I've always been told my life could be a reality television show, and if you know me well, you know how true that is! So hang on tight because this could be a bumpy ride! ;)
The most important thing in my life right now, aside from my faith, husband, our children, family and friends, is my health.
This month is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is the disease that's brought me to my knees. I have been in and out of the hospital with two botched surgeries over the past year. My adrenal and heart are now being affected by the stress this disease has caused my body. I suffer from co-morbid conditions such as fibromyalgia, hypertension, adrenal fatigue and insufficiency, CFS/ME, Interstitial Cystitis and more. The chronic pain and fatigue are the toughest to deal with and I am in bed 90% of the time now.
You will see me write a lot about this disease, but let me assure you, it's not an attempt to gain sympathy. It's not an attempt to merely whine and complain.
My goal is to help spread awareness, and to show my fellow EndoWarriors they are not alone (which is critical for having the strength to fight this battle).
If you find it sad, annoying, depressing, etc., be thankful that you get to walk away from it while those who are fighting endo have no escape.
Between pain, crippling fatigue, brain fog, mistreatment at the hands of those who are supposed to heal us, losing our dignity in ER's that accuse us of "drug seeking" when our pain is spiraling out of control, suicides committed by women who couldn't keep fighting the battle, marriages that have fallen apart due to the pressures living with endo places on a family, guilt, anxiety, depression, fear, hopelessness, financial devastation from medical bills, job loss, and more, it is everything a woman with endo can do just to get through each day.
But there is also hope, determination, strength, courage, faith, support, love, compassion, understanding, endurance, etc.
And THAT is what the Worldwide Endometriosis March is all about! This Saturday, March 28, in cities across the world, EndoSisters and their caregivers, loved ones and supporters, will be marching to help fight for change, awareness and a cure! Most of all a cure. Oh my how we desperately need and deserve a cure!
My husband and I will be "marching" (I will most likely be in my wheelchair, though I will try my best to walk as much of it as I can) at the DC march. Check out the list of cities hosting a march this year here, and if there is one near you, please join us! It's completely free and easy to do!
There is solidarity in numbers, and seeing the sea of people marching for our lives means more than words could ever express! And if you have anything yellow (our awareness color), please wear it!
If you can't attend the march, you can sign up here to be a virtual marcher. And you can stay tuned to my blog to follow along here as I document my own personal endometriosis journey.
Other great, informative resources can be found at:
~Endomarch.org - The official webpage for the 2015 march.
~The Center for Endometriosis Care- Informative site with information on the disease, proper "gold standard" treatments and more.
~LunaGraceBoutique.etsy.com -This is the store I opened to try to generate income for my family while 90% bedridden and disabled. My store focuses on awareness for all chronic illness and 10% of proceeds go to awareness charities.
YouTube has many informative testimonies from women with endo, but let me say this. No two cases are alike and we must be VERY careful not to pigeonhole women into neat and orderly categories based on others' experiences.
I say this as I myself was guilty of thinking in my 20's and 30's that all endo patients must feel the way I did. Suffering, but functioning.
It wasn't until my forties that I learned how wrong that was. I now have a very rare, aggressive form of the disease (stage IV) that causes me pain daily. And as I stated before, it has brought on other conditions that greatly affect my quality of life.
There are rare days that I get out of bed and push through the pain. But most others are spent in bed hoping for strength just to shower.
|My husband's sketch of me in the midst of an endo flare.|
Despite what this disease tries to steal from me, I still feel incredibly blessed. I have kind and supportive friends and family. Amazing kids. And a very loving and patient husband who has stayed by my side and loves me through it all without complaint! He makes me focus on and celebrate what I can do rather than beat myself up over what I cannot do.
Most of all, I have a Father in Heaven that loves me beyond description and I have absolute faith and trust in His plans for my life and in His own timing. I completely surrender my life into His hands and let Him lead me. He is my strength, my hope and my everlasting rock.
Faith, love and support are better than any medicine in my opinion. And I know that I personally will be so uplifted seeing all of those who march on Saturday for every EndoSister across the world!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who helps us to fight for a cure, whether by marching on Saturday, or simply by speaking up for awareness.
Together, we WILL find a cure and END Endo, once and for all!