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What an Endometriosis Flare-Up Feels Like

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On the 13th of May, I rode in a car with a friend who was in town. I did minor walking that entire day. I walked a bit in a mall this day, as well. All together I only walked 1,700 steps. So about half a mile, according to my tracking app. Though, part of it was done in a wheelchair for the second half of the mall. This entire process, I was only in the mall for about 30 minutes. As the days since that event passes along, my stomach, and my insides get sorer. I have a deep seeded burning feeling that’s growing, which starts out faint at first, but gets more, and more pronounced throughout the coming days. My irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms have gotten increasingly worse, too.

This is the norm for me. Whenever I choose to do something that requires physical activity, I pay for it a day or so later. I’m in my bed on pain medications, nausea medications, and my heating pad is so high it’s burning my skin. I’m occasionally vomiting from just a little bit of food. This has been my norm for two years now.

This is definitely a flare-up coming about, no doubt about it. It always takes a bit, but then just continues to get stronger and stronger, till it hits a high point and stays there till I finally recover. It hurts to sit down because it puts so much pressure on my pelvic; it’s such a deep seeded pain. I sometimes feel my ovaries must be three times the size they should be, and my cervix and uterus are also inflamed constantly. They hurt so bad some days, I just wish I could get them taken out. Sadly, that doesn’t cure endometriosis. On some days, it feels like my ovaries are stuck to my sides, that they are encompassed by a spider web, and each tear of the web, I feel – making everything hurt just that much more.

On other days, it feels like my navel is being pulled inward. Like its “stuck” on something. Trying to stand straight upwards will be painful because my navel will keep feeling stuck like something is pulling it downwards. Moving a lot will eventually get it unstuck, but not without feeling like someone took a blowtorch to it, and have it burn for days afterward. Everything around that area will hurt too much to even put on a pair of pants, till the inflammation feeling settles down.

When flare-ups begin to happen, I have increased nausea symptoms. The pain also radiates throughout my body. The “ripping” and “tearing” feeling I will sometimes feel in my upper torso, will happen more often. It keeps me from being able to turn my body or move too much, or else I will feel like parts of my flesh inside my body is tearing away inside me. This pain has caused me to pass out on the bathroom floor or it will keep me from eating for six days, vomiting any food I attempt to swallow. Despite this, I have had a doctor once tell me they didn’t think anything was wrong with me, and pretty much did nothing to help me – even though I had just vomited five times in a row, the day before. No test, no exam. Nothing.

People often times think endometriosis is “not that bad,” that it’s “just cramps.” They think that all one needs is an Ibuprofen, and it takes care of the many issues that come along with having endometriosis. Not understanding it affects everyone differently.

Being your own advocate is extremely hard when some doctors won’t even believe you enough to do any sort of test, or least acknowledge the pain you’re in. They often make me feel like I am just not doing enough to be not sick. I finally have a doctor that is helping me, but the battle ahead will be a long one. I intend to continue talking about my experience with this disease, regardless if it makes anyone uncomfortable. More people need to have a voice, and someone to continue to speak about this disease, and how it has such a profound effect on those who struggle with it on a day to day basis.

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Thinkstock Image By: AndreyPopov

Originally published: May 25, 2017
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