TMI Friday – My Secret Pain
You know how I said I am an open book? Well there are a few things I am not super share-y about. One of which is my health problems. I don’t know why it’s so hard to write about, it just seems… extra personal. Maybe it’s because I don’t like showing physical weakness. Emotional, fine. But admitting to the physical trials my body endures is a different story all together.
Endometriosis is the development of uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus. Symptoms include abdominal pain, heavy periods, and infertility. Treatments include pain relievers, birth control pills, and surgery.
Without going into great detail, it basically causes chronic pain. I have put my body through hell trying to combat that pain. There is no cure, outside of a hysterectomy, and while my chances to actually conceive a child are impossibly low, I don’t want to give up that option just yet. I have only brought up my Endo once before on this blog and it was after my OBGYN doc told me to start mentally preparing myself for the fact that I will not be able to have a child. It was harsh. I’m still not over it.
Throughout the years the primary goal has always been to treat the symptoms. I swear to you I have tried just about everything. Surgery (twice!). A bazillion types of birth control. Monthly shots (which my mother and ex-husband happily shot in my ass), throwing my 22 year old body into menopause. For the record, NO woman should ever have to go through hot and cold flashes twice in her life!
I have tried having no treatment what-so-ever; just managing the pain with medications. Constantly taking pain pills is incredibly hard on the stomach and to be honest, I am lucky I didn’t get addicted to pain pills.
Finally I went to my doctor and got an IUD. Normally women who have not given birth are not encouraged to get them, but I was running out of options.
The first two months were absolute HELL. But I waited it out and eventually my body accepted it. For the first time in years, I could go months at a time without taking any pain medication. For someone who has spent the majority of her adult life battling pain, this felt like a godsend.
Of course it hasn’t been perfect. Far from. I have my ups and downs. I’ll be feeling good for a while and I forget there is anything wrong with me. I start living my life like my actions will have no consequences. Eating poorly, drinking too often, not getting enough sleep or exercise and, of course, my largest trigger, STRESS. These factors all contribute to whether my Endo makes an appearance.
Recently, with the death of my dear friend Zach and the end of the semester, I have let my health go and I am paying the price. When I felt the pain coming back, and more importantly, when I realized it was not going away, it really hit me hard. I became depressed. I started feeling sorry for myself. I moped around and ate a lot of chocolate. Then I decided I wasn’t going to let the Endo take over me. Not while I have the power to do something about it.
I’m starting on a new, very strict, very clean diet that I found from an Endo website. Basically I’m taking out all things that make life worth living are unhealthy, like chocolate, sugar, fried food, red meat, caffeine, wheat and dairy, and I’m replacing them with lots of vitamins, water, fresh fruits and vegis, chicken, fish and brown rice.
I’m only three days in…
Making this change right before the holidays may not have been the smartest decision, but honestly I can’t put my health on hold any longer. I can’t pretend that if I ignore it it will go away. This is one of my challenges in life. We all have them. It’s how we choose to cope with them that matters. I am choosing to do what I can to take control.
Because frankly, I’m out of options.