Dear My28Days Community,
My wife Nunee and I are back in Thailand after a 10-week tour of the USA. On this trip, I met many incredible women with POI in small, in-person groups in what we call “The USA POI Serenity Tour.”
As we approach the end of the year, I want to address a sensitive topic of great importance to our POI community: finding acceptance and a new way forward. Having worked with women with POI for many years, I understand how difficult it can be to find a way to cope and move forward.
As a physician, I have witnessed the pain and agony that humans can endure. I have seen the human body in its most vulnerable state and have felt the weight of responsibility to alleviate suffering. Despite the harsh realities I have encountered, as a scientist, I have also marveled at the intricate and awe-inspiring design of the world around us. From the tiniest microbes to the grandest galaxies, the universe is full of beauty, mystery, and orderliness that leave me in awe.
However, a near-death experience allowed me to see the harmony in these dichotomies. In that moment, I could see beyond the physical realm and understand the interconnectedness of all things. This experience allowed me to find peace in providence. To me, providence is the idea that unity guides us towards a greater purpose. Combining my experiences as a physician and a scientist and this profound moment of clarity has given me a new perspective on life and the world around me. Serenity is possible.
I also want to share my imaginary liminality space, which I call “Providence House.” This personal space is where my serenity lives. I can visit it in my imagination when I need to ground myself. This liminal space is Empathy Thinking®, neuroscience, the power of belief, and where my human spirit can find homeostasis.
As we all know, POI is an incurable yet treatable condition that affects women and their families in many ways. Many women feel stuck in a liminal space between feeling lost and accepting reality. I believe that forming POI Serenity Chapters could be a positive step forward for our community. These chapters can provide a safe and supportive environment for women and their families to come together and share their experiences, struggles, and successes.
As we navigate this journey together, we can remember the power of providence, reminding us that we can find ourselves when we feel lost. Providence teaches our hearts to fear and, in the process, if we abide and listen, can lead us to a place of serenity. We can hold onto these promises as our protection and have hope as long as we live.
Many resources are available to help individuals find serenity, including meditation, being mindful, deep breathing exercises, and journaling. These techniques reduce stress and anxiety and effectively promote being well emotionally. A local support group such as the POI Serenity Chapter could provide a safe and supportive environment for women and their families to come together and share their experiences, struggles, and successes. These groups could offer a sense of community and belonging, as well as resources and information on managing the condition and coping with its emotional and physical effects.
To join in this discussion about local “POI Serenity Chapters,” please become a member of our closed Facebook Group, “A Community Resource for Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI).” We are now 4,000 members strong!
May this holiday season bring you peace, hope, and comfort, and may we all find the strength to continue moving forward.
Take care and be well,
Dr. Lawrence M. Nelson, MD, MBA
Director, My 28 Days® Initiative
President, Mary Elizabeth Conover Foundation, Inc.