Hello, my lovelies and welcome to my first guest post! The author of this insightful post about a condition called endometriosis is my friend, Shannon. Shannon and I went to high school together and both competed in gymnastics. She has a keen interest in animal healthcare with animal first aid and animal health check certificates. She is beautiful, caring, outgoing and wonderfully smart and brilliant, so I have no doubt you’ll you love this article as much as I do:
Endo-what? En-doh-mee-tree-oh-sis is a condition that affects 10% of the female population, or in other numbers: 176 million girls and women worldwide, in which the uterine lining is found elsewhere in the body. It is characterised by severe pelvic pain and fatigue and there is currently no cure.
Life with endometriosis is difficult. It isn’t uncommon for girls and women to miss multiple days of school and work every month due to endometriosis, and there is little understanding from those not suffering. It’s not “just a bad period”. Bad periods do not produce blood clots larger than 50p coins multiple times a day; they don’t ‘flood’ several times a day for more than seven days; and they sure as anything do not cause girls and women to be bed bound and glued to heating packs because the pain is nearly indescribable. The resulting pain puts lives on hold whether that be within education, work or family planning.
Personally, missing months of school due to endometriosis resulted in me repeating a year of schooling as I was just too far behind to catch up. In the few months, before my summer exams in 2014 alone, I had two surgeries: to diagnose and to remove an ovarian cyst. However many girls that I’ve been in contact with through Facebook support groups don’t have it much differently to me. Many are home schooled and are several years behind. The impacts are not as simple as missing several days or weeks or months, the pain caused is simply exhausting. It’s a type of tired that won’t go away with a good night’s sleep -that’s if sleeping through the pain is even possible. Even simple things such as eating meals can sometimes be difficult. So many different types of food can set off endo pain, however it’s not as straight forward as a certain food group. A lot of the food that I’m okay with, so many other women with endometriosis can’t stomach. So eating out can be a huge problem, especially if you don’t know exactly what has been put into the food.
The typical time it takes to be diagnosed with endometriosis is 7.5 years! However I’m one of the lucky ones that was diagnosed within two years because of my family’s constant badgering with my consultant. Thankfully, I can finally say that my symptoms are now being well managed after trying over ten different types of drugs and injections because I didn’t give up and I kept my heart focused on my dreams.
It’s taken me over two years since my diagnosis to become comfortable in my body again, and to realise there is nothing to be ashamed of. I still have bad days where I’m glued to my iPad to watch Disney films, but I don’t count that as doing nothing any more, I am simply resting and doing what’s right by me and my high maintenance body! For all girls and women out there, you know your body better than anyone else, and if you think something isn’t right you’ve got to keep voicing that until it’s sorted out, and do you your research! It’s not just a bad period, it’s a crippling lack of understanding that needs talking about.
Big thanks, to Shannon for this amazing post! You can check her instagram out here. Leave comments and likes to let her know how much you liked it!