Did you know that amongst other things, March is also Endometriosis Awareness Month?
Most people do not know what it actually is, or they only know someone who is suffering from it.
If you aren’t in the know, hi! My name is Alexandria Elliott, and unfortunately, I suffer from endometriosis. And I have PERFECTED my smile to hide my pain most days. If you do know someone, this is some small insight into what we go through.
So what is endometriosis? Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. But the tissue can be found on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes or the intestines. There are more than 200,000 cases a year.
Symptoms can vary from each person, just as with any other problem. The 3 most common ones are pelvic pain, menstrual irregularities with pain, and pain during sex. CONSULT WITH YOUR DR AS SOON AS YOU THINK SOMETHING IS WRONG AND IF THERE IS PAIN! You will be doing yourself a huge favor. Treatment is medication, self-care, surgery, and help from family and friends!! There are plenty of websites and Facebook groups that have great information, too.
At the end of 2012, I was having a lot of pelvic pain, and I thought it was because of the Mirena that I had put in back in 2010, after having my 3rd son. I went to 3 different doctors before I gave up, and then a nurse saw me crying and she referred me to a doctor in the office. We went through the testing, and after removing my IUD to see if that helped, we had my first surgery.
In 2013, I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis. The pain was so bad that it literally took over my life. I had to plan my life, and the lives of my family, around my pain. Most days I couldn’t get out of bed. Just taking my boys to school was A LOT for me to do. I had to cancel plans with friends due to it. Some days were good, and oh those bad days were really bad. At the end of the year, I was pregnant with my daughter. I cried and cried, because I was already in pain, so I could only imagine how fun this was going to be. Bed rest for most of my pregnancy is what happened.
March 6th, 2015, I went in and had a partial hysterectomy to “help” with the pain. The hope being that with my uterus gone, so would the endometriosis. Nope, it clung to other parts. I still wake up some mornings in pain. And honestly, I look at it as just a normal day now. It is chronic pain, that not only affects you physically but also mentally and emotionally.
I am so sure that my loving supportive husband is tired of me asking “are you sure you still love me?”. Or me saying “baby, I am sorry, we didn’t sign up for this”, “baby I am sorry I am hurting, and we can’t go do something this weekend,” “I am sorry we can’t have sex, because of the pain” and so on.
He loves me for me and is very attentive to when I am hurting. My kids understand and do not get mad that we can’t be out all of the time doing something. So Sundays are our family day when we go all out and have fun. I have learned to listen to my body, self-medicate to be able to be human and keep on with the day.
I go through every day as a mom and wife and wear every other hat there is to be worn. And I just continue life to the best that I can. I work out when I can. I have tried every diet there is for endometriosis. My heart massagers are my best friend when a flare-up starts. It kinda feels like a firework going off in your pelvic area.
Then after that, most times that pain hits and I have to sit/lay down in “my” spot on the couch. Gotta love our huge sectional. A lot of women have A LOT of pain during and after sex because of endometriosis. The feeling of having to rush your partner is such a bad feeling. I always hate having to give my husband that look, that he has gotten to know. The look of ‘I am sorry, we can’t. I am in pain’. I get so sad, because I don’t want him to think I don’t want him. Oh, but then there are times that I am like, “Yessss, let’s go, I am not hurting THAT much right now,” and afterward I am in the fetal position in pain with tears. Can’t win for losing.
For those of you reading this who are suffering from endometriosis, I send you hugs, love, and prayers. It is a hard thing to have and to deal with every day. You are strong. You are a fighter. You are beautiful and you got this!!!! Having a good support team (family, friends, etc.) makes the biggest difference for you. Live each day like it is your last. And if you have read this whole thing, give a hug to someone who lives with chronic pain. You never know if they are having a good or bad day.