Using COVID-19 As A Time to Focus on Your Endometriosis
In this article, couple Jessica and Chris talk about ways they're utilizing the UK's COVID-19 lockdown to improve their management of endo.
What are you doing during this time to maintain and even improve how you manage endo?
From Jess: One thing that has really stood out to me at this time is that life still goes on for me. I still have endo, I still have really awful bladder pain from interstitial cystitis, I still have sleep problems – and my goals to manage these haven’t gone away either. The habits and choices I make now are going to have a real impact later on down the line when this is all over, and I cannot afford for my bladder pain to get worse and I cannot go back to the endometriosis pain I once had.
I’m keeping on top of my daily self-care routine, I’m eating just as well, and I’m working out ways to continue to manage my IC. My pelvic floor physiotherapy has stopped, so I’m continuing that at home and I’m trying my hardest to work out how I can afford the testing I need to get done to determine why my bladder pain is so bad.
From Chris: I'm trying to keep the meals we eat consistent, even when some ingredients, especially organic produce, is harder to get hold of. It's important for Jess to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, as this is a time when she needs to be strong and healthy, and relaxing on her version of an endo diet and ending up in pain is counter-intuitive to that.
We're actually probably improving how Jess manages at the weekend because as we can't go out, we have more control over what we eat and less temptation! We've been baking endo-friendly cakes and brownies, and creating healthy recipes that will stay with us after this time has passed.
Can you think of some benefits to our current situation for managing endo?
From Jess: Many of my clients finally feel like the world has slowed down to their pace, and for once they don’t have to feel guilty. For once, the world is seeing what it’s like to live with a chronic illness. I think this is also a great time for adding in management strategies we’ve not had the time to put in place.
From Chris: That's a good point that hadn't crossed my mind - 'the world is seeing what it’s like to live with a chronic illness'. For many people with endo, keeping up with the pace of modern life when you feel fatigued and ill is a constant struggle. The whole world has slammed on the brakes and we're all moving a lot slower these days. This time of slowing down and hunkering down with loved ones can definitely be used as a time to rest, heal, and take stock.
What resources could you recommend for use at this time?
- For yoga: Yoga with Kassandra and Yoga with Adrienne
- For workouts: Cassie Ho and Rebecca Louise
- For meditation: The Honest Guys and Headspace
- For healthy recipes: Deliciously Ella and Minimalist Baker
- For books: My book, as well as Beating Endo, Outsmart Endometriosis, In the FLO, and Heal Your Endometriosis: Health & Diet Guide.
From Chris: I'd recommend Sweet Laurel (cookbook or Instagram) for some gf/df baking recipes to treat yourself during this time. We've been using and adapting their recipes to be sugar free and they're great! I'd also recommend checking out more Endometriosis.net articles and other resources on This EndoLife. None of us are really alone at this time and the endo community are going through these challenges together, and sharing great inspiration along the way.
Has intimacy with your partner been affected because of endometriosis symptoms?