Coping with Endometriosis
Coping with endometriosis can be challenging to say the least. From the pain, fatigue, and more it’s a challenge every single day. I’ve been coping with endo for more than half my life.
I have had terrible cramps ever since my period started. Not just take two Advil and it gets better type of pain, but curled up in a ball crying type of pain. It was hard to get through the school day as a teenager and I’d come home just to put my heating pad on and cry myself to sleep. I did tell my gynecologist and he told me that all girls get cramps and I would be fine. He kind of shrugged me off and I began to think I was crazy. I mean if other girls could deal with this pain why couldn’t I? Was I just making a big deal out of nothing?
There’s a phrase – “pain is relative”. Basically pain is subjective; what is painful to one person may not be painful to another person. I saw more doctors and when I complained about my pain you could tell they either didn’t believe me or didn’t care. I was told to take Advil and use a heating pad. I had one doctor tell me I just needed to take magnesium. I had asked him for something stronger than Advil for my cramps and he told me that he doesn’t prescribe stuff for cramps. I just had a low pain tolerance. I knew I hurt and now I was in pain and felt weak.
I had gone to the doctor in my early 20’s for a urinary tract infection. The doctor tapped on my low back (on my kidneys) and they were tender. I can’t really remember what made her suspicious, but long story short I had kidney stones. Yes, stones plural. I had three of them and that led to my first lithotripsy. I honestly didn’t think it hurt that bad. Looking back that should have been a clue to my pain tolerance. I hear people saying kidney stones are super painful and the worst pain they’ve ever had. It hurt, but it was by no means overwhelmingly painful. I have had several stones and none of them have been unbearable.
Maybe that’s because my daily pain is worse. I know this picture is a little gross, but it is so accurate.
My insides feel like there are hot knives twisting in them all. the. time.
It’s unbearable. From the moment I wake up until I go to bed it is excruciating. It even wakes me up from sleeping it hurts so bad.
I have endometriosis. This means there is a lining type growth going on in my body and it’s like concrete fusing my organs together. It’s awful! And I am 1 in 10. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women. That’s over 176 million women! And did you know many go undiagnosed? I did for about 20 years. It wasn’t until I found a doctor that listened to me and didn’t stop until he figured out why I hurt so much.
This picture was taken before my 2017 summer surgery it hurt again in less than 6 months. In fact it actually hurt even more than before the surgery. I am happy to say saw a specialist who did a deep excision surgery and a hysterectomy back in May of 2018. I’m still in physical therapy, but I’m starting to feel better.
Beyond the physical pain there is a frustration. It seems like hardly anyone understands endometriosis and it affects millions of women!
So why I am I writing about my pain? I want my voice to be heard and I want to speak for those girls and women who are in pain and still have no answers. I hope that as I write about endometriosis it will cause others to be aware and hopefully one day we’ll have more answers.
Do you think you might have endometriosis? Here are some great places to start: