What It's Like To Have Chronic Pelvic Pain
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Health and Wellness

I'm Not The Only Woman Who Suffers From Chronic Pelvic Pain, Many Of Us Fight This Battle Every Day

Women with hormonal diseases often suffer in silence.

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Corrinne hiking in Colorado
Corrinne Brubaker

It starts with a sharp shooting pain in my pelvis, just inside my hip bone. It's startling how hard it can hit, making me jump or cringe, but I try not to show it. It happens when I'm sitting, practicing with orchestra, hanging with friends, playing games, or really, anytime. I guess it most often happens when I'm sitting. My pelvis would rather me lie down, but I can't always do that.

The pain comes randomly whenever it decides to. Sometimes I have completely pain free days where I can do anything, and maybe I push myself too hard because I'm excited to not be in pain. And then there are days that suck.

The pain will shoot through my pelvis, an electric shock, a sharp tugging pain where my insides feel like they're being torn apart or wrapped and pulled with barbed wire.

Sometimes the pain radiates across my pelvis from one side to the other. Sometimes it radiates through my cervix and vulva. I clench and hold on for the seconds it lasts, hoping it doesn't come again soon. Often it does, and will come in a series of painful waves.

What's going on inside that it is so painful? I picture the small cysts that they have found on my ovaries on multiple occasions, wondering if this is the culprit, or is there something more? Is the pain all in my head, or is there possibly endometrial tissue wrapped around my organs? Or maybe it's just my veins are congested, varicose veins in my pelvis. Will I ever know?

Will anyone else ever know or understand the pain I am in? Part of me doesn't want them to.

I don't want their pity or their lack of sympathy. I want to be normal and enjoy my life. But sometimes it's debilitating, and I want to scream and let the world know, let the world feel my suffering too. And what of other women? Do they get this pain too? Is it just normal? Should I just suck it up? Or do they have no clue what this pain feels like? Were they blessed with perfect reproductive systems that cause them no pain? When I mention pain and hormone issues, many, even women, don't quite seem to understand. No, it's not just on my period. It's all the time or anytime it feels like acting up.

Many take birth control as a contraceptive, but I take it to at least feel slightly more normal. I take it to function and not be bedridden days or weeks a month. It helps, but there are still those regularly angry twinges that shoot through my pelvis for no reason.

I know I'm not the only woman who goes through this.

Many many women suffer silently from hormone issues: PCOS, endometriosis, adenomyosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease, among other things. It's hard to explain to people how painful it can be. And how terrible it is not being diagnosed or having proper treatment and having to suffer for years.

If anything, having chronic pelvic pain has made me more understanding of others who suffer all sorts of chronic pain, and way more people deal with chronic pain than you realize.

Just because they may not show they are in pain does not mean they are not constantly struggling. Often those with chronic pain, including myself, have mastered hiding pain and appearing OK, we want to be able to function and enjoy life with those around us without being a downer and a burden, so we get used to putting on a smile. But it's not easy, and we could all use a hug, some encouragement, understanding, and a chance to honestly say how we feel and what we are going through.

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