What I Learned About Endometriosis Last Year
I spend the time around New Year's Eve, as many do, reflecting on life and the past year. A big part of that life is my partner, and a big part of her life is endo. This means that endo is also a big part of my life, so I thought about it a lot. Over the last year, I've learned a lot about endo, and a lot about my partner because of it, so I'm going to try and get some of those thoughts down here.
Endometriosis is unpredictable
I learned last year that endo is unpredictable. I already knew this to a certain extent, but it was made clear to me this year. Despite all the hard work my partner puts in to managing her symptoms and avoiding triggers, there were a couple of times this year where unexpected and frankly horrible symptoms popped up. Bouts of pain or severe nausea that just left us scratching our heads! It taught me that even though we think we know a lot about endo, it is a vastly more complicated condition than we can know and lots of research still needs to be done.
Managing endometriosis is a full-time job
Tied to this, I learned that there's no room for error when it comes to managing endometriosis symptoms. I can only speak for my partner here, but the amount of relief and benefit she gets from the lifestyle changes she makes is directly related to how strict she is with sticking to those changes. There's no taking time off because endo is always waiting to bite back. But I also learned that this is okay. The effort it takes to maintain her lifestyle changes is repaid tenfold in the improvement in quality of life she gets from it.
Awareness is improving
I also learned that endo is going mainstream! We saw it everywhere this year. Female reproductive health is having a moment and endo is at the forefront of that. And about time too! Still, too many people respond with 'endo-what?' - it's starting to change, and we need to keep spreading that awareness.
Endo warriors are STRONG
Finally, I learned how strong my partner is. I faced a lot of challenges this year, and had some successes too, but my partner had a really great year. From qualifying as a women's health coach to releasing a book, it was a massive year for her, and the fact that she did all that in the face of fatigue and brain fog and sometimes crippling pain is inspiring to me. I've learned time and time again how strong the endometriosis community is, and how resilient people with endo can be. My partner is a shining example to me, and through her I am inspired by other stories I hear from this community.
Do you know what your endometriosis phenotype is?