One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

1:54 PM

I'm sure that many endometriosis patients can relate to this title.

As soon as I think I have a grip on my condition, I feel like I've gone backward. And sometimes, you get really tired of fighting and pushing. And that's how I felt this week.

About two weeks ago, Dr. Carl called and said I could call the main office to get set up with a physical therapist. Hooray! So I called and left a message. And it's been two weeks, and I still haven't gotten a call back. While a recently passed law in my state allows patients to go to a physical therapist without a doctor's referral or prescription, many offices still don't let you see a PT without one. So while my insurance will cover it, I'm still kind of stuck and forced to chase around doctors and beg for a returned phone call.

To add to that, I haven't felt the greatest this week. My pain hasn't been too bad around where my endo was burned off, but my stomach has just not gotten along with me. And I really can't pinpoint why. I'm beginning to think there isn't much rhyme or reason to why I experience these stomach aches. For example, yesterday at 3 p.m., I felt terrible. What was I doing? Sitting in my cubicle and typing. That's it. And then bam. Burning stomach out of nowhere.

My diet does seem to be helping. And since I'm eating healthier, I tend to just feel better mentally. But despite that, I've done a crap job at keeping up with yoga lately. I think I've gone to class twice in the past two weeks, and I've only done yoga at home a handful of times. When you feel sick, it's hard to get yourself motivated to move around a lot. Napping on the couch with my puppy on top of me just seems a lot more appealing.

So despite having a plan and a support network behind my endo, it's just been hard to manage things this week. On top of a busy schedule at work and at home, I've been exhausted.

I hate ranting about my symptoms, especially when I know I don't have endo as bad as most women out there. Or other people who have more serious conditions, like my mom and her cancer. But it's been almost 15 years since I first experienced symptoms and two years since they've been this bad. Some days, you just want to go, "You know what? I just don't feel like dealing with my endo today. So how about I don't?"

But of course, you have to deal with it. You have to wake up every morning and say, "I'm taking my condition head-on, and I'm going to do the best I can. No matter how sore or tired I am, I have to do this or I will feel worse."

I like the quote that's in the picture I've included in this post. I really avoid saying "I can't," but when it comes to physical pain, "can't" tends to slip into my vocabulary. "I can't hang out today. I feel like crap." "I can't go to yoga today. My stomach is killing me." "I can't work at the office today. I'm really sore." But what if I stopped and said, "Actually, I can"? What would change? Are there days I could do some of things I didn't think that I could?

Of course, you have to be realistic with your symptoms. But sometimes, half the battle is getting yourself into a frame of mind where you're confident in your ability to manage your symptoms. Physical pain and fatigue is so daunting sometimes that I wake up with the thought "This is going to be a bad endo day" already on my mind. Maybe I do it to prepare myself (which was the root of my anxiety disorder) but instead, I should wake up with this mantra on my mind:

Truly, I have loved taking care of myself, which used to be a major struggle for me. But learning how to cook and enjoy new foods, connecting with an incredible yoga practice and sharing my experiences with others has been incredibly rewarding. And maybe if I didn't have endo, I wouldn't have an opportunity to learn so much about myself.

So maybe instead of looking at the struggles I'm having with endometriosis and amplifying them even further, I should focus on how much I'm growing, how much I'm already feeling better and how much better I can be feeling if I try a little harder.

Anyway, this has been a rambling and ranting blog post, but thank you for reading it. Please share your thoughts, if you have any advice or insight!

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