Even During The Worst Times, There’s Always Something You Can Do
One of the things that I often hear fellow endometriosis say are things like “I can’t do this anymore” or “I want to give up”. I’m guilty of my own versions of this, the most common “Can someone please take my uterus out already?!”.
Endometriosis is an illness that can take a deep emotional toll. It generates anxiety and drives many of us to suffer from depression. There are many times when it feels like giving up is the best option, only really, we can’t give up endometriosis. This annoying monster likes to linger.
Endometriosis is an illness that is not fatal- but can feel like it. Yet, even though some things cannot be fixed, there is always something we can do, and it is crucial to remember this.
When doctors won’t listen
I’ve said it many times, if your doctor is not helping you, find a new one. Ask friends for tips on gynecologists that listen - even if they are not endometriosis specialists, most of the time we just need someone really willing to help us. Ask for your medical records, print them out, and build a folder. Write down your symptoms, note how often they happen. Take that information with you every time you see a doctor.
When your partner doesn’t get it
This one is tricky, because sometimes all we can do is educate others, and that can be very tiring. Yet, endometriosis is an illness that requires support, and to be a real ally, you have to know a little about the disease. Tag loved ones on social media posts that are relevant to you, send them all the articles you come across. True supporters exist, and will do everything it takes to help you, even if it means pairing their morning coffee with an article on heavy periods.
When dietary changes don't work
This has happened to me. I went vegan, and it made my IBS-like symptoms worsen. Turns out, I can’t eat most beans and pulses. So, I had to go back to the drawing board and make further changes. Even after two years of going on an endo diet, I still haven’t nailed it completely. Diet may always be a work in progress, as your body needs time to process everything you put into it, one new food at a time. Patience is key.
When it won’t stop hurting
Call your doctor! Any pain that prevents you from moving around, and goes on for more than a few days, may need medical care. If you can, create a list of pain management tools, and go through it: medication, TENS machine, alternative therapies, etc. Remember that the pain will pass, it’s only temporary.
When the infertility ghost haunts you
Emotional support is extremely important. Reach out to your friends, brave a local support group, or find a safe space online. Don’t suffer this in silence or let it all bottle up. Also, choose who you want to talk to, and more importantly, who you don’t want to share this struggle with.
Endometriosis can sometimes feel like a life sentence. But no matter how bad it gets, it doesn’t not define who we are. There is always something we can do to reclaim our lives, even if it’s just mouthing “Screw you, endometriosis". The illness may have taken today from you, but there’s always tomorrow, and as all endometriosis patients know, we are the definition of resilient.
Do you live with allergies? If so, please select all that apply: