Categories
Lock Down Challenges

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.

Love,

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.

Categories
Endometriosis Journey

Endo Medication Trials

At the start of the week i was very excited about planning for the sequel of my story infact i jotted down a few things but my anxiety has been all over the place so i didn’t get to finish it. I made a promise about showing up so i’m going to get to work regardless of how unprepared i am, after all procrastination is the fear of success.

The most annoying thing about having endometriosis is the numerous medications we have to try only to make the illness bearable. In the months before my diagnosis i simply took Ibuprofen which is the common pain reliever for menstrual cramps and it worked just fine. With growth came body changes which is why i’m here spilling my menstrual medication secrets.

My first medication trial was herbal/organic medicine which were a powder mix that healed over ten different illnesses and an iron supplement that was really tasty. Remember the school nurse from part 1, she was so hard on me but it was for the better. I had to be at the school dispensary at exactly 7am and 6:30pm respectively to start treatment. The powder mix tasted like matcha green tea which by the way has no definate taste so you can imagine the struggle. Later on in life (not that long ago) i learned it was medication suitable for people hitting their midlife crisis years. At least i can say it made my body feel refreshed but i was not amused with the idea of a teenager taking old people medicine. Whenever The Red Cross team was in school for the blood donation drives, I’d be excited to donate but the nurse was always on the look out. Three failed attempts and to date I’ve never donated but I understand now that you can’t give much from a glass half empty. The herbal medicine was effective for only a year and a half but I am grateful because it made me hopeful.

Luckily, the first trial did not have side effects because many “artificial” medicines are known to have them. My gynaecologist prescribed pills which are my second and current trial whose name i will not disclose in today’s wrtite up. I will share all the available options only after thorough research and with guidance from the professionals. One fact about them is they work by mimicking the effect of a missing hormone in the female body, to sum it up my whole hormone community is a lie. The said pills are also a prescription for breast cancer patients and it scares me a lot that we have to borrow medicine for other conditions to simply make our pain minimal.

Some of the side effects i’m struggling with include but are not limited to;

  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness

It never occured to me that one day i’d wake up sick and never get better. The truth of the matter is there is no cure for it and for most of us it is the most hurtful thing.

I am a sufferer of endometriosis. I didn’t want any young women to go through what i went through. I thought that people should know about it.

Padma Lakshmi

Today’s take away is if you have a sister, girlfriend, wife, workmate you name it, that has mentioned they have menstrual conditions kindly reach out to them or nudge them a little to speak up. They may not be aware of what they are actually experiencing. If you are a victim do not be shy to share your condition with people you trust. Talking about it makes you more aware and confident with time.

I’m hear to help however i can so do not be a stranger even for males that may need help understanding the practicalities of the illness. I gatchu!!

Side Note: Shorter write ups are fun to read plus they keep you on the edge for the next part. Untill next time.

Categories
Endometriosis Journey

The Genesis Of My Endometriosis (Part I)

Seven years ago i was very excited to start my higher level education but i had no idea that one week into the school term I’d be paying my gynecologist a visit over a chronic illness i didn’t know existed.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the uterus is found in other parts of the body such as the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, bladder, bowel and others. For further and easier information to comprehend this, please visit https://www.medtronic.com/covidien/en-za/patient-information/explore-endometriosis.html

On my visit to the doctor, very odd tests were done and i was asked if I’d aborted before because what they were seeing was unusual. During the review he opened what i call a doctor’s dictionary and introduced me to this new word Endometriosis. I honestly wasn’t paying attention until he mentioned it has no cure and the only hope to improving the situation was giving birth. I got scared and thought at that age I’d have to get pregnant for this to go away. I remember how scared my mum was when she broke the news to my dad. My adolescent mind was racing on about how i was going to be a young mom and stuff while my mum was making phone calls to priests and other religious people she knew to start praying for me. (As would any African Mother)

Well you can’t stop the pain but better health care services could be a step in the right direction

There’s no cure not even in the first world countries so we are really even on this one. Anyway, there are particular pills ladies like me can take but that helps to reduce pain and balance a few hormones and that’s it. My doctor prescribed them and literally banned me from the hospital, no see me in two weeks time or visit in a month. He left me to battle it out with pharmacists asking why i need the medicine and other similar annoying questions.

During my short stay at home during the school term, we visited a doctor that specializes in herbal and organic medicine. That medicine is just as bitter as Aloe Vera or worse and i started treatment with special supervision from the school nurse. There was no skipping with that woman, she’d send over five different people to inform me that’d been summoned. I always referred to it as torture and a curse from God because why would He send me a chronic illness moreover one that was incurable.

Flash forward to the present day, i know now that the nurse just wanted me to be healthy and get better just as she’d promised my mother. The strict supervision during my treatment is why I’m not as badly off but that is a story for another day. Over the years i started doing more research about the illness and started looking for women, ladies or young girls like me. The pain i was feeling when it was that time of the month, before and after was excruciating. I thought to myself, there should be other females out there like me and i want to know how they deal with this awful pain.

Friend, if i tell you my pain is nothing compared to the stories i read as shared by different women you have to believe me. Some utilize most of their leave days from work to stay home because they can barely walk, one medically hit menopause at the age of fifteen, another quit her job because her colleagues complained about her working from home whenever it was that time of the month. Plus so many others you can check out this one https://www.healthline.com/health-news/personal-painful-ordeal-of-women-with-endometriosis-061815

We Are A Strong Species

The symptoms differ for every female and that’s why some get diagnosed a little later when the condition is ugly. Let me get back to why I’ve decided to write about this. This illness has so much control about pretty much everything in my life. My body physique for starters, i have a hormonal belly which is hard to shred, bad digestion process so i have to watch what i eat, anxiety and depression because i grow fat from stress and people will call me out on it as if i shove 10 butter cream cupcakes down my throat everyday. The hormonal imbalance has me loving someone today and hating them tomorrow and last but not least the intimacy situation. It’s such a load to carry but i handle it with patience and faith that it will get better.

During the lock down, i decided to study my body and assess my life from the past seven years and i realized my endometriosis situation has been controlling me the entire time. If I’d known that a while back I’d have handled life better but we make our choices and that’s not me saying i regret it. I’m proud to say my mental health is stable and I’m happy, extremly thankful to my unpaid therapists at least all our hours of talking have helped me realize what the root cause has been. I even know where I’m going with this blog journey and my life with this unfriendly illness of mine.

The story does not end here, we are going to go deeper into this chronic illness and i’ll share my experience because it feels like i’m reliving some parts. This is part one of my story and i hope you stick around. These stories need to be told and we need to be heard to find one another but most importantly to get help and offer it to those who don’t even know they need it.

Until next time,

Linda