I’ve been wanting to put pen to paper, well finger to keyboard on Microsoft word actually, for so long now but it’s a funny blog piece to write this one. I am so thankful that generally my family and I are in good health but in writing this I am reaching out to those who’ve experienced similar issues. I do always try to always see the positive in everything . 😊 The mind is a powerful thing isn’t it. It’s actually quite easy to forget what it’s like a few weeks post ‘endo’ episode. I felt it best to write this one straight from the heart, or from a place of it feeling fresh, raw even. I write honestly, and wear my heart on my sleeve – whether that’s a good thing or bad thing I don’t quite know?!
You know how amazing our bodies are as women? Post Childbirth me: Childbirth?! NEVER AGAIN. 6 Months later: Okay – I’m ready for No2 now (if ONLY it were that simple?!)
I guess I can count on one hand the amount of times I have actually spoken about this on social media (I tend to crack on and just retreat from instaland into my own little world when I’m suffering) but when I have spoken about going in for an Operation/a particularly difficult episode I have been inundated with messages of support from women who suffer too or think they may have this condition as well ( if this is you, please book in with your GP). So raising awareness with these things can only be a positive thing.
So what exactly is it? Pronounced ‘en- doh – mee – tree – oh – sis’, it’s basically a condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body.
(Image taken from Pinterest)
Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as * time of the month* , this blood has no way to escape. This chronic and rather debilitating condition, causes fatigue and bowel and bladder problems. This can cause inflammation, pain and the formation of scar tissue.
Symptoms include, chronic pain, fatigue/lack of energy, depression/anxiety, problems with relationships, an inability to conceive, difficulty in fulfilling work and social commitments.
It still baffles my husband and I that statistics show 1 in 10 women suffer with this condition (in some stage or other) and it takes the average woman 10 years to be diagnosed. Around 1.5 million women in the UK are believed to currently be living with it. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age.
The pain I suffer with can only be described as a kind of pressure/severe stretching pain alongside bloating and extreme fatigue. Then a series of shooting pains that leave me doubled over/unable to sit down. I have had numerous investigations carried out over the years and medics believed it to be everything under the sun before the diagnosis – gluten intolerance, IBS, over eating…….. it was such a relief to finally have an answer. Can you relate?
Although there is no cure for this chronic condition, there are treatment options available to help manage the condition. We still hope to grow our family so these aren’t an option for me at this time. I am SO blessed to have Alexander. TTC is a story for another day.
This is how I manage life with Endo –
As you know, I love clothes! What I must do when looking at my clothing options is make sure that part of my casual wardrobe includes lots of flattering loose fitted/waisted dresses and oversized cardigans jumpers. I don’t even look at jeans or fitted trousers during a flare up. The Bloat is real and I genuinely look 8months pregnant at this time. I’ve even had people congratulate me! Awkward! I wish mate! Although I am lucky enough to be self employed at the moment, my office work wardrobe was heavily made up of boxy/floaty Zara mini dresses with thick black tights. A former colleague once asked me why I never wear fitted stuff, was I self conscious…. this my friend is why ha. I used to get so upset I couldn’t just wear jeans when I wanted to. Instead I had people commenting that I was overdressed or making too much effort for a drink at the pub.
I wouldn’t say I avoid social occasions or events at this time during any given month but I do try to limit plans to take the pressure off. It can be hard enough solo parenting (my husband works away a lot) and getting through the day.
I’m convinced (to the point I’ve mentioned this to doctors) that this condition has led to a hormonal imbalance as I get a soar in anxiety just before and during when I’m an otherwise pretty laid back person! I remind myself of this during those times.
I find talking about it helps. Being honest with friends, family, colleagues if needs be. I’m an open book when it comes to health, we’re friends here and we are all human aren’t we?! People can’t possibly know things unless you tell them. They aren’t mind readers!
When I remember to take them (I’m terrible with tablets in general) then I take multivitamins with iron as a difficult episode leaves me feeling quite shakey.
I always make sure I aim for 2 litres of water a day.
Exercise. I wouldn’t attempt cardio during a bad flare up (the thought of it ouch) but even if I can head out for a walk it’s something. As lots of you will know, I took up running last year and I really enjoy it – this is my medicine otherwise.
For pain relief I swear by Feminax but they pretty expensive so Ibuprofen is my second choice.
Heat patches are a godsend for when I am out and about. I tend to pick these up in Boots when they are on offer. Hello Boots points! Sometimes the big bargain stores like Home Bargains sell them so I stock up.
Call me old school but a hot water bottle is a must – have. My mum bought me a new one this year and it’s already one of my favourite presents. 😊
I make sure that I minimise the constraints of every day life during this time. The perfectionist within me fights this but I no longer try to do it all. If the lounge is left messy overnight, we’ve only watched films or been to the park that day or it’s jacket potatoes all round for tea, then that’s fine. I’m doing my best.
Allow myself a little treat – ie bar of chocolate and tell myself it will pass.
Remind myself, it can always be worse. Each day (even a painful one) is a gift. 😊
As always, thanks for reading.
Love Lucy X