Episode #1: When the Body Has Had Enough and the Long Search for Diagnosis

Today, I will take you back to the very beginning and together we will go through this long journey from the first symptoms to my final diagnosis.


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LISTEN TO THE NEXT EPISODE to hear how I went from this diagnosis to complete recovery

Hello, my name is Karolina and welcome to my podcast Heal Yourself. In this podcast, I will share my personal healing journey along with the experiences I've gained as a guide in helping others heal their body and soul. And I hope that these insights will empower you to embark on your own path to self -healing. 

It all started in the second half of 2020. It was actually one of the most beautiful times of my entire life. I just found the love of my life. I was moving here in Italy and I was already doing mindfulness coaching by then. And I thought that I know exactly how to manage my stress and that some problems of mental or physical health are long past me. Well, how wrong I was because this heaven on earth quickly turned into my little personal health. And I started to suffer from anxiety, very strong anxiety. I started to have panic attack very often, sometimes in the middle of the night. I would wake up crying and not being able to breathe just out of nowhere. So I was obviously stressed also during my sleep. I couldn't sleep. It was very difficult for me to fall asleep or stay asleep. I started to suffer from depression, deep depression. I was waking up in tears every day. Everything was just clouded in this dark cloud above my head. And I had no idea where all these problems are coming from. I was so happy at that time. I had a man who loves me. I loved him. I had a job that I loved. I moved to a country where I always wanted to live. Everything seemed just perfect in my life, apart from the fact that it was not perfect at all inside of me. And I didn't know what to do with that. And together with all these mental issues, I started to have health issues. as well. My period got irregular. I started to have strange pains in my lower belly but also other parts of my body and one of the worst things, at least for me at that time, was that I completely lost my libido. I just completely lost interest in sex and I didn't understand that I had a new relationship, a man that I loved that I found attractive but I just didn't want to have sex at all.

So I went to see first gynecologist. He checked me completely, told me that everything was okay, that I had no issue whatsoever, that I was completely healthy. All the symptoms that I had, all the issues, I felt like he's completely disregarding, like these are just normal things that a girl of my age should be experiencing and that skipping periods or not having interest in sex is just normal result of my stressful life and I just have to get used to it. So I went to another gynecologist because this for me was not an answer and I just fell deep down. I just knew it's something deeper. I didn't believe it was stres because I just wasn't stressed at that time at all but even if it was stressed, I knew somehow I felt I'm sick. I knew I have something that is much more serious than just being a little stressed. So I went to another doctor. Again, the same situation. You are completely healthy. When I pointed out again that I just completely completely lost interest in sex out of nowhere that I think it's actually really strange that I don't think it's normal and I want to do something about it. There must be some reason. The answer of the doctor was that if I have problems to get excited and get wet, here is a lubrication gel. So it's important that the penis can get in, but that I personally have zero interest for this even happen that was not important for anyone.

So I went to another gynecologist, this time already based on recommendation of my friend because I really asked around for a doctor that will be understanding, that will see my symptoms as something more complex and will try to see some answers. And I was coming to this doctor already with a big home because I was already getting desperate. And she just told me the same thing over again, that there is nothing wrong with me, that it's a stress. And she has nothing else to tell me apart from that I can use lubrication gel if I have problems to get excited. And already in her office, I just had a mental breakdown and I started to cry. That looking back was very embarrassing and she was just looking at me like I lost my mind. But I was really scared that I didn't know what was it, I didn't know who is going to help me. I was afraid that I'm going to lose my relationship. I was afraid that it's something serious, but because no one can tell me what it is, it just keeps getting worse and worse. And where is it going to end? And I told her that I feel like no one is listening to me. I feel like no one is understanding what I'm saying and that I don't know what to do. When I was leaving, I was just thinking to myself, OK, so. This doctor, I will not come here again either after this little scene, but it was just how I felt at the time, just completely desperate.

And as no doctor has given me any answers that would be in any way helpful for me, I started to look for answers myself. And while researching, I came to realize that it was obviously connected to something that looking back is very strange. It's strange for me to understand that three doctors, none of them had the idea to even test for that, and it's obviously my hormones, and probably some of you already just listening to my symptoms were already thinking, well, it's obviously connected to her hormones, and obviously it was. So I went to another gynecologist. That time was my old Czech gynecologist, and I told him this, that I have all these issues, all these symptoms, and that I want him to write a recommendation for me to have my hormones tested, to which he told me that it's actually completely useless to test my hormones, because even if I tested for any hormonal disbalance, the only thing that he can prescribe me is hormonal contraception. which I've been refusing my entire life and so testing my hormones is there's no point because he cannot help me anyway so I was like okay thanks for nothing so I went and paid for all the tests myself. I got my hormones tested I received the results obviously all my hormones well not all of them but most of them were just completely out of balance. The ones that were supposed to be lower were higher the ones that were supposed to be equal to each other they were completely different, just a hormone disaster and I brought this results back to another doctor back here in Italy and I showed him this results. He was like oh well interesting it's very good that you got your hormones tested who recommended that? I was like well no no one actually recommended that I did it myself. he also checked my ovaries he found some cysts on the ovaries and based on that he diagnosed me with PCOS. When I asked him okay wonderful so I have PCOS what can we do about it? He told me that he can prescribe me hormonal contraception. So I was like okay thank you bye here is your 200 euros see you later. Again I did my research I bought all the possible books on this topic I listened to all the podcasts I listened to any specialist speaking on the topic but as I was researching I started to think that I actually don't have PCOS because most of the symptoms of PCOS were not my symptoms. And even some of the hormonal disbalances were not the way they are supposed to be with PCOS. And so I was thinking to myself, okay, so what do I have? I was so happy I finally got my diagnosis and then after a few weeks I started to realize that it was probably a wrong diagnosis.

During all this time my problems were just getting worse and worse and I already completely lost my period. I also completely, completely lost any desire to have sex whatsoever. My mental problems were just, I just couldn't function anymore, I couldn't work, I couldn't... go out, meet friends, I was just so unhappy and obviously the fear of not knowing what is wrong with me but knowing deep down that something is really wrong but not being able to find any help, not being able to find anyone that would actually listen to what I say, it was just making my mental state overall much and much worse. And during the whole time I was actually having an online psychotherapy but sadly for some reason for that time it was not really helping me at all and I was reaching a point when I was ready to have some antidepressants prescribed because even though I don't believe it should be the only treatment because it only really treats the symptom but doesn't treat the cause, but because I couldn't really reach the cause with my psychotherapy I was ready to have some medication prescribed, because I just couldn't be this way anymore. I also remembered my previous experience with ayahuasca and it was from a few years ago when I was traveling around Colombia and that time when I was 20 years old I had my first two ceremonies that that time helped me with things I didn't even know needed to be helped with and somehow I just felt it was something that could help me. The shamans always say that she calls you when is your time, she will call you back and I was just feeling this calling and I felt that it could be something that could actually show me what is the cause that could actually show me where I made mistakes, what I did that I made myself this bad and so I decided to fly to Mexico. I found my shaman and undertook two ceremonies that helped me tremendously. It took me back to a place where I was able to function normally. My depression left completely. My whole ayahuasca journey is something that I could talk for a few separate, just dedicated episodes and they are coming later on in this podcast. So here I'll just come back to the whole story.

I continued my research and I came across an incredible book, a book by Lara Bidden, the Period Repair Manual, which is an incredible book. I learned so many things about my own body, about the way it functions, about the medication that you should never take to have it function properly. And as I was reading it, I was thinking, well, this woman, she obviously knows what she talks about and I want her to examine me. Well, the problem was she is from Australia. She is an Australian naturopath. So I messaged her assistant, telling her that I would really love to have an online checkup with Mrs. Doctor and that I will pay anything, just give me that appointment. And she replied that it is unfortunately not possible, but what she can do is to recommend me to another naturopath that is also just focused on the female hormonal health. She is also from Australia, but she can give me an online check. So I said, yes, please recommend me, sign me in. And that's how I found my amazing naturopath, Kate. She made me do another tests. And already when she saw my previous blood test, when she heard my symptoms, she told me, yes, 100%, you don't have PCOS. But based on your test results and on your symptoms, it could be something with your autoimmunity. So she was texting me for different autoimmune diseases. It could be something with your adrenals, or just to exclude this option, I will recommend you to have an MRI scan of your brain to exclude the option of a brain tumor and well after having the MRI scan we actually did not exclude this option and it was my diagnosis. I had a brain tumor.

When I received the results I was in Nepal at that time and I immediately already in tears called my boyfriend and he as always went straight into the solving problem mode and he started to ask me questions, so did you already book another meeting with Kate, have you booked with this doctor and I'm just calling this doctor and we are going to solve it, we are going to solve it right now and I was just like well I just found out that I am seriously ill. Can I please just... cry, can I please just be sad about it, can I just not try to solve it in this very moment and just experience the pain? And as I said that he he started to cry as well and we're just both crying and I continued crying the entire day and night until I cried myself to sleep and then I woke up with a strange feeling of inner peace, inner calm and deep down I just somehow knew that I can heal myself.