Changing The Stigma Of Endometriosis

Endometriosis-Awareness-Awareness

 

Its hard to believe that March is half over and Endometriosis Awareness Month will soon be winding down. It has done my heart good to see my Facebook feed turn yellow and see a steady stream of endometriosis awareness posts, educational articles, and resources shared so frequently. It almost me sad to think that is going to change.

I would love to see endo awareness become more of a year round thing. I obviously know that for many of us it is. I mostly definitely want Blogging For Endometriosis Awareness to become a year round campaign. I would love to have monthly linkups. Thoughts?

The theme for this week’s post is, “If I could change one thing about the stigma of endometriosis, it would be . . .”

I would love to change the stigma that endometriosis is a “female problem.” Granted it is a disease where the lining of the uterus grows elsewhere in the abdominal cavity and elsewhere in the body so it is obviously an issue that most predominantly affects women but somehow the stigma that its a “female problem” or a “female issue” makes it more taboo to discuss.

No one wants to talk about periods, bleeding, bloating, painful sex, and things sticking where things aren’t supposed to be stuck.

Endometriosis is not bad cramps, PMS, or crappy coping skills.

Endometriosis is a serious disease that can cause chronic and crippling pain. It often takes YEARS to receive a proper diagnosis (source).

Endometriosis is a major source of female infertility. A staggering 30-50% of infertile women have endometriosis (source).

Endometriosis often results in premature hysterectomies which often do not provide long term relief. Hysterectomies are the second leading surgery for premenopausal women (following c-sections) and a large portion of these procedures happen as a result of endometriosis (source).

In a survey conducted on the long term effects of endometriosis, 51% of the women surveyed stated that endo has affected their work and 50% stated that it has had a profound impact on their relationships (source).

These examples are just a small sampling of how greatly a woman’s life is impacted by endometriosis. I honestly believe that if endometriosis affected men in the same ways as it affects women, there would be far greater advancements in research and treatment options but because it is still considered just a “female problem” by so many, resources are limited.

I would love to see this stigma changed. It is by our efforts to raise awareness, support, and, most importantly, education about the disease that we can have a hand in changing it.

 

 

I am excited to announce that this week’s linkup post also includes a giveaway! One of our business sponsors, Seaview Jewellery, has graciously donated a beautiful necklace and charms to give away to you awesome folks! The charms can be put on a keychain or zipper pull as well as a variety of other places. This week there will be 3 winners (one will win the necklace and two others will win charms). Look at these beautiful creations:
Seaview Jewellery Endometriosis Awareness Jewelry

 

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me what stigma about endometriosis (or chronic illness in general) that you would like to see changed (mandatory)!

For an extra entry, tweet this post and then leave a comment letting me know that you did with a link to your tweet!

This giveaway will run through Friday, March 27th! You can also visit Diane’s blog for additional giveaways courtesy of Seaview Jewellery! Next week’s linkup will also feature endometriosis awareness jewelry giveaways courtesy of Seaview and our other business sponsor FJJ Creations!

 

P.S. Don’t forget to link up your post this week!

My Little Cheerleader & The Lessons I Learned As A Cheer Mom

It is hard to believe Abby’s first season of cheerleading is over! For starters, don’t you just die from the cuteness overload when seeing this sweet face in uniform?

My Little Cheerleader

 

I just can’t. Swoon.

Like I said before, the season is finally over. John and I wanted to throw a party Saturday when the season was officially over (I am sure the coaches did too) because it meant that we now have our Tuesday and Thursdays nights plus Saturday mornings back! Hallelujah!

The basketball season went well. Our age group for basketball and cheerleading was K-2. The skill of the basketball teams grew by leaps and bounds from the start of the season to the finish. The number of cheers and routines our girls had built up in their repertoire was impressive. Abby is not the most coordinated child on earth but her growth from start to finish was amazing. Major kudos to all the coaches.

The season wrapped up with the area cheerleading competition, which was held this past Saturday, and our girls worked their tails off. The coaches put together a great routine and the girls performed it beautifully. I mean this was a 3 minute routine and these 5-7 year olds rocked it. I was honestly blown away with their stage presence. Their focus was completely on the judges. They smiled big, had high energy, and shook their booties (age appropriately of course).

Side note – I wonder how many cheer squads had some part of Shake It Off in their routines this season.

I have always scoffed at those parents who got upset by a bad call by a ref or judge (I mean come on, be a role model to your child please!) but I had to point the finger at myself on Saturday and give myself a time out.

As hard as our girls had worked, we were taken aback when the results were announced. There was only one other squad in her age group and they did well. They performed as I would have expected a group of 5-7 year olds to perform (random waves to family throughout the routine, blanking out, that kind of thing). We knew our girls were on pointe that day so we really thought we would take home the win but the judges didn’t see it that way and gave the win to the other team.

My first reaction was to go all mama bear, yell at the judges and ask them if they were blind. I know I am biased being a parent but the general consensus of the crowd was the same and thought our girls should have won. I was a little upset. Some were more vocal than others. I was more vocal than I should have been. I didn’t storm the table or anything but I did some trash talking amongst other parents and coaches. The worst part was that I did this trash talking in front of my child.

When we got home after the competition and I started packing up Abby’s cheerleading gear, I was still frustrated by the results but I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Instead of having a huge smile and just bubbling over with pride about how hard Abby and her team had worked, how she had gotten up in front of all those people without fear, and how she had gave it everything she had, I had a scowl and was muttering to myself about what kind of point system they must have used.

Some of the reasons we signed Abby up for cheerleading was so she could learn dedication, how to be part of a team, and – you guessed it – good sportsmanship.

I needed a hefty dose of that myself.

I had been a terrible role model for my daughter that morning and I needed to apologize.

And I did.

I sat Abby down and I explained that I did not have the attitude that Christ wants us to model. I should have modeled good sportsmanship and having a Christ-like attitude and I was sorry that I did not do so. The important thing was that they worked hard as a team, they had fun, and they totally rocked it. Everything else was irrelevant. I told her that she reminded me of what was really important and I thanked her for that and asked her to forgive me. She said she did and gave me a kiss and a hug around the neck before running off to play.

The next night, they had the end of season banquet. Abby came home with her trophy and all was right in the world. The results of the competition the previous day were all but forgotten.

She looks at her trophy and remembers the excitement of being chosen to call the cheer during the halftime routine and giggling with teammates about that part in the cheer where you have to shake your butt.

I look at her trophy and remember the lessons I learned as a cheer mom and how God used these little girls to teach me a lesson on attitude and what is really important about being a team.

Lessons-Learned-As-A-Cheer-Mom

 

P.S. Took an intermission from Blogging For Endometriosis Awareness this week but things will kick back up next week and not only are the next two weeks’ topics hardcore, there will be giveaways each week by our amazing campaign sponsors FJJ Creations and Seaview Jewellery! You will not want to miss it!