Feel Good Fridays

Savage Race participants help other racers make it to the top of the Colossus during the Georgia Spring 2015 Savage Race in Dallas, Ga., April 18, 2015. The Colossus was a giant 43-foot wall and one of the hardest obstacles in the course. Adding to the difficulty of it being one of the final obstacles, runners had to sprint up the barrier after they’d already sledged through more than four miles in the mud, before grabbing a rope. They would then pull themselves up to the top of the fortification. The Savage Race is an Air Force Reserve sponsored obstacle course that challenges participants in more than 20 different trials over the course of five miles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Daniel Phelps)

Hello Readers and Friends!

How is it Friday again? So quickly? How has your week been? Your month? Your year? Do share in the comments below!

It’s been a whirlwind week for me. I started my period. It was intense for the first two days. Not uterine cramping; no that was nearly non-existent.

Instead, I had the intense, oh-so-familiar pain on the left side of my lower abdomen, the hot poker, the rebar shoved straight through my body. Intense (and I mean a 9 out of 10 intense) pain. The ol’ familiar pre-surgery pain. The kind of pain where I needed to pop half a Tramadol, and another the next day. *sigh*

For all I know, I’m still healing from surgery. But the darker side of me fears it’s the deep-infiltrating Endometriosis that remains on my sigmoid colon. And it’s put me into a funk. Lots of sadness, loathing, fear, hopelessness.

So I leaned on my support group. I’m the Admin. The founder. The creator of the group. And still it feels wonderful to be able to be so open and vulnerable to those whom I love and share these struggles with. I never feel judged or pitied or anything less than loved. And I’m grateful. Their words of support and encouragement pulled me a smidge out of my funk. Gave me something to hang onto while I was drowning in a sea of self-pity and mourning.

So, today’s quote is inspired by the endless struggle many of us share. And struggles that you have I may not be aware of. It’s not all about Endometriosis:

“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”

― Conrad Joseph

May we all have the courage to continue to push on. Forge ahead. FACE IT. Head on. And fueled with whatever drive we need. And we face it, together.

Much love to you,

Lisa

Share Your Story: Melissa

Woman in hospital bed before surgery

At 27 years old, Melissa received her Endometriosis diagnosis. As a nurse, Endometriosis was briefly covered in her study curriculum, but she was still shocked and had so much to learn. Two years later, she is thriving with an educational blog about the disease and shares her story with us today:

Melissa’s JOURNEY:  

“I think you have endometriosis.” These words came from an initial visit with my new Ob-Gyn after seeking out some help with conceiving.

At that point my husband and I had been trying to conceive for over a year and had no luck. Something inside me always knew I would have trouble becoming a mom, but the reality of it had finally hit and I knew we needed to see someone about it . . . but I did not expect this.

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Share Your Story: Chenille

Woman in yellow shirt and sunglasses

Diagnosed at 32 years old, Chenille shares her Endometriosis journey with us today, four years later. She’s had a total of seven surgeries for Endometriosis, including a hysterectomy and recurrent Endometriosis. And she has recently started seeing an immunologist. Hopefully this new course of treatment leads to long-lasting relief! Chenilles is sharing her story in the hopes that she can talk to others that have seen a similar journey of aggressive recurrent endometriosis.

Chenille’s JOURNEY:  

I have had a long, long journey that seems like it will never come to an end. When I was first diagnosed with stage 4 endo I was experiencing very painful, heavy menstrual cycles. Within 2 years and after 2 surgeries I had a complete hysterectomy.

I thought my battle was over. Boy was I wrong.

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Feel Good Fridays

Masks designed by Sarah Soward. Want your own? Visit her store.

Another week has flown by.

I now have four friends who have tested positive for Covid-19.

One has had a hell of a time with it. She’s been to the ER several times, but luckily escaped being ventilated. It’s been 72 days since her positive test, and she was just in the ER again a few days ago with severe respiratory problems. It’s not been an easy experience for her.

Another two had an easier go with it, hardly any discomfort during the 23 days they had it. And they’re now free and clear.

Another friend just received her positive test results this morning. I can’t imagine her fear and questions.

In the beginning of this whole Covid thing, I admit I thought it was just the flu. That mentality didn’t last long at all as I watched the numbers skyrocket beyond the flu, the deaths stack up, and the ages of the infected spread far from “only the elderly” range. I hoped that if my friends and loved ones were infected, that none would succumb to it. I know the fatality rate is extremely low versus the recovery rate, but it’s still there. In San Diego County as of this morning, there have been 10,092 positive cases; 7,162 recoveries; and 331 deaths. Death is still a possibility, regardless of how slim.

I’m glad for the lockdown. Pleased for the mandated mask order in California. I miss working. I miss my friends. I feel like a mooch on EDD and Federal Aid. I miss hugs and touch. And not wondering “when was this table or chair last disinfected” when we go to a restaurant (I still insist on sitting at an outdoor patio well distanced from others).

I understand not everyone shares my view. And that’s okay.

I have several people I hold dear who won’t wear a mask, and that’s their choice. I can do nothing more than ask that they do. Do I love them less? Not at all. It’s their choice.

But me? I have a chronic illness that may (or may not) be caused due to a lesser-than-optimal immune system. As do countless others in our Endometriosis support group. We may be more susceptible to the virus.

I wear my mask for them. For the elderly at the grocery store. For that child over there. For friends and family who have asthma. For anyone who may be more susceptible to the harder effects of Covid due to underlying medical conditions that I may not be aware of.

I wear a mask to help keep others safe. And I wish everyone would do the same to keep me and others safe.

I miss my friends. My family. Human touch. But this is worth it to me.

Through all of this social isolation, we have had each other. Which leads me to today’s quote:

“Social distancing is staying away from people, not from your purpose.” ~Amit Kalantri

Hang in there guys. This, too, shall pass.

Love, Lisa

Share Your Story: Kimberli

Smiling woman dressed in yellow

After a long battle for answers, Kimberli was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis at 27 years old. Four years later, she’s forging ahead with the disease, spreading awareness, raising hopes and spirits, and supporting EndoWarriors everywhere!

Kimberli’S JOURNEY:  

I remember getting my period at age 11, one of the first out of my group of friends. Besides heavy bleeding, I didn’t think too much about anything being ‘wrong’. I was athletic, I played all sorts of sports, ate fairly healthy for a kid and was always playing outside or doing things with my friends. My immune system was pretty crappy though, I got sick a lot. Just your typical strep throat and flu type sicknesses. It wasn’t until high school, where I really started to notice some more symptoms. Bowel issues, severe headaches, horrible cramps.

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Share Your Story: N.

A quote that reads I was happy that finally I have my answers, but I was lost

Living in Germany, N. (who shall remain anonymous) shares her Endo journey with the world today to try to help others feel not alone as well as normalize the symptoms. She was diagnosed when she was 23 years old and shares her story with us four years later.

N.’s Journey:  

Hi, I’m from India. I started having painful cramps when I was 18 years old. It was so painful that I had to take pain killers. Then after few years, I used to get cramps before and after periods too. I used to have irritable bowel syndrome during periods too.

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Feel Good Fridays

Happy Friday! I hope you’re doing well. Physically and mentally.

Today’s quote is about knowing your own body, your limits, your aches and pains, your abilities and disabilities. And honoring all of it.

Don’t do more than you’re capable. Take as many breaks as you need. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to say “no” to an invitation or task if it’s too much.

“Those who connect more frequently with their needs and are in constant conversation with their own beings, they can establish a parameter of what kind of workout and effort must be applied, of what amount of energy disposed and to be utilized, it will serve many times as a thermometer for those who listen to their bodies needs and feel what the internal thermostat is saying.” ~Ana Claudia Antunes

Always know and honor your body, inside and out.

And be well. Much love to you.

My 5th Endometriosis Excision Surgery

A drawing of a uterus, ovaries, and intestines.
Commissioned artwork by Sarah Soward

What an incredible Journey leading up to my fifth surgery!  Covid-19 postponed my surgery date by a week but, just in the nick of time, California’s governor lifted some lockdown restrictions that allowed for my surgery to move back to it’s original date of May 13, 2020. Today, June 10, 2020, marks one month since my surgery! Already! I am overjoyed with the results and the skilled hands of my surgeons.

A medical folder with "Surgery # 5" written on it
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Feel Good Fridays

How have all of you been dealing and coping and managing with the state of our world?

I hope that you are all safe and well.  My heart breaks for it all: the brutality, the death, the riots, the years of abuse.

My heart warms when protests remain peaceful and spread awareness, education, and understanding.

Policies are beginning to change in various cities and states. It’s too little too late, but I am glad that change is happening.

May we all continue to live, learn, and grow together

So, today’s quote:

“I am not a skin color. I contain all of humanity in my heart and my mind, my flesh, my blood and my bones, and I am proud of that fact. You should be, too.” ~ Laurence Overmire

Love and support one another. Regardless of the tone of flesh.

Love, Lisa.