“I don’t have time to stop.” That’s what I told my surgeon a couple of months ago when she said that I need surgery to remove a fibroid that I successfully shrank with alternative treatments but that stubbornly has now started to decay, causing extreme pain. She looked at me like a mom looked at a child and said: “You don’t have a choice.”
My fibroids (along with ulcers and other gastro-intestinal issues) were the catalyst for a drastic change in my diet and lifestyle that eventually led to a major career change.
I considered them beauty marks that gave me a “Smackdown” when I most needed it and exposed me to the amazing world of wellness. They taught me that I’m human and vulnerable like everyone else but I can still thrive and excel and follow my wildest dreams.
I’ve hated them at times and loved them at times. I guess that’s the thing about our bodies: we constantly play this love/hate game without recognizing that it is an amazing machine, trying to keep us happy, balanced and healthy despite our sometimes abuse behavior towards it.
Doing abdominal surgery is always a bit nerve-wracking, but what is downright terrifying is being forced to slow down, take a break, probably of up to six weeks as I recover. SIX WEEKS! I bitched and moaned: “But I have a new business that needs me 24/7! I’m an entrepreneur and can’t afford to not have an income for that long! I’m a Capricorn, a mountain goat, a run around working, networking, hustling, building my dream seven days a week?! How the heck am I going to stop now! This is the worst possible moment for this to happen!”
I’m strong and independent. I’ve been taking care of my self for fifteen years. I’m single and live alone. Really, honestly, how in the name of all that’s holy was I going to make this work?!
This was one of the most vulnerable moments of my life. And it was something I wasn’t accustomed to.
And then I made a passing comment to a friend, and then another. The responses were simple yet powerful beyond all measure. People wanted to help. A friend offered to stay over for a few days. My sister bought a plane ticket within minutes and said: “I’ll be there.” A dozen others said “count me in.”
My heart burst with love as I recognized that:
And yet it reminded me that you don’t have to do this alone.
That, like in mine, there are countless souls in your life filled with love and generosity, ready to share it when you need it most.
So I decided, with the help of a small army of friends and colleagues, to embrace my reality in a positive light and prepare mentally and physically for an invasive procedure. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to prepare:
- Liver Cleanse: I visited an Ayurvedic practitioner who assessed the basic state of my body and recommended a diet specific for my dosha (body type) to strengthen my digestion and cleanse my liver. I also started practicing Abhyanga (warm oil self massage) and breathing exercises to manage anxiety.
- Build my blood: A myomectomy (fibroid removal surgery) cuts through the wall of the uterus, an organ with extensive blood flow, and there is always a chance of some loss. As suggested by both my surgeon and Ayurvedic practitioner, I started taking an iron supplement to build blood. I also consume a diet filled with Vitamin B complex and supplement with liquid chlorophyll, chlorella and other build purifiers and builders.
- Self-Hypnosis: A friend and colleague recommended deep meditation and self-hypnosis to prepare for surgery and manage the pain and discomfort after surgery. This helps you prepare emotionally for an invasive procedure, maintain a positive state and create a sense of peace and certainty that everything will be okay.
By the time you read this, I’ll probably be home resting comfortably and working on my recovery. I will share and document some parts of the recovery process here and on social media, as a way to stay connected to my friends all over the world.
I will be using a lot of Alternative treatments and using some herbal supplements to help cleanse my system and speed my recovery.
Sharing my recovery journey is the one thing I’m looking forward to as I hope it to be a positive light throughout this brief hurdle in my life and hope that it helps you or anyone you love who may also be in the process of recovering from a physical ailment.
Jovanka Ciares is a tri-lingual wellness expert and nutrition coach based in New York City and Los Angeles. Jovanka’s approach to mind-body wellness has earned her thousands of fans the world over and regular slots on Fox News, NPR, CBS Radio, Telemundo, and The Huffington Post. In addition, she is the author of three books. You can find more on her website.