Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Endometriosis Awareness Month

I have endo. I call it endo because saying its full name is a mouthful. My mother has/had (once past menopause, it kinda goes into remission) and we think my aunt and grandmother (both maternal side) had it.

It's an awful fucking disease. I remember curling up in the bathroom, starting around 11 or 12, just crying from the pain. I hadn't even started my period yet, but it tends to appear at the start of puberty. Once I got further into my teens, I wanted to go on birth control. My mother refused, freaking out that I would have sex. She relented the day I collapsed while walking our family dog. I had to hold onto him while he gently made it back to the house. My face was the color of paper and I couldn't feel my limbs through the pain. I finally had the exploratory/diagnostic surgery in August 2005. They did discover a plethora of lesions and officially diagnosed me. I've been on birth control for almost seven years, to try to stem the pain, but I eventually want children. It's also possible that I can't have children. My mother had two severe miscarriages, one being an ectopic, which almost killed her.

It's also very likely that I have the lesions on my bowels and bladder. When those lesions flare, IBS symptoms appear. To be blunt, it means I shit a lot. And painfully. It used to hurt to have sex. My right ovary will flare on occasion and will usually cause me to double over in pain. The first time my best friend saw it, I was walking in the living room of our off-campus apartment junior year of college when suddenly I hit the floor. I was able to get up after a few minutes, but she began to understand what I was going through.

I've had all the patronizing tones directed toward me, two different bosses asked if I was faking it and tried to refuse me time off. Most people don't understand why I don't go out much while on my period or have to leave an event suddenly. There is no cure, only management of it. I try to eat healthy and cut out the refined & processed food, but I will have this the rest of my life. I also have amenia because of the large amount of blood I lose every month. I can't overexert myself too much or my body will shut down.

But, if there is anything good to come out of this, I've learned my body much more than most people will. I understand its nuances and quirks and I'm apart of a community of survivors of this disease.

Some links:

Endo Center

Endometriosis Association

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