Being Stuck at Home Is Giving Me a Small Glimpse of What Life With Endometriosis Is Really Like
I thought I had a good idea of what living with endometriosis was like. I live with my partner who has endometriosis, we talk about it all the time, I follow her diet, I write for this site – endometriosis is definitely a part of my life. But it isn’t until now, under this lockdown, that I’ve begun to understand some of the real feelings someone with a chronic illness like endometriosis goes through.
Our life has changed
Like many around the world at time of writing, my partner and I are instructed to stay at home unless essential, and not see any friends or family. This has drastically changed my day to day routine, as someone who travels a lot for work, and sees people socially at least once a week. I’m getting a taste of what it feels like for so many people with endometriosis around the world, whose careers are affected, and social lives halted by the condition – and I don’t like it one bit!
The challenges of working from home
Firstly, I’ve noticed that working from home is exhausting! There’s something about looking at a computer all day that’s more tiring when you’re at home, something about tea and coffee at home that just isn’t as invigorating, something about not having any colleagues that really sucks! It’s an isolating feeling, especially as a self-employed person, to not have any face-to-face contact with colleagues and clients. As so many people with endometriosis are forced to work from home at least some of the time, and also lean towards self-employment, I can imagine there are many people out there suffering with loneliness and fatigue, and not able to get support from a superior or have a cup of tea made by a colleague. Of course - working from home is a great option for people with endometriosis and hopefully will be easier to access after this pandemic, but I just hope that people still have the support and camaraderie they would have in person.
Loneliness and endo
Speaking of loneliness, I didn’t think it would be a problem when this all started. I’m quite the introvert and can be in my own company for extended periods of time no problem... or at least I thought. Six weeks in and I’m really missing friends and family. I know there’s people with endometriosis who are unable to see friends and family because their pain or fatigue is so bad, I’ve written about it, I’ve heard my partner talk about it – but I didn’t feel it until now. And my heart goes out to them.
And then there’s the desperation of not knowing when this will end. Please let me be clear that I’m very lucky – although I don’t know when this lockdown will end, I know it will end, and at that end I will once again be healthy and free to do as I wish. This is not the case for a lot of people with endometriosis. There are very successful management and treatment options out there, but currently no cure. I can’t imagine how it must feel to be too tired or in too much pain to go out for a walk, feel isolated from friends and family because you can’t go out to eat, and for there to feel like there’s no end in sight – but I have glimpsed it. The majority of people in affected countries will have glimpsed it in some way.
Hopefully, if anything good can come from this situation, it’s a better understanding of the lives of those who are already isolating, and more support for those who have no choice but to be locked down.
Do you know someone that has made a difference with endometriosis advocacy?