Estrella’s Story of Painful, Hemorrhaging Periods: “I don’t want any girl to feel as confused as I was.” [Guest post by Estrella Jaramillo of B-wom]

Estrella’s Story of Painful, Hemorrhaging Periods: “I don’t want any girl to feel as confused as I was.” [Guest post by Estrella Jaramillo of B-wom]

A Women’s Health Tech Innovator Shares Her Personal Story & What Drives Her to Improve Conversations about Women’s Sexual Health

Hi readers — Erin Jackson here! I’m so thrilled to share this guest blog post from Estrella. She’s been a friend for the past couple years, and we’ve bonded over our shared passion for improving women’s pelvic health. I’m honored that she’s shared her story with us here. Please give it a read, and then head over to B-wom’s website to learn more about her app.

xo, Erin

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Decision fatigue + chronic illness recovery: "I want to do everything!"

Decision fatigue + chronic illness recovery: "I want to do everything!"

I’m better now, and I want to do everything. But sometimes I’m so desperate to do absolutely everything I desire that I end up lacking the energy to do anything at all. And then I feel crummy about spending the evening laying in bed watching Netflix just like when I was sick (even though it’s for entirely different reasons and has absolutely nothing to do with being sick). Arg.

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Pacira Panel At BlogHer18 Health [sponsored post]

Pacira Panel At BlogHer18 Health [sponsored post]

This post is sponsored by Pacira and SheKnows Media.

A few weeks ago, I attended a panel discussion of physicians hosted by Pacira Pharmaceuticals while at the BlogHer Health conference in NYC. They were there to discuss Pacira’s drug EXPAREL and other non-opioid postsurgical pain management options... I was encouraged by the physicians’ sensitivity to the complexities surrounding the opioid epidemic and their understanding of the importance of pain management.

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Pain changes you: building your new identity from habits

Pain changes you: building your new identity from habits

Then came doctor appointments and physical therapy appointments, and soon, I was out of my wheelchair and walking again. But as the months wore on, my husband ultimately had to take a job out-of-state.  I was doing better, but I found myself completely lost. Who was I now?

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Facing down "normal" pain after years of chronic pain

Facing down "normal" pain after years of chronic pain

It's so hard to accept any bad days after suffering so many bad years. I think that, as my pain continues to recede in my rearview mirror, that will become less challenging. With time, I expect that I'll even come to appreciate the occasional "down day" with some minor ailment. But for now, I'm desperate to enjoy my still-fresh health.

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A letter to my mother: This is what I've endured.

A letter to my mother: This is what I've endured.

My mother and I have been estranged for more than five years. While I was at my lowest point -- wheelchair bound, in excruciating pain, and suffering immensely -- she was critical and skeptical of my pain. That became intolerable, and my recovery ultimately required that I sever ties with her and work on rebuilding my emotional health and my strength.  She's missed so much these past several years.

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A plea to providers: This is why biopsychosocial treatment of chronic pain works [Guest post by Devra Sheldon]

A plea to providers: This is why biopsychosocial treatment of chronic pain works [Guest post by Devra Sheldon]

Healthcare providers may be aware of the presence of yellow flags in a patient’s history, such as a major accident, depression, catastrophization, or prior trauma or abuse (to name a few), but not consider it related to the patient’s clinical presentation of pain. But it is. Prior pain experience shapes pain perception.

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Top 3 ​​​​​​​Stress-Busting Gifts for Caregivers [Guest post by Beverly Nelson]

Top 3 ​​​​​​​Stress-Busting Gifts for Caregivers [Guest post by Beverly Nelson]

Considering the fact caregiving duties take up as many hours as a part-time or even full-time job for many unpaid providers, it’s often extremely difficult for them to prioritize self-care. But thoughtful gifts can help make their lives a little easier and even encourage them to indulge in a little “me time.” Here are a few gift suggestions for the deserving caregivers on your list.

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“My body is none of your damn business.”

“My body is none of your damn business.”

Anyone who’s battled chronic pain or invisible illnesses knows the chorus too well: “But you don’t look sick!,” or “But you look so healthy!” The way people look and the way people feel can be vastly different. And none of us should ever feel that it’s appropriate for us to comment upon, criticize, and judge the conduct of others based on outward appearances.

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My Gratitude Journey: From pain to present, and the people who got me here.

My Gratitude Journey: From pain to present, and the people who got me here.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving today, I'm sharing my gratitude journey.... My yoga mat reminds me that I’m safe here, and that I’ve done this many times before. My mat has become a symbol of my strength and my ability to feel good. As I lug it around the city, it tells others “I’m a healthy woman!” But more importantly, it reminds me: “You’re a healthy woman. You did it. You made it. You survived.”

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"It's worth it." - Board Member Monique Costello Shares Her Personal Pain Story

"It's worth it." - Board Member Monique Costello Shares Her Personal Pain Story

I went from doctor to therapist looking for answers and nobody had them for me. It was devastating to say the least. Normal life had ended on some levels; I was a physically active individual who went from playing beach volleyball to not even being able to wash my own hair some days. I had two therapists, a chiropractor and a back doctor all managing my ‘recovery’ and I wasn’t getting any better, at all.

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When Friendships Fail: How chronic pelvic pain affected my friendships

When Friendships Fail: How chronic pelvic pain affected my friendships

I know that the way I’ve changed has been hard for some of my friends. Not everyone who befriended my overachieving, high-charging self in our twenties had bargained for a kale-growing, vaginal-health-preaching, yogi friend in our thirties. I get it. I changed a lot, and so have my friends.

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Back from the Brink: The identity crisis of a patient-turned-healthy woman

Back from the Brink: The identity crisis of a patient-turned-healthy woman

“Being sick is your entire identity right now – by necessity.  You go to the doctor, to physical therapy, to Walgreens.  You spend your ‘free time’ doing your physical therapy exercises or intentionally trying to relax.  The people in your life relate to you as a sick person – the way they interact with you is reflective of their awareness of your disability.  When you no longer have that disability, it will change the way people see and treat you. It will change how you spend your time.  It’ll change the entire focus of your day and life.”

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Our favorite new women's health tech-y products

Our favorite new women's health tech-y products

Have you met Elvie yet? Or Ava? They’re fancy women's health tech devices that have hit the market in recent years. Here’s your cheat sheet to the who, what, and why of the most popular. If you've tried them, let us know what you thought!

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Would someone turn that damn alarm off?: Reconciling my biological clock with a history of pelvic pain

Would someone turn that damn alarm off?: Reconciling my biological clock with a history of pelvic pain

I never wanted children until I decided I did.  As I emerge a healthy, functioning human after being disabled by pelvic pain for years, my biological clock has begun blaring at me.  It's an obnoxious take-no-prisoners alarm.  There doesn’t seem to be an “off” switch, so I've been hitting "snooze" for the past two years.

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My pain changed me, and I'm working to be OK with that.

My pain changed me, and I'm working to be OK with that.

I thought I could “start fresh,” making a clean break with my pain-riddled life and beginning the pain-free chapter.  But my reflection since my pain faded away have taught me that there are no clean breaks.  Our lives are fluid, and our experiences color us.  So today, I’ll admit that my pain changed me.  And I’m working to be OK with that.

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