Nat was 22 years old when diagnosed with Endometriosis. Now 33, Nat wants to share a very important message to the Endo Community, crossing gender barriers and reaching out to an often-neglected group of EndoWarriors.
Nat’s Journey: We need to stop making illness about gender – a.k.a I’m a boi with endo. Under my list of illnesses/disabilities, I mark endometriosis as being one of the most debilitating pain wise. I mean yes I’ve been pretty much out of action this past week thanks to vertigo, but that pales in comparison to the pain of a first full day of menstrual bleeding that chose this morning to kick in and sent me crawling back under the covers. I’ve gone from anti-vertigo meds to the strongest painkillers I have in the flat that aren’t codeine and a heat pack being applied across my tummy in order to just sit up. And believe me when I say that I WISH I lived in America and could go buy a tub of Aleve rather than a tiny pack of NINE of the same effing tablets for £5 (around $8 USD), yes that’s right for NINE of them.
It’s this time of the month I often choose to look online and remind myself that I’m not alone with this debilitating condition which can leave me in bed/on the couch/doubled over. But it never ceases to annoy me that there is always a level of ‘Endo Warrior Girl’ posts and emphasis on being a ‘girl’ or ‘female’ on these posts.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know Endo is a disease that comes with being born with female genitalia, but that doesn’t mean that all of us who have it identify as female. There are people out there like me, who are Genderqueer/Non-Binary who are Endo Warriors, there are Trans* Men who are Endo Warriors. We are valid victims of this debilitating disease and yet we are often not included in the messages of solidarity you find. I still have a womb, I still have debilitating cramps, heavy periods, difficulty gathering the spoons to force myself through that time of the month. I still feel pain when I ovulate. I know the way in which Endometriosis cripples, because it cripples ME.
So this post goes out to all the Genderqueer/Non-Binary/Trans* individuals who like me feel forgotten by a movement that forgets we can have the same disease as those who are cisgender. I feel your pain, I want you to know, that you aren’t alone. I’m sending so much love and recognition your way as I grab a cup of tea, adjust my heat patch, and stick Netflix on whilst waiting for it to be time for my next dose of painkillers.
And a P.S. to my Endo friends in the UK of all genders, if you’re looking for a decent heat patch that you can wear on the go, I recommend Wilko’s own brand. I had an emergency pack of them because they were cheaper than other brands, and they are by far the most effective I’ve used in years.
Words of Advice for Us: Please remember it’s our reproductive organs that make us Endo Warriors, not our genders. I have endo and am genderqueer, neither male or female but somewhere in between. Trans* Men with endo are warriors too.
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I want to send a special Thank You out to Nat for being brave enough to share with us today. You are beautiful and brave. And thank you for bringing into light a much needed and neglected topic of conversation. Thank you!!!
And if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here. The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.