March is Endometriosis Month!

March is endometriosis month…. and so it is fitting that I am writing this from my couch, with my trusty heating pad nestled cozily on my lap, right? It would also be fitting for me to write this while self-medicated on whatever I could get my hands on to numb the pain. Right?

Why is this the picture of endometriosis? A bed-ridden woman, clutching the heating pad to her stomach. Crying. Desperate. Alone.

Recently, I described endometriosis to a friend. I described the clinical aspects – not the reality. The clinical aspects, after all, are so clinical they become abstract – a random hodgepodge of symptoms. When we distance ourselves, as doctors often do, it’s just a text-book reading of bodily occurrences. I believe I had a doctor once sum this attitude towards endometriosis as, “you have some extra discharge during your period and possibly more cramps.” Wow, if only.

As I described to my friend how endometrial implants grow on places outside the uterus causing them to bleed along with your monthly cycle, her statement was, “well, that doesn’t sound good.”

As I described how this causes cramping and internal adhesions. Her response, “are you still able to exercise?”

The doctor (the countless doctors) – my friend – most of my family (as well as yours) – they don’t understand. And who can blame them? While I may see a list of symptoms for other invisible illnesses and sympathize with the afflicted (mainly, again, because I, too, have an invisible illness), I can never experience that person’s pain. I haven’t been there.

Yet, there remains that picture of endometriosis – the grimacing, crying woman. The broken woman. The woman sitting alone (alone because everyone she knows is out living life while she is curled up in pain). And while this picture may seem fitting – nay, even true at times with this disease – how does it help us?

I’ve heard from women – women with varying stages of endometriosis and symptom severity – and they, too, are fed up with this picture. They no longer want people to label them by their disease, by their pain. They no longer want doctors to label them “drug seeker” or “hypochondriac”.

They also no longer want to be alone in this fight. And thankfully because of this blog and the myriad number of women blogging about endometriosis this month, when they Google “endometriosis”, they won’t be alone.

This March, let’s change the picture of endometriosis. The saying goes: March comes in like a lion and leaves a lamb. This March, let’s be that lion. Let them – the doctors, husbands, boyfriends, friends – hear our roar!

Together, we are stronger. Together, we have a voice.

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10 responses to “March is Endometriosis Month!

  1. If you can get enough women that want to brainstorm I know of an indie filmmaker that is interested in a project. Nope I am joking 🙂

  2. Oh heavens I meant that I was not joking and I meant to say it with a smile. Mornings…

    Anyway I can give you her info if you’d like.

  3. Endochick,

    This Endometriosis Awareness Month, let’s make our “roars” as loud as lions because endometriosis patients deserve to be heard.

    For anyone who has yet to sign the endometriosis awareness petition, please see the blue petition badge in this blog’s left sidebar. It’s marked “sign our petition”. Let’s make our voices heard!

    Together, we are stronger. Together, we our voices are stronger.

    Jeanne

  4. Hi

    We have just launched a blog for Endo Awareness Week 2011

    http://www.patient-experience.com/index.php/awareness-endometriosis/

    It would be great if you could suggest some links

    Thanks

    Belinda

  5. ROARRRRRR!!!!

    I’m with you Sister!

  6. Endochick,

    DOUBLE ROARRRRRR!!!!

    Jeanne

  7. I just visited my doctor today for the third follow up since having a hysterectomy (only leaving a partial right ovary and tube). I am scheduled to have another LAP surgery on April 13th because the Endo is STILL there!! I’ve been experiencing a gradual increase in pain, cramping, and sexual pains since my Hysto in Oct 2010. I’ve changed my diet, been exercising more, seeking homeopathic treatments, and everything else under the sun. The only “good” news is that I’ve lost almost 35 of the 50 pounds I gained in 2008/2009 while on different drugs, experimenting with pre-Endo diagnosis… the doctors all thought I had PCOS and other things and NEVER took one minute of time to consider Endo. Then July 2010 I have my 3rd Lap and was diagnosed with Stage IV and pelvic adhesions.

    I read your blog and postings all the time and hope that I/we can help others before they get to ‘this’ point like me and have it take 12-15 years for a diagnosis and some form of treatment!

    Thanks for your honesty and support.

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