Endometriosis. The first time I heard the word, I didn’t know a single thing about it. The second time, I was booking in a laparoscopic surgery to remove it. Endometriosis is when tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus, grows throughout the body – but commonly around the reproductive organs. This lining bleeds, inflames and begins to stick your organs together and infiltrates them, affecting their normal function. Many women face infertility issues.
After enduring years of unbearable and chronic pain, bloating, declining mental health, fluctuating weight gain and loss, constipation, excruciating pain during sex, insomnia and many other symptoms – this surgery was the first step in beginning to take control of the disease.
I began educating myself on what foods alleviated or prevented my symptoms. I’ve fallen in love with the benefits of yoga and how to keep myself active without exhausting myself or causing more pain. I’m learning to love my body through every phase, shape and form, for the strength it has to keep going even though my reproductive organs are deteriorating.
Because of the lack of understanding and awareness of Endometriosis, even by medical practitioners, I felt so alone. Desperate to find women who could relate and help me battle my symptoms, I created an Instagram page to spread awareness, candidly discuss the day-to-day issues and to support women experiencing the same problems.
Through this, I have found the most courageous and resilient women – fighting battles I never knew existed or can imagine enduring. They remind me that no matter how much pain or how dark the life may seem, that every day I get up and keep going – I am fiercely strong, and every mountain can be climbed.
Know this, Endometriosis might be invisible, but we who face it – are not.
Author credit: Ellen Paterson