Alternatively alternative, the foray into natural medicine part 1

I’m taking a lot longer to recover from my laparoscopy/hysteroscopy than I thought I would.  The last time I went under general anaesthetic (admittedly over a decade ago) I bounced back within a couple of days.  This time I’m finding it a lot tougher.  I still get tired easily and one of my four incision holes is still quite sore, not helped by the fact that it is positioned on my tummy podge so bounces when I walk.  I can only imagine how painful a C-section is!

The next question I am facing is whether to jump back into alternative treatment or not.  In January of this year a friend suggested I visit her naturopath to see if that would increase our chances of finding Bumble.  I’d always been a bit of a sceptic when it came to things like that.  Not so much so that I wouldn’t give things a go, and I definitely saw a benefit in some alternative medicine.  I’d been bought up with a small amount of natural remedies, but was I ready to jump head first into something that wasn’t entirely me?  The short answer is yes.  I think when you’ve been trying a while with no result you get to a point where you’d give absolutely anything a go.  If someone had told me painting myself blue and running backwards around a flower garden by moonlight would improve my chances I probably would have considered it….well, no, not really, but you get my point.

So, an appointment was made and I went along, with the fantastic support of my fabulous friend, not quite knowing what to expect but prepared to give it a shot.  An intensive questionnaire and a chat to the lovely naturopath and I’m kitted out with a concoction to take morning and night, plus a selection of capsules to pop (fish oil etc). I’d already been taking Elevit which I have to say wasn’t so suited to me and made me feel quite revolting.  According to the naturopath Elevit can be a bit strong in certain vitamins for some women so the concoction she created to replace Elevit was essentially the same thing but tailored to suit my needs.  She thought my thyroid may be under-functioning slightly (though not enough to be cause for concern, proven via blood test) so gave me something for that, as well as a capsule used to help with the various cramps I felt throughout the month.  Take those and I’ll see you in month.

I’d love to say that this was a quick fix but like most things to do with trying to conceive it’s a gradual step-by-step process.  I made monthly appointments and each time my herbs were altered a little to try and improve my lot.  The cramps, my low temperatures, and my late ovulation seemed to be the main obstacles and we managed to correct one or the other for a short time but not for good.  Chances are it was just my body doing some of that naturally anyway.  I did feel better, I had more energy, my skin was looking better, and my temperature was now consistently over 36 degrees.  So something was working.  Trouble was, we didn’t really know what.  Eventually a stale-mate was called and my naturopath said there was nothing more she could do, it was time to take the next step….surgery to see what was up.  That was the good thing about the naturopath I went to, she worked in collaboration with conventional medicine, using one to compliment the other.

Since my last visit to the naturopath a couple of months ago I’ve been taking the same combination of herbs and capsules.  I had to stop for a week before my surgery, and I didn’t start taking them again until a week after.  The question is, do I keep going?  I’d love to say yes I’d do anything that gave us more of a chance, but unfortunately it’s an extra expense, on top of the other alternative thing I’m doing (more on that later), and I’m not sure it’s something we can afford to continue.  We’ve been able to up until now but the multiple alternative routes we’re trying are taking up most of our extra cash and there is a lot of work on the house left to do.  My husband thinks I should give up one – the naturopath – and keep doing the other.  I just don’t know….I kinda feel I should give them both a chance now that my endometriosis has been attacked and am worried that to give one up might hamper our chances.  I’m sure that’s more of a superstitious thought than a certainty but I can’t help but think it.  Perhaps I just keep it going until after my post-op appointment with the fertility specialist when we see what the deal is and what our next steps are.

So after 11 months of naturopathy do I recommend it?  Would I do it all over again?  I have to say, the concoction of herbs does take a bit of getting used to.  The first time I took it it made me gag, though I did get used to it eventually.  My second variation on the mixture wasn’t nearly so bad and was actually bearable.  And the latest tastes a little like tequila and warms your throat.  That’s not so bad if you’re a fan of tequila, or for the evening dose of the liquid, but ‘tequila’ for breakfast just isn’t my cup of tea.  On the other hand, I do feel better than I did 11 months ago when I started so there is definitely an upside to taking it all.  On the whole, I think if you’re open to it then naturopathy is a viable route to take if you’re trying to get your body in a good state to stay healthy and conceive (not even a single cold all year!) but if there’s something more serious going on, such as major endo, then it’s not necessarily going to help you.  My take on it is much like my take on most things, moderation is the key.  A combination of the natural and the conventional could just be the perfect mix.

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