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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Two years endo-free.

I've been sat sitting here for a good half-hour looking at a blank page, wondering how I'm even going to kick this entry off. Usually I can start with some delightful anecdote about my family life, or something someone said to me that ties in indirectly to the topic at hand. Or sometimes I can launch right in. Either way, usually I've got the first paragraph sorted somewhere between the shower and the computer, but I'm coming up blank today.

Actually I suppose that's a pretty good opener.

The long and the short of it is, today makes two years since my last surgery. By which I mean both my 'last' as in 'most recent' and my 'last' as in 'no more of these' (for this particular issue -- at least I'm hoping so). Those who know me know that I had stage IV endometriosis. Those who don't know me ... I had stage IV endometriosis.

Honestly, one year was weird enough to look back on. One month was weird enough to look back on. Because everything changed so quickly. (I mean, that's gonna happen when you're suddenly no longer bleeding internally and stuff.) The weirdest thing was being invited to parties or on trips where I'd normally have to say, 'No, sorry, can't do it, I'll tire myself out,' then going ... wait, I totally can do this. And just over a year later I was running the length of Cardiff* with the only negative side effect being understandably winded.

Now I'm two years out and still adjusting. There are mornings when I wake up stunned that I have neither need nor desire to swallow a fistful of ibuprofen before rolling out of bed. There are afternoons when I realise I don't need a nap, I just want one. Because endo saps everything. I didn't even know it sapped everything until I was informed by a doctor, and then I didn't believe it 'til a week after my surgery I was running up and down my friend's stairs while he stared at me in something between shock and relief. There were a lot of people who'd only ever known me as exhausted and sickly. I can't imagine what an energy sink I must've become for them when I could function normally.

Thing is, now people come to me for advice on how they can find a doctor willing to help them, and it bothers me that there are people who are having just as much trouble getting treatment as I did. We should honestly be better than this. Maybe someday we will be.

In the meantime, please look in on the Endometriosis Foundation of America, read up on the condition and treatments, and donate if you can. That'd be cool of you.

For now I'm going to try to figure out what sort of cake it'd be good taste to make for myself on my second anniversary of not dying anymore. I'm told any time's the right time for ice cream cake, but one wonders.

*running because I'd made the mistake of booking a Megabus all the way across town from where I'd be spending most of my time and overestimated my ability to learn how to Cardiff Bus.