Congratulations, Debbie of New Jersey, for winning our October Coloring Contest! You’re automatically entered to win our Grand Prize: having your design printed on a t-shirt next year! All profits of the t-shirt sales will go to the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
If you’d like to enter our contest, a winner will be picked every month until April 1, 2017. And the best part? Spreading Endo awareness and having fun at the same time! Who doesn’t like coloring?!?
Debbie shares her journey, heartfelt emotion, and encouragement with us today:
“I was diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis on the operating table. I had the classic symptoms: exceptionally heavy periods, dramatic clotting, excruciating pain…you name it, I probably had it. But, I’d been told for years that it was just a quirk of my anatomy, so I silently dealt with it. It was not until I was diagnosed with other issues that I finally learned the seriousness of it.
The endometriosis was, for me, just one piece of a very complex puzzle that included a subtotal hysterectomy instead of the planned total hysterectomy, due to the fact that the endometriosis had adhered my cervix to my bowel. At the same time as the hysterectomy, I had another surgery and procedures in my abdomen, so they had to do it via an open, vertical incision.
Like others, I would imagine, I looked at the coloring pages and saw myself in them. I identified with the experience of coming out of the bathtub, a moment that has been rendered sensually in art for years, but a moment that, for me, has been simultaneously sensual and scandalously off-putting. I used the background color and the towel to allude to my experience, and I modified the profile to more closely resemble my own. I added my abdominal scar, which is now a part of my profile.
I hope that in 10 years we will no longer see women having experiences like my own. Needless to say, proper treatment for endometriosis is a vital part of that. Personally, I hope that my story makes a difference in the lives of others. It has been difficult to write what so few have known, so that is my first step. As a group, I think that just being there for each other, providing support, can make a huge difference.”
Thank you, Debbie, for creating such a beautiful piece of art – a piece of you – with us today. ❤