1. Breathe

With all this crazy madness around us, I have turned into a ‘Stepford wife’ and I don’t Evan like that Sheesh (Kebab- because I won’t swear). I mean Evan the Stepford wives doesnt like being a ‘Stepford Wife’ – so why would I?

So when you are feeling a little overwhelmed, take a break, switch off. Go into a room alone. Go for a drive. Go for a walk. Breathe in the fresh air. Just try and get away from home. The brain gets fogged with too much or too little going on, and that time out will really help clear up the mind.

2. Create your own Ambience

The amount that soak helped me was unbelievable. Yes I came out all wrinkly, probably aged another 30 years, but the wrinkles in my mind were now ironed out. Im usually at home alone, I like my space, I like to call my house ‘mine’ but with this lockdown it has become ‘Our house’, I have to share this space with 3 other beings…. and I learnt something about myself Ive never known before- ‘I dont like sharing!’

I’ve had to get on with it, mardy face and all, (that hurts) but also I’ve learnt that their are certain places/rooms which are private to me, that give me solitude. That keep me sane. I use these spaces when I need that 5 minute to myself. I have my favourite things in those spots, I light the candle, I dim the light and I read my favourite book. Create your ambience in your home, make it yours (dont share!)

3. Comedy

We are going through quite a tough time at the moment, dont make it worse by watching the wrong things. Programmes/movies have a influence on your mood. If you are already having a bad day, dont watch a serious movie, watch something a little more light-hearted. My go-to has to be Friends- no matter how much times I watch it, nobody in the world can make me smile more than Chandler and Phoebe (and a little bit of Joey)

4. Social Media

Just three words for you all here:

SWITCH IT OFF

5. Find Your Niche

my Niche was travelling, eating out, wining, dining, and Afternoon tea- and thats scrapped now. But staying at home has made me discover a lot of old ‘Niches’ that I forget I had. Like colouring…. yes I am a adult, but all I want to do is colour, and do you know how theraupeutic that is? get yourself an adult colouring book, get some pencil crayons and watch the colouring book come alive.

I know people who didnt know the difference between roti flour and self raising flour who have seriously upped their game and are baking things that I didnt even know existed (and I considered myself a baker). They found their niche for sure- im seriously ordering my Eid goodies off them. You know who you are!

So find your niche, whether it be baking, reading, knitting, cooking, painting…..whatever it is… Seriously this pandemic has taught us to go back to the basics and I love that.

6. Spa at Home

Well why not?? make a quick and healthy meal, fill up the tub, fire up a few candles, get the face mask and foot mask out, and chill out. You cant go to a Spa- you have all the time in the world to make your own spa at home, and the beauty is, after your done, get into bed and go to sleep. No driving home involved here. Bliss

7. Catch Up

Real life takes it toll, when was the last time you rang your mum and spoke to her properly? like really properly…. me – I dont know, but now I actually ask her about her day and how she is doing, what she is doing…. without rushing her.

The tranquility I feel in that conversation is Gold. Pure Gold, and its only this Pandemic that has made me realise this. Do a routine where you call a special person everyday and just…. Catch UP.

8. Spring Clean

Ok I know, I know, I sprung this one on you…… but its not all that bad…… the clothes cupboards have been waiting since last summer for a clean out, and guess what they are still waiting. No more excuses about no time. We have all the time in the world. Do you know how satisfying this can actually be? At the moment im constantly wearing comfort clothes-all of these are definately getting binned when we are out of our sentance. But also it given me ideas of what I do need to get aswell….. cant wait for that shopping trip! Thats something to look forward to.

What a mess. Can’t wait to dive into this

Well thats how I am keeping sane in this weird time in our life. How are you guys all doing? anything you are doing differently or I can add to my life?

Hope you all are keeping Strong and keeping safe. We will get through this.

Stay Safe. Stay at Home

Love and regards

M11bna

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Lets Talk Hot Drinks…. Because what better way to beat the Covid19

Every second watsapp message I get is about how warm drinks- hot drinks can kill the virus….. ahhhh if only it was that simple people!? come on lets be realistic here, we cant be having a worldwide pandemic with over 100, 000 people dead, if the cure was hot drinks.

Mama Bear rings me everyday and asks if I have had lemon water, if ive had Vitamin C tablet, if im making turmeric milk… is this an indian culture thing? Im not so sure? maybe you can tell me. Are you all going through the same thing?

But in all honesty- what wrong can a warm drink do? I love all things Tea and if a warm drink can give people hope, gives them a bit of sunshine, acts as a preventive measure then at the end of the day whether it works or not- its soothing and also make you mentally fit- whats wrong with that? Go make yourself a warm drink.

So why is there a craze for this ‘Warm Drink’ and where is it coming from;

Here comes the science bit. (Say it like the Loreal advert). Concentrate (*wink seductively*)


We know that the virus hits the lungs and sits in the sinus area, hence the dry cough and breathing difficulties. We also know for the breathing difficulties its straight to the hospital and air ventilators (which are very scarce due to amount of people needing them)- So the hot drinks are put into place so that we can keep the air passages clear and hopefully avoid the whole hospitalisation issue.

Usually the signs that coronavirus has hit are after 3-4 days, and it takes hold of the throat and sinus area which leads to the dry cough. The coolest part of body is the sinus area therefore it sits there and then aims to get into your lungs. This is actually the hardest part as this affects the breathing of a person- hence the gasping of air and need for ventilators.

We know that the virus dies in heat, so the best thing to do is to keep the throat and sinus area warm and hydrated and that is by having loads of warm fluids. (Another thing that may be helpful is nasal spray- when you dose yourself with inhaler- within a second you will feel your passages open up. Could be worth considering)

So the whole ‘Warm Fluids can kill the virus‘ may not be true but it can help in the symptoms and the easing of the symptoms within you. As with a normal flu we clear our throat with warm drinks- here the same method can be used- to stop the irratation and also ease the breathing.

Lets go through a couple of drinks as advised by mama bear and quite a few practitioners aswell (who would have thought that doctors would be telling us to go back to natural remedies?!)

Vitamin C

Firstly I just need to advise that almost everyone that is anyone is advising of Vitamin C! so get making those Fresh Orange Juices- we all have the time for it now! or if it helps then the soluble Vitamin C tablets are really good. You should be able to get them at your pharmacies.

Golden Chaii

I went into Costa Coffee once and they had a new hot drink called ‘The Golden Chaii’ – They had me at Golden!! I needed that thing…..I wanted that thing…. I needed a picture of the thing!….. and what did it turn out to be? For all my fellow indians it has ‘haider kheer’- For those that dont know ‘The Golden Chaii’ from Costa is what we have at home- and mama bear makes it in a pot when we are ill- Its a warm milky drink we have when we are sick. i.e. ‘Sick Drink’. …..’Golden Chaii’ does sound better though- but ill not be having that at Costa again. Mama makes it better! It basically is boiled milk with turmeric and honey. (add a dash of saffron if you have at home- but not necessary- makes a nicer picture) And it is so good and relieving…. (when you are ill, not when your out shopping!)

Golden Chaii Alternative

Fresh Lemon for its acidity is another thing we keep on hearing about. I make the hubby a glass of warm water with fresh lemon inside- which they enjoy- but if you are liking your golden chaii- add fresh lemon into there, add a few of the peels too! and some ground ginger. It makes for a very interesting and refreshing drink!

Lemsip Max Strength

If you do see these around whilst shopping- pick up a box or two- maybe send my way too, as im struggling to find them!…. Ok so if you get a fever whilst the coughing is going on then that means the virus has kicked in. This is where the Lemsip Max Strength will really come in use. To this add honey, ginger and a little turmeric. Because the Lemsip Max Strenght has paracetamol in it- it should help bring down the temperature and the honey, ginger and turmeric should help in clearing up the throat.

Vicks Vaporub

When we were young we use to watch ZEE TV a lot at my aunts house and I always saw the advert for this….. the theme song always rings in my head, and I always say ‘Vicks vaporub’ with a slight indian accent….. try me next time, its funny, and I cant get away from it…. Ok so this isnt exactly a drink but it may help…… Use the Vicks into boiling hot water as a steam inhaler. The Steam will get into the lungs and will help warm up sinuses, and make your throat feel less itchy. If you also have Black seed oil- add this into the water aswell- just a few drops, Its soothing effects are really good!

Ginger Water

I dont have a fancy name for this- nor a story- this is pure CoronaVirus related and hopefully only for that, because its not nice. But if it helps then its got to be done! Peel Ginger and add to Boiling water. Allow the water to boil for 10 minutes and have it as a hot drink. Eating the pieces of ginger afterwards are really good too- if you can stomach it. ( This one is for me is ‘IF all else fails’).

Lemon Water

Ok so I have a little on this earlier but here is a bit more….cut up slices of lemon in boiling water. The hot water will turn it into an alkaline which is good for the ph balance and good for fighting off the virus. There are also further benefits of lemon which also regulates the bloodpressure, reduce blood clotting , and helps in regulating blood circulation. Which is all good- especially if your having anxiety or panic attacks.

Black Seed Oil

Have I gone through the benefits of this hidden little secret? The reason why I call it a secret is because- this little miracle in a bottle has so many benefits, yet it is widely ignored. Search it up on Google. It really is miracle.

So how to use it?

as I mentioned before- you can inhale it with steam. Or we add it to a hot coal and allow the steam to float around the house which is another form of inhalation

Also add it to your honey and lemon drinks and drink it, Or just add it to a spoonful of honey and lemon and swallow it- youll feel the soothing of the throat straight away.

And guys dont feel nervous to experiment- I add some mint to my drinks, to make them more digestable, and a mint tea bag, or anything you’d like, keep it warm and try and keep the main ingredients in- like honey, turmeric, ginger and lemon.

And lastly Exercising and eating healthy food whilst in quarantine is important because it strengthens the immune system, and to fight the virus you need a good and strong immune system. I know its hard and all to easy to grab the packet of crisps but do try to avoid it.

**Pease note I am not a doctor or practitioner and that this is not medication for the coronavirus- it will not cure the virus, it can just help with the breathing and keeping the air passages clear so that you dont struggle with breathing. If conditions do get worse. Seek help with 111.

Hope you guys benefit from the above.

Stay safe, Stay Indoors

Love and Regards

M11bna

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{Collab} I tried out “Shafs Beauty” new Organic Skin Care Range….

If you guys follow me on Instagram then you will know how much I have been suffering from dry skin recently.

With the weather being generally grey and dull, my face is drying out, and I’m getting dry flaky and sore patches everywhere.

I’ve not really ever had bad skin, I’ve been one of those lucky people who have gone through life without worrying about dry skin, spots, pimples or dark areas…. But in the last few years things have started to change.

As I age I’ve had to start using make up, to cover up any blemishes or flaws…. But still I refused to believe the ageing game… I refused to use products or look after myself…. I mean I don’t need it? I’ve got great skin….

….but now it’s caught up with me, it’s time for me accept that I am no longer 20 (that hurts) and things will change. In honesty I’m really grateful it lasted this long…. But the only problem now is that I don’t know where to start….

I went into debenhams… And I stood there, not knowing where to go and who to try, overwhelmed with the amount of advice, freebies and general advice I was given by all the stores I went home with nothing.

Speaking to my beautician of 15 years of my problems, she introduced me to her own range of products. Having had recently started her own skincare brand, she gave me a mini facial whilst I was there. ( I mean. Who says no to freebies?)

She went through each product she used and asked me loads of questions about my skin to determine what I needed.( In all honestly, knowing me for 15 years- she instantly knew what I needed.)

And she packed up a bag full of products for me to try at home.

I love the whole look of the products, they are simple and stylish.

Cream Cleanser: It’s a Grapefruit, Lavender and Frankincense cream cleaner. I’ve not been using make up recently because of my dry skin it looks awful on, the dry patches show up more, and it looks patchy, but just using the cleanser made my skin feel more supple and soft. You can smell the hint of the Grapefruit and Lavender on application. Almost smells of fresh laundry ( I love the smell of fresh laundry) and Lavender always reminds me of spa days, I’m sure spas use Lavender to relax people.

Face Mask: Well as soon as you open it you can smell the apple, it smells lush. Granny Smith’s for sure. And the mask goes a long way, I only applied it twice, and it spreads so easily over the face, you only need a tiny amount, which is well worth the money. Also it smells so ….fresh, Apple fresh.

And here’s a selfie to show how creamy the face mask is. The Face mask worked wonders, on removal I already felt like I was washing away the impurities on my face. My face felt creamy and soft, and the fresh smell of the Apple lingered.

Next I used the Brightening Serum, it’s a very concentrated serum, but a small amount covers the face. After applying it- you have to dab your face with your fingers to allow the serum to penetrate into the pores. The smell of the Orange was intoxicating. There’s definately something about the smell of fruits that make you feel…. Healthy, and this was working for me.

And lastly the Moisturiser. A thick and rich consistency. With Geranium extract. Exactly what I needed. Geranium is known to help with the tightening of tissues on the face muscles. On applying this I automatically felt the contracting of the face, especially on my cheekbones, and it felt good. This is by far my favourite of the whole brand.

I’ve now been using Shafs products for just 10 days, and I’m already finding a difference in the overall look of my skin and my face, the flaky dryness has gone, and my skin no longer looks tired or grey. It actually illuminates…

Please do ignore that lump on the side of my face. My tooth problem have left a souvenir for me on one side of my face!

My skin also feels soft, and airy, previously it ached and the dry patches were turning red and sore. These products are a definate winner for me, and will be staying in my new ‘looking after myself‘ drawer…. Honestly my skin hasn’t felt like this in a long time.

For the products heres the Webby: http://www.shafsbeauty.co.uk

(Transparency: I have reviewed these products myself for 10 days and I am giving my honest opinion and review on them.)

Love and regards

M11bna

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