I have endometriosis. Well suspected endometriosis. It is only since getting it more under control that I have realised just how much it has limited me and just how much it has affected my mental health over the years.
Endometriosis is a condition I am so comfortable talking about now. Maybe too comfortable but that’s okay. It’s better than not being at all comfortable talking about and not being at all able to express why your in such an unbelievably unbearable amount of pain and are barely able to sit through half an hour of a two hour lecture without an unbearable amount of pain from having the slightest amount of urine in my bladder, general endometriosis pain (whatever that is) and nausea or the ever so fun period diarrhoea. Or the fact that the endometriosis acts as an alarm clock, waking me up at 7:30 sharp (I kid you not).
But now it is more under control it is more of a devil. Now the extreme endometriosis pain isn’t a standard 24/7. It’s a reminder that one day it could get that bad again. The fear of how I will manage on top of everything else, how will I be able to work full time and keep up with my financial responsibilities? I’m going through a progressively getting worse flare right now and there was a day where I was getting those awful pulling burning pains but up around my stomach, whereas normally they’re a lot lower. I could barely stand and it took all the will in the world to get into work. Did I do it yes because god forbid I could be off sick for a day. I had another day a couple of days ago. First day of my period and me being lucky happens to get pain with bowel movements and urination and that’s how my suspected endometriosis has always worked. This pain was so severe that I nearly collapsed on the toilet floor and I felt sick. There was no way I was getting myself home so I stayed at work but it was bad. What if the flare keeps on getting worse, it’s a real fear.
It’s the illness that has made me do intentionally harmful things to my body in a desperate bid to relive the pain. I’ve burnt myself with hot water bottles and heat pads to the point of causing blisters. I’ve taken way more ibuprofen and paracetamol than is healthy. Taking a days worth of ibuprofen in a dose is not healthy.
It has made me so desensitized to pain that should cause alarm bells and if I atall let on how bad it was, does cause alarm bells to those around me.
This illness has made me spend unnecessary time and energy worrying about the children I may or may not be able to have and how much guilt I would feel marrying someone, knowing I was unable to have children. Or knowing sex might be so painful it that it may seldom happen.
Although it is not the most debilitating condition I have, it is by far the one that has messed with me the most. And that’s why more awareness needs to be raised for it. Even now the more confident me, doesn’t want to bother doctors with asking to be rereferred to gyne because “it’s not that bad” and true compared to Han of the past. But that doesn’t mean it’s not bad enough and I urge any women experiencing the symptoms of endometriosis to seek help.