Women’s Pain

February 14, 2023
Undiagnosed! Understated! Dismissed!

Why Is Women’s Pain So Often Dismissed?

Health care providers can be quick to conclude that women’s pain isn’t so bad or is “all in their head”—an attitude that can lead to prolonged suffering and can put women’s health at serious risk.


Michelle was 11 years old when the pain began. That’s when she first got her period, with cramps so excruciating they made her vomit. “We went to see my family doctor at the time and she dismissed it, saying, ‘There’s nothing wrong with you. Everybody gets cramps. Just take Advil.’” But the pain got worse when Luciani was a teen. The same doctor put her on birth control, which dulled the intensity slightly. Nevertheless, she came to expect that once a month, she’d feel a twisting in her pelvis and experience stabbing cramps that jolted through her like electrical shocks. Her doctor continued to tell her that cramps were normal.

After high school, Michelle moved from Toronto to Vancouver to study media arts. One day, she experienced a new kind of pain in her abdomen. “It went from a five to a 20 very fast,” she recalls. She hurried to the hospital, where staff found fluid in her abdomen, caused by a ruptured ovarian cyst. Once again, Michelle was told, “There’s nothing to worry about—it’s normal.” The physician gave her morphine and sent her home. But throughout the course of the year, more cysts ruptured, and each time, Michelle faced the same message in the emergency room: “You just have to get through it.”

When she was 25, Michelle found a gynecologist who told her the symptoms sounded like endometriosis, which occurs when the uterine lining grows in other areas of the pelvis, where it doesn’t belong. He booked her in for exploratory surgery to look for signs of the painful chronic condition, but in the end, he didn’t find anything wrong.

Michelle was filled with hopelessness. She’d been sure she had endometriosis, but a doctor was telling her that wasn’t true. In too much agony to work, she moved back to Toronto, where her family lived. She searched for a new doctor who could help her, but after reading the report from her surgery, each health practitioner said the same thing: since the procedure hadn’t led to a diagnosis, nothing was wrong with her. She was told the pain was in her head and was offered antidepressants but never a solution for the pain. “I just felt crazy at that point,” she recalls.

Finally, at age 26, after having consulted with five doctors since her initial surgery, Michelle found one in Atlanta, Georgia who was willing to repeat the procedure. She paid nearly CAD $40,000, and this time, the results were conclusive: she had endometriosis. Three years later, she would also be diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that affects women’s hormone levels and can result in cysts in the ovaries.

She’s Not The Only

Michelle isn’t the only woman to spend years having her pain dismissed, or to be forced to advocate for herself with doctor after doctor simply to secure a diagnosis. A 2006 study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology interviewed women with chronic pelvic pain and concluded that “most felt that their pain and suffering had not been legitimized by at least one doctor that they had seen.”

Over the past few decades, researchers have found that women’s pain is often taken less seriously than men’s and, as a result, it frequently goes untreated or undertreated in Western medicine. There is no lab test to evalu­ate pain, so it’s up to a patient to describe their experience—and up to their doctor to believe them. But, as Luciani learned, health care providers can be quick to conclude that a woman’s pain isn’t so bad or is “all in her head”—an attitude that can lead to prolonged suffering and can put women’s health at serious risk.

Based from : https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/conditions/womens-pain-undiagnosed/

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Personally, I’ve has to deal with this. Like Michelle, I started having menstrual cramps as soon as I started my period. It was long& heavy. GP put me on birth control pills at the time. My cycle regulated, was a little less heavy, but cramps got really bad some days, I’d be curled up in a ballin the nurse’s office at school or if they kicked in at college, curled up in the women’s lounge couch. Eventually my cramps became almost constant. Referred to Gyn who referred me to GI Diagnosis, IBS. IBS controlled, referred back to Gyn. He told me “I don’t think it is Endometriosis, but if you insist, I will do the surgery.” I insisted & guess who was right! Because she didn’t think she’d need all the tools, she was missing some from the first surgery. That resulted in a full laparotomy 6 months later with a full inverse T incision and 12 weeks unable to work, recovering. 12 years from onset to initial diagnosis.

I dont even want to get into my fibro diagnosis . We believe that diagnosis took 13 years. With another 15 to get it ‘controlled

Based on an article in reader’s digest. The original can be found Here

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore – Misc

February 10, 2023

11/20 Lump Near Your Neck

Don’t Worry:
Spread out in a network, your lymph nodes are bean-shaped glands that play an important role in your immune system. When bacteria, viruses or other foreign substances invade your body, your lymph nodes can feel swollen and hard with all the white blood cells piling in to fight off the assault. Once you’re done battling whatever it was, they will go back to normal.

Do Worry:
If you feel the lump in the hollow above either collarbone—where your supraclavicular lymph nodes are—these can be important sentinels for disease in your abdomen. If it happens on your left side specifically, it’s called Troisier’s sign, and it’s considered an indication of cancer in the stomach or other organs, even if you have no other symptoms. See your doctor as soon as possible.

12 / 20 Cold Hands

Don’t Worry:
Genetics can be the reason you often have cold hands, even in summer—research shows it runs in families. The elderly, who tend to have slower circulation, as well as very thin people without much insulation, can also feel more sensitive to cold, especially in the extremities. Avoiding nicotine and caffeine, which restrict blood vessels, and dressing in layers to keep your core temperature up can help.

Do Worry:
Raynaud’s phenomenon, which affects 10 per cent of the population, is a vascular abnormality characterized by attacks of cold, pain, tingling or burning, and white or bluish colour in the fingers. It can be managed with medication, but in some cases, Raynaud’s can be a sign of an autoimmune disease called scleroderma.

Anemia, caused by low iron levels, can also make your hands and feet feel cold, and is also linked to fatigue, dizziness and chest pains. Iron supplements can help restore your hemoglobin levels.

13 / 20 White Marks on Your Nails

Don’t Worry:
Nails can reveal some important things about your health. Those mysterious dots or lines on your fingernails—called leukonychia—are usually caused by bumping or pinching the skin under your cuticle where your nails start to grow. They’re usually harmless and take six to nine months to grow out completely. If a spot looks yellowish and you can see thickening of the nail, that could indicate a fungal infection that requires a topical prescription.

Do Worry:
If the bands are vertical and dark-coloured, see your doctor as soon as possible. “In a fair-skinned person, these can indicate subungual melanoma, a rare form of skin cancer under the nail,” says Tran. Darker-skinned people do get bands like this normally as they age, but if you notice new stripes or a change in their thickness, it warrants further investigation for melanoma

Based on an article in Reader’s Digest byAnna-Kaisa Walker


February 7, 2023

Allodynia – That’s the technical term for feeling your skin 24/7. My skin is so sensitive that a gentle breeze can trigger a pain response on a bad day. Pants are torture, but skirts are worse. I hate leggings because they make me constantly aware of my skin. Which I assure you is not nearly as much fun as it sounds.

A quick anatomy lesson for the integumentary system (hair, nails, skin and sweat glands) your skin is by far the largest organ you have. It’s not just a meat sack holding your body together. There are billions of nerve receptors in your skin. They are designed to bypass the rational mind and are hardwired into your subconscious or reflexive mind. This is why you move your hand away from the flame before you even realize you’re burning. There are about 2 billion or so nerve endings in the outermost layer of skin. More in the under layers, the hair, sweat glands etc. They are there to alert us to potential danger and to alert the brain that we have been damaged.

You have different nerve receptors for different things. Some are ticklish. Some detect change in Temperature. Some itch. And some say OUCH!

Now imagine if something happened and suddenly all of the receptors start telling your brain OUCH. Meaning that breeze causes pain, the brush of your hair across your skin causes pain, warmth/cold causes pain. Sound vibrations caues pain. Clearly this is a problem with the wiring. But they don’t know what it’s caused by.

When my skin hurts I don’t want delicate gentle touch, I want specific, firm and with intention touch. I want clear and obvious sensation (think stingy and thuddy rather than feathery or ticklish)

Author – Unknown.

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I do get this myself. Mine is thankfully on & off . Like the OP, I prefer firm contact, but I also need to know it’s coming. It’s easier to just have no contact at all tbh.

It’s weird. If I’m sensitive with this, a hair that falls out of my head & lazily makes its way down my back or my arm can be excruciating at worst, mildly painful at best.

I even have a “Don’t Touch Koolaid” Necker for Cubs. Meaning they know they can not touch me when I’m wearing it. They don’t understand why – just that it hurts me alot if they do on those days. Fortunately, I don’t have to wear it often

I’m Sick

February 3, 2023

So last week was Cub Camp. When I got home, I brought in my personal gear, showered & crashed out for 4 hours. I was exhausted – literally done. I couldn’t have done anything else.

Then due to one of my Cubs, I’ve been down with a nasty bug ever since. The worst is the cough.. that & the boredom of nothing to do. I’ve got no new books to read & I’m up to date on my shows.

I hate being sick I feel so useless. Can barely function. It’s bad enough with the fibro & everything else, but when I’m sick it’s so much worse. 😢

Five Senses

January 31, 2023


Mindfulness is described as a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment. The idea is to calmly be aware of & accept one’s feelings, thoughts, and/or bodily sensations. This therapeutic technique can help in so many ways including with pain, sleep, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, self-control, concentration & mental clarity, emotional intelligence and the ability to relate to others & one’s self with kindness, acceptance and compassion.

Use this exercise to quickly ground yourself in the present when you only have a moment. The goal is to notice something that you are currently experiencing through each of your senses. You start to focus on yourself and everything around you where & when you currently are.

This mindfulness exercise is good for calming one’s self down from anxiety or exertion.

What are 5 things you can see?

Look around you and notice 5 things you hadn’t noticed before. Maybe a pattern on a wall, light reflecting from a surface, or a knick-knack in the corner of a room.

What are 4 things you can feel?

Maybe you can feel the pressure of your feet on the floor, your shirt resting on your shoulders, or the temperature on your skin. Pick up an object and notice its texture.

What are 3 things you can hear?

Notice all the background sounds you had been filtering out, such as an air-conditioning, birds chirping, or cars on a distant street.

What are 2 things you can smell?

Maybe you can smell flowers, coffee, or freshly cut grass. It doesn’t have to be a nice smell either: maybe there’s an overflowing trash can or sewer.

What is 1 thing you can taste?

Pop a piece of gum in your mouth, sip a drink, eat a snack if you have one, or simply notice how your mouth tastes. “Taste” the air to see how it feels on your tongue.

The numbers for each sense are only a guideline. Feel free to do more or less of each. Also, try this exercise while doing an activity like washing dishes, listening to music, or going for a walk.

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Provided by TherapistAid.com

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore – Mouth

January 27, 2023

8/20: White Stuff on Your Tongue

Don’t Worry:

An icky-looking white coating on your tongue is most likely a sign of poor oral hygiene—it’s actually a mixture of bacteria, food debris and dead skin cells trapped between the little bumps on the tongue. “The simple solution is to brush your tongue daily or use a tongue scraper,” says Dr. Charles Frank, a dentist in Windsor, Ont. Also, an overgrowth of yeast, called candidiasis or thrush, can happen when antibiotics, chemotherapy or diabetes kill off the healthy bacteria in your mouth—and can be treated with antifungal medication.

I get this on & off.. I know it’s not yeast/thrust for me . Just gotta brush off my tongue for a few days.. literally just cleared this up – had been eating a ton of sweets recently.

Do Worry:

Leukoplakia, characterized by thick white patches that can’t be scraped off, might be an early sign of oral cancer. Frank also suggests seeing your dentist if any unusual spot sticks around for more than a couple of weeks.

9/20 Metallic Taste in your Mouth.

Don’t Worry:

That rusty flavour is called dysgeusia, and it could be caused by taking lithium, certain blood pressure medications, cancer drugs or iron supplements. It’s not serious, but it can be unpleasant. If switching medications isn’t an option, over-the-counter mouthwash or gum can mask the taste.

This can happen if you have high iron & bleeding gums (see next point). I also attest to the medication thing. Different medications can result in yuck aftertaste, including metallic. I’ve had it happen with antibiotics and sleep medications – Gross, but harmless.

Do Worry:

According to Dr. Charles Frank, a mild electrical current can occur if you’ve had fillings, crowns or implants done with more than one type of metal. Called oral galvanism, it’s not dangerous—but if it doesn’t go away it could be costly, as you’ll need to have your fillings changed.Find out the signs of disease your teeth can reveal.

10/20: Bleeding Gums

Don’t Worry:

At some point in their lives, seven out of 10 Canadians will have gingivitis, which results from the buildup of plaque and tartar above the gumline. Even in mild cases it can cause occasional bleeding while brushing. Meticulous brushing—for two minutes twice a day—plus daily flossing and regular dental cleaning appointments can keep it at bay. (Make sure you’re avoiding these common flossing mistakes.)

Do Worry:

If you don’t take care of gingivitis, it turns into periodontitis, or gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.

Based on an article in Reader’s Digest byAnna-Kaisa Walker

How I’m a Functional Cub Scout Leader, part 2

January 24, 2023

Since my last post the packs have returned back to their former alignment. We are completely seperated. My group is meeting at our church with our program, they are meeting at their church running their program.

Before the split as primary contact scouter, I was getting less support from some of the leadership in the other group. I was even receiving blacklash without assistance to change. Add that we had the potential, and did at some meetings, to have almost 50 youth That’s alot of kids.

To cope, I finally told my group commissioner that we either split or unfortunately leave Cubs which I did not want to do. It has the desired effect and our commissioner told their commissioner & their contact scouter. The rest of their leadership was told 2 meetings prior to the youth. The youth were told at the second last meeting of 2022 that the group was splitting as of January.

So, the 13th Leadership had a planning meeting – whoo hoo! – I donn’t have to decide everything anymore. While alot still sits on my shoulders, this smaller team is working together and actually discusses issues. And because there are no drawn out conversations or prolonged arguments, our group chat is now clear, concise and effective. And with 20 Cubs the youth is alot more manageable and I’m going to be able to connect with parents alot more effectively.

What I Do To Cope.

Well, with all the recent changes, there is significantly less stress. Plus my leadership team just does what needs to be done. I’ve had a load come of my shoulders as a result.

But what do I actually ‘do’?

I rest.. before and after meetings.. I try not to have anything going on Tuesday afternoons if I can avoid it.. and nothing Wednesday mornings to early afternoon aswell

After most cub meetings, I am able to go over to the gym and take advantage of the hot tub. This helps relax the muscles that have tensed up. I find if I don’t get that hot tub, I do not feel all to great the next day. My pain goes up, the fatigue increases, my sleep is impaired and some of my other issues crop up.

Also, I expel alot of energy in a good way during our closing. The fel expression my enthusiasm, the youth’s enthusiasm for our jungle closing is cathartic. “Wood and Water, Wind and Tree! Wisdom, Strength & Courtesy! Jungle Gever Go with Thee! Good Night! Good Hunting!” And because of a previous leaders addition the youth add of their own volition “& Go Straight Home!”

What I Can’t Do.

Generally I can not participate in most of the games. Those just take too much energy & depending on the game, it may be physically changing or flat out wipe me out or hurt me..

We have a camp coming up. We have limited bunks available, but I require my own bunk & preferably away from the youth, so I can sleep. I’ll be taking ear plugs, just like I did while tenting last spring. I need my sleep to function & to heal. But I also have 3 other leaders and a parent volunteer I can depend upon for assistance. Chill has already agreed for breakfast KP duties which is awesome cuz I don’t do mornings well.

Anything that requires me to do anything on the floor is also very challenging as the process of getting up & getting down are difficult.

But its worth it!

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore – Head

January 20, 2023

5/20: Constant Headaches

Don’t Worry:

A headache is chronic if it occurs more than 15 days a month, for a minimum of three months—but it doesn’t take that long for them to become, well, a headache. Common triggers are dehydration, sleep deprivation, vision problems, sinus congestion, poor posture while working at a desk and hangovers—all of which have straightforward solutions.

Do Worry:

If you’ve ruled out all of the above, it’s worth a call to your doctor for more investigation, especially if you find yourself taking over-the-counter pain relievers more than twice a week. Ultimately, you may not discover the cause—this is true for many people who suffer from headaches—but medication, dietary changes and certain supplements can help.Also, your health care provider should examine you for signs of stroke, cancer or brain injury, such as weakness on one side, unequal pupil sizes, and cognitive changes like confusion or memory loss.

6/30: Ringing in Your Ears

Don’t Worry:

I have this.. it’s called tinnitus and it’s mainly just annoying.

What is it? Is that high-pitched droning, buzzing or whooshing sound coming from inside your own head? Tinnitus is surprisingly common—43 per cent of Canadians have experienced it at some point. It most often lasts a few minutes, hours or days, but sometimes it lasts forever. The most common cause is hearing loss, whether temporary—from a loud noise, for example—or permanent, as with aging (three-quarters of people over 70 have hearing loss to some degree).Although it’s not a medical emergency, tinnitus can affect quality of life in the long term—Ludwig van Beethoven had it so bad in his 30s, he contemplated suicide. “It’s not a very well understood phenomenon,” says Dr. Vance Tran, a family physician in Pickering, Ont., “but we think it has something to do with how we experience transmissions from a damaged auditory nervous system as sound.”Have your primary care provider look inside your ears, as tinnitus can sometimes be caused by an obstruction, like earwax buildup. If the cause is age-related hearing loss, the good news is that it can be treated with a hearing aid.

Do Worry:

If the noise is rhythmic or pulsing, see your doctor right away. That can be a sign of narrowing in the carotid artery near your temple, which puts you at risk for stroke. Surgery may be needed to clear any blockages.

7/20: Ache in Your Ear

Don’t Worry:

As any new parent can tell you, ear infections are the bane of early childhood. But an earache in an adult warrants closer investigation, since run-of-the-mill infections are less common. In fact, the culprit may not even be in your ears at all. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which causes inflammation or dislocation in the jaw joint, is often called a “great impostor” for the way it can mimic other health conditions—and more than 70 per cent of people who suffer from it report ear symptoms, according to one 2019 Swedish study. If you have pain in one or both ears but don’t have a fever, discharge or other signs of infection, see a dentist and ask them to check for signs of tooth wear or any popping or clicking in your jaw. A mouth guard, Botox injections to relax the jaw muscles, or physiotherapy may help.

Do Worry:

More rarely, a complication from shingles called Ramsay Hunt syndrome can affect the facial nerve near one ear, causing painful blisters inside the ear canal, hearing loss and even facial paralysis. It’s diagnosed from a characteristic red rash on the affected side of the face, and treated with antiviral medications.

Based on an article in Reader’s Digest byAnna-Kaisa Walker

New Relationship

January 17, 2023

My ex got me on to the social media platform known as Kik. This is a text chat medium. In addition to my Ex’s groups I am in 2 others In all 5 groups I am in, I am an Administrator.

It was in October, that he noticed me. We chatted in the group then into private messaging where he told me what caught his attention with how I would administrate the group such as encouraging participation and introducing topics.

In private message we found that we actually had quite a bit of common and that we were looking for similar things from life.

On October 30th we transferred over to direct text messaging. As we kept speaking with each other we found that we have a similar moral base with similar ethics. We continue to find things an interest that we had in common. We noticed a compatibility and an attraction as we had exchange photos. Our personalities have, thus far, meshed well with a similar sence if humour.

While we have differences it has created interesting conversation as opposed to conflict. Neither of us is adverse to compromise or there are ways to adapt. And, we’ve already had one major disagreement, but we talked out out. Due to the nature of the topic and the sensitivity, we both decided it was too early in the relationship to be addressed. While it will need to be addressed, it should be revisited when things become more settled between us.

The biggest hurdle we see between us, at this time, is the physical distance as he lives 2+ hours away on the other side of the city.

Late December, we met for coffee. After leaving Tim Horton’s after 1½hr, we chatted and connected in his truck for another 2 hours. Man can he kiss!

The next day he was already asking when we could see each other & we met for lunch less than a week later just before New Years Due to holidays & personal commitments over the Christmas season, we were unable to see each other until the new year.

The weekend before last we were supposed to get together to go for a hike together. Unfortunately, due to unexpected work commitments then health issues, we had to reschedule & reschedule.

We ended up rescheduling this Thursday past & we had a good time.. Trail was not the “easy” level it indicated, but we still managed ok despite the steep hills, fallen trees and inconsistent spots of mud We found that while we can talk we are also comfortable with our silence.

We already have a commitment for the day for the Saturday this coming weekend. Swimming & snowshoeing are currently on the books, as well as dinner. I expect we’ll have a ton of fun.

While I’m not home the following two weekends after due to personal commitments, I am hoping to see him in between, during the week. Because of the distance between us it may not be possible but I hope so!

I get butterflies when we talk, when we text & most importantly when we have spent time together. Wish us luck cuz we both want a nltr, hopefully with each other. 🙂

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore – Hair

January 13, 2023

4/20: Hair Falling Out

Don’t Worry:

The average person loses 50 to 100 hairs from their scalp, per day, but with about 100,000 hairs on your head, comparatively speaking, it’s not much. However, when you suddenly notice clumps in the shower drain, it’s considered abnormal hair loss and could have a number of mostly benign causes. This includes illness, surgery, stress, a high fever, a crash diet or hormonal shifts like childbirth and menopause. Unfortunately, time is the only cute & can take 4, up to 7, month to begin to return to normal hair growth & density.

Do Worry:

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, can cause hair to become brittle and thin as the disease slows your metabolism, interrupting your hair’s growth cycle. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause complications like heart disease, but it can be managed with medication.

Based on an article in Reader’s Digest byAnna-Kaisa Walker