“I am ENDO WOMAN!”
OK, it doesn’t sound as nice as “I am Wonder Woman!” (Cha-ching, cha-ching–bracelet sound effects) But in some ways, my Endometriosis does turn me into a hormonally charged mutant who can destroy an entire class of teenagers with a simple “HEY!”
If my hair is down, the teenagers cower at my door. One will stand outside, warning the others to come in quietly, sit down in your seat and work on your journal, being very careful not to disturb the “hormonal one” who resides at the front of the classroom. Some will greet me with Starbucks or a cookie. Others will hide in a corner, begging a friend to ask me a question that they want answered. And then there are the brave ones who will just walk up to me and say “Hi Miss B! How are you today? Do you need to vent or Dance It Out?” Yes, that is right–the brave ones will use my own teachings against me.
Usually, I am the stand-up comedian at the front of the classroom, performing to keep my teenagers “engaged” in the learning process. But when the Endo flares up, I turn into the Wicked Witch. I will give my kids credit, they know when I am having a tough time and they will be extremely respectful and compassionate minions, willing to help me with anything. But the only thing they can’t help me with is the pain.
For the last few weeks, maybe even months, the Endo has been flaring up. Today, in particular, I am having trouble standing up straight from the pain. Ironically, my best friend sent me an article today, via district mail (Thank you Diana) on Endometriosis that was printed in the USC Trojan Family Magazine, which I just posted on this blog. (http://findingnormalland.blogspot.com/2011/03/article-on-endometriosis-in-usc-trojan.html) What really struck me in this article was how it talked about being diagnosed around 25-35–I was diagnosed at 25–and how it progressively gets worse as you age. The woman profiled in the article mentioned how it became very debilitating by her 40s. I’m now 32 and for the past few months, the pain has gotten worse. I have trouble sleeping and on some days, walking. And as for the vomiting during period time, well, I have been doing that since I was a teenager.
I am a very active person. I used to workout 5 days a week before I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Right now, I can’t even touch my pelvic area (around the left ovary) without wincing in pain let alone contemplate working out on an ab machine at Bally’s. Some days it is a struggle to go up and down all of the staircases in my school.
But the physical aspects of the Endometriosis are fairly easy to accept and deal with, the emotional rollercoaster is an entirely different story.
In the USC article it states that “long-term chronic pain associated with endometriosis can cause depression and other emotional and psychological problems in the women who suffer from it. Chronic pain . . . can be a huge drain, not only on a patient, but also on her relationships with various members of her family and friends.”
I suddenly feel the urge to yell an “Amen, sister friend!”
One of my friends once told me that there are two sides of me–there is Kelly and then there is “Endo Woman.” Thankfully, “Endo Woman” doesn’t come out that often but when she does, she is a super bitch. She swears like a truck driver, sends long ranting emails, snaps at the smallest things and has the power to end friendships and/or relationships in the blink of an eye. Those who are closest to me know that if Endo Woman turns into the Queen of all Bitches, that is usually a sign that the Endo is bad and a cyst is about to burst. My mind and judgment are clouded by the hormones so I don’t always know I am in it until I have to deal with the aftermath.
It would be a miracle if someday I could find a guy who would understand the Endometriosis. Because in all honesty, I am really sick of being single. This weekend I felt like fate was slapping me in the face. I was at my friend’s son’s birthday party when I realized that I was the only one there who was single and childless. Even my friend’s gay brother had his partner there with him. And with the Endo flaring up, I was an emotional wreck but I hid behind my camera so no one would know I was on the verge of tears. I was essentially alone in a crowd.
That’s when I realized that I want that understanding man in my life who will be there to share in the good times and in the bad. I have had guys who loved spending time with the real “Kelly” but once the Endo Woman made an appearance, they made a disappearance. I want someone who will get to know the real me and understand that Endo Woman is not the real me. The emotional rantings are just that–rantings from a hormonal mad woman. Wait a few days and she will go away. If she sticks around a little longer, that is usually a sign that the Endo is real bad–usually a cyst is about to burst. TJ and I once got into an argument over foreign vs. domestic cars. I exploded in an email and then a few days later, 4 cysts exploded on my left ovary.
Most recently, I sent a man in my life a very emotionally driven email (with a lengthy phone discussion and other emails that followed) and a little over a week later, a cyst burst on my left ovary. Then the Endo progressively got worse and the pain has intensified over the past few weeks–leading to more emails to the same man, as well as phone calls, texts, etc. (Crazy Endo Lady, table for one) I am now at the point where it hurts to walk. Unfortunately, I don’t think this man understands the Endo and he has run away, far away–perhaps never to be heard from again. It’s a shame really. I thought I had finally found someone whom I could stand still with for a second. I would try to explain to him but that would be another long, lengthy email (or phone call but I don’t think he would answer if I did call) and it could just make matters worse. It sucks that he didn’t get the chance to know the “real” me but alas, that is the beauty of Endo–not many people do understand it.
Right now, I am sitting here in my bed with a heating pad on my pelvis and a cat hugging my arm. My apartment is a disaster because I am currently working 4-5 jobs and I don’t have the energy to clean. Where are the laundry fairies when you need them? I would settle for someone who understands me. Someone who will be there for me. Someone who can get me a pain pill and a glass of water then keep me company by reading a book with me or watching something on Netflix (most likely a documentary) to keep my mind off the pain. It would also be nice if he could cook and clean but I won’t push it. I would just be happy if he could order a pizza. Right now, there are days when it hurts too much to make myself dinner–and that really sucks when you are single.
Though I do see a silver-lining on my dark cloud of Endo Hell. USC Univerisity Hospital has an Endometriosis Research Center. They might have the answers I need. I wonder what it would be like to go through just one day without any pain. That would be a miracle for me–a double rainbow kind of day!