I’m going to, yet again, blog about something out of the ordinary: endometriosis. If you’re period shy, don’t read any further. Actually, keep reading because it’s good to be educated.
I live with a chronic disease called endometriosis. Not many people know anything about it, but it affects nearly 1 in 10 females. There is no cure. There are no solutions.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the uterus lining, is found outside the uterus and attached to other organs. During the menstrual cycle, the misplaced tissue acts like the tissue inside the uterus. It develops into growths that build up and shed down, leaving internal bleeding with no way of exiting the body.
I apologize for the unsettling anatomy and description, but as a female who only wishes for other people to understand, it’s not pleasant. Endometriosis can be extremely painful, and not just during the one week. Because the tissue develops into cysts and lesions that bleed without a release, the cycle continues to become increasingly worse each time.
I don’t remember when I was disagnosed officially. It was a few years ago, but I’m still learning. Because of endometriosis, my entire lifestyle has changed. My diet, my activities, my prescriptions are forever evolving. I have to avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, etc. to keep from vomiting after eating. I have to cancel on plans when my body decides to have a flare up and I can’t even explain the reason most times. I’ve tried different prescriptions and medications and surgeries to dull the pain. But to be honest, it’s really a massive inconvenience.
The problem with endometriosis stems beyond the symptoms. People are uneducated. It’s not a commonly known thing. It’s easy to just describe it as “a period thing” because it’s too complex but people just think you’re dramatic. With endometriosis it’s normal to throw up for a week straight, have random flare ups and period cramps so bad that you physically can’t stand up, and be way too tired to function. Yet, the worst part is explaining it to people and trying to make them understand.
I’m not asking for sympathy. I’m asking people to stop being sensitive to the topic and to educate themselves. I’m urging girls who live with endometriosis to get out and share their stories. Be open to new ideas that will help you. Sharing your experiences will help others in their efforts to find solutions. It’s hard to talk about, but realizing that you’re not alone and that there are supportive people in your life will help tremendously.
I’m so blessed with a supportive family and friend group that have educated themselves and care about endometriosis. It is a “chronic disease,” but it does not define me. I’m not alone. Sometimes it’s difficult and it’s okay to give in, but allowing myself to grow and finding new ways to deal with it is what keeps me active and happy and in love with my life.
March is endometriosis awareness month. It’s a great time to learn new things. We have voices and we shouldn’t be afraid to use them for the greater good! Don’t let the fear of embarassment quiet your thoughts because you never know who your voice can help!