Life is hard as it is. When you add a chronic illness into it, life gets really hard.
My day normally starts at 4 in the morning when my legs start to ache and I can no longer sleep through the pain. I toss and turn for a few more hours, sneaking in some moments of peace courtesy of my blazing hot (yet not hot enough) heating pad. I finally get up to start my day.
I physically start my day like most people, just slower and more painful. My muscles feel like they are stuck together like clay. Like clay I need to stretch and lengthen them before they can work for the day. I choke down my multiple herbal supplements that have promised to cure my endometriosis. I take my oral hormones for the day in the hopes that it will prevent further damage to my reproductive organs instead of making me cry over the a package being delivered late. Majority of the time, it’s me crying.
If I am leaving the house I have to pack water, a portable heating pad, high doses of Advil, and strong painkillers. Everywhere I go I also carry the fear of infertility, anxiety about flare ups, the constant judgement from doctors and family members, and the general fear about my body constantly trying to destroy itself.
After 11 different birth control pills, one implanted birth control in my arm, six strong hormone shots in my butt, a painful surgery and recovery, an IUD, and oral hormones while also having an IUD – some people believe me. I have many people that believe I enjoy attention from doctors and family members, that I am an addict to painkillers. People think I’m a “typical woman” when it comes to pain, and someone who can’t handle a little bit of cramps with her period.
I carry the guilt that I am wasting so much money on treatments that do not work or will cause more harm than good. I carry the fear as a teenager that I will not be able to conceive children if that is what I want to do eventually. I carry the worry that my friends will have to call my doctor when I am on the bathroom floor, screaming in pain. I carry the constant anxiety of not being able to achieve my dreams because of the pain.
I carry the pain of the millions of women, past and present, that have been told their pain is not real and that it is all in their head. I carry the fight of the millions of women that have been denied care because they are women. I carry the saddened souls of the millions of women that feel defeated from this disease. I carry the hope for the millions of women that will be diagnosed with this disease, that feel lost and alone, that do not feel heard.
I carry the warrior spirit of the millions of women that fight for their bodies, lives, and hearts.
Lean on your fellow endo sisters in this fight. We love and support you always.
Photo by Grant Porter on Unsplash