Brave Women, Unique Tales Endometriosis Journey

Brave Women, Unique Tales: The Chronic Illness Edition

Special greetings beloved readers. Hope you’ve had a productive week and if you haven’t the weekend is here for you to rejuvenate and you’ll try again next week.

It’s been a while since I shared anything and everything Endo or Chronic Illness like. I’ve been on a blogging retreat inform of a writing challenge called WinterABC. My creative juices are flowing so brace yourselves. Last time we had gone as far as my endo treatment trials as i shared my journey. The story continues but that story will be shared in due time.

Today I’m here to announce a special series that is starting tomorrow. I reached out to a couple of brave and special women who are victims of not only endometriosis but other chronic illnesses induced by hormonal imbalance which we are going to learn about.

Yes, they are coming on here to share with you a day in their lives(not entirely) living with an invisible illness. They’ll be guided by a couple of question prompts that I came up with. So i urge you all to read and share their stories. Feel free to engage them too, they will be on here the entire weekend.

The series is dubbed “Brave Women, Unique Tales : The Chronic Illness Edition”.

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If you know a female in your life that would like to be a part of this special. Reach out to me and let’s have their stories told. We are here for each other, no one should feel alone.

Hope you enjoy the stories and learn a thing or more. Wish you all a lovely weekend.

Love and Light

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#WinterABC Day 19: Music Junction

Today’s topic is about sharing 5 songs and why they are special to me. Like many people it’s really hard coming up with just five of so many favorite tracks but this was also super easy for me. They are special because i found each one at a time i needed to hear it and carry the message with me.

Taught Me to Have Hope Again.

There was a time when i got tired of being patient. I almost quit an opportunity i’d worked so hard for only because i wasn’t getting what i wanted. Danny Gokey’s words gave me hope and reminded me to be thankful to God for what He has given me so far. I surely hadn’t seen it yet at the time but the hope and patience got me to a better place. Is your heart heavy, are you tired of waiting? Listen to this song, the entire album if you may. The album is titled Haven’t Seen It Yet.

One Way Got Me Out of Dark Times.

TAMELA MANN!! This woman’s voice is beautiful, she sings songs that will make you cry and run back to God if you’d turned your back on Him. For my Good was a song i listened to over 50 times last year and 2018. Do the lyrics of a song ever get to you and have you questioning your life? (Maybe i’m weird) I could write about all the song’s on the One Way album but this one is special. Our lives are in the hand of God and we have to trust in His plan even when we get distracted by what we see. I hope you get a chance to listen to it.

One of The Deepest Songs I’ve Listened To.

I can’t talk about music and not go old skool on y’all. I’m the biggest RnB old school fan i know but if you want to top my list then be my guest.(You have to earn it) TLC lost their member Lisa Lopes aka Left Eye (RIP) but Chilli and Tboz keep slaying even in 2020. Anyways Unpretty is a song that tackles women’s self worth which is still an issue today. When you first listen to it you’d think it’s about a girl seeking to be free from her oppressing boyfriend but the fact is the antagonist is the woman herself. I was curious what the song meant because I’ve known it my entire life and was not buying the oppressing boyfriend story. So listen to it and check this out.

Their Voices, The Whole Album Is Therapeutic.

Bringing you back to Africa, Kenya to be exact. I came across this one on Trace Gospel one Sunday during the lock down times. They have amazing voices for people with small bodies (this is me trying to make a point) The song is a mix of Swahili and English. It has a beautiful message. El Shaddai or just Shaddai is one of the names of the God of Israel. El Shaddai is conventionally translated into English as God Almighty 

El Shaddai Uko na kile me nadai Ulinipenda hata Kama me sifai translated as El Shaddai You have everything that i want You loved me even though i don’t deserve it. Go on then listen to this beautiful song.

I Relate to Every Line In This Song

First of all big shout out to Marvin who introduced me to NF. Marvin is an amazing human being 2019 sent my way. (Marvin when you see this don’t cry, bask in your moment of fame ) Anyways NF has the deepest, most vulnerable, raw and mind boggling lyrics I’ve ever come across. He is a rapper and the only one whose entire albums I’ve listened to. (Ironically the song started playing as i was writing this) It has so many life lessons and pieces of advise we may want to be told but fear to hear because human beings have a problem with the truth.

Yeah, handouts create lazy people I’m not impressed with
You want something in life, then why don’t you go and get it?
Actions speak louder than words do, it’s pretty quiet, isn’t it?
Look at the world we live in, defined by comment sections
Surround yourself with people that challenge how you think
Not people that nod their head and act like they agree

That’s it folks. My 5 songs and why they are special. Hope you enjoy them and make sure to try out the albums too.

God Bless You All. Until tomorrow.

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#WinterABC Day 18 : Camping Nightmare

It’s day 18 of 22 which means this beautiful journey is coming to an end. Creative writing is the theme of today specifically forming a story with the line “By the time he woke up, I was dying….” The stories I’ve read are amazing and here is a two page novel excerpt from my mind. Enjoy!

Before i returned home i’d wanted us to go camping for the weekend but Ryan was not having it. I know he is afraid of the dark but they’d be a camp fire to take us throughout the night. So i didn’t see why he was fussing about it.

Gloria rushed into the room and i gave her the bad news. “Ryan this is the one chance we have to go camping before we all get busy with life. Why would you want to pass this chance up?” Gloria said. He looked at us with a little worry and a smug on his face. “Fine but i’m only going because you asked me to drive.” Ryan said. “I could possibly sleep in the car just for safety but we are going anyway” he added.

Two hours later we hit the road me and Gloria excited to the core. While in the car we do a simple roll call just to make sure we packed everything. “Wait a minute….” i exclaim. “Did you guys know we have to do a treasure hunt tonight? Gloria did you know?” i ask. “Well that was the surprise and if i mentioned it before we left,Ryan over here would bail.” she replies. I could read the anger off his face but we were half way the journey. It was too late to turn back.

At the campsite were tents being set up by excited revelers. The music was loud everyone looking for a familiar face and endless chatter from young energetic girls and boys. I’ve traveled with Gloria before but this is the biggest adventure escapade we’ve been on. Left my worries at the entrance because this weekend was about fun and nothing else.

As dawn falls we gather around the blazing fire for warmth and a short meet and greet with other campers. Instructions are given and the treasure hunt lists spread out. Before we head out i rush to the car where Ryan is rested listening to music “We are headed out for the treasure hunt, can’t move with my phone so we’ll see you later” i said hurriedly. “Cool. Hey, be safe…” he replied lazily. I smile and walk way.

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#WinterABC Day 17 : Of Current Affairs

After a whole day of thinking i decided to sit this one out. There’s so much going on in the world that you’d expect me to have a lot to say on current affairs. We have issues we would like to share but how to put that in words that will not come off as mean or insensitive is not easy.

In Uganda just like any other country we have corona virus cases and they keep increasing. Every day i get to move out of the house and see what this pandemic has done to people. My concern is mostly those who are out of work, the people that worked for money not to save but to survive. I don’t know how to put that in words without getting teary. What is the true importance of the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness?

The news is filled with greedy and selfish politicians who are the least bothered about the people that voted them into power. What kind of leaders live among us? The 2021 elections are coming up, they are warming up their lies and ready to blindside desperate people. I voted once and i’m highly unlikely to vote again. (that could change a long the way)

Rape victims have gotten voices but they are not getting the attention they need and deserve. Coming out and sharing their stories is one step in the right direction but what about the rapists.What happens to the individual that left a permanent scar on an innocent soul. One rapist (student of the bar course in Ug, LDC) had the audacity to file a law suit against the female he raped. What kind of lawyers is the country molding? (Pardon me if i used the law terms wrongly) The lawyers to be reading this, our nation deserves better,we need people ready to fight for justice.

“Celebrities” are running out of what to do and wasting their hard earned money to look for cheap popularity in the media. The economy is already bad as is, they could use that money to invest or diversify their brands or businesses. (But who am i to judge)

Outside my third world country home, racism has never stopped and some white people have the audacity to portray their ignorance. I’m not letting all the other silently supportive anti racism folks of the hook. Its is a united we stand, divided we fall kind of situation. There’s something wrong and i still don’t get it. What is extremely harmful or scary about a black person, what is wrong with accepting someone for who they are? I still don’t get it God, maybe one day.

2020 has and is still a tough year but it has challenged me to think about so many things. The people or places i thought were superior are not superior after all. Is the world coming to an end? I don’t know either. Is this a sign from the universe that people need to change their ways, maybe but i will never know. Or is it a second chance at life but to be lived differently, with intention, faith, respect and genuineness.

I will never know but maybe you do. Folks as much as i did want to share what is on my mind, i actually don’t have it in me to go that deep. I’d like to commend all the people in their different capacities fighting the good fight for the girl child, women, mothers, unemployed youth, SME business owners,the individuals whose homes and businesses have been occupied by the ever so strong waved Lake Victoria (will do a piece on this) Not forgetting the boy child too.

Love and light to you all.

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Dear Endo

Today we are sharing about grief, loss and healing. It’s the 16th day of the WinterABC challenge and congratulations to everyone that has made it thus far.

I’ve always wanted to write a letter to my chronic illness and i can’t think of a better time than today. Enjoy.

Dear Endo,

In a few years to come we are celebrating a decade since we crossed paths. I hated you so much in the beginning, you made me feel inferior at the peek of my teenage years. The doctors did not make it any better when they revealed that only death could do us part. I was extremely scared and worried that my life would never be the same.

Before you, i’d never heard of any chronic illnesses in our family so i worried a lot that one day in my younger years i’d eventually kick the bucket and be gone from this world.

As i grew up, i noticed you changed too. Some days you’d cause me so much pain i’d wish to die and others you’d be silent and I got to enjoy normal painless life. God knows how hard i prayed to have you stay silent for a long time. He did answer my prayers for a bit and those painless months were my favorite.

Hysterectomy - Stage 4 Endometriosis (The Struggle is real ...
Above all you gave me an Endo Soul

Are you aware you also mess with my mental state? Anyways i had to learn later in life that many of the times i was depressed, anxious or out of my element it was because of you. Endo you broke me, made me have low self esteem and that made me miss opportunities, experiences with my friends and so much more.

What you don’t know is you helped me accept myself. Knowing i had you was one thing but accepting you to be part of my life was another. I like to talk about you so much i started a blog just for you. The day i accepted you is the day i became free just like taking shackles off my feet so that i can dance. (Stolen from Mary Mary – Shackles)

I hope to meet other females like me so that we can build an entire Endo community and use it to do good for ourselves (because we need it) and for less fortunate females carrying their own dose of not just endo but other female fertility concerns.

I love you Endo, thank you for finding your way into my body. If it wasn’t for you i’d be somewhere in the world regretting my decisions but you’ve kept me grounded and disciplined. Will not forget how annoying you are sometimes but i love you regardless. (kinda)

I pray you don’t kill me or cause me even greater problems. I’ll eat right, keep my body active and most importantly i’ll listen to my body when i feel you complaining.


Your Victim.

So for those of you who don’t know yet, i have a chronic illness (i prefer that to saying i am sick) I have a couple of write ups on it here and here. Be sure to check them out and get more insight on it.

Lovely week to you my esteemed readers.

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#WinterABC Day 15 : It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

The prompt for Day 15 was writing about something close to my heart. They are quite a number actually so choosing one was hard.

Infact on this day everyone was busy writing their hearts out and all I could do was read. The week had been tough and I had all these obligations to meet, I was tired, stressed and frustrated. Just like a soft cookie I was crumbling to pieces but in my head.

Many of us have read or heard about Mark Manson‘s famous The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck book. It throws more light on this issue but I’ll delve into a bit from my perspective. (Subscribe to his mail listing, there’s great content)

It’s okay not to be okay. A while back I read somewhere that that statement is just an excuse to have people complain and not get stuff done. Well I don’t agree entirely.

Society has a way of pushing us to be strong all the time even when you are just too sad to actually be strong. We are urged to be positive all the time which in reality is not possible. Infact I think it’s not fair, it’s totally and absolutely okay not to be fine all the time.

We all deserve to feel what we need to feel, be it anger, disappointment, happiness you name it. Sometimes we have bad days, we should be able to mourn our losses and cry if it’s what will make us feel better in that moment.

Being a first child I thought I had to have it all together for the sake of my siblings. I wanted them to look up to me so badly I put aside my plans to impress them. This broke me and I’m still recovering. Let’s not forget that none of them asked me to be but I put all this pressure on myself. It was all in my head.

When I’m not in the right mindset I’ll withdraw from people, listen to music, log out of all my social media and enjoy my solitude. Some days when I can’t talk to anybody i’ll cry because it helps me feel better. I’ve lost a couple of friends as result of this but that is also okay.

Accepting that it’s okay not to be strong, it’s okay not to have all the answers, it’s okay to be lost sometimes, it’s okay not to hold back your tears actually makes you stronger.

Acknowledging that it’s just a temporary phase helps you get out of the sad times faster than when you fight it off and act strong yet your breaking on the inside.

Feel free to share your opinions on this in the comments.

Until tomorrow!!

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#WinterABC Day 14 Let’s Get Cultural

My inconsistency the last two weeks is embarrassing. I apologize truly and will not give up because i pledged to this. Day 14’s topic was about sharing a cultural aspect from my country or community.

Belonging to two tribes should have given me the upper hand on what to share but that’s just another embarrassment for me to take home. Another embarrassment is how most tribes in Uganda have adopted the Kwanjula culture from the Baganda *Luganda to mean Introduction Ceremony*

I’ve always asked my mother whether there is a subtle way of introducing a partner in our times without being so extra. Her reply is always the same, apparently she is modern and all that extravagance we see these days is too dramatic and such a waste of time and money. To be honest i think she says that to get me off her back and because there’s no man to introduce yet. (I’m very certain things will take a different turn when the time comes)

Kwanjula translated loosely is to introduce someone. The Baganda have a whole marriage process but i’m only familiar with the Kukyala, Kwanjula, Mbagga order that is Visitation, Introduction, Wedding.

The Kukyala (visitation) is where the daughter brings her boyfriend at the time to visit her parents and talk about his intentions with her. Basically they sit in the living room all clad in their cultural outfits planning on how to sell you off and all you do is sit still and look pretty. That’s what i have been told anyways. Recent research, (by me) revealed that in true Buganda culture the boyfriend is not supposed to step foot in the girlfriend’s father’s compound. Rather he is to visit the woman’s paternal aunt and she does the vetting for the parents and prepare him to meet the macho man of the household in occasion two.

Then comes the Kwanjula. At this point in time, the bride price has been discussed and approved. The dates for the wedding and introduction are sometimes set during the Kukyala. The introduction ceremony is where both families come together to know each other more like a meet and greet. Others believe it is also an official engagement ceremony. There are so many assumptions and that is why i don’t get non Buganda tribes adopting this culture.

There is exchange of gifts at the Kwanjula, talking about bags of sugar, a truck of cattle, furniture, numerous food stuffs, gomesis, kanzus (cultural apparel for Baganda) for the parents and aunts and so much more.

Kwanjula Gifts -
The Gifts!!

The outstanding gifts are the cocks given to the brothers of the bride and the suitcase filled with lingerie and other sex appealing attire for the bride to lure her husband in the bedroom. I attended a Kwanjula meeting late last year and i must say it was interesting. All throughout the ceremony the bride’s family is introduced/staged to the groom’s side, they’ll have a feast later in the day the groom will engage the bride with a ring. They then exchange gifts as well and the groom’s sisters will shower the bride with more gifts. When all is done, the groom and his people leave the home and allow the bride’s family to celebrate how close to marriage their daughter is.

My Wedding – For Fashion, Uganda Wedding, Kwanjula and Kuhingira ...
More Gifts!!

Lastly the wedding comes and we all know how those go. I may have skipped some of the norms that take place during the Kwanjula and Kukyala, my research is still on going. Otherwise these ceremonies are always entertaining and filled with candid picture moments. The Kwanjulas of today have been so modernized you’d think you are at a wedding reception (the extravagance and drama my mom was referring too) I say let people have their moment, everybody has a choice, regrets or no regrets.

EBIFANANYI! Venue Where Rema's Kwanjula Is To Be Held Looks Like ...
Rema’s Introduction Decor (Ug celebrity who supposedly set the bar high for women…..not my words)

There are a couple of concerns with these occasions, which are the pressure attached to these functions and societal pressure to have a bigger and better party, the value women are given in form of bride price and the shame when there is trouble in paradise.

While preparing to write this piece i decided to do research on how other cultures send off their daughters when the time comes. I hope to share some of my findings here,

Until next time, love and light.

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#WinterABC Day 13: Immaculée Ilibagiza

Today is Day 13 of the WinterABC challenge with today’s topic being about a notable African personality you’d like to meet and why.

I hope you read my day 12 post which was about an experience in a southwestern village, Kibeho in Rwanda. My personality for the day reigns from Rwanda and her story is years after the apparitions starting in 1994.

Immaculée Ilibagiza was born in the western Rwandan province of Kibuye, in the village of Mataba.

She was separated from her family due to the genocide in which she lost her parents and two of her brothers.

Immaculée and seven other girls had to stay in a tiny bathroom for three months in a house that belonged to Pastor Murinzi. The bathroom door was covered by a wardrobe which spared their lives as the soldiers had no clue how many helpless people lived in that tiny bathroom.

10 years later, Immaculée sitted in the bathroom that her and seven other girls sought refugee for three months

Flashforward to present time, Immaculée lives in New York with her amazing children and husband. With the kindness, generosity and support of Wayne Dyer, Immaculée has been able to tell her story of finding God and how he saved her from during one of the hardest times in Rwanda.

She’s here . . . we know she’s here somewhere. . . . Find her—find Immaculée.” “I have killed 399 cockroaches,” said one of the killers. “Immaculée will make 400. It’s a good number to kill.”

Above are some of the words she heard outside the bathroom from the soldiers who were more than eager to end her life.

Why Do I Want To Me Her?

I simply want to ask how she kept her faith strong and trusted God during that time. Many gave up, got tired of hiding and surrendered. Immaculée in her book Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust explains that she survived because God wanted her to tell her story.

You will feel hope, a hope that inch by inch, we as a people are moving toward a new alignment—that is, we’re moving toward living God-realized lives.

Wayne Dyer

So I’d love to sit down with her over a cup of tea and talk about Faith, Forgiveness, God, Catholicism and Life after the Rwandan holocaust.

Thank you so much for reading and I urge you to check on your family and friends make sure they are okay.

Love and light to you all.

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#WinterABC Day 12: My Apparition Experience

November 28th 1981

Kibeho is a small village in Southwestern Rwanda. I and a number of other girls have spent a month or so in school and we study from Kibeho High School.

It’s lunch time, every one is struggling for food that they can’t see what is going on in the dining hall.

Alphonsine Mumureke is standing at the front of the dining hall, head lifted high and she seems to be talking to herself. Suddenly silence fills the hall people are starting to notice and some girls are making fun of her.One of the teachers on duty is called to act on what is happening. Some girls are scared, they are whispering about the new girl who seems to be possessed. A few minutes later she falls to the ground and is rushed to the school dispensary.

January 1982

We are fresh from the Christmas holiday and everyone is excited to be back. We are outside waiting for an address from our teacher and one of the girls move forward.

It’s Anathalie Mukamazimpaka just like Alphonsine she’s tilted her head up and she’s responding to a person we all can’t see.

She later told us the Virgin Mary appeared to her identifying herself as Nyina wa Jambo (Kinyarwanda for “Mother of the Word”). I remember Alphonsine said the same thing but no one believed her. They all thought it impossible and even accused them of being possessed by the devil.

I come from a devout Catholic family, yes I have my doubts as would any other human being. But how can two different people make up a story of something so special and divine. Anathalie’s apparitions emphasized endless prayer and expiation. Simply asking us to make amends for guilt or wrong doing.

I did not stay long enough in Kibeho High to witness Marie Claire Mukangango, who had initially bullied Alphonsine at school because of the visions. She also experienced apparitions which lasted from March 2 to September 15, 1982. The Virgin told Mukangango that people should pray the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows to obtain the favor of repentance.

Many people interpreted these apparitions as visions foretelling the Rwandan genocide and the second Kibeho massacre. The same place the girls had their moment with the Virgin Mary is the same ground on which they slaughtered innocent souls.

Here is a site you can visit to further understand what these girls went through putting aside my story.

Thank you for reading, until next time.

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Proverbs In Vernacular

FUN FACT: My father is an Etesot and my mother is a Muganda. This makes me half and half but due to male dominance i’ll introduce myself as an Iteso. Luckily i got a Kiganda name, Suubi which means Hope.

Today i’ll share with you a couple of proverbs from both tribes some of which i just learned today. My grandmother all the way in Butebo must be disappointed. The children of my father’s household need to go back for lessons myself included.

1. Eyauni epejonon aijar

Translated as: The visitor brings life.

To mean: Its better to share with visitors because they add more blessings.

2. Agali awamu g’egaluma enyama

Translated as: Only the teeth that are joined will bite the meat.

To mean: When people are united, even the strongest enemy or the toughest challenge can be overcome.

3. Ebibe tebyala

Translated as (Loosely): Stolen things don’t yield much

To mean: There is no gain from stealing something that does not belong to you.

4. Nantabulirwa asaabala gwa bumbba

To mean: A person who doesn’t heed to advise is bound to fail.

5. Ekigya omanyi kinyagga bitono

To mean: If something comes your way and you had a clue it doesn’t break you down as much.

I need to visit both my grandmothers and go deeper into my roots. They are always telling us stories but we don’t go much into things like proverbs.

Despite that finding, i enjoyed doing the research for today’s topic.

I would also like to add that during my research someone I reached out to blatantly told me and I qoute “things to do with my tribe will take me no where”. Let that sink in (I still am), we need to reflect on how detached we are from our roots.

Blessed Week Lovely People.