Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Silent Struggle

This blog post has been brewing in my thoughts for several months now.  I keep putting off the writing of it for many reasons, but the time has come to do some sharing of a very personal nature.  For anyone reading this post, I want you to know that this sharing comes from the desire to bring help and hope to others who might be struggling in a similar way to what I have experienced.

Anyone who has been a long-time blog reader of this little corner on the web may recall a post I wrote back in 2013 that can be referenced here for the background to what I will write about tonight:  In this post, I detailed the hard lessons of an ongoing health problem that was the result of child birth.  Little did I know at the time of that writing that it was only the beginning of my journey.

Allow me to continue the story...

When I wrote that blog post, I was three months into a daily struggle with hemorrhoids.  Two more months would pass of off and on pain, discouragement, and experiments with any possible remedy to bring permanent relief from the most excruciating agony I had ever endured.  Finally, at long last, the answer came through the midwife who had delivered my baby and whom I "happened" to bump into in town one day.  "Have you tried magnesium?" she asked.  It wasn't the first time I had heard of magnesium as a possible aid in healing, but for some reason unknown to me now, I had forgotten about the idea or been unwilling to try it on top of the myriad of other things on my list of experiments.  This time, I decided to give it a try since I had nothing to lose...and lo and behold, after about 3 days of being on the supplement, I experienced noticeable relief.  A week went by...two weeks.  The hemorrhoids (which never go away from one's body once you get them) had at last retreated into silence.  No longer did they scream with pain every day.  No longer did they take over my life with the all-consuming drive to be free of their shackles.  At a time when I had begun to wonder if I would ever know the meaning of "normal life" again, God provided the answer to my prayers in the form of a small, white pill available for a few dollars at the local pharmacy.

Enter child birth number two.  An early baby, a smaller baby, a delivery that was practically pain-free and involved 3 minutes of pushing instead of 3 hours...and absolutely zero problems with hemorrhoids in the weeks that followed.  I was ecstatic and full of praise to the Lord!  By this point, magnesium was simply a part of my daily life and had armed me with confidence that I would forever be okay.

Enter child birth number three.  A little more pushing involved this time...maybe 20 minutes?  Maybe a big longer?  The specifics are a bit fuzzy.  (One day, I still plan to write his birth story here, or at least what I remember of it!)  A few weeks went hemorrhoids.  I was so very grateful.  Then, we moved across the country.  I'm not sure if it was three days of sitting in the car, the weird things that traveling can do to one's digestive system, or the stress of moving with three children two years old and under, but for some reason, the hemorrhoids manifested themselves once again.  Despite my initial discouragement, I wasn't overly worried.  I thought to myself,  "I've fought these enemies before and won (by the grace of God); surely, we can win this battle again!"  Thankfully, at the time, my sweet friend, Rachel Horvath, was staying with us to help with the move, the children, and the unpacking.  She had two weeks left in her stay when the hemorrhoids reared their ugly heads, so my goal was to see them dormant by the time her two weeks' was up.

Once again, I started in on my regimen of natural remedies.  (I didn't even bother with a doctor appointment this time as I knew the excruciating pain that would bring and the prescription for topical creams that had not resulted in any kind of lasting relief the previous time.)  I upped my magnesium dosages considerably.  I increased my fiber and water intake.  I took sitz baths.  I applied essential oils topically.  I took a probiotic.  Much to my surprise, nothing I tried worked this time!  As the days went by and the pain raged, the worry started to creep in.  Why wasn't my body responding to the same treatments it had before?  Feverishly, I scoured the internet for any and all natural home remedies I could try to overcome hemorrhoids.  I tried apple cider vinegar treatments in various forms.  I tried tumeric powder mixed with olive oil.  I lived on IB Profen.  Dozens of experiments later, and still, nothing worked for longer than a day or two.

Rachel's visit came to an end and I was left with the full responsibility of running the household and caring for my three little people while suffering with debilitating pain most days.  It was rough, yet God was certainly my strength and my stay.  He gave me the ability to keep going one day at a time.

People at church would ask me all the time how I was doing.  There were a few I confided in with the truth and even asked prayer of the lady's Sunday school class, but overall, hemorrhoids are a silent struggle.  It's embarrassing and incredibly personal to talk about.  I didn't know very many people well enough in our new location to feel comfortable sharing what was really going on in my life at the time.  I was embarrassed to have to carry around a donut-shaped pillow stuffed into a pillow case to sit on everywhere I went, knowing it was likely causing questions in people's minds as they watched me.  My husband was supportive and helpful, but busy in a new ministry, and my family was deeply sympathetic, but couldn't do much from afar except listen and pray.  I could do little but cling to God and keep trying anything that might bring relief.

The struggle stretched on for the course of 7 months...longer even than the first go-round!  Thankfully, the pain wasn't constant for those 7 months.  It was off and on, though mostly on, and there were even some days I considered very manageable.

Finally, as a last resort, I decided to try some products from a health and wellness company called Plexus.  Both my brother-in-law and a close friend had used their supplements for various needs in the past, so when a different friend started posting about Plexus on Facebook regularly, I was already vaguely familiar with the name.  The more she posted, the more I grew curious as to whether these supplements could possibly aid in a full recovery from my hemorrhoids.  I was very skeptical at first, though (due to the fact that Plexus is a multi-level-marketing style company, which I had always stayed away from in the past), and took weeks - if not months - of research and thinking to finally take the plunge and give their products a try.  Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Since my brother-in-law is an Ambassador for Plexus, I started out ordering the supplements I wanted from him with the 60-day money-back guarantee firmly in place.  I began with a combo package called Tri-Plex.  Each of the three products that make up the Tri-Plex are aimed at "replenishing beneficial microorganisms, restoring healthy gut lining, and maintaining a healthy immune system."  (I had also heard they could help with balancing blood sugar, which I figured might improve my energy levels.)  I eased my way into each of the three products so as not to overwhelm my body with too much detoxifying at first, and because I was nursing a baby and didn't want to overwhelm his system.

Much to my surprise and delight, the products worked -- and quickly!  Merely three days into taking the BioCleanse supplement, which is a more powerful form of magnesium than I was taking, combined with additional vitamins, I experienced tremendous relief!  Next, I incorporated the ProBio 5 high quality probiotic.  After two or three weeks of being on just these two supplements, the hemorrhoid pain had totally and completely gone!  Lastly, I added the Slim product and was excited to see how it continued to aid in cleansing and digestion as well as the balanced blood sugar and stable energy I had been hoping for as time went on.

I wish I could accurately communicate how deeply grateful and terribly excited I was to find supplements that allowed my body to heal from The Silent Struggle that had again consumed so much of my life for the previous 7 months!  During that time, the Lord built into my heart a new compassion for people who live with chronic pain...yet, when the end finally came, I was so thankful to be freed from the chronic pain that had tortured my body and to return to being a fully engaged wife and mom.

A few months into using the Plexus products as a customer of my BIL, I finally signed up to become an Ambassador myself in order to benefit from the wholesale pricing available on all products.  I also wanted to become an Ambassador in case it allowed me the opportunity to share about Plexus with others who might benefit from these products.

And that is why I break the silence now to share the rest of my story.  Plexus happens to be offering free shipping on all their products for a few days right I thought, what better time to tell people about them?  Maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there who is also struggling with a challenging health problem and has tried everything on the market to no avail.  Maybe, just maybe, Plexus can help them too.

The best way I can describe Plexus products in a nut shell would be dietary supplements made from clean ingredients, many of them plant-based, that aim to help people experience and maintain a cleansed and healthy gut, stable blood sugar, healthy weight management, and a body that functions well and feels good overall.  Since so many different ailments and immune system problems originate in our guts, the signature Plexus products start here by helping to clean things out and support the production of good gut flora.  As a result, people all across the world have a wide spectrum of different testimonies regarding how Plexus helped them achieve optimum health including some very serious health struggles.

However, Plexus is not just intended for those with serious problems.  I know a number of people who are benefitting from the products simply for daily health maintenance purposes and for keeping their immune systems strong because of a healthy gut.  As I've been expecting a baby now while taking these supplements, I've been very pleased to not struggle (for the first time!) with blood sugar dips and light-headedness/faintness at various times of day as I have in the past.  In other words, the benefits come in all shapes and sizes! :)

Because Plexus products are dietary supplements, they have "not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease," just the same as any other other vitamin or natural health product on the market.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in learning more about Plexus products, you can read about them at this web link under the Products tab:

There are three ways to order for those who might want to give these products a try, all of which have a 60-day money-back guarantee connected with them:
1) Retail
2) Preferred Customer
3) Ambassador

With Retail, you will pay the highest price, but you only have to make a one-time purchase.

Being a Preferred Customer means that you get the second-best price, but you are put on a monthly auto-ship schedule, which some may or may not prefer.  The good news with this is that you can cancel at any time you don't want a monthly order - no strings attached!  After three month's orders in a row, you receive a 10% discount on all future products.

The third way to order is as an Ambassador.  In the long run, this is the least expensive way to order as you get everything at wholesale price.  You do have to pay a yearly membership fee, which is about $35 right now, but you also have the chance to build a business out of it if you so desire.

Tax and shipping will have to be paid for all products ordered, but is not included in the pricing until checkout.  That's one reason the free shipping promotion being offered right now through October 17th is such a sweet deal!  For those wanting to take advantage of it, you will need this code at checkout: OCTSHIP

This blog post has certainly grown long!  If you've stuck with me this far, you are to be commended. :)  I don't usually get this vulnerable in the public eye, but it's worth it to me if just one person can be helped during our earthly sojourn.  Of course, heaven is the only place we will be free of all pain and suffering, and I look forward to being with the Lord Jesus there one day!  Most importantly, I am His ambassador, so if you have questions about your eternal destination, I would love to share more with you in that regard too.

In the meantime, if Plexus products might aid or benefit your health journey during this life time, I would encourage you to check into them!


Rudi and Carla Booher said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. I have often wondered how your situation has been and prayed for you. Praise the Lord he used this company to bring you relief!! What an awesome God we serve. We are in Bolivia, so I can't avail myself of these products, but maybe when we are home I will look into them! I think you presented the whole thing beautifully. God bless you and yours. You continue to be in my prayers.

Katrina Marie said...

Hi Carla! It's good to hear from you! I was wondering if your family was still in Bolivia. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement and for your prayers! You have been a faithful cheerleader from afar even though we've never met...and I greatly appreciate it! I hope you all are doing well!