The Every Day Struggle Of Living With Endometriosis

The Every Day Struggle Of Living With Endometriosis

The disease that has no cure, and takes over women's bodies every day with its horrible pain and negative effects on every aspect of life.

Endometriosis. Most of you probably have never even heard this word. Some of you may have heard it, but have no idea what it means. Some may know someone who has it. And then, God bless your souls, some of you reading this article may have it. I am one of those unfortunate souls that have it.

So what does this word mean? Well, guys, you may not wanna read this part if you're weirded out by female stuff. Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that usually lines the uterus, grows on the outside of the uterus. This could mean on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, etc. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Wrong. It sucks. Endo can cause a multitude of symptoms from stomach problems such as trouble going to the bathroom and stomach pain, horrible periods, pain during intercourse, and the list goes on.

There is currently no cure. However, you can try to treat the symptoms. I was diagnosed with Endo last year and had it "removed" in November. By January, it was back. Now I am about to try Lupron, a drug that basically shuts down my female system, shutting down the production of estrogen that produces the tissue. Hopefully, this will work. Otherwise, it's another surgery. Some women I know have had it removed 5 times or more and counting. Our only hope is to control the symptoms.

There also is no way to test for it. The only way you can find out is by having a laparoscopy surgical procedure. Then, while they are in there, they can remove it.

This affects more women than you would think. 176 million women worldwide and 1 out of 10 women in the US are fighting Endo every day. And that doesn't even include all the women that go undiagnosed.

This disorder can also cause infertility. Many women can never have children due to the damage that Endo causes to their reproductive organs. So please, if you have any of these symptoms, go see a gynecologist. It is so very important to catch this early.

So all those that are fortunate enough to not have to experience this, bear with us. When we seem like we are being overly dramatic about how bad our periods are, believe us when we say they are worse than you can imagine. When we constantly have stomach aches, don't think we are making it up. And for our significant others, please be understanding. You have no idea what it's like to have serious female issues and the always possibility of infertility. This disorder is mentally, physically and emotionally draining.

Let us all hope that with research a cure will be found for this horrible illness. Until then, I pray for strength to every woman that pushes through everyday life with a smile on their face, while hiding the debilitating pain, stress, and emotional roller coaster that is Endometriosis.

To find more info, visit endofound.org .

Cover Image Credit: celticsaga / Flickr

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To The Man Who Catcalled Me

You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.

Dear Asshole,

First of all, screw you.

I don't know you, but you tried talking to me anyway.

You thought you had a right to raise your voice and call to me--as if I'm a dog, as if I should listen when you speak. You don't deserve my attention.

Unfortunately, I heard every word that passed through your lips.

You went out of your way to make me feel small. I pretended not to hear what you said, but I carried it with me the entire way home.

You probably forgot about it, but your words echoed in my ears for hours. Your stupid comment caused me more pain than I'd like to admit.

How dare you take a few seconds of your life to waste hours of mine.

You made me feel dirty in my own skin.

I went home and didn't want to look at myself in the mirror because all I could feel was shame.

I wondered if I could've done something differently to avoid you--wore less makeup, maybe; anything to avoid comments like yours.

It's not me that's the problem, though. It's you. What kind of man behaves the way that you did? Your words were hurtful, whether or not you intended them to be.

You took my self-confidence and my peace of mind away from me in a matter of seconds.

Before you, I felt good.

I wasn't doing anything to deserve your attention--I was just waiting at a traffic light.

It doesn't matter what I was doing, really. You had no reason to call out to me, to speak to me with no regard for my humanity, but you did it anyway.

You've probably already forgotten about me, but I can't forget about you.

The amount of time I've spent thinking about what you said is far more than you deserve.

You don't deserve a letter. You deserve a kick in the balls.

Regardless, this is a message for you, or men like you, who think that catcalling complete strangers is okay.

Attention all assholes:

I am female, but that does not mean that I am fragile.

My body is not yours. It is no one else's. It is mine.

Sexualizing my body is not a compliment.

I am more than a body. I am a person. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover.

I don't deserve to be talked to like a piece of meat.

I am not here for your pleasure.

I am tired of being just a body. Women are tired of being just bodies. We are more than that--we are smart, we are strong, we are worthy of respect.

If you cannot speak to women with respect, you do not deserve to speak at all.

I hope you think about what you said, even for a moment.

I hope you never speak to another woman the way you spoke to me.

I hope you realized something from this experience, like I did.

Because you catcalled me, I remembered my worth.

Sincerely,

A Woman Who's Tired Of This Shit

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Borneman

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I'm Headed Back To The Water

Water Is Home. Just Dive In.

When I was a little girl my grandfather and mama taught me how to swim. I fell in love with the water and frankly, swimming was something I excelled at. They taught me how to swim before I could walk. Once I was a little bit older my parents quickly enrolled me in Red Cross swim lessons at a local pool. By the age of four I was swimming on a summer league team, and by eight, I was swimming competitively year round.

The water is where I feel at home. I’m not clumsy or awkward. I move fluidly with strength and speed. When I’m in the water, the world disappears. I get to be in my own head, working towards a goal while not worrying about my surroundings. So, I’m headed back to the water.

I know I will not be swimming the way I once did. I’m not looking to be a competitive swimmer again. I have no desire to wake up before the crack of dawn to hop in an icy cold pool. I’m going back to the water to find myself again. To find the girl who had a lot more confidence than I currently do. To find the girl who trusted her body to make the right movements and get her to where she needed to be. I’m looking to find the physical strength and endurance I once had that has since been lost.

When in the water, I feel safe because of the confidence I have in my ability, but also because I trust my body. I’ve never been scared that I would drown because I knew my body would get me back to the wall or would automatically bring me to the surface. I don’t place the same trust in my body while on land. I’m much more clumsy; it doesn't matter if I’m walking or running. I’ve fallen down the stairs, up the stairs, and tripped over my own feet.

When I stopped swimming, I lost myself. I think it’s time I find myself again.

Cover Image Credit: Maxwell Gifted on Unsplash

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