Lying naked on the bed, covered only by a thin sheet, I wonder if I’ve lived enough. I’m in a small room. It’s cold. It’s so cold that I shiver under that scanty layer of difference between decency and exposure. The blue, low light creates surprisingly few shadows and everything feels flat and muted. I can hear voices across the wall. They sound loud, but however hard I strain, I can’t distinguish a single word.
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I can’t believe what I’m doing. I really can’t. There’s a part of me that is completely and utterly freaking out. All I want to do is to get out of this situation. Right now. But I also know that I need to do this. “That’s right”, coos the nurse to me. We’re in a... Continue Reading →
I’m writing my blog at home. It’s an isolated activity. I don't know what reading my blog looks like from YOUR point of view. Is it useful? Is it helping? Are your experiences similar to mine? Getting feedback is all about understanding that. So I’m very pleased that my blog Surviving Endometriosis was selected by... Continue Reading →
Ah, that old friend of mine. It’s with me when I’m feeling great, and when I’m feeling low. It’s with me when I’m at home, and when I’m at work; when I’m with friends and when I’m alone. It’s my constant companion. THE PAIN. ENDO-PAIN. Let’s talk about endo-pain: the chronic pain associated with endometriosis.... Continue Reading →
“Oh no!” I’m bawling, “I sat by the fire for five minutes. I just didn’t think.” “You did what? I don’t understand. Calm down and tell me what happened.” “Bwaaaaaaaa, I sat bwa bwa bwa by the fire.” He’s looking at me puzzled. I’m now at a fully blown crying fit. You see, seven days... Continue Reading →
Do you have endometriosis? Do you have endo-fatigue? Let’s run a little test: Are you exhausted right now? Do you frequently wake up tired after a ‘good night’s sleep’? Do you frequently feel you have no ‘spare’ energy despite resting a lot? Did you say yes to at least one of the questions? Let me... Continue Reading →
“Yes, here it is. Yes, it does look like a dermoid cyst.”
I emerge from behind the screen. I must be looking a bit worried, because she reassures me keenly that “they’re not that uncommon”, “it’s nothing to worry about really”, and I should “google it”.
Back home, I’m on my iPad googling.
Wikipedia – because let’s be properly scientific about this – informs me that a dermoid cyst is a teratoma of a cystic nature that contains an array of developmentally mature, solid tissues.
A solid cyst? Ok. Doesn’t sound that bad. It’s a what? A teratoma? I google that.
The business of making children is complex. The business of having children is extraordinarily more byzantine. The business of not having children is a different matter altogether. And the business of not (yet) having children, if you’re an endometriosis sufferer, potentially a source of such omnipresent and all-pervasive misery, despair, bitterness, despondency and torment that its essence cannot be expressed in words.
It’s strange how life works out. One day you’re living your life relatively happy, whatever happiness is, the next your doctor is breaking the news that you have a disease that affects your fertility. Now the painful periods make sense, so you feel reassured on some level, but on a different level a new kind of worry also enters your brain. Will endometriosis affect my ability to have children? Will endometriosis affect my fertility? You freak out. You become desperate. All you can focus on is your childlessness, or inability to have more children, or other people having children. You lose your ability to connect with others as you become increasingly single-mindedly focused on that one aspect of your existence.
The business of making plans by an endometriosis sufferer is likely to be fraught with many potential pitfalls. The timing of your period, the need for frequent loo breaks, the likelihood of pain, tiredness, and inability to carry your own luggage, all need to be taken into account. But it is possible to plan and it is possible to find the window of opportunity. Here’s to life at it’s best, whatever that is.