Firstly, few people probably know what this is. Secondly, as soon as I mention 'womb lining' 99.4% of men will stop reading this HERE. So, I wanted to make a few points for people who don't have this condition to understand more and to maybe raise a relatable smirk for ladies who do suffer with it.
How do I explain endometriosis in a nutshell? Well, when ladies have a period it's the lining of their womb coming out. Doing a spruce up. Ready for the next lot. A monthly clean out if you like. With endometriosis our lining tissue has a field day and grows everywhere it shouldn't. It's a debilitating, chronic illness. Like, full 'ugly cry' on a regular basis, illness. Each woman is different. It can grow anywhere it wants. Ovaries. Bladder. Liver. It's not fussy. It then just bleeds inside your body thinking it's your period. So, basically we suffer pretty severe internal haemorrhaging, all of the time. Here's some points to sum up what we go through.
1. It's awkward as hell to explain this to people sometimes. Imagine a casual conversation with your boss about why you need an operation and you are discussing your kidney having a period with nowhere for the blood to go.
2. We occasionally have weeks on end when we look 4 months pregnant. This gives us chance to channel Demi Moore and practice our imaginary, nude pregnancy photoshoot. Also, I'd like to thank my ovary for my seat on public transport.
3. It's painful as hell. To the point where it makes us physically sick. I've sometimes wondered if it's worth contacting a priest to perform an exorcism for this angry demon living in and around my uterus.
4. You're prescribed the strongest painkillers possible. This leads to everyone around you beginning to think you have a drug addiction when you're carrying around a pharmacy in your handbag. You do, however, become everyone's go to person whenever they have some kind of ailment.
5. THERE IS NO CURE. Regular surgery is needed to physically cut out the unruly tissue. Good excuse to get loved ones to wait on you hand and foot when you literally can't move for a week. We deserve to feel like a Queen now and then.
6. Another pain relief method I had was to force my menopause all the way through with monthly hormone injections. I was 31 at the time but in denial of adulthood and still thought I was 23. Talk about harsh. I'm out trying to decide if I can get away with wearing booty shorts and a nose ring all the while having hot flushes and popping H.R.T.
7. Chances of getting pregnant are said to be difficult to impossible so we look forward to lie ins, saving a small fortune and having an over compensatory menagerie of pets.
8. It can simulate pregnancy side effects such as morning sickness. That's always an interesting way to start the day and certain smells you suddenly can't bare to be around. On a positive note after 16 years of smoking I suddenly couldn't stand cigarettes and quit. 5 months and counting!
9. Sometimes, when you sit down at a certain angle it feels like you're having a smear test. That reaction always attracts some confused looks from people around you. You then don't particularly feel like explaining. 'Oh, just my inside out reproductive organs. Please, carry on with your meal.' If you ever see me sit down and suddenly yelp, 'TWAT', I'm literally addressing that part of my body.
10. It's not particularly well known so many of you reading this may have it early signs of it and not know. Do some research. Look up some articles with stock photos of a woman frowning and holding her tummy. Check with your doctor. Unfortunately, endometriosis is a shady bitch so doesn't show up in scans or tests. The only way to diagnose it is surgery. A laparoscopy. Sticking a camera in your belly button and look around until they find it.
11. Like there's not enough T.M.I. vibe surrounding any conversations about my endometriosis, mine decides to grow predominently on my 'Pouch of Douglas'. (Yup, I hadn't heard of that either.) Imagine post surgery when explaining to friends where it's growing. Straight faces can never be held!
12. Some women try and empathise with you by saying they get really bad period pain. This is like having your arm mangled by a shark, dipped in vinegar, covered in acid then set alight, then someone saying to you, 'Yeah, I know, I get paper cuts sometimes.'
13. It's a good way to find a patient, supportive and loving partner. You're in pain. All of the time. So make sure you have a good wifi connection and some alone time for him to make the most of.
Remember. It's OK to talk. Period.