Mine started out as everyone else’s… I was born in a hospital on a hill. I was an interesting child (or so my mother says). When I got to the age of two, I became very social maybe even extremely social… But that’s not the story I wanted to tell today.
I have endometriosis…
For those of us who may have never heard of this, endometriosis is a painful disorder in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus; the endometrium, grows outside your uterus. It is said to be recurring and very unpredictable. I have been with it since I was 19.
Before I was diagnosed people would think I was exaggerating and being a ‘kasoftie’ because I’d be taking medicine all the time. I would also bleed for long and it got to a point where I’d increase the dosage of the pain killers I was taking. When I would come home for the holidays, I’d stay in bed during the whole time of my period.
I decided to seek professional help (from an obstetrician gynecologist) when my period would get so heavy and painful that it made me dizzy and pass out every time.
When I got diagnosed it was a bit of a relief because at least I could finally put a name to what I had been feeling. I got a ‘grace period’ for about 3 years but for the past year it has been the toughest to be honest. This is because, apart from the pain, I’m on several hormonal treatments and they all have several side effects from acne to weight gain to oedema (water retention) to mood swings.
I’m on several treatments is because;
(i) there isn’t a cure for endometriosis and as such there is no specific drug that works and since my doctor doesn’t want to do the surgery yet we’re sort of trying to see what can at least minimize the symptoms.
(ii) apart from the treatments, I’ve had to make sacrifices /adjustments in my diet. It is said that certain foods accelerate the symptoms and I’m slowly getting to discover what to eat and what not to eat.
Endometriosis has also taken a toll on my social life. When I’m on my period I’m edgy and sensitive and being around people can just get me emotional. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be my period for emotions to creep in. One minute I’m fine the next I’m annoyed at God knows what/who. I can’t explain it.
In terms of work, I take advantage of the times that I’m feeling okay and work to my best. When I can’t make it to work/can’t work well, I communicate to my supervisor. I told my employer of my condition and the support that I might need like working off days to go for appointments or when I’m not feeling well or when I can’t work as much.
So far I thank God it hasn’t been as bad since I started working where I currently am.
How I deal with the pain…
So far I haven’t been rushed to the hospital to get iv meds though I have come close severally. My doctor advised me to always take pain meds before the pain starts so that when it starts even if it will still be painful at least it won’t be that uncomfortable/unbearable. I also use heat therapy for relaxation. I still have to dofollow ups with the doctor every so often to track progress and see what can be adjusted. And most importantly, I also listen to my body.
In regards to the emotions, I accepted that they will come. I have told those around me what I’m dealing with or maybe what basically can happen and thank God they sort of understand and are really supportive.
As we wrap up…
You may wonder how I live my life knowing that I have something incurable and almost impossible to live with. To be honest, it is a roller coaster. Some days I wake up ready to take on the world, feeling all powerful and useful. Like wonder woman. Other days I wake up feeling like I can crawl up to a corner and remain motionless and basically less. Constantly living each day knowing that what I do to relieve the symptoms today will not work tomorrow can get to the nerve sometimes.
Throughout this past year I have picked up some interesting lessons. Of the many things I have learnt, I have learnt to have more faith. Faith in God, faith in the good doctor who helps with my treatment, faith in the people that are in my life that they will stay and still support me and be willing to be the positive sunshine in my life.
Faith. A small word with so much weight. Now is when I’m getting inspired to share my story. Not that I want woiyee (though some days I really want the woiyees). I am still learning every day.
The essence of this story….
We all have something that we are dealing with; either internally or externally. I, for one am not the only one. I won’t be last one dealing with stuff. But with each passing day we have a chance to make anew.
I hope to give hope to someone someday. I hope that you have hope to soldier on with your life’s journey.
PS:my advise to people dealing with endometriosis is to make a list of those who should know. That is, your folks(if they don’t know), spouse /partner, employer, friend/friends (for support because it goes a long way)
The above story was shared by Sheila Wangu. I really hope you were inspired. Check out her blog here to know more about her journey and writing in general.
Have a blessed week friend and if you’d like to guest post, email me : firstname.lastname@example.org