We first met 14 years ago, didn’t we. I was 19, full of energy and life but this pain you caused kept dragging me down. I was so tired wasn’t I, bloated, and sore. They checked for gall stones and thyroid problems before giving up on us, but I knew you were there. I just didn’t know your name.
I found a Chinese Doctor, do you remember? He was the only one who understood there was something wrong, he knew there was “stagnation” of some kind, and we had some sessions of acupuncture. I loved those, it was amazing to find that cures can come in many different ways, and for some time you didn’t give me too much pain.
I left uni and started my career with lots of energy, behaving like any other young woman living in the city. I enjoyed life, my friends, my career and a lot of nights out. Now, I may not have looked after my health very well at that stage, did that give you a chance to come back?
When you did, I really knew about it this time didn’t I? From pain which started as niggling to aching to constant crippling whit hot agony, I knew something was wrong. I had to get someone to believe me again.
Another year of blood tests, elimination of other conditions from the list, and back and forth to my doctor. I would not give up. I could feel something growing, and that was the only way I could describe it. They mentioned your name for the first time. Endometriosis. I had never heard of you. I looked you up online and I didn’t do me any favours; you seemed scary, like you wanted to take my fertility and my happiness. We had a a date set to find out if you were there, and I longed just to know as thoes long days of painkillers and struggling to work were becoming difficult.
They found you. At least I now knew why my body was in pain. It took 8 years. They took your out with diathermy, burning you away, and for a year I felt a little better. Then you came back. I had another attempt to burn you out and this time I armed myself with knowledge. I had changed the lifestyle of my younger years and wanted you to be gone by fighting from all fronts. I learnt about wheat and dairy and the effect they have on you. I had acupuncture, cupping, and reflexology. I ate mainly an organic diet and was very very active, running and cycling every day – I even managed to run a 10k, which was something I never thought I could do with you causing me mayhem, but I showed you. I even enjoyed learning about all the holistic medicine and nutrition, so thanks for adding that to my life.
My partner at the time didn’t believe you were real, did he. He thought you were a symptom of my stress. Well, you do flare up if I get angry or upset, but I think is main problem was the bedroom was’t it. Funnily enough when I am in pain the idea of sex just isn’t appealing. What man would want to have sex if his penis felt like it had white hot needles in it? Ah well, he wasn’t sticking around anyway, not worth bothering about was he, endo.
Well you came back again but this time I had moved house, and I had to start again explaining who you were. It took another 3 years until they finally believed me and went to have a look. By this time I was once again spending days depressed on strong painkillers, same old story, but this time we had a new man on the scene. This one undertstood, loved me and completely knew what and who you were.We knew you might stop us from having children and we were prepared to look at life down a different path. We took nothing for granted. So once they took you out again as best they could, burning you away and letting me recover.
A few months later we tried for children, never believing it was possible as you had laid your claim to my organs, fusing them together and scarring them inside. Well we proved you wrong, and how amazed was I to fall pregnant with Eva and Mia, my little miracle twins! They weren’t going to be held back by you.
So they are 17 months old now and you came back quickly. I have spent the last year in pain, depressed and getting more and more so as once again I had to fight to be believed that you were in there – so many people think you go after pregnancy but one thing I have learnt since knowing you is to be informed. I knew you could come back and I knew you had. We got there is the end, we found the right doctor, finally, and he got to you 2 days ago.
I don’t know if you will come back again, dear endo, but I am onto you now.
I feel bad, sometimes, for hating you so much when I probably made things easy for you to grow in there. My hormones are out of balance and I have learnt so much about nutrition and exercise to combat it, but its such a hard, expensive way to eat that with a young family you just cant do it. I believe regular massage, yoga and exercise help me. I believe in a mainly raw, vegan diet. I don’t do these things, I cannot afford to live like that, but I would tell others to try it.
I have met so many lovely people as a result of having you. You have taken away a lot of my life, you stop me from being active when I am in pain, I have missed countless events because you kept me at home on the sofa but I have also gained a lot of self awareness. I have empathy for people in chronic pain, and you gave me that. I am incredibly grateful for my beautiful daughters, and the uncertainty of their existance was down to you. You made sure I didn’t assume they would be here, you made me take the leap to motherhood earlier than I may have done otherwise. Thank you for that.
You make me aware of limitations. When I am tired, I know you so well I know how to look after myself. You have made me acutely aware of every part of my cycle so I know my body and the rhythm it works to.
I don’t know if we will part ways here, Endo. It has been our 5th operation together and for now, you are gone. If you come back, I know how to deal with you – we have got the right team in place this time. It took me long enough to get here. If you come for my daughters I will know as soon as you start and I will be onto you. We won’t wait as long as we did for me to get you out, I have awareness on my side.
I will fight now to tell other people about you. They need to know they are not imagining it, and where to go for help. We need to find out more about you too, so we know how to banish you for good and all I can do to raise money to find out about you I will.
I am volunteering to be a local group leader to support other ladies whose lives you are affecting. I know how much you hurt me, and I can give some support to others. You have given me empathy.
For all you have taken, dear Endo, you gave me a lot.
I don’t wish to see you again, but I know your face and where you lurk. If you come to find me again I will be ready for you.
Sorry you didn’t win.
Image: xchanttelx‘s photo stream