chronic illness

Overcoming Self-Consciousness When Battling Endometriosis

Today kicks off week 1 of the Blogging for Endometriosis Awareness campaign! This week’s post topic is how endometriosis has affected you physically. Linkup will be live throughout the rest of the month so you can link up anytime! Before to check out posts from fellow endosisters who have linked up and share posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to help spread awareness & use the tag #bloggingforendo! Don’t forget to share the word about our Blogging for Endometriosis fundraising campaign!

My journey with endometriosis started over ten years ago. Its hard to believe because it feels like it was just yesterday in some ways and it feels like it has been an eternity. Endometriosis has changed so many things about my life. I have lost so much time enduring countless surgeries and treatments, lost the ability to do some of the things I loved, lost my fertility, and lost my ability to lead the life of a “normal” 32 year old. Instead I am in the midst of filing disability.

Over the last six years of blogging, I have shared many posts about how endometriosis has affected my life physically. I have shared about the long term effects endo can have on your body and how exhausting dealing with pain on a daily basis can be. Probably one of the most popular posts I have ever written was sharing about the unspoken side effects of endometriosis over at the Fight Like A Girl Club.

One of the things I struggle with the most these days is overcoming self-consciousness and feeling insecure with the way I look. It goes deeper than worrying about exposing my scars. I feel like nothing in my body is the same anymore.

Going into menopause at the age of 26 and taking numerous hormonal treatments, my body shape has completely changed. Treatments make my weight flucuate. I carry weight in different areas than before. Between being bloated and endo/adhesion pain, it can make wearing certain types of clothes difficult. I wish overalls would come back in style so I wouldn’t have to worry about where waistbands hit in relation to my scars. Is that pathetic?

I feel like nothing is my body is working the way its supposed to. The hysterectomy was supposed to end my struggle with endometriosis and it hasn’t. My upper GI is completely paralyzed and my lower GI isn’t far behind. I feel like I’m in the cycle of taking medications to deal with side effects of the medications I need to function. There are days that the most minimal tasks can suck everything out of me. I feel like I am an 80 year old trapped in the body of a 32 year old woman.

All of these things make me feel so self conscious about my body. The way it looks. The way it functions. There are times it feels like its not even mine anymore. Maybe thats the reason why I have gotten into playing with make up recently. Makeup is fun to wear not matter what size you are. Maybe thats the reason why I have been loving having purple hair. I am trying to regain a piece of the confidence I seemed to have lost throughout the years. I am constantly reminding myself that I am wonderfully made by my Creator and that is what makes me beautiful.

I am work in progress.

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3 comments on “Overcoming Self-Consciousness When Battling Endometriosis

  1. Emilie says:

    Thanks for sharing aspects of endo and its various treatments and side effects that aren’t often talked about. I am sorry that you struggle with your body’s appearance and clothes–there are plenty of times I’ve thought it would be much easier if we were back in ancient times and everyone just wore long tunics with no regard for size! It’s hard to live in a culture that so values fashion and seems to expect women to stay one size (read: one SMALL size) all the time and wear clothes that cling. I’ll join you in praying overalls or something equally comfortable comes back:)

  2. Antay Parker says:

    Greetings everyone. My name is Antay, a 26 year old registered nurse, living in Texas with my husband and two Maltese “children.” My journey with endometriosis started over ten years ago. It’s hard to believe because it feels like it was just yesterday that I received the diagnosis; however, in other ways, it feels like it has been an eternity. Endometriosis has changed so many things about my life. It has taken so much from my husband and I, including the ability to have children by any means.

    I am excited to be a part of this blog after “meeting” Jamee nearly ten years ago on an endo blog site for young women. She is a phenomenal resource and constant source of encouragement, always checking in on me from time to time and encouraging me through the multiple surgeries that this disease has lead me to have. It has been an ongoing relationship that has often kept me sane. I am also very lucky to have the support of an amazing best friend who is also a nurse and constant encouragement.

    I completely agree with Jamee about some of the major struggles, including being very self-conscious and insecure about my appearance. I am not as thin or fit as I once was. I have more scars than I care to admit. Prior to my hysterectomy, in attempts to control the disease medically between surgeries, I took several very harsh, costly treatments via injection. They were hard on my body and my relationships. I entered a complete, surgically induced menopause at age 22. Prior to having a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy, I had multiple surgeries to remove endo and take down thick adhesions in an attempt to relieve my unrelenting pain. Since my last surgery that involved removing endo and placement of a bladder sling at age 25 as a result of losing pelvic muscle support after my hysterectomy, I have taken several different forms of hormone replacement with little relief from the symptoms of menopause. Despite the best efforts of multiple, very talented surgeons, I still live with the pain from this disease.

    Living with this disease has opened several doors for me in my career as a registered nurse. I look forward to sharing more about these opportunities and how they relate to my own battles as March progresses. While I may not be beautiful on the outside, I know that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139).

    “Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” -Kevyn Aucoin

    • Jamee says:

      Thank you for sharing a part of your story! I am so, so thankful that we found each other in that support group! Your friendship and support have meant so much!


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