Living in pain is not ok
For so long I felt alone in dealing with the pain and with my endo struggle. Thankfully, in today’s digital age, many endo warriors are able to connect like never before. What can endometriosis look like and how to get through it? Can you relate to any of these?
1. The pain can truly be incapacitating.
For years I was living with excruciatingly painful periods, suffering in silence, bottling everything up, thinking it was normal. I associated endo pain with period pain and forced myself to push through the pain and deal with it, even when I should have rested, when in reality it should never become just another regular part of our lives. I now realise that endometriosis was actually taking away my quality of life. I couldn't hang out with friends, care for my family properly, be productive at work, or even leave my bed on some days.
What I've realised is that this is not ok. I should have gotten checked out sooner. I encourage you to go to the doctors and get checked if you have been suffering from re-occuring symptoms. You shouldn't have to suffer through extremely painful periods. And if your doctor tells you to take painkillers, you need to get a second opinion. Getting checked out and finally getting a proper diagnosis is the best thing I've ever done. Nothing compares to living life without endo pain.
Living with pain is not OK, get checked out!
2. Symptoms don’t only happen when you have your period.
Debilitating pain while you have your period is a major symptom of this condition but endo can extend far beyond that one part of the month. It becomes annoying when people brush off endometriosis with, “Oh, some periods are really painful.” When our cramps happen whenever they want to.
Endo can also cause symptoms besides pain, like diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and fatigue, which can all be worse during your period but won’t necessarily disappear outside of it. Also, infertility is the biggest endo complication that can occur anytime.
3. Trying to get a diagnosis can be exhausting and frustrating.
The only way to definitively diagnose the condition is through a laparoscopy (minimally invasive surgery) to confirm you have endometriosis. A doctor can make an educated guess that you have endo without performing the surgery but endometriosis is a really complicated condition that even specialists are still trying to understand. It can take years of attempts to finally find a doctor who recognizes the symptoms for what they are and receiving a diagnosis can be rollercoaster of emotions that make you feel sad and relieved at the same time.
What i've learnt is that it was so important to actually listen to our bodies and not take no for an answer, especially when I know something is wrong.
4. Finding out what helps your endo will probably take trial and error.
Trying to manage your endometriosis can be intimidating. Since we can’t cure it and we don’t know exactly what causes it, many people feel lost while navigating their options. It can take some experimenting to figure out a mix of strategies and good treatment that work for you to relieve the pain. I want people to not be so hard on themselves during this journey. It’s not about finding a cure, but about pain management that will help your quality of life.
5. Your body isn’t the enemy, even if it feels like it.
I have to be on my own side. For so long I felt at war with my body because of the pain. I hated it because I didn’t understand that my body and I are actually in this together. Fighting endometriosis together.
While this disease can be draining and painful, both physically and emotionally, it doesn’t define you. You aren’t alone, you are valid, and you deserve to receive all the help and comfort you need when navigating life with endometriosis.
No matter what you are going through, we are a tribe of women who are here for you.
Love, Kel xx