This will be long so grab a seat…Back in September when my Endo pain skyrocketed, I found myself not knowing what to do with myself. I was angry that I was feeling worse after so many years of dealing with the pain and no matter how many Dr.’s I went to, they either had no answers for me or answers that I knew weren’t good enough through my own research. Dr.’s told me I should just have a hysterectomy because the chances of someone with my stage of disease would likely never be able to get pregnant anyways. But at 24, I didn’t want to give up my dream of being a mom. They told me to just to try and get pregnant and I’ll never have Endo pain again after having the baby. But I knew from my research that was false and it would mean welcoming a baby at a time TJ and I weren’t ready. They also never believed that I was in as much pain as I really was. I had even had a Dr. who didn’t even know what Endo was. I had to explain it to her (that visit didn’t go over very well). When I found Dr. Redwine and discovered all he could do for me I was so angry that I had wasted so much time with people who couldn’t help me and that I had to fight just to get the right health care.
At my wits end, I went to counseling. My counselor is the best thing that happened to me through this whole time. She helped me come to terms with how I had been medically mistreated for almost a decade. She also helped me understand how to convince myself that I was sick. For so long I struggled with stuffing how I was really feeling day to day because whenever I would tell people about Endo, they assumed it was nothing big-just bad cramps. It was as if I had to have a bald head from Chemo for others to really believe there was really something wrong with me. I know I looked completely normal most of the time, but inside my organs were like stirring a pot of body parts that were glued together. After a while, I started to think it was all in my head too. Nobody understood my having to back out of responsibilities or flake out last minute on something because I was having a bad pain day. After a while, I got so frustrated that I couldn’t just do the simplest things anymore. I had to really look at the disease factually with my counselor to realize there was nothing wrong with me having to lay in bed all day, or sleep 12-14 hours a night, or not be able to go to the gym, or make dinner, or bend down to get the clothes out from the dryer. It was okay for me to have to pick one thing to do during the day like taking a shower, and be done. I was able to come to a place where I could know without a doubt that having to be lazy, having to sleep, and having to not show up for things I loved to do weren’t really me. The real me is a funny, bubbly, strong, and active person.
She also helped me come to terms with my own womanhood. When you have a disease like this where all of your organs that define you as a woman aren’t working, you feel like you aren’t a woman anymore. I felt like I would be a disappointment to TJ who dreams of having our own family. What kind of a woman would I be if I couldn’t carry a baby? If I couldn’t become pregnant? There was nobody I knew who was having to face the possibility of never being able to have a baby. That alone was a scary place for me to be when both of my sister-in-laws were celebrating their new babies. I wanted to be there, but didn’t know if it would be able to happen. I learned to be okay with whatever God handed me and whatever outcome my surgery would have.
I also had to come to terms with integrating my mom’s death into my life. I felt like I was really doing well with that until I started to think about how she must have felt living in bed in pain all the time because of her surgeries, chemo, and radiation. When I would lay in bed unable to move some days I would feel like I missed out on the whole emotional journey she must have been going through on her own because of the maturity level I was at when she was diagnosed and grieved that she wasn’t there for me in that way either. I know understood to some extent the feelings of loneliness and not knowing what would come of herself…and it made me sad.
Now that I am on the other side of Endo, I am done with my counseling! I now believe how much pain I was in and that Endo couldn’t have killed me-but had every possibility of taking away my spirit. It affects your body not only physically, but emotionally. I feel grateful for God providing for us through this whole ordeal, for God answering my prayers for the likelihood of getting pregnant without any problems whatsoever, and for giving me back a body that can serve Him without anything weighing it down. It’s nice to know that I am strong enough to face the hard stuff and come through to see the light at the end of the tunnel…even if it took this long, I made it to this day and I’m okay.
For more on Endo, see this link from the world’s leading researcher and specialist (my Doc), Dr. Redwine-