I Don't Need Solutions
Endometriosis is a b*tch. Pardon my French, but we all know it's true. It's hell to live with the flare-ups, the cramping, the constant fatigue, the back pain, the IBS-like symptoms, the mood swings. Am I forgetting something? I'm sure I am. I'm sure you can add a dozen other symptoms yourself.
Don't tell me I'm strong
A common thing that people tell me when they find out about my endometriosis is "You're so strong". They say this because I'm very good at hiding my symptoms, carrying on "like normal" even though I'm crippled with pain. They act as if this is a good thing. As if it's admirable to pump yourself full of heavy painkillers just so you can continue working, or caring for your family. They pat you on the back and expect you to carry on.
I hate it. I don't want to be strong. I want to be tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle and a cup of tea. I don't want to be admired, I want to be supported. Don't tell me I'm strong or brave. Tell me what practical thing you're going to do for me to make my life suck less.
I don't need solutions
The other thing that people tend to do is "brainstorm" solutions.
"What if you did yoga..."
"You should meditate..."
"You should try this amazing diet..."
"You should go on the pill/try chemical menopause/get a hysterectomy..."
Endometriosis is not a problem that can be solved. It's a chronic illness, meaning that there is no cure. If you have endometriosis, you'll always have it. Sure, there are endometriosis specialists out there who can excise almost all of the endometriosis, giving you a longer period without pain. But it always comes back.
And that sucks. A lot. I realise it sucks also for my loved ones, who can only stand by helplessly as they see the pain returning. This helplessness makes them reach for solutions, anything that they can do to help me beat endometriosis.
Just let me rant
There are no solutions to endometriosis. It's insulting to try and offer solutions. Don't you think that if yoga was the answer to my problem, I wouldn't have already tried it? If I could cure my myriad of symptoms as described above with diet and meditation, I would've already embraced those treatments. But there is no cure. There is no solution. There may be temporary reprieve, but in the end, the endometriosis will always win. And that sucks.
You know what would help? If people would just let me whine. Let me rant about how unfair it is that I have endometriosis. Let me curse my body for making me feel horrible. Sit there and hear my whingeing and complaining. Give me space to rage against the medical profession for letting women down. And then pick me up, hug me, and tell me that yes, it sucks. It's horrible and unfair. Endometriosis is a b*tch. And sometimes we should be allowed to say that.
Has intimacy with your partner been affected because of endometriosis symptoms?