My name is Michelle. I’m 31 years old and I live in the UK. I’ve lived with endometriosis for eight years now. Like many women with endo, I suffered with extremely painful periods (silently and not-so-silently) for over a decade.
My endometriosis story
I was a regular at my doctors surgery complaining about the insufferable pain that I experienced month after month. Pain that would double me over in agony, cause me to vomit and pass out. It was violent pain that no woman should have to experience. It wasn’t until I developed the horrible, twingy pain that endometriosis caused in my early twenties that I realised something wasn’t quite right with me, that this worse pain with no pattern (which I started to dread not every month but every day) was part of something larger.
I had my first laparoscopy in June 2010 to diagnose me formally with Endometriosis, but that was after months of pain that frankly scared me and came totally out of the blue. The reassurance I got from having a name for what I was experiencing was short-lived, when it dawned on the rest of the world that my pain wasn’t it all “in my head” and my period pain wasn’t “normal”. Almost a decade of pain, fatigue and general health problems finally made sense, and was oddly comforting, but as time passed the realisation of having an incurable chronic illness started to weigh me down. I have a happy life, but my endometriosis makes little things like having a normal, healthy life a constant battle with my body.
That’s my story, but it could be anyones with this illness. Endometriosis is a silent shadow on my life, which could be pulling me down, but ultimately forces me to be more inventive – finding bigger and better ways to stay positive and appreciate both my life, and the things I have accomplished despite this illness.
Why I’ve made this website
I am not a doctor or medical professional. My experiences on this website come from years of daily experience with endometriosis. I know first hand what this disease can do to the human mind and body. I aim to share my experiences of living and working with endometriosis to help others, and to help with my own ability to cope with the pain and fatigue.
Endometriosis has many far-reaching implications on the life of a sufferer, and the loved ones surrounding that person. I hope to share what I have learned, to prove that there is hope for endometriosis sufferers, to show that it’s perfectly possible to live happily and successfully with this disease. Crucially I also want to provide advice for the darker days when that’s easier said than done.
My health status
Frustratingly other than endometriosis I am perfectly healthy. I don’t drink or smoke. I am a healthy weight with a healthy body mass index. I have good diet, and in 2016 I became vegan after being vegetarian for many years. I chose to do this for ethical and sustainability reasons. I cycle every single day to give me relief from my endometriosis symptoms. I don’t drive, I don’t sit down for long periods of time (I have a standing desk).
I live in the UK and am eternally grateful for the care I have received from the NHS – despite how long my endometriosis took to be diagnosed (my eight years is sadly the average for most women around the world). I believe that not having to worry about healthcare costs, whether or not I can see a doctor or insurance costs has taken a weight off an already difficult illness.
Current treatments/health status:
- Diagnosed with stage 2 endometriosis in 2009
- Diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) in 2015
- Diagnosed with chronic myofascial pain syndrome in 2016
- Three laparoscopies (diagnostic and two excisions respectively)
- Takes Norimin daily (no breaks)
- Has a Mirena implant
- Does yoga for pain relief every day
- Is vegan – for the environment and compassion – it has also helped with pain
- On two different types of painkillers (one daily, one as needed)
- Occasionally use a TENS machine
- Occasionally use Quell pain relief
- Pain management and cycle for pain management
- Completed the Expert Patient Programme
- No periods since 2010
- Have kept a daily pain diary since 2010
- Member of Endometriosis UK and attend my local support group
- Member of Pain Concern.
If I haven’t answered your question here, then do get in touch with me, or ask me a question.
Thanks for reading, and keep smiling.