The Burden of Endometriosis

Now this is a hard one for me, especially posting that feature image. Everyone who knows me know that I’m not the type of girl to flaunt my body every chance I get. In fact, wearing a bikini makes me self conscious because of my surgery scarring. I’ve actually been asked before if I was stabbed. Well… Technically yes! But being vulnerable is important in raising awareness. So let’s do this!

Now these scars are very hard to see in the photo. But I have 4 scars for every laparoscopy. So that’s 20 scars on my stomach alone. While they are small and unassuming, each surgery comes with more and more unbearable pain.

I have stage 2 Endometriosis, which is considered a ‘mild’ form and I have had 5 surgeries for it since I was 19, with talk of hysterectomy mentioned for after I have kids.

And that is just for stage 2! My pain starts quickly and all month long, along with a whole list of other nightmarish and occasionally embarrassing symptoms. Now, in the spirit of being honest and vulnerable, here are some examples…

The last time Endometriosis grew on my bowel, I had diarrhea every single day. That was a fun one. Or there was the time that it was affecting my bladder quite badly. That caused almost constant UTI’s, and one time when I actually wet the bed in my sleep. Yep… That happened. Not my finest moment to say the least!

The saddest part, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s another fun fact. Some women with stage 4, the most aggressive form of Endometriosis, don’t even realise they have it until they find out they’re infertile or they have further (possibly permanent) damage requiring several aggressive surgeries.

At least 1 in 10 women suffer from this debilitating disease to some degree. So why are we so afraid to talk about it? Why is it so unacceptable to miss work because the pain is just too much to bear that day? Why are we considered ‘weak’ by even other women because our symptoms don’t match their own common period symptoms?

More than that, why is this disease so misunderstood even by those in the medical field, just because it can’t be seen by the naked eye and because some parts of it can’t be explained?

Why should we isolate the women in our lives who are suffering, simply because we don’t understand? Well… Compassion doesn’t actually require understanding. Nor does support or kindness

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