Let me just cut to the chase here; Endometriosis, is a disorder many women bear with, without being remotely aware it’s a disorder, not just a series of bad cramps days.
Pain is not supposed to be normal, and yet, we associate the persistence of pain with the normal functioning of a menstrual cycle, don’t we?
I have a friend, I’ll call her X, who is the inspiration and reason to write behind this post because I feel like we have spent more than enough time among the taboo waters, for far too long now, it’s time to resurface to face the realities, out of which is this reality that almost all of us, don’t even know about.
If you Google it, Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus, mostly involving the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis. In simpler words, it is the excessively heavy flow during a period and the pain it causes. Over 4 years ago, X had been diagnosed with this disorder, and just recently, got a laparoscopy to treat it. The purpose of this isn’t to promote her story or attract sympathy for it, it’s to try to shine some light on this aspect of a woman’s life, which is so bluntly ignored and treated as completely irrelevant.
Almost every woman goes through her menstrual cycle every month for about half of her natural life, and it is a period of needs; emotional, physical and mental. It is a completely normal and natural aspect of life to live and to reproduce, but it is a shame that it is treated as an illicit affair, never to be talked about, not to be mentioned. I’m not asking people to start talking about it in prospects of being discussed and made known; we all know, maybe a little too much in some cases; what I’m focusing on is to be educated. To know the significance of the cycle, to know what is normal and what is not, to actually be knowledgeable and educated on the matter, especially for the women experiencing the darker side of it and thinking ‘this is normal!‘ ‘this is supposed to happen, right?‘ ‘it happens to everyone!‘ Chances are, it doesn’t.
This experience varies among women, where period pain for the first two days of the cycle is normal, but if it persists? You have every reason to be alarmed and go to the doctor. We dismiss any sign of abnormality, associating it with other symptoms like ‘oh i must have ate something bad‘ ‘it must be the extra exercise‘ because none of us know, we’ve been taught to think it’s normal because generations of women have spent thinking excessive period pains and heavy flows are completely normal, some girls get it light, and others get it heavy, you must be one of the latter, thats it. And I admit, I only recently found out about this matter too, only when my friend, X, shared her experience with me. This whole ordeal of being on the heavier side, is Endometriosis and the likes of it, and it is such a menace to have to carry around that continues to suck the color out of your life.
Where it is a physical battle, it is also in fact an emotional and mental battle with your will, your body, your heart, your mind. It is waking up everyday to think if it’s worth it anymore because the pain is unbearable now, you’re not sure you can go on. It gives birth to self-doubt, self-hate, self-loathing and despair, cutting you off from the world and leaving you only in this extra shell your body has created just for the two of you. If continued without treatment too long, it can cause infertility, and in some cases even death.
Life on the unknowing side seems peaceful, the less you know the less you have to worry about, but what to do when those same worries you hid behind closed doors, crawl from under them and strike? Is it not better to know and survive it, than to not know and go down wondering if you could’ve done something to prevent it? Endometriosis is one of the realities we need to face and educate our people about, whether it is children, the youth or adults, it is never too late to save a life. It’s time to break the bounds of respectable thinking, to approach realistic thinking, realistic problems, and realistic recoveries.