Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Story: Endometriosis - The Grand Reveal

I am currently reading Candide, by Voltaire. One take-away lesson that has struck me repeatedly, as it did young Candide, was the fact that everyone has his own story. Everyone has his own struggles, his own demons, his own trials and tribulations to face and conquer. And let's face it - we don't often speak of the ills we each suffer, candidly, unless we're amongst those we trust or those we feel we will never see again.

In my years as an educator, especially of high school teenagers who all know so much more and so much better than I, I have found it important to not dance around issues pertaining to the mature adult. I'm not saying I talk about intimate details of my life, but I certainly don't sugar-coat what it was like being pregnant, nursing, dealing w/ rushing out of the classroom to rescue my son from excruciating ear infection pain his first year of preschool, etc. And I do not feel a need to hesitate or change the class discussion when my students ask me when we were going to have another child. "I can't." I say, as easily as I next claim to "love chocolate." Only a few get nosey at that point, but most just accept it and turn back to asking someone for gum or a dollar to get a drink out of the vending machine.

My point in this digression is to state that I am done dancing around the issues. I am truly on my last chance to get my health in order, or I will have no other choice but to have a full hysterectomy. I would prefer not to do that. I've done the drugs (one was even experimental - yes, I was a lab rat), the surgeries (yup - multiple), and various other methods of controlling the symptoms and the pain.

I found a blog that discusses using yoga to treat endometriosis. Dorothy states, very concisely, "But that is how it is with chronic pain.  The pain takes over and you begin to just endure it.   You angrily accept that pain is a way of life and that you are powerless against it.  You stop searching for ways to feel better.  You don't sleep right, your eating habits get all crazy, your digestion goes all out of whack, and you get irritable.  It's frustrating, depressing, and downright exhausting!" I couldn't have said it more succinctly myself. I am tired of being angry about the pain, discomfort, and various other aspects of endometriosis, and I am exhausted w/ trying to hide what I've been feeling.

In light of the fact that I've felt almost like a pariah because, well, we don't speak of women's health openly, I am saying enough. Enough not letting it out in the open. Enough dancing around why I just can't get on the ground and play with my son. Enough hiding the fact that I'm close to passing out in class. Enough of it all. I've seen, through my research, that I am not the only one who was scared to talk. I am not the only one to suffer. And maybe - just maybe, I'll have some tidbit of information that will help another woman experiencing the same struggles.

Endometriosis be damned - this is my tale.

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