Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sunday Stories | Fiona's Endometriosis Story

Sunday stories is a series on my blog where every week a different person talks about their condition (physical, mental etc.), shares their story and raise awareness. For the past 5 years I've used my blog as a space where I could do just that but I wanted to extend things even further to allow others to talk and raise awareness of their conditions. I'm really excited to introduce everyone to you! Today the lovely Fiona is sharing her story and journey with Endometriosis, I'll hand things over to her!


Can you tell us a bit about your condition and how you were diagnosed?

I used to suffer from a condition called endometriosis, this is a condition where the womb lining grows in places other than where it should. This meant that every time I had a period I would bleed in numerous places as well as being in considerable pain. I was diagnosed by having a series of scans to my kidneys as well as a laparoscopy. This is where they insert a camera via your belly button in order to see what is happening to your reproductive organs and establish the extent to which the tissue is growing in other areas. 

How does your condition affect you on a daily basis?

In the past, the pain was so severe that on some days I could barely get out of bed, never mind actually make it into work. At one point I was a hotel receptionist and was expected to stand at work which caused severe pain and meant by the time I got home all I wanted to do was curl up and pray the pain away. I was popping painkillers like smarties and the worst part was they weren't taking the pain away. I couldn't leave the house without making sure that I had my pouch of sanitary towels and heat pads just in case I started bleeding as I had no way of knowing when this was going to occur or for how long either. 


Do you have any tips for someone who is newly diagnosed?


Heat pads are your best friend and particularly the ones that wrap around your body as they provide some support to your lower back too. Invest in a good hot water bottle as heat will help relieve the pain. Now the unknown bleeding and any other issues have a name ask lots of questions and do your research but remember that every story is different. If your painkillers aren't doing what they need to, then go back to your doctor and request stronger ones but only take the recommended doses. If you are determined on a particular treatment option, stand your ground. If it's what you want then the doctor's will agree with your decision but be warned they will try other options first. 

What is one thing you would like people to remember about your condition? 

That just because it doesn't look it, it doesn't mean that I'm not in pain. Also, just because I decided a hysterectomy was what would work for me doesn't mean it will for everyone. I also wish people would remember that although I no longer have a womb I can still have endometriosis as the HRT tablets I take are actually feeding it and while it has subsided (for now) it's not necessarily gone forever. 

You can follow Fiona on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and read her blog here. You can find more information and support on the Endometriosis UK website.

If you want to take part in this series and share your story then send me an email: shonacobb21@gmail.com
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