My Second Silent Fight

Endometriosis. It sucks, to say the least. But did you know there are more than 200,000 cases in the US alone, and that’s only the ones that are documented. 


First let’s look at what endometriosis is.

The medical dictionary defines endometriosis as 

A disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.

But that’s is not merely all it is. Endo isn’t just painful cramps, bad periods, and occasionally pain somewhere else.

Endometriosis comes in different stages, I was diagnosed with sever or stage IV endometriosis.

Endometriosis is/can be (symptoms)

  • Pain areas: in the lower abdomen, lower back, pelvis, rectum, or vagina
  • Menstrual: abnormal menstruation, heavy menstruation, irregular menstruation, painful menstruation, or spotting
  • Pain circumstances: can occur during sexual intercourse or while defecating or with any type of stress or overexertion
  •  Gastrointestinal: constipation or nausea
  • Abdominal: abdominal fullness or cramping
  • Also common: infertility
  • Migraines 
  • Joint pain
  • Nerve pain
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Painful digestion 

    My personal symptoms for stage IV endometriosis are 

    1. Chronic fatigue 
    2. Painful digestion
    3. Joint pain
    4. Nerve pain
    5. Lower back and abdominal pain
    6. Painful intercourse and periods
    7. Migraines 
    8. Sciatic nerve 


    There is no cure. Not child birth, not a hysterectomy, not medications, no procedures. It requires a medical diagnoses and can be diagnosed by  

    Tests to check for physical clues of endometriosis include:
    Pelvic exam. During a pelvic exam, your doctor manually feels (palpates) areas in your pelvis for abnormalities, such as cysts on your reproductive organs or scars behind your uterus. Often it’s not possible to feel small areas of endometriosis, unless they’ve caused a cyst to form.

    Ultrasound. This test uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. To capture the images, a device called a transducer is either pressed against your abdomen or inserted into your vagina (transvaginal ultrasound). Both types of ultrasound may be done to get the best view of your reproductive organs. Ultrasound imaging won’t definitively tell your doctor whether you have endometriosis, but it can identify cysts associated with endometriosis (endometriomas).

    Laparoscopy. Medical management is usually tried first. But to be certain you have endometriosis, your doctor may refer you to a surgeon to look inside your abdomen for signs of endometriosis using a surgical procedure called laparoscopy.
    While you’re under general anesthesia, your surgeon makes a tiny incision near your navel and inserts a slender viewing instrument (laparoscope), looking for endometrial tissue outside the uterus. He or she may take samples of tissue (biopsy). Laparoscopy can provide information about the location, extent and size of the endometrial implants to help determine the best treatment options.


    Now that we have went through all the medical terminology let’s look at how it effects life, or in this case my life and my specific case of it.

    I have stage IV endometriosis. Which is severe. 

    For me it pairs hand in hand with my depression. The chronic fatigue effects my depression in a very bad way that makes me both physically and mentally exhausted. Which given that then doubles my headaches. I have unbearable pain come and go or sometimes stay for days in my hips, abdomen and legs due to my sciatic nerve. I can’t eat certain foods crazy enough like meat and I can eat very little dairy. 


    Sex most the time sucks. It’s painful or I don’t want it because of the pain. It is no way my fiancés fault. I try and try to explain it but he does not get it. It takes a toll on my relationship wanting to have intercourse but not being able or being able and not wanting to in case a flare up.

    My diet mostly consists of veggies, chicken(very little meat upsets my digestion very badly), Salmon, fruits, but mostly veggies and fruits. Red meat,like steak, causes my digestion to kill me and cause pain all in my bowls and pelvis. If I do order steak or the sort I have to get it rare. The rarer the meat it seems, my body can digest it easier but that just may be me.

    It sucks having stairs in a house. If you have endometriosis you know what I mean. You never know what abdominal muscles you use walking up stairs until you’re in pain. 


    I don’t get to physically play with my children much because a flare or fear of one. It saddens me I can’t go and do these things like they’re dad that they want. It saddens me that the pain some times makes me snappy and I hurt one of their feelings. 

    On my 21st birthday I will not be able to drink because alcohol makes it so much worse. 

    Don’t get me started on cleaning. Okay so I’m a 5 foot flat girl, I can’t reach much, reaching and picking stuff up, bending over, even the simplistic of tasks get to be unbearable with due time and especially with razor sharp pain. That coupled with major fatigue and depression is not a good trio at all. 


    Now on to endometriosis and my weight. It is proven that weight gain or loss can effect endo and it’s pain severity. For me getting pregnant with my second brought on a whole different deals of sorts. I gained a lot of weight I’m not talking 20lbs I’m talking I went from 116 to 176. Yeah. My rapid weight gain over those nine months coupled with a c-section just set my endometriosis into fits. I have a belly pudge like most moms or people who have gained weight, my thing is though mine isn’t entierly fat. It’s scar tissue and endometriosis. It can cause major bloating and depending where the tissue has attached in the body can make you stomach bloat out a lot. 


    In time I’ll go into more about my Endometriosis and living with it and depression. If you know anyone who thinks they may have it or you think you may have it I urge you to ask your doctor for a test for it. The sooner you find out the sooner you can help work towards a cure for you and all of us. 
    Thanks for reading,

    Lindsey


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