Going deep: pain & brain management

Today’s post is not about fitness. I started this blog to share my journey into fitness as a lifestyle, whether it helped improve my existence, or not, but also to write my own take on living with a life-altering condition.

Today is one of those days where life becomes truly altered. I can go out, act normal, socialise, but the party is happening inside. Endometriosis can produce quite the fun array of symptoms, ranging from lovely baseball-bat-to-your-gut type of pains, to the very popular – and always exciting – IBS-like happenings.

Today I went from running around a beach with some friends on a canine play-date, to suffering a mini-meltdown: contemplating suicide for accidentally causing one of the dogs to hurt himself. Then as I sat down for a hot beverage, my insides felt like they were about to collapse, literally: like my uterus, intestines, and every piece of me, were about to abandon my body, and leave me dying in a pool of blood. That’ the only way I can explain how the pressure coming from my womb felt like. It’s like you’re about to erupt and die.

Half-an hour later, back at the beach, my legs felt weak, and strong waves of nausea continued to add fun to my day out.

I’m back at home now, lying on my bed as I type, and I am already dreading tomorrow and the Yoga class I’m supposed to teach. I have no way of backing out of it. No one can replace me, and as a self-employed individual, not showing up means losing money. I will be drugging myself, possibly wearing a TENS machine wired to my stomach, and ensuring my “invisible illness” stays well and truly hidden.

This is just one day of endometriosis. It gets better, or worse. Oh the fun of it all. There is no cure, only management. Regarding the pain, there are hot water bottles – and slightly burnt skin – strong drugs, pulsating machines, CBD oil and sometimes, staying active can really help. That’s if you can convince your body that running around is better than staying in the soothing fetal position – I can even type from it!

For the suicidal thoughts… it’s complicated.  I have been using a great meditation app called Headspace that helps minimise the impact certain loops of thought have on me. Last time I spoke to my therapist, she suggested putting me on medication, but as great a therapist as she is, I’m not sure she was taking into account how my hormones were linked to my behavioural issues. It scares me to add more chemicals to the mix, when my manic states seem to be very cyclical and clearly happen during my PMS and subsequent period. I recently came across an article on PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) and it was an eye-opener. I have decided to wait until my appointment with an endometriosis specialist in 3 weeks time, and hopefully, discuss it with him.

I’m dreading tomorrow, I really am. However, I also know that, no matter how bad it gets, it is a temporary state, and like EVERYTHING, it will pass. Waves come and go, and just like with waves, I must stand up tall and make sure I’m not engulfed by the crap of it all…. if that makes sense 😉

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Via Humans Of New York

*****If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts please seek help:
In the UK–> http://www.samaritans.org/
In the US –> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/