Shoulders for Sisters : Suicide Prevention

Shoulder for Sisters logo

Suicide and Endometriosis has been a topic heavy on my heart for the past seven months.  Am I suicidal? No.  However, last year there were several EndoWarriors who committed suicide.  And this year a few more have.  Too many.  But can easily understand their hopelessness: pain; no cure; the potential for multiple surgeries; regrowth; Western medicine, alternative medicine, natural supplements, snake oils, relief, recurrence, and the cycle starts all over again.  Not to mention a sense of being completely alone, misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mistreated by physicians, mislabeled as drug-seekers, fakers, and crazies.

I’ve been trying to think of ways that I can help. In a small way.  Or a big way.  And I’ve fallen short on ideas… But today I’ve learned of a group where Warriors with suicidal thoughts can go for help.  An old-fashioned phone-line group.  Yes, that’s right.  You can email, PM, or call someone if you need to talk.  Talk with someone who is in your shoes.  Who knows what you’re going through…because they’re going through it, too.  Understand that you are not alone, and understand that people want to listen. And help.

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Feel Good Friday

Mission Impossible text with a burning fuse going across the text

We made it to another Friday!  And you know what that means:

Today’s quote is by American actress, Audrey Hepburn:

“Nothing is impossible.  The word itself says, ‘I’m possible!'”

It’s hard to remember this principle when things are down in the dumps, the task is too great, or life is just so overwhelming.  But try.  Try to remember that you can get through it.  Whatever “it” may be.

And if you need help, we can do it together.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Yours,

Lisa

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale

Bloomin' Uterus logo centered on a stage and spotlight

Women with a higher stage of Endometriosis are in more pain than those with a lower stage.

stamped image of the words "Tall Tale"

There are four regularly accepted stages of Endometriosis: 1 through 4 (I – IV).  I was diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis, but does that mean my pain was far greater than someone with Stage I?

No.

The Stage level merely identifies the intensity of presence and damage by Endometriosis and adhesions.  And oddly enough, someone with Stage I, with very little Endo present, may have far greater pain that someone with Stage IV.  And someone with Stage IV may not have any symptoms and be stunned to learn they have Endometriosis.

Does that mean someone with Stage IV doesn’t have pain? No.  This disease is individualized for every woman.  There is no “standard” way to diagnose a woman’s pain level purely based on the stage of her disease.  Any woman with Stage I, II, III, or IV may have no pain or may be in excruciating, debilitating pain.

Feel Good Friday!

cans of overflowing red, blue, yellow, and brown paint

It’s Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday!

Today’s “Feel good” quote is by American actor, Danny Kaye:

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.”

Here’s to hoping we can all get out there, spread a li’l bit of paint, adventure, and laughter, and make a great big smooshy, happy mess.

Live well, guys.  We’ve only got one.  Go out. Enjoy. Find an adventure.  Find peace.

And have a wonderful weekend!

Yours,

Lisa

I have Endo : Can I donate my organs?

Doctor carrying cooler labeled Human Organ for Transplant

One of the things I really enjoy about WordPress is that it allows you to see some search terms that brought people to the site.  This week, someone searched online for “can I donate my liver if I have Endometriosis on my liver?”  What a great question!  I also have Endometriosis on my liver (the doc couldn’t remove it due to the sensitive nature of the organ, but slapped some medication over it to hopefully slow it’s progression and ability to spread).  So let the research began.

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Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

strand of dna

Endometriosis is hereditary.

Theory

Many conditions are passed down from generation to generation…something in the genes.  But is Endometriosis passed down from generation to generation, effectively cursing the female members of a bloodline?  Yes and no.  If your mother, sister, or aunt have Endometriosis, you have a greater chance of having it yourself.  But are you guaranteed to have Endo if your close female relative has it? No.  And a lot of Endo sufferers do not have a family member with Endo.

If you have Endo, are you going to pass it on to your daughter?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

The good news?  There are ongoing studies to identify the genetic markers and risks of Endometriosis.  One day they’ll figure this out.

Reader’s Choice : C-Sections & Endometriosis

A friend asked me to look up any connections between Endometriosis and Cesarean Sections.  So, here we go.  Lots of science in this one!  Some studies show that less than 1% of women who undergo a cesarean section end up developing incisional Endometriosis (Endometriosis in or along the c-section scar).  However, that tiny little 1% number has a staggering amount of studies involving a lot of women who suffer from this form of Endo.

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New Pill? Viagra for Women!

A hand holding a small pink pill
(This post was originally published on June 8, 2015.  As of April 19, 2018, it was updated to include new information)

In 2015, the FDA advisory committee was pushing for the approval of a new drug, Addyi (aka flibanserin), which is being hailed as “viagra for women.”  The drug was approved on August 18, 2015. Many women suffer from a low sex drive for many different reasons.  I myself had suffered with it since my Lupron Depot injections, which were immediately followed by a continuous birth control.  My libido was nearly non-existent for almost two years.  Since I stopped taking birth control pills, however, it returned full-force!

But what is this drug? What are the potential side effects? How long were the clinical trials?  All of these questions come running to the tip of my tongue – will the pros outweigh the cons?  Will there be interactions with my birth control pill?  Less questions, MORE RESEARCH!

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Feel Good Friday!

A black cloud among white ones

Today’s Feel Good Friday topic is a bit on the somber side.  I have several friends who are struggling with depression right now.  And it’s so very painful to watch.  As an outsider looking in, I feel I say all of the wrong things, and due to the miles between us, I cannot be there to hug them, hold them, or anything…So I watch from a distance, offer my pitiful words of support, and hope for the best.

American author, Barbara Kingsolver, put it nicely:

“There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”

For those of you suffering with depression, and yes, suffering is the appropriate word: you are not alone in this struggle.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, somewhere.  I wish I could point you to that path, but I do not know it.  Your friends and family will be here for you, even though we may not know what best to say or how best to act. We are here.  And for those of you who are my close friends and are dealing with this, you know I love you. Yes, you.