The following is Taylor’s story, she is so brave sharing this with all of us, please show your support and compassion. I love receiving messages from woman who are confident enough to let the world know their struggles in the hope they help someone else!
Happy reading everyone!
I suppose the reality of my disease sinks in the most when I’m at a table with my girlfriends who are all Also in their early to mid 20’s and they are talking about men and sex. They refer to these wild nights of excitingly impulsive, at times questionable choices about one night stands and regular encounters and my heart sinks. Not because I’m ashamed of them, because I never could be. I encourage them to be empowered by all their choices and their sexuality. They are beautiful confident educated women. But because that’s just one more thing my disease has robbed from me.
I have stage 4 endometriosis and I have been struggling with this for eleven years. When I was eleven I was blessed with my period, when I was twelve I was in hospital for stints of time. I would have my period for weeks and months. One of my longest and most excruciating stints was 147 days, where I was bed ridden, needing to change my pads/tampons up to 40 times a day. This happened more then I can remember in my early teenage years.
I have had 2 surgeries and am going into my third in less than 3 months. My disease has spread all throughout my body going as far up as my ribs and chest and as low as my anus, and I will now lose part of my bowel, this is my last opportunity to recover and be fertile. If this last operation does now work, I will need a hysterectomy.
At 24 years old, my friends biggest fear is falling pregnant. Mine is knowing I may never.
My same friend is aware that her sexual choices may have her labeled as a whore. I’m living my fear, that people have labelled me and cold, distant and alone.
My friend talks about having sex multiple times a night. I have sex once every few months because the embarrassment and pain is too humiliating to express.
My disease has prevented me from maintaining any form of a long term relationship. I can be a less than adequate friend at times, as my pain is as unpredictable as my symptoms. I have people say to me “oh I know heaps of people with that disease, isn’t it just bad periods?” Or “you go out and drink, I saw you last weekend” And it’s that label and attitude that we need to change. It’s that label and attitude that makes me feel as though my pain and heartache “really isn’t that serious” and it’s that label and attitude that will continue to minimise the battle we go into every day.
I am lucky to have support from a great group of mates, who force me to go out and do social fun things and when I’m out I forget I am sick. It makes the coming home to bed a little more worth while.
I love my life and want to educate as many people as we can on this disease. Let’s educate our friend and peers and support our sisters.
The photos below are side effects of the medication I get put on to minimise bleeding and pain. As so not flattering as they are it’s so important we see these, this disease does not just affect our insides.