By Gir1NextDoor 2862 views
Our community here is wonderful for so many reasons but in this instance, I would like to take advantage of the influential aspect of our platform to raise awareness of a subject that isn’t particularly pretty.
It’s not glamorous, it’s not something that is usually spoken about as openly and honestly as what I’m about to share with you but it’s a subject very close to my heart that affects so many and yet continues to go underdiagnosed and misunderstood.
Some of those who are suffering you may know; they could be family, friends, fellow sellers or strangers you pass in the street; they may keep it hidden, they may be suffering in silence as many often do. Well, ladies, I'm here to tell you, you are not alone. This is the ugly truth…the reality of being an #EndoWarrior.
Other blogs I have written and shared with you all have mainly focused on body confidence and encouraging you beautiful bunch to know your worth and to realise just how incredible you are. This time will be something a little different but as we all here are quite well acquainted with all things vag, here is as good a place as any so let’s educate where we can and show our support to those in need.
March is fast approaching and to those in the know, this is the month dedicated to raising awareness of Endometriosis. If this is a term unfamiliar to you, please don’t be surprised; although extremely common it is not a condition that is spoken about anywhere near enough.
It is a chronic, long-term, debilitating and incredibly isolating disease that affects more than 176 million women worldwide, 1 in 10 women suffer and yet there is STILL no known cure.
Now getting down to the nitty-gritty…Endometriosis is NOT just a painful period, despite the assumptions and social stigma attached to the term, this is simply not the case. It is a condition that devastates women’s lives and it’s time to #BreakTheSilence.
It is a disorder where endometrial tissues grow outside of the uterus, often on your ovaries, bowel, fallopian tubes etc. These tissues react to the menstrual cycle each month and also bleed. However, there is no way for this blood to escape so it remains trapped in your pelvis which can result in horrific symptoms.
Painful urination/bowel movements
The formation of scar tissues
Pain during sex
The women in your life could be suffering with such symptoms and be completely unaware they may have this condition so I cannot stress enough how important it is to seek advice and get help where you can, particularly considering the long term effects this condition can have.
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis when I was 21; 5 years AFTER the onset of any symptoms. I fought with doctors relentlessly to give up trying various different medications that simply weren’t working, I needed help and I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
Ladies if you are going through a similar situation, please do not give up. It’s not so much that women aren’t speaking, it’s that they aren’t being heard. But there are so many support groups and awareness pages online that can help give you the guidance and advice you need.
Endometriosis cannot be diagnosed through a blood test or an ultrasound; although other symptoms can be identified through these methods but at present, laparoscopic surgery is the only sure way to identify the tissues and have them removed successfully. That is the sad truth of it my darlings but there it is, however, although as painful and exhausting as the whole ordeal can be, getting that diagnosis and finding ways to manage your symptoms is always far better than suffering in silence not knowing what’s going on inside you.
I unfortunately suffered from pretty much every symptom going; not all at once, they would come in waves, but the flare ups are horrendous. It was agony and frankly heart-breaking. It’s unforeseen really how it can affect so many areas of your life so getting the word out and normalising the terminology, helping people to understand and recognise their symptoms can make more of a difference than you know.
The emotional and psychological ramifications of this disease can be more detrimental than the physical at times. I tried the pills, I had the surgeries…I was told at age 21 that I had 5 years to have a baby or a natural pregnancy would be out of the question due to physical implications the disease had already had on my body. That in itself was terrifying and it was a mental torment that I wasn’t ready to deal with; pairing that with the excruciating pain that I endured daily, well it wasn’t a walk in the park.
BUT right there…that is the common misconception! That we are in a race against time, fighting a disease that doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals themselves don’t even fully comprehend, they don’t know the causes and they have no cure. That is the reality.
I now, at 28, have a healthy yet slightly crazy 3 year old that runs me bloody ragged. I had a healthy pregnancy and gave birth naturally despite the doctor’s assumptions. I got lucky, this I know and I am incredibly grateful but I share my story to give hope to women out there that may be battling the odds.
I won’t forget what I went through to have my son but my scars tell a story, they are a reminder of when life tried to break me but failed. It’s not impossible, it’s not a death sentence. Break the silence, be heard. It’s a fight, but it’s one you can win.
I am the 1 in 10. It’s not just a statistic. It’s me. I am an #EndoWarrior.
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