The month of March is finally upon us, which means big things for this little family! This month, my husband and I will be traveling to Washington, DC to participate in the 3rd annual Endometriosis Million Woman March on Washington, or EndoMarch for short. This is a cause that extremely personal to me, and so very near and dear to my heart. I wanted to share a little bit more about what endometriosis is, how it affects me personally, and why exactly I'm marching.
Endometriosis, for lack of a much better word, is a horrid and dreadful illness. No, no it won't kill me, unless it's one of those untreated cases, so that answers your question right there. However, it is one of the single most painful things that I have ever experienced in my life. So, what exactly is it, you ask?
Just giving a heads up here, if you're squeamish, don't read the next section as I explain the illness. Skip ahead. Okay, warned you, here goes. Hopefully, unless you live under a rock, you know that us ladies with our lady parts bleed every month in order to get our bodies "ready" for when we make a baby. Fun, right? As if that wasn't fun enough, the lining of our uterus that we shed each month, or the "endometrium," is where the illness gets its name from.
The endometrium, instead of shedding all the way, somehow gets itself transplanted to a different part of our lady parts, whether that be ON our uterus instead of IN it, on our ovaries, intestines, bladder,
hell, its even been known to show up on arms, brains and lungs, too. It's just that damn relentless. Needless to say, that since the endometrium is powered by hormones, when we shed that lining each month, these implants bleed, too, causing great pain and adhesions and scar tissue to build up, often binding organs together if left untreated. I told you it was fun, didn't I?
The cause is very personal to me, because I am the sole person in my family affected by this illness. My mom, sister and I may share our Fibromyalgia diagnosis, but when it comes to endometriosis, I'm kind of on my own, and sometimes, it can feel pretty damn isolating. I don't even meet too many other women who are affected by this.
Needless to say, I hurt every single day because of this painful beast. I'm on specific medications just to control the pain and to try and lead a semi-normal-not-so-charmed-kind-of-life.I try to be a good mother, but sometimes, it just feels like I'm always in pain, and that is the side of me that my son so often sees. It hurts and pains me to know that he is growing up with a mom who is in pain all the time.
I am EndoMarching not only for myself, but for my son, so that hopefully one day soon, we will have some kind of real and decent treatment for Endometriosis. At the moment, most doctors just believe that if you throw enough birth control at it, or if you're always pregnant, you'll be okay. I even had a doctor tell me at age SIXTEEN to go out and get pregnant. I kid you not. He was that lazy to try and come up with an option, and since pregnancy quells those hormones that mess with Endometriosis, he thought that was the best course of action for a sixteen-year-old to take.
|We're doing it up in style this year.|
I am EndoMarching to connect with other women who are affected by the very same issues that I am. I want to make that connection with others who can relate to what I feel on a daily basis. Meeting and connecting with others is an important part of living and thriving with any chronic pain condition.
Finally, I am EndoMarching for myself. Not only am I doing it because it is something that I have wanted to do for years, but I am also walking for those girls who are in so much pain that they themselves cannot physically do it. I am fortunate enough to still be able to stand and walk for now. I am marching for the girls who have been silenced by Endometriosis, those who feel like they no longer have a voice because of pompous and arrogant doctors. You do matter. Stand up for what you believe is right. Never, ever let anyone bully you.
Together, ladies, we can make one hell of a difference.