Having had to live through over 15 years of endo pain and all it’s related symptoms, I get what endometriosis is all about. I get that it hurts. I get that no-one really gets it. I get that feeling of desperation and that constant frustration that comes with not understanding what endometriosis really is and why we even have it. I get all of this plus a whole bunch more.
Today I want to share some of the thoughts I have experienced with having had endometriosis and having been through a very long journey with finally overcoming it. I hope it alleviates some of that feeling of being alone with having endo and also gives you some insights to help guide you to better health.
Endo Sucks! I just want chocolate!
We all have those things that somehow make us feel better. Not so much on a physical level but on a deep emotional level. Perhaps it has something to do with a coping mechanism we learned when we were kids or perhaps they stimulate some other part of our “feel good” centres of our brain. For me, it was always chocolate and still is. When life gets tough or I feel a little sad about something, I reach for chocolate.
I used to completely depend on chocolate to help me deal with living with endo. I would crave it, I would gobble it up and I would hope that it somehow made the suckiness of endo a little less sucky. I distinctly remember a day in London, where I was struck by unbelievable pain in the middle of the day and stuffing myself with about 5 or 6 chocolate bars, hoping it would make me feel better. Of course, this didn’t work but the rush of the sugar and the deliciousness of chocolate did somehow take away that strong desire to just crumble up into a small heap of tears and self pity, that often came with having endometriosis.
Hint: Chocolate contains sugar, dairy and soy and sadly doesn’t help your body with coping better with endometriosis. I figured you probably knew this but just in case…
Endo Sucks! I just want surgery!
Of course there are cases where surgery is completely unavoidable but for many of us, we use surgery as a form of treatment. I get it because I used surgery as my form of treatment for 15 years. I had 7 of them and every time I went in, I would hope that this time would be the last. I went in, every year and a half under the illusion that I was having a “clean out”, that I just wanted a fresh start and that things would be better afterwards.
I get that desire to have surgery. After all, we can have a huge amount of stress and worry about unexplainable pain. Our imagination runs away with us. We picture endo wrapping itself around all sorts of places. We think that surgery is the only way to get rid of the endo. That removing it would surely solve the problem. Kinda like removing a splinter out of your finger. Surely, by removing the source of pain, we remove the problem?
The trouble is, as much as we can get a specialist to go in and remove the endometriosis lesions, the adhesions and all the potential sources of pain, we have not solved anything by doing this. We have not addressed the reason for the endometriosis or the adhesions being there. We have also triggered a cascade of events with every surgery.
Every surgery creates more adhesions – even if you have excision or any other form of surgery from the best possible surgeons (read more here). Every surgery triggers growth hormones (research study here) and the release of proteoglycans.This article explains the effects of sugar on the abdominal area. Key things to consider is that surgery triggers massive inflammatory responses by the body. What is really concerning is just how elevated these responses are and how harmful this is on the body and ultimately the long-term effects of these responses in the healing of endometriosis.
Endo sucks! I just want some kind of pain relief – no matter what!
I have heard many women with endo, talk about using cannabis oil to alleviate their pain or how scared they were when I recommended NOT using hot water bottles. Women use all sorts of things with just one thing in mind: alleviate the pain and fast! These poor women get high up on all sorts of drugs, take all sorts of things, subject their bodies to all number of things with only one goal: pain relief. Sadly, they don’t consider the consequences of what they are taking and how that will affect their body long-term.
I know how tempting that is too. I took it all and the drugs got stronger and stronger as my body can more and more used to the level of pain relief. I didn’t care either. I just wanted it gone but the sad thing was, that with every drug I took, I was inhibiting my healing. I was “pouring salt on the wound” as ultimately it was my liver that really needed help and I just kept adding more and more drugs to my system, which of course my liver had to clean up.
My hot water bottles also got hotter and hotter and my attempts at pain relief got more and more creative. I even remember pinching myself repeatedly in a different part of my body to focus my pain to a different area of my body.
Eventually, I had to listen because the screams from my body through it’s message of pain got louder and louder.
Pain is not the enemy here. Pain is the message that something is wrong and we need to listen. Stop focusing on merely pain relief. Focus instead of listening to what your body is really craving. Take care of your body and the pain naturally diminishes.
Ultimately… you need a better way forward
I know you might hate me for writing this article and I know I have potentially hit a nerve somewhere but that is the whole point. I want you to think about what you are doing within your endo journey because I never did. No-one told me. No-one informed me of the dangers. No-one gave me anything to consider or think about. I want you to think and I want you to consider what you are do because your body could be saved from all the torture I put my body through.
I want you to be well. I want you to be free of pain and symptoms and from endo domination (when endo takes over your life). You can have that and I want that for you more than anything.