Dear mummy, I’ve known for sometime that you suffer from endometriosis. I can tell when you’re in pain or in a low mood.
So what is endometriosis or ‘endo’ as you like to call it?
It’s a condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body. Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape causing pain and discomfort. These cells react to the menstrual cycle each month and also bleed. However, there is no way for this blood to leave the body. This can cause inflammation, pain and the formation of scar tissue.
You shut yourself away in your bedroom with a hot water bottle and cry. It’s much better that you try to find some relief to the pain. It strikes you worse during your periods and mid cycle. Just like bad period pains and cramping some days you can’t even think or function. It is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful and heavy periods. The pain is like wearing a waistband of knives around your midriff.
I hate to see you in pain and I know you’ve suffered with Endo all your life, being diagnosed in 2008 was a real weight off your mind knowing you weren’t just imagining it.
You struggled for 3 years to get pregnant with me, endo had a lot to blame for that. As the condition can also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems. You had a Laparoscopy to help clear the build up of Endometriosis around your ovaries to help you conceive and it worked because 8 months later you fell pregnant with me.
Fast forward 5 years and your back again having surgery to clear your endo and help relieve your symptoms. Being pregnant was a blessing and the pain stopped, breastfeeding also helped delay the onslaught of endometriosis rearing its ugly head. But for the past year it’s slowly crept back like an old friend that ditched you when you had kids but now wants to be involved in your life again.
However, this time there is no room in your life for endo, the pain, the hurt needs to stop. You can’t live like this anymore, hiding away to cry from the pain, trying to shield me from your mood swings, low iron count and irritability. You have a family to look out for and can’t afford time off work or locking yourself away in your room.
So, here we are again. Me at home with Daddy, you in hospital having another Laparoscopy to help. 3 options have been placed in front of you, going back on the concentraption pill (which you haven’t been on since you were sixteen), having a Laparoscopy to laser off the tissue or a full hysterectomy. My mummy opted for the operation and pain management as the thought of her hormones being screwed up at 36 doesn’t really sound appealing.
So watch this space. A huge amount of women suffer from endo, some don’t even know they have it and just think it’s bad period pains. Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity. It might be worth getting yourself checked out. You needn’t live in pain and embarrassment around your periods.
Love Bella (mummy’s little doctor) x