I am very blessed to say that I speak two languages. My mother tongue is English, and as an adult I learned to speak Spanish. My husband is from South America and we only speak Spanish in the house. After being diagnosed with PMDD, I joined a number of Facebook groups to connect with others and to learn as much as I could about this disorder. To my surprise, I learned that the SSRI medications were not a long-term answer to this problem. I was feeling great, but I learned from others that this feeling wasn’t going to last. However, in the moment I felt fine, and once again I was able to get out of bed and take care of myself. I didn’t know how long this would last, so while at the moment I felt okay, I wanted to find a long-term solution.
A couple of months after my diagnosis, and after noticing that my symptoms were getting worse again, a woman from Venezuela posted some information in Spanish in one of the groups. I told her that I would be happy to help with the translation into English, and she gladly accepted. Immediately she posted a video from CNN en Español and asked me to translate the main idea.
I prepared myself with a pen and paper to take notes. There were three men all talking about PMS. How ironic I said to myself. The interviewer, Ismael Calas from Miami, introduced the experts, an older man, Dr. Jorge Lolas from Chile, who was the main interviewee, and a younger gynecologist, Dr. Enrique Vazquez-Vera, also from Miami. Calas introduced Lolas’ book, “PMS: From a New Perspective” and asked him the opening question about the variety of doubts within this syndrome. Dr. Lolas talks about “curing” this syndrome, and Dr. Vazquez mentions bringing a “balance” to the lives of women with this syndrome. The doctors continue talking about how severe PMS is diagnosed, and at what point in life they typically exhibit symptoms. Calas asks Dr. Lolas “What causes this?” And here is where the light bulb turned on over my head. Dr. Lolas says (and this is at about the 7:00 mark) “They’ve always said that this is a hormonal problem, but we’ve become convinced that this is more than a hormonal problem, it’s a chronic inflammation of the uterus, specifically the cervix.” Chronic inflammation? Now I already knew that chronic inflammation was the source of many ailments. LEF.org states that “Of the ten leading causes of mortality in the United States, chronic, low-level inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of at least seven. These include heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and nephritis.” (I highly recommend reading the quoted article.) So the fact that PMDD was also caused by chronic inflammation made complete sense. Now what? I began to look for information on Dr. Lolas in English, and I couldn’t find anything. I looked for his book, which was published in 1994, I could only find it in Spanish. There was literally ZERO information about Dr. Lolas’ theory available in English.
What I did find was very interesting, however. His website, www.sindromepremenstrual.com was very detailed on the history of premenstrual disorders, the 150+ symptoms, the confusing diagnoses, and much more. All in Spanish. I was grateful that I could read this information, but what about all of the other English speaking women in the world? They needed to hear it too! So, I emailed Dr. Lolas himself and offered myself as a translator for this work. Now, to be clear, I’m an extremely busy woman. I work from home, full-time 2 weeks out of the month, and part-time the other 2 weeks. I have 2 small children, a husband, a house to take care of, grocery shopping to be done, etc, etc. This information was too important NOT to take the time out of my busy schedule to share. On Facebook, I also found out about a documentary called: SPM, El Descubrimiento del Dr. Lolas (PMS, Dr. Lolas’ Discovery). So, I contacted the director about also translating it into English. Amazingly enough, he replied to me and accepted!
On Thursday I will continue with how the translating work is going, the progression (or regression) of my PMDD, and a really cool doctor in Miami.
Links to check out:
This is a blog/website ran by one of Dr. Lolas’ former patients. There is a “translate” button on the left side of the page, as most of the website is in Spanish. There is so much information on this page, eventually I want to make a good translation of all of the information that is already here.
Dr. Lolas’ official website. There is currently not a translate button on this website. Eventually I want to translate all of this information into English.