Tuesday Chats, Endometriosis Awareness Week

I thought I’d chat about something a bit different this week.  It is currently Endometriosis Awareness week, it runs from the 2nd – 9th March.  I unfortunately have endometriosis, so raising awareness is something close to my heart.  Endometriosis seems to be a bit of a tmi topic, I feel however that we should chat about it more.  In fact I did post back in September mentioning it.  Recent research has shown that on average it can take 7.5 years to get diagnosed.

The Endometriosis UK website gives this definition

“Endometriosis (pronounced end – oh – mee – tree – oh – sis) is a condition where the endometrial cells lining the womb migrate to other parts of the body.”

This basically means that when it rolls round to that time of the month, you end up in huge amounts of pain due to lovely cramps.  Some women are unfortunate enough to suffer with pain all the time.  I was lucky that I only had pain for about a week each month.  The pain was often very crippling, particularly throughout my years at school and university.  I have had morphine in the past to help deal with the pain, not cricket!  My family doctor did think I had it, but I was just put on the pill to deal with it when I was about 17.  In recent years I have had two laparoscopies and it was confirmed that I have endometriosis, I had lesions mostly across my intestines, almost as if someone has flicked paint across my lower abdomen.  Some of these were causing adhesions, particularly in the area around my left ovary.  I had it treated and I have had great results with both surgeries, having years of relief and minimal pain each month.  It’s great now to have only a few days of pain and I can just take some ibuprofen to manage the pain.

Sadly there is no cure for endometriosis but there are ways of managing the pain.  These are things I’ve found useful, again this is all going to be dependent on how much pain you are in.

Hot water bottle.  I can’t be without mine when I’m sore.  It’s great for your back or lower tummy if you can bare to have something pressing on your tummy.

Yoga.  This seems odd but there are some great poses to help relax some of the muscles and ease the cramps. I would recommend checking out YouTube and doing what you feel comfortable with.  Do give it a go.  I also noticed that when I practice yoga on a regular basis I didn’t have as much pain each month.

Painkillers.  I found if I waited too long to take painkillers, it often took longer for the pain to ease up.  So don’t be too brave, take painkillers if you have to.

Going for a walk.  When I was in grammar school I walked laps of the tennis courts to help deal with the pain. I still walk, just not around tennis courts.  If I start walking when I first notice the pain, I would be able to ease the pain due to the rocking motion of my hips.

Sugary foods.  Definitely have some, but I noticed if I had way too much I end up more tired and often it just seemed to make my cramps worse.

If you suspect you have endometriosis, go to your doctor and explain your symptoms.  Keeping a pain diary is often useful.  I had to push a bit to get my initial diagnosis but it was worth it, for peace of mind, to know what was wrong and then I could figure out how to deal with it.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

There is a Worldwide EndoMarch taking place in London on Saturday 28th March.  You can find out more information about it on the Endometriosis UK Events page.
It would be great if you could sign a petition to try and shorten the diagnosis time as well as improving the knowledge of those working in the medical field.

Thanks for reading!

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