Endometriosis…Have you ever heard of it?
This disease affects 1 in 10 women worldwide and I am one of those women. I was diagnosed 10 years ago when I was trying to get pregnant.
It was a difficult, emotional time for me and in researching this disease I found that Jamaica has a support foundation called BASE, led by my amazing Endo sister (that’s what we call each other) Shauna Fuller-Clarke https://basejamaica.com/
Any opportunity I get to speak about endometriosis I do. I became quite the mouthpiece, doing all I could to bring light to this thing that I had discovered. In fact, in my first year at The University of the West Indies (UWI) I wrote a paper and did a presentation on it for class. The first diagnosed case in Jamaica was a 14 year old girl, showing that age is not a factor. Many persons did not know endometriosis existed, after all, it is the norm to have ‘bad periods’, right? Most people just thought that this Curse of Eve was supposed to be a miserable, painful experience and pretty much just accepted and worked with it.
While featuring women living with Endometriosis, Rocheda Bartley did a feature on me. (Link to the feature included)
Since the feature about my journey was published, I have been humbled and am happy with the responses I have received. This is a difficult topic to discuss and so many women were living in pain and despair, thinking they were alone.
This is what women who reached out to me on my IG page told me as they thanked me for speaking out and putting them in touch with the BASE Foundation and with my doctor Michael Abrahams, who is a Godsend, and so aware of the difficulties of opening up about so private and for some women, embarrassing a topic. They were appreciative of me taking the time to answer their messages, and I am thankful to have been able to offer support in any way I could.
I have been through the surgeries (laparascopic), the miscarriages and am in pain every single day of my life. The worst moment for me was waking up in the hospital after a procedure to induce labour, knowing I would never hold my baby in my arms (she died in-vitro). I was 5 months pregnant at the time, long enough to have fallen in love, formed a bond, planned how I would embrace ‘mommy-dom’. These things, these kinds of pain, are what women suffering with this insidious disease go through, wondering what they did wrong, what they could have done better, too ashamed to speak out and claim the help and support they need.
This disease affects your life in so many ways: it comes with depression from the constant pain; it affects your sex life because of the pain; your work and social life suffer because of the pain. Pain…mental, physical, emotional…becomes a part of your existence and you just don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. Spontaneity doesn’t work anymore. Every plan depends on how you may be feeling on any given day.
That is why support is essential to you getting through each day, and yes, it is daily, because each day brings a different part of Endo, a different challenge we have to battle through. But if we stand together, support each other, educate our partners so they have a true understanding, we will manage. Hopefully they will find out why this happens and a cure will be discovered soon. #crossesfingers #prayerforendosisters
Bless my dear friends for seeing strength in me that I sometimes don’t see in myself, but those two words in the title of this blog ‘Warrior’ and ‘Wonder’ are words I will continue to try to live up to. I will embrace them as I continue to fight for myself and my sisters who also know the heartbreak, isolation and self flagellation of this disease. For those of you who are blessed to be Endo free, please take the time to read up on this illness, support your friends and family who may be going through it. Gentlemen, please be gentle men, and show the compassion, understanding and care that your women need as they fight on. Let them see the amazing men they fell in love with.
Endometriosis…..It is here but it will not define who we are…we are Endo Sisters, Endo Warriors…Wonder Woman says so…