Lisa Kendzior was fed up going to different doctors and not getting answers to why she experienced intense pain every month during her menstrual cycle.
During her senior year of college, Lisa, now 30, became very ill and went to the local emergency room.
“They said I had a ruptured ovarian cyst and they sent me home with pain medication. Three months later, I experienced the same thing,” she said.
Lisa was put on oral birth control to help manage the monthly pain, but she discontinued it after doing research about the effects and not experiencing any relief from the pain.
“I was taking up to 20 ibuprofen a day for the pain during my cycle,” Lisa said. “I was just being shuffled from doctor to doctor and emergency room to emergency room.”
A faithful meeting
During a March for Life trip, she discussed her situation with a friend who suggested she see Dr. Jocelyn Go-Lim at OSF Medical Group — Family Medicine in Cherry Valley, Illinois. Dr. Go-Lim is a certified NaPro Technology Medical Consultant.
That was in the spring of 2017 when Lisa began seeing Dr. Go-Lim an hour away from her home in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
“I could just tell it was different than any doctor I’d seen before – not just because there were crucifixes in every room, which I appreciated,” she said. “I had a doctor listening to me and connecting the dots. No one had really pointed out that some of my symptoms, like the severe cramping and being tired around the time of my period, were tell-tale signs of something being wrong. It was very much a lightbulb moment.
“I just really felt cared for,” Lisa said. “They were looking at me as a whole person and not just trying to treat the pain or put a Band-Aid on the pain.”
The natural way
Lisa was taught about the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, which is used to monitor and maintain a woman’s gynecological health. She learned how to chart her menstrual cycle and understand the signs her body gives as natural changes occur throughout her cycle.
A woman learns to chart her cycle using the Creighton Model. NaPro Technology (Natural Procreative Technology) is used to treat issues uncovered by the Creighton Model. It allows for the diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause of conditions such as ovarian cysts, unusual bleeding, painful periods, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, recurrent miscarriage and infertility.
“I began to understand my body and what the symptoms meant. I went for regular blood work to check vital readings and my hormone levels. They found my hormone levels were low, and that was something that had never been checked before,” Lisa said.
After working for about nine months with Dr. Go-Lim and her nurse, Mary O’Grady, RN, BSN, CFCP, Lisa was diagnosed with endometriosis.
In endometriosis, tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue implants outside the uterus. Each month, this tissue responds to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle. It builds up, breaks down and bleeds. And since the blood has nowhere to go, the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed or swollen. It can also cause scar tissue, chronic pain and heavy periods.
Lisa underwent laparoscopic surgery in July 2018 to remove built up tissue from seven spots.
“It was like a night and day difference,” Lisa said. “I’ve gone from taking up to 20 ibuprofen a day for the pain to now when I have cramping I might take four for the duration of the cramping.
“It was so comforting to finally have answers and to have a doctor on my team who was supportive of me,” she said.
Engaged to be married in April 2020, Lisa continues to chart her cycle and will rely on natural family planning following her marriage as fertility care remains a concern.
“There is definitely a faith component, but what appeals more deeply to me is just listening to my body – what works for my body and what works best for my health, not just using substances to change the natural activity of my body,” she said. “Because I’ve been on the endometriosis journey, one of the scary things is it could impact my having kids. But just knowing I have a team of doctors to help me with that is a good feeling.”
Advice for young women
And while she’s not a mom yet, Lisa does work with teenagers through her role as a junior high youth minister. She encourages moms to start the conversation with their daughters at a young age.
“People joke you eat chocolate during your period, but they need to understand why. You get tired, but this is why. And talk about what normal cramps should be,” she said. “I didn’t know I should talk about how the pain escalates and that I was throwing up from the pain from cramping. Parents need to talk to their daughters about what is good and what is healthy.”
For teens, she said, it’s empowering to know your body and to know what is normal.
“And make your doctor listen to you,” Lisa said. “Find a doctor who looks at you as a whole person and not as a collection of symptoms.”
If you’re experiencing issues, NaPro Technology may be of help to you. Fill out the Request a Consultation form to get started with a NaPro specialist today.