I know it’s been a few months since I’ve shared a blog post with you all but 2019 has been all sorts of Roller Coasters. These ups and downs are all part of this incredible journey we call Life and each one has a lesson or is an opportunity for us to grow.
This year I’ve learnt about how much we need to break down the taboos around female health! No matter what gender you might be it’s important to learn a little bit about it… if not for you then you could be the one to help a friend in the future.
So what is Endometriosis and what does it even mean?
Well Endometriosis is when the lining of the womb grows outside the womb (usually on the ovaries or tubes but can also grow fusing the bowel together too). This lining (tissue) breaks down each month too! But the blood has nowhere to go… hence Pain!
But the thing with Endometriosis is that there is no easy diagnosis. It won’t show up on an Ultrasound and the symptoms can be confused with other conditions. Basically, the only way to know for sure is to go through surgery (small cut through your belly button where they can actually go in with a camera and check it out!). By the way that’s also the way they treat it… laser the cells away (temporarily, because they grow back).
Endometriosis leads to incredibly painful periods, pain in the lower back and hips. It may also affect the bowels and impact the persons life… so much so that they have to cancel plans and stay at home with a hot water bottle and pain killers.
So how did I figure out I had it?
Well this is the funny thing… I didn’t actually figure it out! My lovely friend did! And the only way that was possible was because I was talking to her about it… not in the normal just moaning about it but actually describing the fully detailed pains and symptoms… luckily she’s a friend who doesn’t get grossed out and is so open too. She was able to help me out, even after seeing ‘specialists’ for over a year I still couldn’t get to the route of the problem but 10minutes with a friend and we had cracked the case! (well more like we started going in the right direction).
This lead me on to think about how important it is to talk about these issues. I later learnt that 1 in 10 women have Endometriosis… that means in your friends group there are probably a few women who are brought to their knees every month.
This is where change can happen… March is Endometriosis Awareness month and possibly the perfect time for me to be posting this blog.
What to do if you think you have it?
Find a specialist and get yourself checked out properly. Speak to as many people as possible, do lots of reading. I found the Endometriosis UK website really helpful and it also helped calm me when the surgery came around.
Let the people around you and your work know the truth… don’t feel like you need to struggle through the pain.
Connect with other Endo sisters. There is a wealth of knowledge out there on social media and even some incredible podcasts talking about the impact of diet, exercise and lifestyle on Endometriosis.
Lastly, take a deep breath and know you’re not alone. I remember at first I freaked out, cried loads as I thought I was the only one… I thought I couldn’t talk about i and had to be embarrassed by it.
So what’s the future?
Well none of us really know to be fair. I’m just monitoring my health month by month and being honest to my students and myself.
Knowing it’s ok if you’re not feeling 100% all the time… that’s just part of being human so embrace it. Ride the waves.
But also celebrate the days you do feel 80% or even 90%. Surround yourself with people and things you love. Embrace each day fresh. Go outside for walks. Paint, Sing and Dance. And Love… Love everyone- you may not know what they’re going through too.
Happy March Everyone.
Love A x