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Editor’s Note: This video only states that endometriosis affects women, but it can affect anyone with a uterus. We hope all people including the medical community will move adopt language that’s more inclusive for transgender, non-binary, intersex, and agender folks erased by binary language.
“I felt like I had to make up for the fact that I was broken.”
Do you have endometriosis or know anyone who does? This disorder affects nearly 180 million people worldwide, but dealing with it can feel very lonely because we don’t often talk about it.
Endometriosis is a chronic illness that affects the uterus and can cause painful periods, painful sex, infertility, and more.
Here’s one woman, Laura, opening up about what it’s like to live with endometriosis, her struggle to get diagnosis and treatment, dating with a chronic illness, and more. We need to have more talk and less silence about this issue, and we hope sharing this video helps.
The Editors at Everyday Feminism
Click for the Transcript
Laura: Well, here I am, sitting in bed with my heating pad, also known as my best friend. I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I don’t see myself getting out of bed anytime soon. It’s hard to stay positive. It’s hard to not be mad at my body or at the situation when this is how I feel.
My name is Laura, and I have Endometriosis.
I was first diagnosed with endometriosis in the summer of 2012 when I was a senior in college. I have one distinct memory of when I was on the basketball team in high school. I was at practice and I had such bad cramps, and I literally could not do anything. I was just laying there. I was vomiting. I was sweating. Nothing helped, so I went to urgent care and they just told me I had bad periods. That’s basically what I was told up until I was twenty-one-years-old.
At many points in my life I convinced myself that maybe I was imagining it. Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe everyone felt this way on their period. But there’s a certain kind of pain that comes with endometriosis, and it’s not just around the time of your period. It’s a pain that lingers always, and at some point in your life you realize that it’s not normal.
I came home from work today. I lasted about an hour before the pain was just overwhelming. I was nauseous. I went into the bathroom and I vomited because I had such terrible cramps. I’m working from home, which is something that I have to do at least once a month, sometimes more often. My job is to sit at a desk and write, and sometimes I can’t even do that.
When you have a flu, you go to the doctor, and they give you medicine, and you get over it. When you have endometriosis, you go to the doctor, you have a surgery, and then it comes back a year later. Realizing that this was something that I was going to have to deal with the rest of my life, I saw all my relationships in the future just flash before my eyes.
It’s very hard to date and explain to someone, “Hey, I might not be able to have sex with you and I also might not be able to have your children, but let’s date anyway.” I was letting people treat me like dirt because I felt like I had to make up for the fact that I was broken.
Today’s one of those days where I’m like, “I can do this. I can absolutely live with this. I’m fine.” I just hope that this lasts. I have good days and bad days; usually more bad days than good days, but maybe this week will be more good days than bad days.
I’m tired of feeling like less than a woman because I may not be able to have sex, and I may not be able to conceive children. I know that someday I’m going to look in the mirror and I’m going to forgive my body for what it has done to me. I know that I’m going to look in the mirror and love the person looking back at me, and accept every part of me.