Josi is 19 years old and lives in Torrington, WY. She was diagnosed with Endometriosis just two months ago. Like so many women, just knowing there was a cause to her pain gave her a little bit of peace of mind and she has begun her journey toward relief. Josi hasn’t let this pain stop her from living, as she recently married the love of her life and is moving forward with hers!
Josi’s Journey: I started vomiting constantly and experiencing bad pain at 11 years old. I thought it was anxiety, and didn’t get it checked out for a couple years. At 14, I finally had a scope done to reveal a hiatal hernia. I thought, “finally, this is the cause!” And began taking prescribed medicines for acid reflux and IBS. Nothing helped. Another scope. Nothing new.
It’s finished! My tattoo memorializing my diagnosis and excision surgery of Endometriosis. It’s fresh, hot off the presses, and still gooey, a bit wet and shiny, but I didn’t want to wait before sharing! I’m sure there will be better photographs in the future. 🙂 I love it, so very much.
If you don’t yet know what Endometriosis is, it’s an invisible, chronic disease that effects 176 million women worldwide. Implants grow inside of our abdomen, causing severe pain, inflammation, bloating, and other complications such as scarring that weaves our organs together. Doctors can surgically remove the growths that permeate our abdomen, but they grow back and subsequent surgeries are required. Many women control their symptoms with diet and supplements, but it doesn’t work for all women. And there is no cure to Endometriosis, nor effective treatments.
Courtney lives in Canada, and was diagnosed with Endometriosis a year ago, when she was 28 years old. Now 29, Courtney makes beautiful jewelry and donates a portion of her sales to Canadian charities that deal with Endometriosis and other women’s health issues.
Courtney’s Journey: I’m a pretty private person for the most part, and the thought of sharing my personal medical history on the internet was something that took a great deal of careful consideration on my part. But the more research I do, the more I find that the reluctance of women to share their stories is in part due to the fact that they have often spent years repeating their very personal medical details and symptoms to doctor after doctor, without getting the treatment they need. In many cases, these women are told that this is their “burden as a woman” or worse, not having their concerns taken seriously at all and told that – since the doctor can’t see anything wrong – it must be “in their head”. As personal as it is, I think it’s important for women who feel comfortable enough to do so, to share their story; if not online, at least to their family and friends, so that they may help raise awareness about this disease and help women get the care they deserve!
I will be gone for the holidays this Friday, so I’m posting today!
Today’s quote is by author and motivational speaker, Dr. Masaru Emoto:
“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”
So please remember : be good to yourself. Speak and think positively of your condition. And you are beautiful and strong!
Much love to you. And happy holidays.
I find it interesting that both the Endometriosis Awareness ribbon and the Suicide Awareness ribbon are yellow ribbons…
Today while perusing Facebook, I ran across a post where a Virginia Endometriosis Awareness group had posted that there’s been 8 women who committed suicide this year due to their Endometriosis. Where they got their stats, or if it’s just in VA, or…national…or global…I don’t know. (For clarification on these statistics, see the Comments Section below). But, I do know that that’s 8 too many…and I was struck dumb, literally frozen in my chair struggling not to cry.
So this weekend was my first camping trip since my surgery, diagnosis, and diet change.
What an experience. I figured it was only ONE day & night so I’d just eat my old camping food (MREs or dehydrated MountainHouse foods). I brought fruit and nuts for snack foods, too. And plenty of water.
Boy, what a mistake.
It’s Feel Good Friday!! Today’s quote is by Turkish playwright, Mehmet Murat Ildan
“Smile is a good reply to the dark world.”
So if you’re feeling down today, or know someone who is, crack a real smile. It truly is the best medicine.
If you would have told me six months ago I’d be eating salads for lunch, and LOVING it, I would have called you crazy.
Prior to my diagnosis, I hated salad. Rabbit food. Filler. Just gimme the main course!
But here I am, presently chomping down on my little, simple salad and just so overwhelmed with flavor that I needed to blog about it!
Randomly searching online for today’s Endo topic and stumbled upon one of the most uplifting things:
A flyer for women in government to help organize an Endometriosis Awareness walk and spread the news! I wonder how many of our female politicians, lobbyists, interns, etc. have done this? And I further wonder if we can write my female state legislators to see if they’ve organized, or will organize, a walk. And if my local city and county governments would mirror these efforts. How exciting! There’s also a list of “Endometriosis Awareness Activities” they encourage the legislators to pursue.