Friday, August 24, 2018

Endometriosis SUCKS

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times. Endometriosis sucks.

And the crazy thing is, we don't really talk about it much. I'll admit, I've noticed it popping up a bit more here and there, but then again social media likes to target the things I talk about or google so that's probably why...

Granted the subject of female anatomy and menstruation have always been taboo. But ya know what? Let's stop that and unite in solidarity if we can. Almost all women can bond over cramps and bloating and what a damper it is to have your period while on vacation or during a pool party or what have you. And those with endo can all sympathize with the crap shoot that ride is.

Not sure what endometriosis is? Check out this link:

Ok, now that we're all on the same page let me give you a brief history of my experience. Why? Cause I'm self centered enough to think you care. AND because the only reason I was finally diagnosed was because I read someone else's story. So here's mine.

I've dealt with crazy painful periods since I was a teenager. I would get migraines that would make me throw up. I'd have cramps that would cripple me. And I've dealt with ovarian cysts for years as well. I thought this was normal. But when I was 22 it got to the point where I just couldn't handle the pain any longer. I made an appointment with an OBGYN.

This guy (yes I saw a man. Never again.) was basically the worst. I told him all my symptoms. I told him about the agony and pain and misery. And his response was basically, "Well you're dealing with a lot of hormones which probably makes things seem bigger and harder than they really are. Lots of women deal with cramps, you just probably feel like its more than it is because of a low pain tolerance and the normal hormone fluctuations. You're fine."

Oh. I'm fine? I'm just a wimp. Got it.

He made me feel so unbelievably stupid and little and weak. Shame washed over me. I felt like a fake. Like I was just blowing things out of proportion. I deal with severe PMS symptoms (not quite PMDD but close due to the endo) and he made me feel like a crazy person.

So I accepted with that a$$ hole said. I thought less of myself. Tried to dismiss the pain the total interruption of my life every month. I dealt with the pain and symptoms the best I could. And sometimes they got better. Like back when I subscribed to diet culture and I would go on extreme diets and exercise. Going off all sugar, dairy, wheat, carbs, etc... always seemed to help my painful periods. I wasn't doing it for that reason, but I did see improvement. (I would later learn that making these dietary changes do help with symptoms.)

When it came time to try for a kid it took me a good long while to get pregnant. But I never really brought up all the pain and horribleness of my cycle because we saw how well that went the last time. I was treated for PCOS and "undiagnosed fertility". It took about 3 years for me to conceive and even then it was called "Spontaneous conception" and they weren't sure why or how I managed to get pregnant.

So I had my miracle baby. I got divorced. My period returned, only this time it was worse by like 10,000. Then I started long distance running and dieting again. It got better. Then it got worse. I got remarried. It continued to get worse.

Finally I read the story of a woman who dealt with a similar situation, being dismissed by doctors until finally she got a diagnosis. Her story was so similar to mine I decided that this time I was going to get answers. And I did. - Endometriosis.

Now we are in the midst of fertility treatments because I have less than a 1% chance of conceiving without them. (not great odds, let's be real)

I've made almost all the dietary changes to try and help with symptoms, and I've been trying to run and exercise again to help as well. I think its helped some. I still have floor days (aka today. Today was a floor day.)

So I guess the whole point of all of this is to say... crazy painful periods are not normal. Don't let someone tell you they are. If you feel like something is wrong, get it checked out. And don't let anyone minimize or dismiss your pain. There are treatments out there, and people who understand. Don't give up, and reach out. You've got this. We've got this- together!