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 →
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 →
“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. “DERMOID” 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. “TERATOMA”
I’m in a small room whose walls are covered with notices about hygiene; in the corner, there are two bins, one black and yellow, also plastered with notices. Next to the bed I’m splayed on, there is a machine with a monitor. Another monitor hangs from the ceiling in front of me. “I’ll take you... Continue Reading →
With Endometriosis, as with any serious illness, it's important to stay safe. To raise awareness of the disease and to encourage you, my fellow sufferers to take care of yourselves, I've collaborated (free of charge, this is not an advert) with the the ID Band Company on an article titled An endometriosis sufferer's fight to raise awareness. I'd love to learn if any of you already sports a medical band, necklace or some other form of medical alert identification. Personally, I'm loving the Hedlee Beaded Collection - who said that medical ID bands should be boring? - bring on the bling! This is serious stuff. As always, take care of yourselves.
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.
On the 28th March 2015, many brave souls across the world, dressed in fifty shades of yellow and pink, some with funky braids and ribbons in their hair, some with pink knickers over their trousers, and some in armoury, but all with a smile on their face, did just that. They did it to raise awareness of a disease that is silent. A disease that people don’t want to hear about. A disease that makes even those suffering from it often feel too embarrassed to break that silence and speak out.
My brain is frazzled. Regularly. And most of the time, there seems to be no solution. So I stew. I stew when I should be working. I stew when I’m out with friends. I stew when I should be sleeping. So I don’t sleep. I don’t do anything properly. I’m not mindful of anything. I... Continue Reading →
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.