I’m 43. I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis in 2020 when I had a hysterectomy. The more I researched, the more all of my seemingly unrelated symptoms made sense. Chronic muscle tension, migraines, frequent UTIs, chronic constipation, exhaustion, numbness, and, of course, pelvic pain. I’ve been experiencing these symptoms for more than 20 years, and no one suggested endo as the cause. They did suggest “low pain tolerance” “just a bad period” or treated me like I was drug seeking if I went to the ER when I could no longer bear the pain. After the hysterectomy, the worst of my pain went away for 2 years. A few months ago, it came back. Now, though, it’s no longer cyclical, it’s all the time, relentless.
Because of this, I’ve tried to pay close attention to what different types of pain feel like, and which I can bear through, which need to be addressed asap, and which I have to manage with a steady stream of meds. Has anyone else noticed that the pelvic pain feels like back labor, kind of combined with a sense of impending diarrhea? The muscle tension I try to fight preemptively, because if I don’t, migraines result. Migraines last a few days and wipe me out emotionally as well as physically. And I’ve noticed a new type of- maybe it isn’t classified as pain exactly, but it feels as if all of my muscles have lost any type of energy source, and they are slow to respond when I need to move. This type of pain is new to me. I’m not sure how to work through it? Or, if the best solution is to not try to work through it? The inside of my arms ache, particularly on the inside of my elbow. Noticing and naming the sensations is helping some, for now, until November, when I can have surgery and hopefully relieve these symptoms. I work as a mental health therapist, and so I try to go to work and give whatever strength and attention I’ve got. It’s getting harder and harder to do. Does anyone have suggestions for how to cope with these different types of pain? Or how they make the decision to go in to work or not?