Since having an operation back in October, that saved my little ovaries, I have realised just how important it is to spread awareness surrounding Endometriosis and women as a whole. Alongside Chronic Migraines, I suffer with all of these things and since the age of around 14, my stomach has not been my best friend either. BUT we must be kind ladies. We are in charge of our bodies, we make the decisions. Take ownership of your body and look after what you have. Don’t beat your little tummy up for all that is going wrong.
Endometriosis is a long term condition that can have a huge, lasting impact on an individuals day to day life. Tissue, similar to the lining of the womb, starts to grow in other places such as the ovaries and the Fallopian tubes. It can affect women of any age but is most commonly seen in women who are over 30.
Now, I can’t speak for everyone. The symptoms of endometriosis vary from person to person and each individuals case is unique to them however, I can make others aware of some of the daily symptoms that I experience and give you an insight into what it is like to live with this crippling condition.
- Pain in your lower tummy that is usually worse around the time or during your period – For me, this is one of my main symptoms. My periods haven’t been nice since I first started them and I have suffered with chronic stomach pains since day one. The pain during my period is a lot worse however, I do also experience bad ovulation pain and severe bloating before my period too. Being the stubborn individual that I am, I just assumed I would grow out of these pains and one day, they would just go away. How wrong was I? Over 10 years on and the pains are still going strong.
- Heavy periods – When my periods first started, I’ll be honest, they weren’t too bad. I had stomach ache and a lot of sickness but the period itself was normal. Fast forward a few years and the periods became abnormally heavy. I would get through various pads an hour, I would be passing large clots throughout the day and I would feel extremely light-headed and drained due to the loss of blood.
- Nausea – When I first started suffering with stomach problems back in 2009, this was the first sign of what was to come. I was at school going about my day normally when sudden nausea hit me. I had never felt sickness like it. Again, being the kind of person that I was, I took a few days out of school thinking that it was just a bug and I returned the following week feeling absolutely fine. It wasn’t until a few weeks after that the same sickness crept back in on several different occasions that I knew something wasn’t right.
- Joint pain and muscle aches – When suffering with a chronic condition, fatigue is almost a given. For me, my muscles constantly ache, I always feel tired and lethargic and no matter what I do or how much sleep I have, nothing shifts the pain. There are ways to manage the pain, however, the pain itself is pretty much always there.
- Pain during or after sex – For me, this subject is a little tricky. It’s not that sex hurts me, it’s just a little uncomfortable and quite often, afterwards I will feel tight stomach sensations for a few days until my body has relaxed again.
- Loss of appetite – Since suffering, food has never really been my friend. Alongside foods that I am intolerant too and foods that I avoid due to my migraines, it doesn’t leave me all that much left and when feeling nauseous and lethargic, food doesn’t really interest me. However, food is important. We need all the nutrients we can get and therefore, I find eating little and often has worked for me. You don’t need to eat big meals. Find the right balance for you.
I’ll be honest, suffering with this condition is pretty rubbish. I’m not going to sugar coat it, it is hard but what I have realised is that the Endo community, just like the migraine one is pretty special. Conditions like these can make you feel isolated, they can make you feel down, lonely, upset and throughout your journey, you will feel all the emotions. But let me tell you, you are not alone. Find other people who suffer, find others to talk to, be open about what you go through and try not to shy away. Chances are, there are many women going through exactly what you are and they’ll understand. So many women have taken me under their wing, they’ve let me open up to them about how I feel and it really has helped me manage what I go through.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I quickly learnt that if you don’t ask, you simply don’t get. You must also push. If you don’t get the answers you want, don’t give up. Find the right nurse, find the right GP, find the right specialist that listens to you.
I hope this post has answered a few questions and in the future, I will be doing more posts around this and how I manage my conditions.
Remember, you’ve got this and together, as a family we WILL get there.
All my love,