I’ve always lived my life by looking forward. No matter what is happening, it will pass, you will survive and it will be over. I’ve especially used this when I’ve been unwell. You have a headache, it’s horrible, but, you know with painkillers and time it will pass, tomorrow you will feel better. You have norovirus/food poisoning, you feel so ill, but you know, within 72 hours this will pass, you will be a bit thinner, and you will feel normal again. You have a period, it sucks, you are in pain, but within a week it is over for another month.
Today it hit me, I can’t use this technique anymore. I have been in pain every day for 2 years, and it’s not going away, this is here to stay, for the rest of my life, however long that may be.
Imagine having that headache. You are in pain, you can’t concentrate, all you want to do is lie down untill it goes away. You’ll do anything, take any medication to make it go away. Imagine that headache lasting for 2 years. That is where I am right now, with a long stretch ahead of me.
The pain I have isn’t a headache. The pain I have is in my pelvis. Essentially everything from my belly button to the top of my thighs is affected. All the way round.
I have a chronic disease called endometriosis. This Is a condition that occurs in women when the lining of the womb (endometrium) grows and attaches in other areas of the body. It continues to act as endometrium, in that it grows, stretches, flexes and sticks. (There is a lot of further info on this on some really good blogs). There is no cure for this disease, there is symptom management. Even removing the endometriosis surgically is not a cure as it will grow back. Although a hysterectomy (removing the womb), can provide some relief, again, the endometriosis can grow back. It can cause adhesions, where organs stick together, and heavy scarring within the body. I was diagnosed with this in February 2013 after suffering for many years.
I always had bad periods. Heavy and painful. I tried lots of different hormones to stop my periods happening, and managed not to have them for many years. In 2008, I stopped taking the hormones and my periods began again.
The pain was immense! It is not normal to be in so much pain during your period that you can’t continue with everyday activities.
They got worse each month, I began trying to work my days off work round it each month, which isn’t practical. After 2 years I began experiencing other symptoms, pain when I wasn’t bleeding, pain in my bowels and lower back, and dyspareunia (pain during and after sex). In 2011 and 2012 I continued in this vein. I had to go to A&E maybe 6 or 7 times, each time I was given painkillers and sent home with the feeling that I was just a wimp, deal with periods like everyone else does!
I was finally referred to a gynaecology consultant in 2012 and had a laparoscopy to diagnose endometriosis in 2013. I tried hormone treatments for a year with no relief except to stop the bleeding. In Jan 2014 I had an excision operation to remove the endometriosis in my uterus. Although I knew that the surgery wasn’t a cure, and that eventually it would come back, I think I had hoped for a miracle. That once I was over the trauma of surgery I would be back to ‘normal’. I would be able to live my life pain free for a long time. It appears that my pain free time was while I was recovering from surgery.
I take tablets to try and allow me to get through each day. I have had 2 surgeries, a diagnostic and an excision laparoscopy.
So, what’s next? I keep taking the pills, I rest when I can. I hope that I can be referred to a specialist who can also help with the endometriosis on my bowels and possibly on my sciatic nerve, and I keep praying that one day we will find a cure.