Endometriosis: Not Just Cramps
In conversation, however it may come up, when I tell someone I have endometriosis, they often reply by saying they have heard of it. One of the most common remarks is, "Oh, you have heavy periods" or "You have bad cramps". Yes, those statements are both correct, but the amount of other complications that come along with this "lovely" disease go so far beyond heavy periods and bad cramps.
Morning pep talks
It starts with convincing myself I can, in fact, get out of bed and start my day, even though the exhaustion I feel says otherwise. It's a weird tired. The kind where I lie down at night feeling immobile from exhaustion, yet can't seem to fall asleep or worse, stay asleep. After peeling myself out of bed then comes the need to take those first steps. Exhaustion and pain typically like to be the cause of the first steps challenge.
My all-day-sidekick, unbearable pain
Once I get moving and on with my day, the stabbing pain likes to show up loud and clear. It's not triggered by movement, staying still, or sitting down. It's not triggered by a morning workout or not working out at all. It's not triggered by what I eat or what I don't. It's just there, aching, stabbing, knife-twisting in my lower stomach pain that never fully likes to subside. It's this pain that often causes the sleepless nights. It's this pain that causes my irritability to go from 0 to 60 over the most minor things. I often lash out at loved ones over things I shouldn't because of feeling this horrible pain all day, every day, causing a short fuse that I can't control.
I have spent many years taking unnecessary pregnancy tests because of nausea that lingers from endometriosis. It comes in waves with no rhyme or reason. I could be having a great day and all the sudden feel sick. It will certainly put a damper on a fun activity and causes much stress when I have not wanted to get pregnant. I have convinced myself countless times that I must be pregnant feeling this sick. But no, just that old friend endometriosis stopping by to make sure I always know its there.
If nausea isn't enough to make me miserable, there are the times where I physically get sick. This mainly happens around my menstrual cycle and has several times been confusing whether I have a virus, ate something bad or endometriosis. But shocking, it's endometriosis again! This adds a certain fear to not want to go anywhere or be far from my house in case it strikes.
Yes, periods and cramps are bad
Cramps that come along with endometriosis are crippling. They will leave you immobile, sweating, and praying the pain stops. The periods, well those are fun. I got through a 4 month supply of tampons if 5 days. There are times I've wanted to just stay one the toilet because I know as soon as I use a tampon, I will have to change it. The bleeding is so bad I feel weak, lightheaded, and even more exhausted than the typical endometriosis exhaustion. So yes, they are bad, severe even, but unfortunately, they are not the only battle endo warriors fight.
Do you ever experience urinary incontinence?