A heating pad radiating heat

The Endometriosis Toolkit

Managing endometriosis symptoms isn’t easy. Because the symptoms can vary so much, it’s sometimes hard to know what you will need to get through the day. My symptoms aren’t restricted to cramps alone, which would be bad enough. I also experience back pain, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue. There are days when it’s impossible to go out and have a semblance of a normal life, but most of the time, I can manage my symptoms with the right tools. So what is in my endometriosis toolkit?

At home

It’s easier to manage my symptoms at home, because that’s where my bed is, which I can curl up in until I feel like I can live again. Apart from my bed, I also use the following tools:

  • TENS machine - this is great for pelvic pain, not just cramps. My back pain (which tends to extend down my legs in an annoying way) can also be managed this way.
  • Heating pads - especially good for abdominal cramps, but again, can be used to alleviate back pain as well.
  • Epson salts - a good, nice soak in a hot bath with Epson salts will help me relax when the symptoms aren’t too bad.
  • Loose clothing or pajamas - I must admit I love my comfy clothing. Nothing worse when you’re sore and bloated than to have restrictive clothing digging into you. At home, I live in my loose maxi dresses or dressing gown.

On the go

When I am out and about, or at work, it’s a bit trickier to manage my symptoms. Usually I can tell before leaving the house how bad my symptoms are, but they can also flare up unexpectedly, so it’s good to be prepared for any eventuality (as much as possible). I try to keep the following with me when I’m at work or on the go:

  • Peppermint or ginger tea - I find both of these really help with the nausea and bloating. It’s best to buy a good brand of tea so you get the real essence.
  • Heating pads - I swear by heating pads; They are so good. You can get thin ones you can just wear beneath your clothing to be as unintrusive as possible.
  • Pain medication - I always make sure to have a good supply of pain medication in my purse, especially when I’m on the go, as it’s much more difficult then to manage the symptoms without pain meds.

The power of delegation

Whether I’m at home or at work, when my endometriosis symptoms get too bad, I don’t hesitate to delegate my tasks. I’m fortunate that I have a job where I can manage my workflow, so on bad days, I can put off tasks that aren’t immediately pressing. At work, I have learned to ask for help with cooking, cleanin,g and shopping when I’m in a bad state. Asking for help isn’t always easy, but there is no need to be superwoman. Endometriosis is hard enough to go through, the least we can do it try to make everything else a little easier for ourselves.

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