Important: THE GENESIS OF THIS BLOG IS NOT A NEGATIVE ONE. If you would want to read submissive, depressive things about how awful endometriosis is then please make a U turn because although I suffer from endometriosis, I certainly am not its Victim.
This blog is going to track the operation excising my endometriosis. My metamorphosis from a suffering caterpillar, to a butterfly with a beautiful, peaceful tummy.
When diagnosed at 14, I had never heard of 'Endometriosis'. So I did what all 21st century kids do; I googled it. The worst thing I could have done. Within minutes I was sure I was infertile and my life was no longer worth living. I hope that this blog is going to be the opposite of that, even if I can only empower one woman, it is worth every second spent writing.
Incase you are just reading this out of kindness or pitty (just keep the numbers coming baby) and you are not aware of what Endometriosis is; Endometriosis is when the tissue lining the womb which sheds blood during your menstral cycle grows outside of your uterus. This causes internal bleeding which can hypersensitise your nervous system, cause scar tissue, stick your organs together, cause painful sex, infultrait organs as a 'benign cancer', IBS, and lots of other nasty, painful stuff.
Endometriosis effects 1 in 10 women, the same amount as diabetes and breast cancer yet it is vertually unknown.
It is the biggest cause of infertility and we need a voice.
Now that that is sorted, My introduction, please...
My name is Alice Smith, I am 18 years old (My birthday is the 21st of June if you would like to do presents) and I suffer from Endometriosis. I am the 'Young Advocate' for 'Endometriosis UK' a member of the Trustee Board and I also partook in the BBC 'Young Apprentice' in 2012. It hard not to add 'and I'm an alcoholic' to the end of that introduction- even if endometriosis is enough to make you want to drink! The reason in my writing today is that it is exactly a week until I have my surgery with Mr Andrew Kent in Surrey- an operation I have been waiting for for four years (lots of 4's). It is worth mentioning that I am dyslexic, so there may be the occasional typo and made up word... enjoy...
My first memory of what can only have been gynocological pain was in 2008, aged 12 and in a tent, sleeping over in my friends garden. This was a year previous to starting my period, so as far as I knew there was no reason for the pain, and it was so shocking and immense I had to go home. This crippling pain visited me every month for a year before I eventually started my menstral cycle. With every period it got worse, until after six months I was rushed into A&E for IV Morphine pain relief, having gone into a 'False Labor' pain attack. The pain grew to a point where I experienced it every day of the month and was rushed into A&E twice monthly; once when on my period and once when ovulating. At fourteen my quality of life was non-existent, I could no longer go to school because of the pain and chronic fatigue and I was either in hospital or recovering from the morphine, by which time it was time to check back in again. Due to the pain and dramatic loss of blood I underwent a laparoscopy where I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at 14. Since then I have been on GNrH for four years to complete my education and to date, false menopause is the only thing that has worked.
Perhaps the reason I am not a victim to my endometriosis is because I have grown with my endometriosis: I have never known adult life without it. Any mature or independent decisions I have made, have been with my endometriosis in mind.
Ultimately; although at times it has been isolating, debilitating and restricting having endometriosis from an 'unusually' young age, I have spent time with toddlers in hospital who wont be able to even do half the things I have am able to do with my endometriosis, and that is I view myself as lucky.
This outlook ensures I appreciate all aspects of my life, allowing myself to see the potential for good in my endometriosis, and for that reason alone I am winning.
I know my endometriosis grounds me, which in turn makes me a better, more compassionate person living a bigger, fuller life. I know I wake up in pain most nights but whether I like it or not, my endometriosis inadvertably shapes my life and who I am. I have nothing to lose by empowering myself to take control, never letting it win and moulding me into better person. "Every adversity, every failure, every heart ache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit." Napoleon Hill
Everyday I dare myself to challenge my endometriosis, be it informing someone about what it is who previously hadn't realised it existed, empowering a fellow sufferer or (my favourite) breaking a taboo. Eventually if enough of us tap the wall it has got to tumble- and it doesn't matter whether it is for us or for our grandchildren- we cannot suffer in silence forever.
In seven days time I should be out of surgery. I am slightly scared about what they may find, I am slightly scared that the NHS will cancel last minute, and I am slightly scared of the unknown afterwards. But none of it really matters because my life will start in seven days time.