Living With A Chronic Illness

Most little girls grow up with the dream of a fairy tale ending. A blossoming career, meeting the dream man, the princess wedding and a loving brood to complete the family unit. Not once will it cross anyone’s mind that having to deal and live with a life long illness is part of their happily ever after.

Well this is my reality. I live with a disease called Endometriosis and currently there is no known cure. Myself and the other 1.5 million women living with the condition in the UK live in hope that medical science continues to evolve and a cure will soon be discovered.

This post doesn’t have the intention of me wanting sympathy but to simply spread awareness. I guarantee that the majority of you reading hadn’t heard of the disease before now.
But my question is why..
WHY do people not know what Endometriosis is?
It affects approximately 176 million woman across the world. We should be shouting, screaming and more importantly focusing on why endometriosis happens and so we can find a cure.

The issue is that people appear to be ashamed to talk and with limited high profile people who have admitted to living with the condition the disease itself has hardly any public awareness. I have found that it is a difficult topic to explain as most people hear the words ‘uterus’ and recall with social awkwardness. In short Endo is where the lining of the womb grows in nonconventional parts of the body. Each month these cells then want to break down and leave the body, however they have no where to go and end up trapped causing serve pain. Frustratingly some of the symptoms can be deemed as ‘normal’ which makes the condition extremely hard to diagnose and a painstaking process. No pun intended.

I myself got my diagnosis after suffering with pain for a number of years but continuing with life as normal because I believed I was experiencing what all women do. However one day I collapsed at work and was rushed to hospital. After what seemed like a lifetime of being passed off with ridiculous conclusions like IBS and kidney stones I was sent to a specialist consultant who wanted me to have invasive surgery where a laparoscopy confirmed my condition. With the surgeon removing what he could of the disease he then informed me that I had what was called ‘Deep Hidden Endometriosis’ and that I would never be without pain again.

So there I was.. in my early twenties and facing a non-existent life constantly in pain, fatigued and with the probability that I could never have children of my own. It was only down to researching my condition and reading other peoples stories that inspired me learn and control my life. Yes I have a chronic illness that changes my lifestyle but that doesn’t mean I have to stop living it.

My illness isn’t a weakness and it has taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I will have to live my life differently than most but in fact my pain has become my strength. How extremely cringe worthy and cliqué to say but I now know that I am resilient woman who can live with pain that most people won’t ever have to deal with.

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I know that I will wake up in excruciating pain at night, most days I will at some point double over in pain where it feels like someone is stabbing my stomach or that I wake of a morning and won’t have the energy to even get out of bed. But I am not letting the Endometriosis control me and as each day goes by I am learning the best ways to deal with my illness.

The issue is that people with this condition look healthy on the outside but you don’t see the state of their organs or what the disease does to them emotionally and physically. So all I ask of you is to start talking, spread awareness and eventually a cure will be found. I am looking forward to the day that I can say that I DID have Endometriosis.

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