I don’t know about you…but even after my surgeries and recoveries, sex can still be painful with deep vaginal penetration; mainly when my husband boinks up near my cervix.
Sometimes it’s enough to knock the wind out of my sails and we have to stop.
Why does it hurt? It could be related to Endometriosis or adhesions. But it’s more likely due to my abnormal anatomy: I have two cervix, side by side. Deep sex has always been painful to me; I only learned it was abnormal after my Endometriosis diagnosis! We’ve adjusted our sexual positions and found several that are doable without deep penetration…but…let’s be honest: I miss some of the many positions we can no longer do.
But there’s hope!
Have you heard of the Ohnut? It’s relatively new and was specifically made to help with that sort of deep-penetration pain. It’s like a sleeve/barrier that wraps around the penis (I can’t type that out without snickering….) and prevents total penetration. It’s customizable in length, too, if not 100% of the device is needed.
I received ours today! It retails for about $70, but we budgeted it into our finances and hope it’s worth every penny. I’m grateful my husband is willing to give this device a try; a lot of the online reviews from men were positive. Many said they couldn’t feel a difference or didn’t feel like they were being robbed of the experience. And we both look forward to trying it out (insert sheepish grin here).
Expect a review hopefully on the coming weeks. Coming? There’s a pun in there somewhere …
I am continuously amazed at the strength of those I know: friends who have been through so much pain and trauma, yet continue to find the positive. Find the strength to move on. Have the stamina to embrace and help those in need.
Today’s quote is for you strong ones. You broken ones who continue to lift your head up and continue life, one step at a time.
“The sun shall always rise upon a new day and there shall always be a rose garden within me. Yes, there is a part of me that is broken, but my broken soil gives way to my wild roses.” ― C. JoyBell C.
In Tombstone, Arizona there is the “world’s largest rose tree.” It was planted back in 1885. And it’s something I grew up visiting often. A gigantic mass of twisted, thorny, beautiful roses. HUGE. It blooms wildly for a few short weeks in the spring, before the desert heat takes over. May we be a conglomeration of rose bushes together, deeply rooted within one another, holding each other up when needed. May we be a continuous reminder of our strength, beauty, and worth; even during the hot summer months of our lives.
Have a beautiful weekend.
And if you ever do make it to Tombstone to visit this beauty, stay at the Larian Motel! Say hi to the gal behind the front desk for me. ❤
Our friends at the Endometriosis Family Support Group will be hosting a free screening of the EndoWhat? documentary with a live chat room so participants can discuss the film as they watch it together!
Want to attend? It’s going to be on Thursday, May 30, 2019, at 6:00pm PST. You must register online to get access to the webinar. Register now before you forget!
I started mine off my locking my keys in my Jeep. Ha! A great way to start a holiday weekend. 🙂 So, I calmly called AAA and waited for their tow truck driver to swing on by. 15 minutes later (and a lot of frustrated grunting from the driver) and my vehicle was opened and I was reunited with my precious keys.
How’s your day goin’?
Today’s rocky start led me to today’s quote. May it give you a bit of peace and insight, too:
“Maybe it’s not about having a beautiful day, but about finding beautiful moments. Maybe a whole day is just too much to ask. I could choose to believe that in every day, in all things, no matter how dark and ugly, there are shards of beauty if I look for them.” ― Anna White, Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith
May you have a wonderful weekend, regardless of what’s going on. But if you do need someone to talk to, you know I’m right here for you.
Blogs I Updated This Week:
Bladder & Endometriosis: added a May 2019 study of a 40-year-old woman who suffered from two years of right flank pain. After several tests and imaging studies, she was found to have an Endometriosis lesion inside her right ureter.
It’s a tattoo on my back. It’s the state motto of Kansas. It’s engraved on a plague at the Apollo 1 launch site, honoring those who fell. It’s used on Pall Mall cigarette packages.
What the heck is it and what does it have to do with Endometriosis???
“Ad astra per aspera.”
Many years ago (yes, before my Endo diagnosis), a friend helped me find myself once more. I had been lost and floundering and he pulled me out of a deep, dark pit. He came to visit for the weekend to make sure I was okay. Before he left, he wanted to make sure I remembered our long talks, our soul searching, and our discoveries.
It was to be memorialized in a tattoo. The only condition was whatever phrase we both chose, it had to be in Latin. So we scoured the internet for our independent phrases. And I found this one: Ad astra per aspera.
I’d seen it translated in two ways:
To the stars through difficulty; and,
Through thorns to the stars.
And I knew I had to have it.
When I was a little girl, I was molested by my grandfather on numerous occasions. While going through counseling as a young teenager, my counselor would have me draw and she’d analyze my drawings. One day, I drew a rose growing out of a fly-covered pile of poop. She reminded me that something beautiful could grow out of the worst, most disgusting, conditions. And that I was the rose.
The phrase reminded me of that rose. It encompassed my sexual abuse, my divorce, my losing myself. I could – no – I WOULD rise up. Through thorns to the stars!
And every time someone asks me about that tattoo, I have a renewed sense of strength. I can, and I will, rise to the stars.
And it’s made moreso relevant because of my Endo diagnosis. Through thorns, through difficulty, through a fly-covered pile of shit – we continue to reach up toward the heavens, the stars, to beauty and vast possibilities. Yes; that means you, too.
You are beautiful. You will endure. And you will flourish.
Always remember that.
…and to that friend from many moons ago, thank you. You know who you are…
Zoe, a brave EndoWarrior, shares her journey with us today…even while she has another surgery pending. We wish you all of the best of luck, Zoe!!!
I started my period by having waterfalls for periods with no regularity from age 13 but was put on the pill to manage that at age 15 and that worked. I from my teen years thankfully had no interest in having children. I am not a career woman either, I just don’t get the clucky feeling other women get when they see kids – I get that feeling when I see animals instead so I have fur babies.
I hope you all had a wonderful week! Mine has had wonderful ups and laughable downs, but here we sit at the end of the week! Happy Friday!!!
Today I’m inspired by the tenacity of my fellow EndoWarriors. Women who have been handed a nasty hand of cards, yet continue to move forward, stand tall, and are not afraid to reach out for help or comfort when needed. Even on the downer days, wrapped up in a heating pad, popping pain medications, rubbin’ on CBD oil, or crying in a ball on the floor: that inner strength remains.
We lift one another up. Hold each other when we’re down. Fight for one another when the cause arises. We are a sisterhood. An army. A mighty force. We are incredible. And moreso with the bonds we’ve forged.
Dungeons & Dragons & Donuts: Added our January 20, 2019, adventure (Sorry we’re a little behind…). Find out how tabletop gaming can help people deal with a chronic illness, forge friendships, and disappear into a fantasy realm for a few hours once a month.
Endometriosis & the Lungs: Added a May 2019 publication of a woman who suffered from recurrent collapsed lungs NOT during her period; yet received a surgical diagnosis of thoracic endometriosis. Your symptoms do NOT have to coincide with your period. Also added another May 2019 publication of a woman who suffered repeat collapsed lungs during her period.
Do you live in the San Diego area? Are you active or retired military or a dependent of someone who is? And do you want to learn about Endometriosis, treatment options, and how to cope with the disease?
Soooo…I’m 40 now. And for my birthday, my gyno had me run to get a mammogram. My baseline mammo. My first. Ever. I’ve had an aunty diagnosed with boob cancer, so I take my boob-health very seriously.
All I’ve ever heard were horror stories of pain and discomfort and smashed-thin tatas. “Take an Ibuprofen about an hour before the appointment,” I’d heard from various well-experienced womenfolk of mine.
Did I? No. I completely forgot…Crap.
So how was it?!?
I checked in about 20 minutes early and was given a wrist band with my identifying info (which I forgot I was wearing ’til 9:00 that night). I was then escorted to a room with a wall of lockers and an opposite wall of dressing rooms, asked to disrobe from the waist up, and to put on a thin (yet comfy) bathrobe. My sweater and bra were locked safely away in a locker (the key was secured to a bracelet around my other wrist) and I was asked to wait in a lobby nearby. There I sat for another 30 minutes with various gals of various ages, all of us wearing bathrobes, and either reading magazines or perusing smartphones. “For the comfort of our patients, no gentleman allowed” read a nearby sign. It made me smile.
“Lisa?” My name was called by a short, portly woman and she explained she was my mammogram technician and walked me to another room…where I saw a machine similar to the one pictured above. Okay…I don’t know what I expected, but not that. While she explained the procedure, and calmed my fears of “is it going to hurt much?” I tuned out and just wondered where my boobs went on the machine: On the black surface? In the little plastic basket? WHERE? What’s the clear window for? Well…I learned quite quickly:
If you’ve never had one before, here’s what to expect (at least what my experience was):
Pop your right arm out of the bathrobe, so that the right half of your torso is exposed;
Stand facing the machine.
The technician will adjust the machine to place the black tray at your under-boob height.
Here’s where it got fun. The technician moves your body around a bit so you’re positioned on the black tray with the right boob. The clear shield? “Turn your face toward me and push your face up against the shield.” The right side of my face smashed flat against the plexiglass window and she fondled my boob into place. If you’ve ever photocopied your face before…you know the feeling (well, maybe not of the technician placing your boob at the correct angle)…My first thought? “Oh, her hands are WARM!” The next thought? The black surface of the machine was ALSO warm. Perfect.
“Don’t move.” The technician left me there, in an awkward pose, as she stepped behind their protective computer wall thingy. “Breathe like normal,” she called, while the machine made a few noises, gently smooshed my boob, and it snapped a few images. “Take a deep breath and hold it,” she called out as the machine snapped a few more images. “Aaaand…breathe.” All the while, a fancy-schmancy portion of the machine spun above my stationary boob and took the images. Was kind of soothing to watch as I waited for the tech to finish.
(IT DIDN’T HURT AT ALL)…
I repeat, IT DIDN’T HURT AT ALL! “Um, was that it?” I asked. “Wearing my bra is more uncomfortable than that…” The only discomfort I had from the machine was where my ribcage met the black surface- an unfamiliar pressure as I leaned up against the edge of the boobsmoosher machine.
Wash, rinse, and repeat for the left boob. Again, no pain.
The actual mammogram portion took less than 10 minutes…maybe even closer to 5 minutes.
And that’s it! She advised me that the radiologist would look at the images that afternoon and I would be receiving a letter in the mail in 7-10 business days.
I nearly shouted in excitement how it didn’t hurt one bit and there was so much hype that I was ready for catastrophic pain. She shrugged, smiled, and said “It’s never hurt me either.”
My theory? I either got a REALLY gentle machine that cared about the well-being of my boobs, or a technician who placed them super-carefully, or my boobs are less sensitive than other women, or small tatas hurt far less than big boobs on the smoosh-machine.
My mum had me look into the mammograms they do these days where you don’t have to get smooshed. I called around; my insurance only covers the smashable boob machines. A few non-smashable mammograms are available in San Diego, but only for women who have been diagnosed with aggressive boob cancer and need extra special eyes and images.
The tech advised me that mammograms are a yearly occurrence. Do I look forward to doing it again in a year? Sure, why not? I get to wear a comfy robe, stare at my phone for a while, and have warm hands on my tits. Going to the pap smear is far more uncomfortable for me than a mammo. And the hour-long wait in traffic to get home was even more painful.
Oh…and a word of advice: if you do schedule your mammogram set it for the warmer months! She said in the winter the machine surface doesn’t retain heat and it’s REALLY COLD. So, I’ll be doing mine in the spring/summer months in the future!
And next year? Next year I get to have my first colonoscopy…stay tuned!!!
I hope you’ve having a GREAT day! If you’ve had a mammogram, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts! What made it particularly awful or great? Drop me a comment below or shoot me a note. And here’s to hoping my experience dulls some fears if you’ve got an upcoming first boob-smoosh appointment.