Endometriosis Awareness Month — March 21, 2017

Endometriosis Awareness Month

All month long I’ve tried to think of what to write. For some reason the words are there but I can’t seem to formulate the right sentences to create a coherent blog post. Here’s my best attempt to put everything into words 🙂

March is endometriosis awareness month. I’ve been reading stories all month from women sharing their stories, their fears, their goals, and what they hope they can accomplish by sharing what they’ve been through. The stories I’ve read all vary from women who have just been diagnosed to women who have known they’ve had this disease for a few years or more. Then I read one where a husband shared his point of view on what it’s like to take care of someone with endo. The story was awe inspiring. For me it touched a special place in my heart. It made me feel vulnerable in a way that I started crying. His words were so sweet and kind. He was gentle when he described the way he cares for his wife daily. I think that’s something that most people who don’t have this disease realize. When a man decides to marry a woman with this disease, he is marrying someone who is going to be tired, sick, and have flare up’s so bad nothing but an ER visit can take away the pain. Naturally, when I was reading this blog post I thought of Russell. I think of every day when I have to tell him my back hurts, or the cramps are more than cramps. Ironically its been 365 days since my 2nd surgery… ya know the one where they had no choice but to take out my left tube and ovary. It was that hospital stay that I asked him “Are you sure you want to marry me? What if I can’t give you children?” It was in that moment of imperfection, laying in a hospital bed, so drugged and sick that he told me he loves me for everything I am and if we can’t have kids then we have each other. Ladies, the one thing I know about Russell is how much he wants a family. His desire to have a family is strong. When a man marries a woman with endometriosis he marries the idea that children may not come. I thank the universe for Russell every day. My husband is an endo husband. He takes care of me. He tries to make my pain go away and comfort me when I’m at my worst. If you or someone you know has an endo husband, hug them tight. They are hard people to find. They are like finding a needle in a haystack. Endometriosis can put stress on a couple. It can make you both for guilty. Us women feel guilty for our spouses because we are keeping them from a healthier person. At least that’s one of my biggest guilty feelings. I tell Russell all the time that he could have been with anyone else. The guilt of being sick all the time creeps in and makes me feel awful. I think that’s why I needed to read a story about a couple going through endometriosis, and the article being written by the husband was on point. He committed to being the best endo-husband he could be. He told the readers of how many heating pads they have and how it doesn’t take him long to heat them up for his wife when she has a flare up. He also talked about how he knows when to step in and tell his wife to rest and when he knows she can push herself. An endo-husband is a caretaker and without them us wives would be lost.

I want to thank my endo-husband. Thank you for baring with me during the last year. I know four surgeries was tough. Four surgeries were stressful emotionally, physically draining and mentally challenging. Russell has been there for the darkest days of my existence. He has seen my biggest fears with endometriosis. He attends IVF appointments to educate himself further. I also am thankful for my endo-husband because every day he tells me we are going to be parents and he’ll see me grow through motherhood. I’m thankful every second of the day for my awesome husband. I am thankful for the support, advice and love he has given to me in the last year.

Having endometriosis is debilitating, it’s frustrating but in the end endo is apart of me. I have learned and grown so much this last year and I hope that if you are following this journey I have taught you a little something about endometriosis that you didn’t know before.

Happy Endometriosis Awareness month March!!!!

Endometriosis Awareness Month — March 24, 2016

Endometriosis Awareness Month

March just so happens to be endometriosis awareness month. This blog is dedicated to my journey thus far and by the end I hope to give you a better understanding of what endometriosis is.

Endometriosis is difficult to define. A lot of people don’t know what it is and a dear friend of mine sent me picture of what endometriosis is like. Here is what is says: “In the body of a woman with endometriosis, the lining of the uterus that is shed every month during is unable to be shed, so it’s reabsorbed by the body. It then sticks to other organs and grows like weeds in a garden, wrapping around and over organs. Endometriosis creates chronic pain, sometimes infertility, digestive and bowel malfunctions and chronic fatigue. There is no known cure.”

This is a very accurate definition for what endometriosis is and does. I was introduced to what endometriosis is because my sister has the same condition. Since we have the same DNA it makes sense that we would both have the same condition. If I’m not mistaken she has stage 3 endo. She, too, has had several surgeries to help remove scar tissue that was causing her pain. Thankfully she hasn’t needed to have any surgeries in the past 6 months.

I realized something was wrong because my periods were like hell, well worse. My cramps were so bad I would become nauseas and couldn’t eat. My back hurt so badly from all the pressure. Midol wouldn’t touch the pain and the only way to get rid of the pain was to sleep. After an ER visit because I couldn’t handle the pain, I went to my OB/GYN to then discover I have endometriosis. February 2, 2016 I had my first surgery. My tissue was removed but not completely. The surgery was supposed to fix the pain but when I went in for my check up I had two options: have another surgery, more extensive with a hospital stay or have a hysterectomy. Obviously I chose option 1. 30 days after surgery I had surgery number 2. This time a robot was used to see exactly what was going on. My bowels, uterus and ovaries were all enveloped in scar tissue. My left ovary and fallopian tube were so badly damaged that they had to be removed. I woke up from surgery in a lot of pain. I was given a shot to stop my period for 3 months so I could heal and not have to worry about being in more pain. I will scars all across my stomach because of surgery. I have a 25% chance of having a baby on my own and I hope and pray that this will be all I need.

Here’s what the doctors don’t tell you about endometriosis. The shot that I was given stopped all my parts from functioning so now at 26 I am “menopausal” because I’m not ovulating. I get hot flashes all the time, I can’t sleep and my incisions hurt…bad. (Once the shot wears off I wont be menopausal anymore) I also feel guilt and shame over my condition. Endometriosis isn’t just affecting me, it’s affecting Russell. There are days that I am so sad because I want to give him a family. We have always dreamed of having 4-5 kids. I see people and their kids and wonder if I’ll be able to have that. I hope and pray that when we get married we’ll be able to have a baby the natural way. I know that having to see an infertility specialist is something we’ll have to do if I can’t get pregnant. I am beyond thankful for Russell. There have been times when I cry to him, apologizing for my condition. Each time he says we are in this together and no matter what his love for me doesn’t change. He loves me, endometriosis and all. He takes care of me, makes me dinner, helps me get dressed when the pain is so bad I can’t bend over. He is always there for me. He goes above and beyond all expectations I had for my soon to be husband. But he has always taken care of me. He gives me hope. He is my light in this dark tunnel. He loves me unconditionally and I couldn’t ask for better partner in life.

I had my checkup this past Monday with my OB/GYN and he says everything is healing nicely. He was frank with me and my entire life was put into perspective. He said I am in the top 5% of the worst cases of endo he has seen in his career and I am the only one who has been able to keep my uterus and right tube and ovary. There are plenty of days that I feel alone and wonder why this happening. I often wonder if there was something I could have done to prevent this. I hope one day there is a cure.

Please say a prayer for all the women who have this condition. Below is a link to an article from Huffington Post about what women with endometriosis want you to know.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/endometriosis-what-to-know_us_56e1f8eae4b065e2e3d567ac

XoXo

I Am That Girl — January 27, 2016

I Am That Girl

As many of you know, I am now the new Dayton Chapter Leader for the AUH-MAZING non-profit organization called I Am That Girl. For those that don’t know this non-profit is a fairly new organization. I am beyond grateful to be the leader for the city of Dayton. So here is some information so you can get to know a little bit more about what I will be doing and trying to accomplish.

I AM That Girl (IATG) was founded in 2008 by Alexis Jones and Emily Greener. Their mission is to empower young women through having honest and open conversations in a safe environment. Thank goodness for women like them starting their own non-profit to bring women up, not tear them down.

I decided to get involved because all too often we see how awful people can be towards one another. I have seen first hand the way young women are spoken to and I want to change that. I want to change so many things about our society (but that’s another post for a different day). I want to change how women view themselves. How many times do we say “I’m fat” “I’m ugly” “I’m not wearing a cute outfit”…the list goes on. I want to change that. I want girls to say I’m pretty without having to wear a lot of makeup. I don’t need to be a certain size for me to think I’m pretty. I want women to say my body is the way that is it and I’m so thankful for the way I was made because that’s what makes me unique. We all can’t be the same. We all can’t look the same. BUT we all can defy the Hollywood stereotype of what makes a woman beautiful. I’m telling you what ladies, ALL of you reading this is beautiful. You are all unique and that makes you special. You don’t have to be a model to be pretty. You don’t have to have a lot of money to be pretty. What makes a person pretty is what is in their soul. Are you the kind of person that wants to see others succeed? I hope so.

I personally believe your vibe attracts your tribe. If you are negative you are going to get negative friends. If you are positive you are going to get positive friends. You can’t lead a negative life and expect to get positive results. What you put out into the universe is what you will receive. So surround yourself with like minded women who want to change the word. Because I tell you what, it only takes one woman’s fierce determination to change one thing. It’s better to change one thing about the world and leave it a little better than you came into, than to not try at all.

Until next time!

xoxo