A Starting Line With No Finish Line

I'm Iz and I'm 25, half Taiwanese/Chinese, gender fluid and learning how to live with chronic illness.

When I was a teenager and started menstruating and learning about my body through my family doctor and the public education system no one prepared me for the level of pain and irregularity I was experiencing. I often had to sit out on my own life and it's obligations and felt lost as to why my period symptoms felt so debilitating when I had health professionals telling me I was the standard.

Pushing through the pain

I decided I could manage the pain and push through the unexplained urinary pain and digestive issues, and did just that for a decade until my body finally collapsed in Fall of 2019. I was no longer capable of coping on my own without answers and went to doctor appointments one after another without answers. All my tests were normal and I felt isolated and scared for months before the first mention of what would become a huge part of my life, "endometriosis".

Learning how to cope

I began finding community online and hearing stories from endometriosis patients/advocates and finally scheduled my diagnostic surgery after a year of trying natural supplements and birth control to manage the pain. I was terrified and relieved finding out I have endometriosis, and even after excision surgery recovery

I am still trying every day to change my lifestyle and understanding of chronic illness. I've learned to love cooking and honoring my body and speaking up about my struggles and triumphs.

This part of my identity is both a burden and a compass now.

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