Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bloggers Unite for EndoMarch: Week 7 - Three Weeks Away!

The topic for this week:  The Endomarch is three weeks away….How are you feeling about going? What are you most looking forward to/most nervous about!

The closer this event gets, the more excited I get!  They announced recently that Sheryl Crow will be performing, which is just amazing.  Hopefully having a big name celebrity will draw in more press and lead to more awareness.  I've already seen a few articles online talking about her involvement in the event and some info on endo, so yay!  Plus a free concert!  There's also an actress with endo lined up to be there, so there's some more press.  Pretty sweet.

I'm looking forward to being around my endo sisters.  I get so nervous in big crowds and I'm not sure I'll actually engage with a lot of people, but I am happily anticipating being around people who get it.  People who have been through what I have and know the kind of regular pain I've experienced.  Families who have supported their daughters/sisters/wives/mothers with the disease. 

I'm excited to hear everyone's stories.  I want to hear what the leading professionals in the field have to say.  I hope someone from the doctors office I want to go to for excision surgery will be there speaking.  I'm excited to see footage of the other marches from across the globe.  I'm thankful I have the opportunity to participate in something so big and important.

I won't lie... I'm also pretty stoked for the time off and away.  I'm taking a week of vacation from work, and it's much needed.  Gonna relax for a few days before the trip and am gonna visit a friend on the way back.  Thinking of hitting up an awesome sushi restaurant and a museum or two while I'm in DC also.  It should be full of all around goodness.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Of Love and Hope

I just wrote a FutureMe letter.  The first one in a long time.  I couldn't figure out why I hadn't really wanted to write any for a long while until the other day.  I got one from a much younger and naive version of myself.  She was happily married and had just started trying to get pregnant.  She was hopeful and spouted out all the cliche "it'll happen when it's meant to" and "there's always adoption if it doesn't".  What the hell was I thinking??  I hate when people say that to me now, haha.

I've gotten a few like that recently.  I wrote a lot of them back when I was married and so happy, spitting out positivity left and right.  No reason not to back then, but I won't lie... even today they're still a little hard to read.  I think I've been scared to write about how happy I am now and potentially cause pain to my future self should things with the boyfriend not work out.  Because as I've learned the hard way, no matter how certain you may think you are of something, it can all change very quickly.

We've been on and off for almost two years, and he's now the most important part of my life.  He and I actually had a big misunderstanding this past weekend, and for a few hours I thought we might be over.  Those hours of anger and disbelief absolutely killed me.  I did not want to imagine a life without him, but that was all I could think about.  I was so scared that I was going to have to go through all that hurt again.

So, I'm very happy to report that our misunderstanding was actually just that and not based on any kind of truth whatsoever.  We got through it very quickly once we were actually able to address the supposed issue, and once again we came out on the other side stronger and happier.  I love when that happens!

Over the past few weeks, we've been seriously thinking about and starting to plan our immediate (well, later this year) future.  He'll be moving back in with me this summer, which is when he hopefully will officially propose.  We're planning on getting married in late fall and taking a fabulous honeymoon to somewhere tropical.  And sometime after that should be the resurrection of what I call the two pink lines trek!  I haven't looked forward to anything this much in a very long time.  What a fantastic year this should be.

I'm so freakin excited!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I have a bit of a quandary.  It's nothing serious or life changing and is definitely another first world problem.  I got back a decent refund from my taxes this year.  I'm reserving about half of it to pay for my trip to DC for the EndoMarch and for a visit to the dentist for a cleaning, which I haven't had in about two years.

But I'm not sure what to do with the rest of it.  I was originally going to put it all towards my credit card but I'm not sure anymore.  It wouldn't make a huge dent in it and wouldn't take my payments down by much.  I've been thinking of other options since I rarely have a decent chunk of cash like this.

I could put it in my savings account and just sit on it for awhile.

I could save it to put towards a wedding/honeymoon hopefully later this year.

I could save it for a future laparoscopy should I need it.

I could use it for an online photography class I've been wanting to take for years. 

I could use it to do a little home improvement.  I really want to redo the floors.  The bamboo in the living and dining rooms is all scratched and the planks are separating.  I really hate the carpet in the bedrooms.  I would have to save more for all of that though.

I could get a king size bed with it.  Two grown adults and two big dogs on a queen does not a good night's rest make.

I could use it to open an IRA since I have no savings for retirement at all yet.

I could put it towards buying my own engagement ring for him to go ahead and propose with, haha!  But seriously, I actually considered it, lol.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Bloggers Unite for EndoMarch: Week 6 - Why?

This week's assignment is to answer the following question:  Why is it important for the world to recognize endometriosis?

It's been a very long week, I'm not in the best of moods and I feel that all of the previous weekly assignments have answered this question so I'm gonna keep this one short and sweet.

A huge chunk of the population of women across the world are affected by endometriosis.  A lot of them don't know they have it, let alone even what it is.  If endo was as well known as other diseases and conditions, millions upon millions of women could potentially be spared years and years of pain and heartache.  How freakin fantastic would that be?

More money would be put towards research for a cure.  Diagnosis would be sooner in a woman's life and without her being shuffled between numerous doctors.  More doctors might understand the disease and women who have it better.  They wouldn't keep telling them wrong information and that it can't be as bad as they make it out to be.

Let's help make that happen.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bloggers Unite for EndoMarch: Week 5 - Expand on a Goal

The assignment for this week is:  "Pick one of the goals of the march and write about how it would change the lives of endometriosis patients."

The goals are listed here, and I have chosen the following:  "To improve health screenings for endometriosis among girls and young women in public schools.  We will be reaching out to the Department of Education to help us launch nationwide educational campaigns and health screening in public schools so that school nurses, counselors, and administrators can recognize and screen for endometriosis and other chronic pelvic pain conditions that afflict girls."

I remember when I first started getting my period around the age of twelve.  It effin hurt.  I wasn't allowed to miss school, so I had to endure the pain while trying to pay attention in class and pretend like nothing was wrong.  As I got older, the pain got worse.  I remember being allowed to miss a field trip in high school because it wasn't really an important one.  But it was supposed to be fun, and I hated missing it.  That evening my best friend in the whole world called to see where I had been, and I told her.  Then she asked me, "What's the big deal?  It's only cramps."  It was right then that I knew that the pain I felt during my periods wasn't the same as most other girls felt.

As the years went on, the pain got worse with each period and it got to a point where I literally could barely walk during them.  Forget crossing campus to get to classes in college.  Then when I was working I would try to fight through the pain, but there were numerous days of leaving early or not being able to make it in at all.  Luckily I had a boss who was willing to work with me, but the coworkers weren't always so understanding.  One day I was walking down a hallway, and the pain took over me.  I literally stopped in my tracks and had to kneel down on the floor.  People were all around, and it was terribly embarrassing.

Through all of those years, I knew my pain was greater than a lot of others', but I thought it was my normal.  So did my mother.  Her sister had periods worse than me when she was growing up... vomiting and literally passing out each month.  I can't even imagine.  But knowing that, I was grateful I wasn't as serious and just assumed it ran in my family and was my lot in life as part of being a woman.

Imagine if endometriosis had been something they told students about in sex ed or health class.  With it being as common as one in ten girls and women having it, that seems very reasonable to me.  Imagine if my mother or I had known about it back when I was a teenager.  I would have actually gone to a doctor to inquire about the possibility of me having it.  I could have maybe been diagnosed way the eff back then and been spared over a decade of misery.  I could have possibly had a laparoscopy back then.  What if my organs are now damaged and I'm unable to have children?  What if surgery back then could have avoided that?

What if the millions upon millions of women with endometriosis who never sought help for a disease they didn't know existed actually had back in their early years of menstruation?  What if they could have known their pain was not normal and there was an actual reason for it?

All of this in a roundabout way of saying that early detection can be life altering.  Education of the students and the faculty in schools could lead to an amazing chance of a better life for so many girls afflicted with the disease.  I really hope the EndoMarch us a big step towards that.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snowy Birthday

Today is my birthday, and I am feeling so full of hope.  Maybe because I always enjoy my birthday.  A lot of days I don't feel so hopeful or useful or successful, but on my birthday, for at least one day of the year, I let myself feel special.

I'm 31 today, and I have a lot to be thankful for.  It's a beautiful snow day.  We got about ten inches yesterday, which is pretty unheard of in this part of the state.  There's supposed to be a wintry mix of precipitation for a good part of today that will switch to just rain later.  So hopefully the roads will be okay later for me to travel on to see my wonderful boyfriend.  I really want some birthday nookie, hehe.

I'm very thankful for him, not just for the nookie.  He's got a unique personality which has taken me awhile to get truly familiar with, but I love him dearly for it.  It's taken him awhile to navigate my personality too, but now that we know each other so well, we click amazingly. 

I've already received so many well birthday wishes from friends and family, and it warms my heart to think that so many people care about me.  I am lucky to have such a wonderful support system.

I've got this crazy guy...

I joked he was warning me not to cut his nails, but he was really just yawning.  He and my wild pups round out my life and make it so fun.

On this cold day, I have a warm house and food to eat.  These are just a few, and I have so many more things to be thankful for.

Including pancakes.

Which I'm going to make right now.

Everyone have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bloggers Unite for EndoMarch: Week 4 - Interview

This week's assignment is to interview someone you know who is attending the EndoMarch, or to have someone you know interview you.  I know some people in the FB world, but not in real life, so I asked one of my co-workers to come up with a few questions for me.  She also has endo and actually had a hysterectomy a few years ago because of it.

1.  What's happening at the march?

Hopefully, a great deal of raising awareness!  People will be gathering across the globe to spread the word.  Specifically in Washington, DC, there will be an actual march around the National Mall.  According to the event information page on the official website, there will be speakers and presentations as well as educational videos and patient testimonials.  Musical performances will be occurring throughout the day and there will be a dinner in the evening.

2.  Why are you going?

I think it's going to be an amazing day and an incredible experience.  Endometriosis can be a lonely disease.  It's misunderstood, and people who don't have it and experience it everyday just can't fully grasp what you're going through.  I hate that anyone has it, but I feel lucky to know a few women who do and can commiserate when there are bad days.  On the day of the march, I'm going to be surrounded by women who understand and supporters who want to raise awareness and find a cure as badly as we do.  It should be pretty inspiring.

3.  Why is it so important to you?

This disease can be debilitating.  I'm lucky to have found a medication that helps with my daily pain, but so many other women's lives are put on hold because they are in excruciating pain every day.  There is so much misinformation about the disease, and still to this day doctors tell women the pain is all in their heads or that it's normal and there is nothing wrong with them, among many other things that disregard and minimize her symptoms and struggles.  This is disgusting and completely unacceptable!!  Oftentimes, by the time a woman is accurately diagnosed, irreversible damage has been done to her body, and sometimes she is unable to conceive.

I don't know the status of my insides in regards to the disease.  I was in pain for years and thought it was normal.  I've wanted more than anything in my life to have children, but I don't know if I'll be able to.  If I do, I'm terrified that if I have a daughter, she will also be afflicted with this terrible disease.  My hope is that if that does come to fruition, that by the time it's discovered, there will be a cure.  For her, for me and for the 176 million other women who currently suffer. 

4.  What do you hope to accomplish at the march?

The goals of the march are to "empower, educate and effect change".  More specifically, according to the website, the founders want government-funded health organizations to spread awareness to the public.  They want to "launch nationwide educational campaigns and health screening in public schools" to help lead towards earlier diagnosis.  They want "to collaborate with our nation’s medical and nursing schools to launch endometriosis educational initiatives so that future physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can more readily recognize the symptoms of endometriosis and provide the appropriate care."  They want "to bring the plight of those with endometriosis to the attention of the media and general public."  I am so thankful for the organizers of this event and how they want to inspire change.

5.  What are you doing to prepare for it?

I'm psyching myself up!  Not that that is hard!  I am so excited to be attending but I do have social anxiety and am a little nervous about being around that many people.  I'll be going up there on my own and will not know anyone at all.  It's a busy place, and I imagine it will be a little intimidating.

I've booked a room at a hotel within walking distance to the National Mall so I won't have to battle traffic and parking issues.  It's actually at the oldest and longest running (100 years!) hotel in the city, so it should be pretty cool.  This will be my first time staying at a hotel all by myself!  It sounds weird, but I've always been with family, friends or a significant other before. 

I had a shirt printed up for the event:

I'm pretty stoked to have it to wear the day of the march and to commemorate the event after.  I'll be rocking my Chuck Taylors with yellow shoelaces and yellow socks.  My fingernails will also be yellow.  These all sound silly, but I love to do little things like that.

6.  What do you personally plan to do there all day?

I'm gonna soak it all in!  I want to attend all the presentations and learn as much as I can.  I hope to meet fellow "endo sisters" and make some friends and connections.  I'm going to march and feel the power that such a large group of strong women can produce.  I want to take pictures and document the day.  I can't wait.