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How Hope Keeps Me Going During Endometriosis Flare-Ups

I have a tattoo on my arm – my first tattoo, one I will never regret… but there are days I hate the sight of it.

the word 'hope' tattooed on a woman's arm

Let me explain.

Living with endometriosis is a lifelong sentence, like any other chronic disease. The worst thing about living with endometriosis is knowing pain is coming. Unlike winter (cue Game of Thrones reference) that comes once every few years, my long winter days come every month. Every 13 days, I have to reschedule my life and brace for impact. Literally.

The pain is so debilitating, sometimes I am sure death is near. When I bleed out clots as big as my palm and when I have collapsed from the sheer pain on multiple occasions because of my monthlies, I sometimes begin to hope for death.

Death doesn’t come though – my heart is left picking up the pieces of that gut-wrenching experience. Sometimes I’m not ready for the next period but it still comes… It tears me up and leaves, reassuring me it will be back… in 13 days. I know I’m in an abusive relationship with my body. I know I have to care, coddle and fight for this body that breaks me, every damn time.

 

There is no cure. So we medicate, right? The medications that suppress your hormones come – it can be large injections that pierce your bloated tummy every month. That’s the best part, I’d say, because when you play with your organ systems, they fight back. Cue menopause at 22, cervical dilations at 26 and 28, depression, blood transfusions, Steven-Johnson syndrome, hemorrhoids, talks on infertility and, when all else fails, surgery comes because nothing else can be done.

This has been my cycle – 16 years, nine surgeries later, I am still here. Bracing for impact.

What keeps me going? Hope. 

What am I hoping for, you ask? I can’t pinpoint it. Sometimes it’s a small thing that keeps me going – “in seven days, I’ll get back on my motorbike.” Sometimes it’s a big thing – “I want to hold my baby. Yes, they’ve said infertility is a symptom, but I want to hold my babies.”

The human spirit is an amazing thing. It’s resilient and when you think you can’t go on, it keeps going, one crawl at a time, if that’s what it takes.

I’m here for the endo warriors who get reckless words like “normal” or “psychosomatic” thrown at them, I’m here to hold you and tell you that you can survive this.

Somehow, you have it in you to survive this. Keep fighting for you, keep fighting for a cure – you are stronger than you know!

Let’s keep hoping on, as we brace for impact… remember we can survive this.

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