Back pain has always been my worst symptom of Endo, starting all the way back in sixth grade. It is very hard to explain to people that "I can't function today because my back hurts too bad." When your back hurts, everything hurts. My back pain has just been getting worse and worse over the years, and is currently so bad that it causes me to have panic attacks. I want to crawl out of my body because my spine hurts so bad.
I am currently on a mini vacation this weekend with my sister's dance company. I was so excited to spend the weekend watching her dance and swimming with one of my best friends (who also dances). Instead, I spend most of my time in bed trying to get comfortable, and trying to find a perfect combination of pills to relieve some pain. It's rough on my mental health, especially when I feel like I am letting my friend down because I can't do everything she wants to do.
I don't sleep anymore because I can't get comfortable, so I have been reading some websites about endo-related pain. I found some interesting things. A quote from Tracy Lytwyn Fischer on www.prevention.com really explained the Endo pain in a good way. "My symptoms started as soon as I began menstruating at age 11. The easiest way I've been able to personify the pain is it's like someone is crushing your ovaries and uterus with giant hands. The pain would get more and more severe as the day would go on, radiating down to my thighs." Every woman has a different experience, but I think this describes most of my symptoms in a pretty great way. I used to complain of bad thigh pain during my periods, but it was hard for people to believe they were related, which leads to my next issue...
Having chronic and un-explainable pain, can make you start to doubt even yourself. There have been countless times when I have thought to myself "maybe this pain really IS in my head" or "wow, I am so weak and letting this beat me?" I've learned that I can't think like that or my depression gets worse. I have to go day by day and think "Today is a pain day. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe not. We will figure it out tomorrow." There is a good quote from www.endometriosis-uk.org that explains how Endo can impact your mental health: "As for my mental health, I have endured some incredibly dark episodes in my life. Imagine feeling that even your body is against you. It’s an invisible disease where people wrongly believe that surgery cures you and even you get bored of hearing the words 'Sorry I can’t come, my endo has flared up'. It’s a topsy turvy condition, where most sympathy and concern comes after an operation but where you experience most pain and distress before. It’s no wonder coping with the symptoms can bring you down."
Overall, every woman has different symptoms at different levels. I struggle with my back and mental health the most. Reading about other women's experiences help a lot with my mental health. That's one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog: to help other people going through something rough.
I decided to start a blog because my mental and physical conditions are constantly changing, and I want to help encourage people with similar experiences, and let them know they are not alone.