Here are seven great suggestions from a fellow sufferer to help you cope with endometriosis on a day to day basis.
I would like to thank Judi for sending in this advice regarding endometriosis with her suggestions and views of how she copes with endometriosis. This was originally submitted as a story, but I thought it was so supportive and helpful and decided it needed a page of its own.
‘After reading many of your own stories, mine is pretty similar. I was first diagnosed many years ago after reading a story about endometriosis in our local newspaper. All the previous years had been a mass of unrelated pain, misdiagnosis and so called "IBS" which was not the case. A huge jigsaw puzzle finally fitting together..! Looking back over these past 13 years, heaps of surgery and treatment, there are a few things (7)! I have learned that I would like to pass on to you all. Take the advice or not - it's up to you...!
1 - Doctors. If you are not comfortable with your doctor, get a referral to another, before you commit to surgery or treatment.
2 – Find out about treatment options. Find out as much as you can about the treatments the doctors want to give you. If you are not comfortable with the treatment and it's side effects, tell the doctor and ask for alternatives, only then can you make an informed decision. Don't be pressured into a decision on the spot.
3 – Ask for help. Never be afraid to ask for help. There are support groups around the world who are there to help you. You are never alone and sometimes just talking to someone on the phone from the support group can be of great source of support and understanding for you or your family.
4 – Do research on natural therapies. Always explore alternative or natural therapies. These may include diet, natural therapies - including acupuncture, Chinese medicine, remedial massage, reflexology etc. Whilst some of you may or may not benefit from these types of alternate therapies, it is always worth a try! Never be afraid to change your diet and explore opportunities through natural medicines/therapies.
5 - Maintain sense of humour. Never lose your sense of humour! Whilst endometriosis may try to take up much of our time and energy and shorten our fuses a little too much, never forget to laugh. We all have our endo moments! That's what I call them... - We can look back at those kind of days- shake our heads and think "What in the hell was I thinking??? - or not thinking?" and take a laugh at ourselves. Or, Rent or go and see a funny movie and laugh a bit. It's good therapy....
6 – Don’t get consumed by this disease. Don't let endometriosis consume you... There are lots more things in life than just endometriosis. Breathing, eating, sleeping, talking, involvement with family and friends are all other things that we can do in a day. Try not to focus on the bad things, I know that's difficult if you are in pain, but try to keep busy with things that you enjoy.
7 – Open mind. Keep an open mind and a positive outlook. Specific treatments both mainstream medical, drug, alternate therapies etc, may not work for everyone, but keep an open mind when considering all your options. Just because it hasn't worked for one person, doesn't mean it won't for you. Give every decision you make a good run - so that you won't look back and wish you had done things differently. Try the best you can to stay positive.
Looking back, knowing what I have learned over the years, there are probably many things I may have done differently - 20/20 vision in hindsight isn't really helpful at this point. Not all treatments work for all women. I know some of these seem pretty corny lines, but all have helped me get through my endo journey so far in one piece. Hope you find something that helps you too!’
From Judy in Australia – July 2012
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