I shared some of my experience last year in March 2019 where I talked about how it all started. Here is more to it and the impact on my lifestyle from last 19 years.
Talking about impact on lifestyle; I sometimes think what part of my routine is not impacted with this horrible condition?
Food intake, daily routine, intimacy, work & social life and much more is affected.
It is so important to have mental support from your loved ones. It is very crucial to discuss this topic with your loved ones to ensure they understand your pain and your health.
Due to Endometriosis; pain during and after intercourse is something that I have been a victim of. I am very lucky to have my husband as a life partner who understands my pain and support me in every situation. Sometimes it seems like not only me, but we both are fighting this battle together.
Exercise and diet in my life is some aspect of pain management.
Doing regular yoga has helped me to some extent with pain management. Poses like downward dog, cat-cow pose, pelvic floor drop etc has helped tolerate pain during and after intercourse.
As I mentioned above, it is so important that family understands your situation otherwise this may lead to damaging relationship, depression, not making right decisions and upsetting you at a level where finding happiness becomes a struggle.
Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) are so bothering and takes a lot out of me. Most days I experience sudden cramps in my bladder, lower back pain, leg pain, sore hips, bloating issue, stomach-ache and the worst one is heavy, sore and tender breast. My sleep is disturbed so much due to leg cramps and it took me so many years to understand that this is one of the symptoms of endometriosis. Elevating legs on pillow – when I go to bed has helped to an extent with leg cramps, but this is still not a cure. I also try and use compression stockings (the one we get prior to our surgeries) to help manage leg pain.
Massages, muscle relieving therapy (including abdominal muscle relieving therapy) helps a lot with pain. I got acupuncture done around pelvic / abdomen area. I may continue getting acupuncture treatment done twice or three times a month. Note: – Acupuncture is an expensive treatment here in NZ and cost me around $85 per session (45 minutes).
In terms of diet management; I try to be gluten free, dairy free (I do intake some form of dairy like cheese, yogurt etc. but I don’t drink milk as it makes my stomach feels heavy). Healthy eating has helped with reduction in bloating, upset stomach as well as preventing from constipation. I also avoid fast food like McDonalds, Burger King and all those foods that will cause stomach issues.
Me being a spiritual person; I also try to meditate and that helps to keep my mental health stable and I try to listen to positive, spiritual discourses whenever I feel low and emotional fighting this battle.
Try to stay away from negative people, things or situation that may give you negative thoughts / vibes, negative impact on your life as this will ruin your lifestyle and mental health.
My recommendations to all endo sufferers is to try and get your symptoms diagnosis as early as you can. Most importantly, implement some form of exercise and diet management in your lifestyle. As we all know there is no cure for this horrible medical condition; all we can do is learn to manage ourselves and our lifestyle with implementing practices that suits us individuals.
Remember; we all have rights to complain on how we feel but it is important to face this as a challenge that not only makes us strong, but brave enough to fight any difficult challenges that may come.
Last thing I will share to wrap up my story; is that we here in NZ are so fortunate to be in a very hygiene place where sanitary products are easily accessible and most of us understands sanitary hygiene. I originally come from India (back in my teenage days) where we had to use cotton cloths during our periods because sanitary pads were so expensive, and most parents could not afford sanitary pads.
We were taught to manage whole day of school (almost 10 hours a day from the time we leave home and get back home) with just one thick cotton cloth. Cloth was to be washed at the end of a day when replaced with a new one. This was not the best and hygiene mechanism of a sanitary pads.
This topic is still a taboo, and no one openly talks about it, we had zero knowledge about this topic. Until so many years I kept thinking that the period pain was normal. “No, this pain is not normal”. Discussion on this topic is embarrassing! Why? This is natural, it should be openly talked about. Why does condition like diabetes, cancer, arthritis gets more attention and endometriosis is consider as a normal condition? Why are girls with endometriosis treated differently than patients with other conditions!
Share your stories and experiences; there are many girls out there with similar situation who needs support and knowledge. Raise awareness!
Please don’t feel down and instead think how fortunate we are to have all sorts of support from every aspect. I am proud to have community of beautiful people from Endometriosis NZ, Endo warriors and those other volunteers who are doing amazing work to support us in every way they can.
Be POSITIVE and take one day at a time😊