Learning from the Pain

I was standing in a co-worker’s cubicle discussing upcoming due dates for our artists; it was a perfectly normal day. I looked up at the white calendar on the wall when it felt like I was being stabbed in the lower abdomen. Everything went blurry and the white calendar became so bright that it made my eyes hurt. I felt light headed... as if I was going to pass out right there in front of everyone from the horrible pain. I took a deep breath, stood very still, and acted like I was thinking about a solution for work. Then, even though it felt like an eternity, 20 seconds later the pain faded away and my vision came back to normal. I finished the conversation and went to get some water.

Pain is ready, pain is waiting. Primed to do it’s educating.
— DEPECHE MODE, "Dream On"

PCOS can cause many types of pain in many different areas of the body for many different reasons. Inflammation in my lower abdomen from having multiple immature follicles-turned-cysts feels like a dull nagging pain with the occasional severe sharp stab. Another “fun” pain I experience is the extreme contractions my uterus has when menstruating after a buildup from anovulation. It is like a horrific convulsing monster in my body. This pain is, well, a pain to live with every day, however it is very important. Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong, and it is time to change something. Experiencing pain made me start to ask questions. It made me want to figure out why the pain was there. It made me want to figure out how to get the pain to go away. So, I did not back down. I kept asking and asking various doctors until I was finally diagnosed with something that made sense, something that connected all the pieces, PCOS. And now that I know what my pain is caused from, I can work on managing it.

Live footage of my uterus during menstration.

Live footage of my uterus during menstration.

Speaking of managing pain, this seems like the perfect time to mention the heating pad sandwich. Everyone deals with their pain differently, but I especially love the heating pad sandwich. It does require having two heating pads, and a way to recline back. I kick back on the recliner, elevate my legs a little bit and lay on top of a heating pad that is placed on my lower back. Then of course I put a heating pad right on top of my lower abdomen area and top it off with a soft blanket. It is the coziest most comforting thing when you have ovarian or uterus pain.

Having chronic pain is no fun. It gets in the way of life and it hurts! Waking up every day with the same stabbing feeling in your side is exhausting and it is important to rest and take care of yourself when you are feeling pain. If you are ever feeling depressed because of your chronic pain, please seek help. Reach out to a support system, whether it is family, friends, or a professional, to help you cope with your pain. Do not accept pain as normal, there are always healthy options.

Discuss with your doctor other techniques or foods that can help reduce your pain. Certain foods cause inflammation, therefore it could make you feel more pain. One of my answers was to stay away from gluten and dairy, which both caused inflamation in my body.  Speak with your doctor about what exercise regimes may work for you as well. For my body, walking reduces the pain in my back.

No matter how big or small your pain is, it matters. Give it attention and give it care, because even if it is always there, it should not get in the way of the life you want to live.


Jennifer Nelson

Writer, Artist, PCOS Warrior

Read more by Jennifer Nelson @ theovarianchronicle.com

Jennifer is not a medical professional. Jennifer’s writing is an expression of her own personal experiences. Please contact your health provider for medical advice.