Readers Choice : The Spoon Theory

A spoon in the dirt
A photo I took years ago finally has a purpose.

Christine Miserandino came up with The Spoon Theory.  It is gut-wrenching. The Spoon Theory was Christine’s way of explaining to her friend what life with Lupus is like. It’s a metaphor for our stamina and energy: any task you do during the day uses up one spoon.  You only have 12 spoons…so you must choose your tasks wisely, or else you run out of spoons…and steam.  For those of us with Endometriosis, the Spoon Theory still applies.  Any chronic illness, especially one that causes pain and fatigue, can use the spoon theory.  Continue reading

Feel Good Friday

Broken tea bowl glued together with gold resin
Kintsugi

Well, it’s Friday! And that means : FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS! Today’s quote is by Connecticut author, Amy Bloom:

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

The tea bowl in the image above was once broken, and repaired with a method called Kintsugi.  “Kintsugi is a Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.  As a philosophy, it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.”

Just because our bodies may be flawed, and our insides may be incomplete and broken, doesn’t mean that we are broken as a whole.  Our Endo, and the suffering and pain it causes us, is part of our personal history (and our present).

Allow it to be a part of who we are : We are still beautiful.

Dry Body Brushing

dry brush
Dry body brush with massage nubs

So last night I read about this thing called “body brushing.”  I rolled my eyes, scoffed, and moved on.  Woke up this morning full of curiosity about it and asked my fellow EndoWarriors if any of them have heard about it.  99.9% of those that responded LOVE body brushing!

What is body brushing? It’s running a dry bristle brush lightly across the surface of your skin, in a particular order and direction.  Not only will it slough off old skin bits, but it’s *supposed* to increase circulation and help unclutter our lymphatic systems.  Which is all good for us. What’s a lymphatic system? Observe below:

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I <3 my Robot

In June of 2014, my surgeon opted to perform a robotic laparoscopic surgery to remove the cysts from my ovaries.  Little did we know, the surgery would progress into an excision surgery to remove Endometriosis implants that we didn’t know existed inside.  A traditional laparoscopic surgery is performed through a rather large incision in your abdomen, while robotic is done through small “ports” (incisions) where robotic tools are inserted and the doctor operates at a remote station, controlling the wee robotic arms. AND there’s pictures!

The surgeon’s plan was to go through my bellybutton, extending it a little bit with a small incision, remove the cysts, and close up my bellybutton (a single incision laparascopy). Voila: done.  However, it was discussed that he may need to open up multiple ports if things “weren’t as they seemed” once inside  (the middle image below).  Which is exactly what needed to be done.  The robotic surgery avoided the traditional, large incision (first image below).

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My favorite tea

honey jar shaped like a bear. A lemon, a piece of ginger, and vegetable peeler are next to the jar

Before my diagnosis, I was an avid coffee and soda drinker.  I rarely ever drank any water.  And since waking up from my surgery and being told I have Endo, I’ve done a complete 180 degree turn.

I stopped drinking caffeine and soda the second I learned caffeine is bad for us.  And went in the search for alternatives.  And decaffeinated tea was not an option after learning that it still has traces of caffeine… Now all I drink is water (allll day), one glass of white wine with dinner, followed by this tea before bed. Every day.

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Reader’s Choice : Endo made my life better

Quote: Endo is such a stupid disease, but your image symbol for endo gives it so much more meaning to me. I am a woman, I have an invisible illness, I still have value, and I am still beautiful! Anonymous

“Endo made my life better!” Now there’s words you don’t hear everyday…

I was 35 years old when I received the word after a routine cystectomy that I have Endometriosis.  Learning I had this disease, then coming to realize how many women have it, and how little is known about it; that there is no cure…I had to learn more!  I had to do something!   Granted, the peace of mind that all of the pain I’ve endured over the years wasn’t normal was a fantastic thing. But still…!

So I searched for San Diego area support groups.  Found none.  Then searched for San Diego, or even Southern California, walks for March 2015.  And found none.  So I became frustrated at the lack of concern for our illness.  Nobody seemed to care out here.  Nobody seemed to even know about it, other than my surgeon and his staff…So I started the gofundme campaign with the determination to walk in March 2015 without an organized event.  And to raise funds for an organization that DOES care and DOES do something for our Endo.

And on my bad days, I had to create art.  When I created the Bloomin’ Uterus graphic, it was just to make me feel good on a bad day; just to reassure myself that I am still as beautiful as I ever was.  But it exploded into a symbol for women all over suffering with Endometriosis.

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Research Outsmarts Endometriosis

ROSE-logo-FINAL1

For those of you with Endometriosis, The Feinstein Institute was commissioned by the Endometriosis Foundation of America to conduct a study of 200 women each year.  It’s time to do something! We (the women!) provide either a blood sample or a saliva sample, as well as answer a few questions, and (optional) provide a sample of our menstrual blood.  Some women are even able to provide samples that were biopsied in past surgeries, and can ask for the future surgery biopsied tissues to be handed over as well.  Members of your family who do not have Endo may also participate.  Again, trying to study all aspects of this disease…including those NOT affected.

The Feinstein Institute will process all of this data and research to help understand Endometriosis on a cellular and genetic level!  One day there will be better treatments. Better answers.  And a CURE!  Steps like these will only lead to the right direction.

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Feel Good Friday!

Marilyn_Monroe_II

Many of us with Endometriosis struggle with “feel good” issues.  There are days where we just feel plain ugly due to our disease, or the bloating, swelling and pain it causes.  So I’m deeming Fridays as “Feel Good Fridays!”  Once a week, I’ll post a quote to remind us just how beautiful we truly are, on the inside & out.

I cannot think of a better woman to quote to start off the Feel Good Fridays tradition than Marilyn Monroe!  You may or may not know it, but Marilyn suffered from Endometriosis herself.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” ~Marilyn Monroe

So Warriors, remember, we may be imperfect, but we are still gloriously beautiful. And happy Friday!

Yours, Lisa