*That photo isn’t dancing; it’s cringing in pain in various positions, screaming out, “God, why!”
**Run screaming now if you’re squeamish or don’t care about chronic conditions and pain.
And this is why. Here’s everything you never wanted to know about my conditions:
Except giving birth was relatively easy (even though they ended up hacking me open).
I like to describe it as my uterus going way overboard trying to give me a present every month. Or at least that’s how it started out. Basically, the uterus behaves like a fucked-up version of spiderman and shoots blood all over your other internal organs and ties them together with what feels like carbon fiber-strength strings and adhesions.
In order to accomplish this, it seems like it squeezes as hard as it can, leaving the entire uterus permanently seized up in some cases.
So in addition to sending the endometrial lining in the wrong direction and binding your organs and rectum together like some freakish mad scientist’s experiment, the constant, agonizing pain it causes can cause your organs to clamp up and harden for good, which leads to more pain. If that’s a little too gross or intense, here’s an alternate explanation.
Update: Current science now says this is wrong. While the tissue is endometrial, it does not originate from the uterus. I recommend reading my latest article on endometriosis for a more up-to-date look at this awful disease. But I’m leaving that description there. Lol, because the imagery is classic.
Excerpt from Stop Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain by Dr. Andrew Cook:
“Having endometriosis is like having tens or hundreds of excruciatingly painful blisters or bee stings covering the inside of your pelvis. We all know how painful a small blister on the foot can be, and how sore the surrounding tissue is. When you’re hiking with a blister on your heel, every step can cause a sharp pain. A blister on your hand from a cooking burn can bother you for weeks, every time you accidentally touch it. Now imagine those blisters multiplied and multiplied, spread throughout your internal organs; picture the entire pelvic area red, raw, and sore. When the blisters ooze, they can spread to form other blisters, like poison oak does. Any jostling or movement aggravates the pain. If you can imagine those blisters, perhaps you can better understand how women with endometriosis can feel intense horrific pain that few of us, we hope, will ever have to experience. Some women describe it as worse than labor pains; knife like stabs in the pelvis, aching, stinging, and burning. The pain isn’t limited to the uterine area; it can be side pain, ovarian pain, hip pain, thigh pain and fairly severe lower-back pain. It can be grinding pain, like that experienced by advanced cancer patients. In addition, women can experience nausea, pain with intercourse or bowel movements, flu like symptoms, and general fatigue. Endometriosis can truly be torture.”
Yes, indeed. But it doesn’t end there. Nope. Not even close.
This fucking disorder… Shaking my head.
So this one decides to play DJ with my hormones and my pancreas, just wrecking the shit out of it and not producing music so much as bastardized classical dubstep (if such a thing even existed). Basically, I get all the aggression and sex drive of a dude while I’m also suffering brain fog, clumsiness, and cravings like a woman. This is that horrifying stereotype of the woman on her period. I really do start to go insane. My hunger (for all sorts of things) grows and my low blood sugar leaves me nearly fainting if I so much as step into a warm shower before breakfast. If you’re not careful it can lead to diabetes. Which makes the cravings for chocolate and carbs so much worse.
So, pretty much it makes me want to fuck, eat, and kill in the worst kind of way, while telling my body to grow more hair than I actually want (though that’s gotten slightly better with time), to turn my ovaries into mush, and to not even bother processing that sugar correctly. Lovely thing, that.
And did I mention that sometimes your polycystic ovaries decide to hide behind your uterus and play peek-a-boo? ‘cuz they totally do that at times.
Oh, and this one is very likely to leave you either infertile or subfertile. I have to balance my hormones with birth control while not pregnant, clomid and progesterone if trying to become pregnant, and then with progesterone for a few months while pregnant to make sure I don’t have a miscarriage. Paired with the endometriosis above it’s a miracle I was able to have a healthy baby at all.
On the other hand, you really don’t have to worry about accidentally falling pregnant when you’re not actively trying, which is great if you’re a bit of a slut from that high sex drive, so there’s that.
But moving on.
Pretty self-explanatory. Your nerves are set on high. They figure, “hey, since you’ve been in pain so much and have been so stressed out all the time we’re going to make it easy for you by never turning your pain signals off. Yeah, we’re just going to leave them on like those open signs. It’ll be like a perpetual source of energy…for your pain.”
It’s all the wrong kind of help and sensitivity. Suddenly that 15 foot walk across the courtyard feels like you’re climbing down into, crossing, and then climbing up the other side of the Grand Canyon. Suddenly that bottle of water weighs down on you like its made out of a hunk of a neutron star. You start to feel like the Venture Bros. version of The Human Torch:
4. The Other Effects:
These are things that never go away. They can interfere with your sex life, your sanity, your social life. They leave you fatigued, unable to concentrate, depressed, and anxious. And there’s no cure for any of them. They can only be managed. Some people have symptoms that don’t interfere with their everyday life. Some people (like me currently) feel the effects every single day and have it drive them insane every now and again.
This doesn’t even begin to cover stressful life circumstances, of which my entire life is one. Seriously, I swear I’m living in a horror movie. So if you’re ever reading my stories and thinking “Dear god, where does it end?” just know that it doesn’t. Know that I don’t torture my characters needlessly (or at least not too much) but that it’s simply the norm for me. The insanely fast pace, the events and pressure stacking on top of one another, everything happening at once, and things somehow still managing to get worse! Well, that’s literally been my life.
You’ll also see some incredible joy, such wonderful and deep connection, such uplifting strength and curiosity. And that insatiable hunger to know, to learn, to love. Because all of this is only ugly if I let it be. I’ll only suffer if I want to. The pain may or may not go away; that’s not the point.
Because even if I run out of spoons, I’ll never run out of life. Even when I die, my energy will feed into other things. That’s why I can laugh about it. That’s why I can still be just as kind and smile even when I’m feeling like shit (except for the times I literally pass out in pain or exhaustion). It’s why, even though I have to do things differently, I’ll never give up on creating the life I want. These conditions can be a literal pain in my ass but the joy in my heart and the fire in my mind are ever-blazing.