Week of March 12th: Mental impact that Endo has had on your life.
I didn't officially find out that I had Endometriosis until last July (2011), but when I got out of High-School in 2001 and started making trips to the ER, my doctor told me I "probably" had Endometriosis. I got very depressed, I hated my body and told myself I never wanted kids, in order to keep myself from caring about something I could not change.
I felt crushed... I felt broken... and I felt like I was defective. My then Boyfriend and now Husband Josh, made me a binder with info all about Endo, he put it together one day while I was at work. It had stories about diets, research, you name it - he found it! It was very sweet and it was the only way he knew to help me or even support me. I worried a lot, but didn't really talk about it much to those around me. When I did tell people that I probably had Endometriosis and that it might affect my fertility they just said - "Oh don't worry about that now, it will happen when God wants it to happen". And, just for the record - I HATE it when people say that. Not everyone believes in your God! And how dare you say that God chose not to give me a baby, but chose to give the crack head down the street a baby. I pretty much went into denial about my disease and pretended it didn't exist. I just dealt with it the best I could and tried to forget that I even had it. I felt like when I told people about it that they just didn't really get it. I felt frustrated and closed myself off.
In my mid 20's I felt like I was on top of it and in control. I was getting used to the pain and discomfort and that made me feel strong, although sometimes it would completely knock me on my ass, and then I would feel defeated again. I felt that Endo could not hurt me other than during my period and as long as I had enough Tylenol to kill something I'd be ok. Little did I know how much damage was happening inside my body. I also knew in the back of my head that when I was ready to face my disease head on, I'd have to be ready to face my infertility head on and I wasn't ready for that either. So I went several more years feeling completely depressed inside, feeling broken, and neglecting my health because I didn't care about myself - I was already damaged goods . I was partying, drinking and hiding from what really needed attention. I was afraid to admit that this disease had me in a headlock. I would secretly tell myself "I don't want kids". telling myself that kept baby-fever at bay for a while.
In 2010 I had an emotional breakdown. I could no longer tell myself "we're never going to have kids" and be okay with it. My periods were totally off track, they were giving me horrible pain, I was bleeding in-between periods... I knew that things were getting worse and It was finally time to face the music, because if I didn't do it soon it might be too late. After two early losses and years of unprotected sex with no pregnancy I decided that we had a problem and knew in my gut that Endo was to blame. It was finally time to face the truth and stop hiding from the what was really happening to me. You cant hide from a disease that slowly steals little pieces of you... you just cant.
The Mental impact of Endometriosis is hard for everyone and different for everyone at the same time. It is a daily struggle and a life long battle!