I still haven’t heard anything more from the grad student: the one doing the psychological study of endometriosis effect on women. I hope she does get in touch.
Endometriosis March is the continuing effort to bring Endometriosis awareness to the general public. For me, pain is the defining symptom of endometriosis. Pain is something I’ve had a relationship with for decades. I have been in so much pain that I have learned new ways to describe pain: on a scale of 1 to 10 my pain today is 2. When I get my period this can go from 2 to 8. Eight for me means I curl up in the foetal position, I have a hot water bottle on the small of my back. Sometimes the pain is worse: I have been known to have such pain that I have given myself 3rd degree burns on the small of my back without noticing.
When I was 12 I had pain so bad that I would vomit. It took about six months before my mom made the connection between my vomiting and my periods. Why any doctor would say that a child who vomits from pain is “just cramps” is beyond my comprehension. I’d have to say that pain was a 13 on the scale of 1 to 10 at that point, mainly because my body simply wasn’t accustomed to feeling that much pain yet.
With all the pain I endured in my life, you may think that I feel weak. You would be mistaken. I think the pain I have endured has made me stronger: it’s taken years but I now know how to manage my pain. I manage my cycle so that it doesn’t interfere with my job. I know how to communicate with doctors to get the treatment I need. I have a positive outlook on life. I’m a proud survivor.
Ultimately women with endometriosis are wives, sisters, daughters and friends. Some have even been lucky enough to be mums. Our suffering makes us sensitive to others in pain. Our endurance has made us stronger individuals than you’d expect. You are not alone.