Hello. I’m Cortney. It’s nice to meet you.
In 2007, at the age of only 18, I was diagnosed with stage 5/category 5 endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Stage 5/category 5 endometriosis is extremely severe and involves organs both within and outside the pelvic cavity. PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the other edge. After being diagnosed, I underwent my very first laparoscopic surgery in 2009 to remove the endometriosis. I had it removed from my stomach and colon. Even after the surgery, the symptoms persisted, but I was determined to find someone who could help me.
In 2011 after moving to Houston, Texas, I met two excellent endometriosis specialists, Dr. Rakeesh Mangal and Dr. Jonathan Mathias. They are both located at The Women’s Hospital of Texas.
Dr. Rakeesh Mangal, OBGYN, is one of the few physicians in America who has completed fellowship training in both advanced endometriosis surgery and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. My endometriosis was so severe that Dr. Mangal performed my second Laparoscopic Surgery in 2012, which lasted a total of 8 hours. That was followed by my third surgery in 2013, which lasted a total of 4 hours. I had endometriosis removed from my bowel, liver, and bladder.
Dr. Mathias, a neuro-gastroenterologist, believes women with endometriosis suffer from the biochemical abnormality of the hypersecretion of insulin. This results in the production of excessive prostaglandins, which are the chemicals in our bodies responsible for cramps and spasms. He suggests that bowel symptoms may decrease when foods that encourage the production of those bad chemicals are reduced or eliminated. Controlling insulin and blood sugar is extremely important in order to control inflammation in the body. Therefore, he placed me on a stringent diet. Simply put, the diet excludes caffeine, chocolate, red meat, soy, and sugar. My life was forever changed. I decided to peruse my Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition Science.
Before meeting Dr. Mangal and Dr. Mathias, I was told by several doctors that I would never be able to conceive a child. However, on March 14, 2016, my soul mate, Aaron, and I witnessed a miracle when our son Parker Emerson was born. God spent a little more time on him. He knew we needed him in our lives. Parker has made us better people. He completed us. Aaron and Parker are my people. My humans. My everything.
After turning 30 this year, I have learned the most important lesson: life is too short to be normal. It’s okay to be a little weird. I want to do something different. I want to be real. I want to be raw. I want to have a purpose. I want to help people. I want to educate people. I have experienced a lot of pain in my life. I want to turn that pain into something beautiful.
This is a place to share my passions with you, to offer a peek into my family life. Cooking and dining, minus the gluten, grains, and sugar. And possibly a few random thoughts along the way. Welcome.