Disoriented by Dysmenorrhea

Ever since we finished breastfeeding our 2nd child, that was it: I was super thankful and elated about that no mean feat, and I considered that an accomplishment.

Little did I know I would continue to suffer physical pain.

Oh this world! One trial does come after the other, certainly it does teach dependence on the Lord for daily strength.

I began to have terrible pain upon menstruation, otherwise known as dysmenorrhea. It was a 3-day ordeal of debilitating pain to the point that I couldn’t even walk! I couldn’t believe it because usually teens had this, or atleast my high school friends during our teens had it.

God really does superbly provide, miraculously I still was able to cook, clean, and serve the family and just be a wife and mom, though totally disoriented by the pain, having to somewhat “crawl” over those tasks because, well, a mom has to!

Disorientation was such that I would rest as much as I can after the kids are fed, no homeschooling could be done, but thankfully, just a few minutes of read-alouds could be managed every now & then.

Emotionally, it was taxing too. Prescription medicines for post-op pain did its job; but I knew I couldn’t take those forever!

To be technical about it, before anyone’s period begins, the cells that form the lining of the uterus, (endometrial cells), break down and release plenty of inflammatory prostaglandins, causing the pain. The post-op pain relievers I took merely blocked my feeling of this inflammatory pain. Usually Ibuprofen is my handy over-the-counter companion on those pain-filled days.

Friends started to notice, owing to the fact that I missed some gatherings, so I tried their suggestions. Some of those suggestions worked and boy was I relieved!

So with trial and error I narrowed those suggestions to iron supplements and hot compress; those worked to reduce pain by about 10%.

I’m thankful I encountered plant-based eating though! It attacked my problem at its core, and helped the whole family’s well-being; seeing that my youngest is allergic to chicken, eggs, and shrimp, we started to eat less and less of those things and naturally had to learn to eat more veggies, fruits, tofu, fish, (we practically became pescatarians!) mushrooms, and chickpeas.

A US research has shown that a plant-based diet would reduce the pain and inflammation of dysmenorrhea by upto 33%, they were told to eat more fiber in order to eliminate the excessive estrogen levels that caused the pain. These excessive estrogen levels were attributed to pregnant cows that give us milk, its red meat, and high-fat processed food widely available in today’s food choices. In fact those women refused to get back to their previous diets even if they were told to as part of the study!

Going increasingly plant-based was all around such a gift, a win-win for my youngest’s allergies and my pain relief too. Being plant-based, even not strictly and legalistically, did perform unspeakable relief for dysmenorrhea.

Personally, it brought down my pain level by around, say 80%, astounding!

From then on we started to enjoy having more activities even on period days, and started to make whole-wheat flatbread veggie pizzas too!

My increasingly plant-based food intake greatly reduced this menstrual pain, I’m certain and utterly thankful that God created plants for our good, our enjoyment and His good pleasure as we do His will for us!

Can you be Christian and plant-based too?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Well my husband would always say, “It VEGAN in the garden.” Then he would explain many things of which I sometimes zone out of due to the kids screaming & interrupting. But yes, you definitely can! The original design was that Adam and Eve really did eat of fruits and veggies in the garden. We know what happened next.

The more important questions would be: Is there thankfulness in the table for whatever is there?

Are we giving other people around us reasons to stumble because of a legalistic set of food choices?

AND are we even enjoyable to be with in a party?

What even prompted us to start plant-based inclusions in our family food intake? Well it is really the skin asthma/allergies of my youngest. There sprung a need to remove allergenic food like chicken, egg, and shrimp. You may ask, “O so what do you eat?” The answer is a lot of tofu (anything soy for that matter), carbs, fish, and vegetables! We are serious about our soymilk, dark chocolate, and peanut milk. We thoroughly enjoy flatbread with hummus and baba ganoush.

These ideas about our food intake nowadays can be so complex, its multifactorial in nature, as I have learned in college nursing problems. Every problem is multifactorial. Some would argue animal rights and welfare, racism and environmental care in today’s agriculture, some would lean towards the health benefits (surely I’m on this side), and still others might prefer the relatively cool look, sound and feel of being plant-based, keto, etc.. I once stumbled upon a phrase “chubby vegan girls,” and I could so relate! Portion control girl! But really, for us, the heart of the matter is, as Christians we are called to steward our bodies in such a way that we can honor the Lord in all we do, and equally important, to be thankful for His provision.

For us, the heart of the matter is, as Christians we are called to steward our bodies in such a way that we can honor the Lord in all we do, and equally important, to be thankful for His provision.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Cor 10:31

We are in no way purely vegetarian, or vegan, or anything of the strict sort. In fact a personal favorite of mine is chicken tinola, bangus belly, all sorts of fish fillet, and the beefy spaghetti that I grew up eating. We let our youngest eat as much fish and pork as she prefers. My husband mourns the loss of chicken on the table. Hey we are Pinoys after all! He would be the quickest to have pork barbecue, pork adobo, and the like. I then scramble to learn new recipes apart from sauteed veggies and tofu spam, but I am afraid the daily demand is more than I can supply. The struggle is real.

If its avoiding those allergenic food for the sake of the youngest, then so be it, if it’s such a treat from time to time to eat things other than fish and veggies, then let it be so. For us, most of the time there’s 4 types of dinner in the table and you know how odd that is because there’s just 4 of us.

In our home, food is one of those “I choose to love you even if I don’t love what you’re eating sort of thing.” It’s one of those “I’m glad there’s food on the table so we can continue on our God-given purposes” kind of thing.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:17
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash