BMW has asked that I share her Endometriosis journey with you today. She was diagnosed when she was 13 years old and is now 32. We live in the same area, so I look forward to getting to know her better!
Where to begin… As I lay curled up in the fetal position holding my stomach with one hand typing with the other. I find myself just wanting to talk to someone anyone… Wait no not anyone someone who understands. I’m in pain.
And not take a ibuprofen and lay down pain. But mental and physical anguish.
Diane shares her Endometriosis journey with us today. And she’d like to remind us all when life hits us too hard and we’re stuck or immobile…we have to start somewhere. One step at a time.
Diane’s Journey: So, I’m officially diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain, recurrent peritoneal cysts, and precancerous cervical cells. I did have an exploratory lap in 2016, to remove suspected ovarian cysts. They turned out to be peritoneal, and I also had “extensive adhesive scar tissue”. Endometriosis was added to my records at that point, but I was seen at a teaching hospital. The residents that saw me and performed my surgery never sat down and discussed what they found.
Janis was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 35. Now 39, she shares her Journey with us:
Janis Oenbrink; August 1, 2018
Endometriosis changes the lives of many, and in multiple ways. Infertility, pain, fatigue, depression, and a multitude of other miserable symptoms encompass the disease of endometriosis. I have dealt with this disease for years, and along the way, been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, anxiety, depression, ruptured cysts, etc.…. as well as been called crazy, lazy, and a hypochondriac.
Michelle was diagnosed with Endometriosis when 20. Now 35, and living in La Mesa, California, Michelle shares her Endo story with us.
Michelle’s Journey: My endo story I first got my period at 10 years old. I remember I was still in elementary school, playing in PE when I got my first one. From there, my periods became increasingly more and more painful.
By 15 years old I remember rolling around on the ground in the bathroom, sometimes in so much pain that it made me throw up. I would miss school sometimes but most of the time tried to tough it out. My periods were always at least 7 days long, super heavy and lots of huge clots. I thought that was normal…..I was taught to believe this was all normal.
And it’s been a weird one. Grief, and pain, and doubt, and anger, and calm, and sadness, and nothingness, and joy. Not just because of the failing health of my uncle. But life in general. I’ve started writing in a journal again once a day, trying to get it all out without letting it bury me, or those around me.
And it’s helping.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher
The photo above was taken by me during Day One of my last period on May 2, 2018. Although it is a posed image, it also wasn’t at the same time. I set up my camera, the pill bottles, the tea, the heating pad, and then clicked the “self-timer” button. As soon as the shutter released, I remained in that position most of the day. I wallowed in my pain and sorrow. The next day, I was able to go to work (still medicated), but able to actually get in my car, drive to work, and function. The next day was slightly easier.
Whatever we are going through, we will make it. Today may seem hopeless or dark, but keep putting one foot in front of the other – every day.
And we can persevere together.
Love you guys. Have a great weekend. And find that courage to keep moving.
Dannielle was diagnosed with PCOS when she was 16 and Endometriosis when she was 18 years old. Now 19, she shares her Journey with us. And she is a loud voice for self-advocacy!
Dannielle’s Journey: Hello, my name’s Dannielle and honestly even though I’m young I kinda figured there had been something going on with my body.. in addition to endo, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian syndrome at 16 as well. The initial process was confusing before I had ever been diagnosed with either PCOS or endometriosis, because after seeing multiple medical professionals, some were saying it was PCOS, and some mentioned endo, only to later on figure out I have both diagnoses now.
A recent study published in New Scientist magazine discovered that mice with Endometriosis proved to be more anxious and depressed than mice that did not have Endometriosis. Behavioural changes in the mice with Endometriosis led to this conclusion. It is believed by the authors that Endometriosis actually reprograms the brain, but it’s unknown as to how these changes occur.
Others believe that the anxiety and depression women with Endometriosis experience may be tied to their pain and infertility issues. They believe that the way the body perceives pain has been altered, which affects anxiety and depression.
The authors hope that their findings now instigate more research as to how Endometriosis affects the central nervous system; not just reproductive health.
I myself will be doing more research into this topic, too! Expect more ahead!
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa
After suffering from horrible periods and cramps since 13 years old, Erika 18 years old when she diagnosed with Endometriosis. Living in Ireland, she shares her tale with us just three years later:
Erika’s Journey: This is just a short story of the life and pain I’ve been living in! My name is Erika, I’m 22 and was raised in Dublin. I still live at home with my mother and brother seeing as its so hard to find a home at this minute in Ireland. It all started when I had my first period, I was in a lot of pain and had no clue of actually what was happening to me? All young girls oh I can’t wait for my periods to come so they would feel more mature ‘grown-up”. Where with me it was a different story completely, from my first periods all I remember was pain, very severe pain and didn’t know how to control it.
April was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 30, but suffered with the pain for over 18 years before she knew what it was. Like so many of us…Now 37, she lives in Ardmore, Canada and shares her story with us today.
April’s Journey: I was born in Georgetown Ontario in 1979, my parents and I moved to Alberta when I was 2 years old. I was a shy quiet kid growing up so and I still am quiet and somewhat shy at times lol, so it amazes me I am standing here today telling you my story.