Type your search keyword, and press enter

Time and Chance

The race

Ecclesiastes 9:11 “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.”

For everyone else under the sun, time and chance is up for their taking. However, for endo-slayers and people suffering from other chronic illnesses, it is different. We live in the space and time that chance affords us. We sometimes cannot afford to plan. We go by the season of our lives. When in pain, we battle it out, emotionally, physically and spiritually. We are at war. We have no choice, we must go to the battle field and battle it out until the season is over, when we can contain the enemy for a while.

Endo slayer

When we are in recess from the battle field and are in a great peaceful season, we must MAXIMISE our time, our energy, our enthusiasm, our passion. We cannot afford to waste a minute of a good day, because unlike other people, we do not have the luxury of many good days at our disposal. We aren’t even sure tomorrow, let alone the next minute will still be part of a good day.

I remember some days I would wake up with so much energy, with no signs of pain and a body feeling renewed. I would call up my sister and give her an outline of things I need the two of us to achieve in the following days. It would feel like a year’s goals but for me I would feel like we can accomplish them in a few days. It’s like a burst of energy overcomes and overwhelms the body so that nothing really looks invincible. I even go ahead and book meetings with associates, schedule trainings and get my days packed away with no minute to breath. Why?

Well, we have learnt that we must be intense. We must be intense with our close and dear ones, our family and friends, we must be intense with our dreams and passions, we must be intense with our work and businesses, and we must engage ourselves fully. We must put in more than our very best in every relationship and task because when the next downtime season checks in, we will have banked enough to take us through it.

We have learnt to grab every opportunity and chance that comes our way in the great season, cling onto it for as long as it lasts, use every minute of it exhaustively and give more than our best and leave a legacy in our highest moments because we aren’t sure what lurks around the corner.

Deepest pain

Time and chance happens to all…..but for anyone with a chronic illness, we have a time when we can take the chance and we have a time when we cannot.

Please follow and like us:
0

Endometriosis – a very expensive disease to have

Oh yes. Endometriosis is a very expensive ailment to have. And I don’t mean just financially. I mean, socially, emotionally, physically and even spiritually. Mmmhhhh! You may wonder how. Lets tackle each area to get a better understanding. (warning: this might be a long read)

Financially:

empty-wallet_gal

From the very beginning, endometriosis requires highly technological techniques and experienced doctors to diagnose it. It is diagnosed through laparoscopic surgery which involves the insertion of a camera through your navel as they observe your insides on a big screen. Now by the time the doctors ask you to do this, you have already made endless visits to the hospital, beenthrough other invasive tests, had a couple of medication down your throat and most likely a few admissions due to pain or related issues.

Laparocopy

Also note that I mentioned that the doctors need to be experienced in this mode of diagnosis and treatment. Such doctors charge their worth and more even just for the consultation and they are few and wide apart.

After the diagnosis and trial of one and another treatment regime after another, most women resign to the fact that they have to live with this condition and thus look for ways to bring the symptoms and pain to manageable levels. This will require total lifestyle changes. Diet for women with endometriosis is not a nice-to-do fad that you can pick and drop at leisure. They have to learn the foods that trigger their pain and inflammation and cut them out of their lives completely. They do not have the luxury of having to be off-red meat, off-gluten, off-dairy or off-whatever else for a season, it is for life. How expensive are the alternatives? Well, some are manageable while others can be considered not necessary. But to imagine that you have to change what you eat as you allow the rest of the family to enjoy their food means that you have to have an additional budget negligible as it may be.

If you weren’t an exercise person, well you will need to invest in at least a pair of sneakers and a few gym clothes.  With endometriosis, it is not advisable to do very rigorous exercises. It is recommended that you exercise for about 20mminustes a day. Highly recommended is stretches, yoga, Pilates, or brisk walks. You can eventually graduate to intensive exercise as the healing progresses.

I had earlier mentioned that endo just gets you to make tough lifestyle choices and changes(discussed in details in another article). It’s not just about diet. It is also about what you come into contact with, what you apply on your skin, the soaps you use for your clothes and many other things. If this does not dent your finances, I don’t know what would.

Socially:

bydls 2

Endomentriosis will cost you friendships and relationships. From people thinking that you suffer from attention deficiency syndrome, to others believing you are a pretender and others just thinking that you are a total weakling. There is also another category that will think that you either do not like to work or you are a snob – I mean, why is it that we get to attend all your parties but when we call you to ours you are always sick. And how come when a certain report is required in the office is the day you call in sick?

Let me just point out a few problems with these theories and beliefs that people may form about an edno-warrior:

  1. We do not seek attention (although some people may use this as a platform to lobby for attention – but for how long?). Why? The hard truth is that we realize that after some time people will get tired of giving us the attention. They will get tired of you not showing up for their fun activities, they will get tired of you always being under the weather, they will get weary of being there for you all the time and for you not being able to reciprocate even for half of what they do, they will get tired of visiting you at home or in the hospital, they will get tired of doing your share of the work in the office……and they will move on with their lives. We understand that even our loved ones get weary of the disease and they must go on with their lives. So as you crucify us for seeking attention, just remember, we also would like to go on with our lives, pain free.
  2. Related to number one is that, we do not fancy those green gowns with an open back and the food in the hospitals. Heck, we do not like being caged behind some old patterned green curtains all day, sharing a bathroom with other sick people and being confined to a bed for 23 hours a day. Mind you the needled in our wrists and arms are not the best of accessories and neither are the nurses who keep waking you up 10 times in the night (to check on you vitals) our favorite cup of tea. Actually, I think the most depressing moments are when the visiting hours are over and everyone struts away with their stilettos all clad up or in serious business suits ready for another meeting to close a deal, ready to meet a friend or two for coffee or ready to get home to family and relaxation. I mean, really, who wants to be the one left in that hospital bed with green clothes and not-so-good food? Not I. But guess what, endo warriors will have this as part of their lives, many seasons in their life.
  3. A rich businessman with an expansive hotel facility believed that those worth being his customers already knew and visited the country club. He pointed out that he had no need for a marketing team as the people who needed to know about his facility already did. He argued that those who never knew about the facility, did not need to know about it because they would not appreciate the value and neither would they be willing to pay the premium for it. The same applies to endo-warrior. You may wonder where I am going with this. But if someone keeps exclaiming “Kwani you are sick again? Are you alwasys sick? How come you didn’t let me know you are unwell so that I can visist? Or say a prayer?”….then really they are not worth being called your close friends.

No offense but just like the exclusive facility, endo warriors have realized the value of true friendship and invested heavily in people who form a good support network. And those within the support network need not be given a call when a sister is hospitalized because they are the ones who probably rushed her to hospital. They will not need to be sent prayer requests as they do it on a regular basis with her. They even know when her voice or facial expression says that her pain scale is way through the roof. They understand what works and most of the time will give her dosages of what uplifts her spirits and gets her mind off the endo. So if you have to wait to be called and informed, if you feel like this sister is always under the weather, or like she is asking for much too much attention, then consider yourself not a friend( at least not in her innermost circle). And she means no offense; it’s already too fatiguing to keep up with the endo pain, drugs and symptoms for her to manage rallying you for company or friendsip. No pun intended.

  1. Endometriosis is painful…..really painful. Sometimes it feels like you are pushing out a 10 kg baby that just won’t get out. Other times it feels like the 3rd world way is somewhere between your lower abdomen and your lower back, and the weapons being used are crude and ancient. The drugs weigh heavily on your body – some cause menopausal symptoms of heat flashes, making you irritable and moody. Now, how tiring is it to fight the pain? Add onto this the symptoms of induced menopause or other side effect of drugs? Geee, tell me again endo-warriors, how do you manage to stay above water? How do you manage to balance a day at work, with family, friends? How do you do it?????

And this is not half of the challenges.

Emotionally:

emotinally

Who loves pain? I know I don’t. Endo causes a lot of physical pain, but it also contributes to negative emotional pressure. If it is not being left out of your social circle because of pain, maybe it’s being declared an ice queen or a moody brood. This can cause emotional scarring especially to teenagers and young women.

On a more personal level, endo can create feelings of self-doubt. Many times you might not accomplish what you wish to do in even double the time. This will leave you frustrated and angry. Other times, other people will be assigned what you are great at doing because you may be considered unreliable. Feelings of being left behind by your peers due to down times may also make you feel like you are failing or falling short in your dreams and purpose. Watching the world strut by as you wallow in pain is not a great feeling. We would like to be strutting along, exuding health and vitality and accomplishing one dream after another. The fact that we run behind schedule can be very frustrating and corroding to our emotions.

Spiritually:

Sun must set

Am sure many will read this with one eye brow raised. Yap. It can be very challenging to your spiritual wellbeing when suffering from a chronic illness. From feelings of despair to feelings of abandonment by God, to wondering what great sin you committed and questioning God of His fairness, the heart is challenged. Sometimes the downtime is way too long that you might feel like this is the final leg. Other times the pain is too much that prayer does not seem like part of the solution. In fact sometimes people might carelessly throw in such statements as “Endo is not my portion.” Mmmhhhh…….leaving you wondering how come it is your portion. Other times, due to lack of understanding, people will blame you for not believing in healing while what you need them to understand is that faith must be accompanied by works/action – a strict diet, regular medication, disciplined lifestyle changes, etc.

But all in all, we must trust that God has a reason and season for everything under the sun. And we also must appreciate that other people might not have endo but they too have their heavy burdens that they question the almighty about.

Endo is a journey. It is a strenuous and painful journey. But it can be made lighter and more bearable by Prayer and faith, a good support system and a strict lifestyle routine. It can be overcome in the few known success cases, but in most it must be managed, and it can be managed to levels that will allow you live a near-normal if not normal life with fewer to no pain days.

To ending endo…..

Cheers.

As always, I really look forward to hearing from you.

Nkatha Ogutu

Please follow and like us:
0

What endometriosis is not – The difference between dysmenorrhea and endometriosis

I had a conversation with a friend the other day and she noted that I had lost a bit of weight. I mentioned that I had been unwell for a while and told her I had endometriosis. She added that she has also suffered from it and really, it wasn’t that bad. I asked her to explain her journey and she mentioned heavy and painful periods of which run for days on end. She sought treatment in India and after surgery she has since been okay. So I dug further after she gave me the look of, please, get over it also. I asked her when the pains would show up and if the doctor had said she had growths outside of her uterus? “What?” She almost strangled me. “Hai, what are those? I took my time to explain and I could see she did not want any association with the disease, leave alone the thought that she might have it. It is one of those ‘Stigmatized’ diseases that no one really wants to be associated with or imagine they could have.
That is when I came to the realization that it is very easy to confuse abdominal pain caused by other reasons with that caused by endometriosis. A common mistake I see young girls, women and even doctors do is to diagnose dysmenorrhea as endometriosis. Whereas one may be a symptom of the other, the two may not be caused be either.
Is this to say that people with dysmenorrhea suffer less than those with endometriosis? Not necessarily. Does that mean that dysmenorrhea is any smaller or less significant than endometriosis? Not at all.

endometriosis-and-fertility
But my biggest worry is that endometriosis might sound like such a “death sentence” especially to a young girl in her teens, a young couple trying to conceive or just to any woman in whatever age bracket or social standing. Although in some instances endometriosis has been seen to recede completely or to manageable levels, the majority of women just learn to live with this torturous condition.
Let us have a closer look at these differences
Dysmenorrhea
 This is a symptom characterizes by painful periods and cramps. Sometimes with nausea, vomiting and lower back pains. Most of the times the periods are heavy and may go for longer than the 3-5 days.
 Pain is usually just before the periods and during the periods. In rare occasions, the pain is experienced during ovulation.
 The pain subsides as the menses come to an end.
 The pain is usually associated with excessive or an imbalanced high levels of prostaglandins which is the hormone that makes the uterus contract during menses and childbirth
 Dysmenorrhea is known to get better with age in most reported cases
 It is also reported to improve after birth – postpartum
 Internal examinations reveal normal results of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes – no underlying pathology
 Dysmenorrhea can be controlled with analgesics and hormonal therapy
 It can be caused by a number of conditions such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors, adenomyosis or retroverted uterus
 Women who experience dysmenorrhea rarely report having pain during sex. In fact, orgasm is recommended to bring the pain down.
Other causes of secondary dysmenorrhea may include:
1. PID – pelvic inflammatory disease infecting the fallopian tubes
2. Adenomyosis – endometrium lining growing within the uterine muscular walls
3. Untreated STI – sexually transmitted disease
4. Ovarian cysts
5. IUD – Itra –uterine device

Endo hurts 2

Endometriosis
 This is a disease characterized either by:
1. Painful periods (heavy or light), lower back pains, headache, nausea, and cramping. OR
2. Irregular and painless periods, spotting, chronic lower back pains, pelvic pains and lower abdomen pain
3. Painless regular periods which could be light or normal
4. Normal or slightly crampy regular periods – light or heavy
 The pain associated with endometriosis is unpredictable. Some people experience pain throughout the year while others have no clue they suffer from endometriosis until they experience difficulty in conceiving. Some have painful periods whereas others have blissful menses. Endometriosis is very different with each woman.
 For most women, the pain is chronic. For others it is unpredictable when it will flare up, while for others, their periods are just another excruciating episode in their lives.
 Endometriosis is caused by the growth of endometrial stroma outside of the uterine wall and in the uterus, pelvic area, bladder, bowel and other organs. Endometriosis is an estrogen dependent inflammatory disease.
 In most cases, women have reported the condition to get worse with time and age
 There is temporary relief during and after pregnancy but childbirth does not necessarily take away the problem. Unlike the belief among many, hysterectomy also does not cure endometriosis and in a few cases, it has been reported to worsen the condition and painful spells.
 Internal examinations reveal endo-cysts and growths.
 Endometriosis requires surgery, hormonal therapy, diet, exercise, lifestyle changes or a combination of all these just to bring the pain to manageable levels
 Endometriosis is caused by the growth of painful implants of the endometrial tissues around the uterus and other areas in the body. These could include organs such as the bladder, liver, the pelvic floor area, the rectum and in rare cases the lungs and brain.
 Women affected by the disease often report having pain during intercourse and especially deep penetration.
 Statistics show that women suffering from endometriosis are more prone to cancer and especially endometrial cancer.

endometrail cancer

I might not have exhausted all the differences in this one article. As always I advise you to refer to your consultant for more medical advice and information and diagnosis as well as read from a reputable medical website.

I hope that I have shed some light on the differences. However, even when all is said and done, none of the conditions should be tolerated by anyone. We all deserve a happy and painless life. To any of the warriors out there, learn your body and identify your pain triggers for better management and a happier life.

Cheers.

Don’t forget to drop me a comment or discuss your thoughts on the subject.

Nkatha Ogutu

Please follow and like us:
0

What is endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that affects 1 in 10 women of child bearing age. It is characterized by many symptoms some of which may include but are not limited to painful periods, lower abdominal and pelvic pains with or without the menstrual bleeding, among others.

Endometriosis is caused by the growth of painful implants of the endometrial tissues around the uterus and other areas in the body. It is believed that these tissues follow the same menstrual cycle as the ones in the uterine wall. When bleeding occurs from the lining as periods, the implants also bleed within the body causing inflammation and pain.

Endo picture

Although many women experience cramping during their menstrual period, women who suffer from endometriosis describe menstrual pain that’s far more excruciating than usual. Unlike in dysmenorrhea, women with endometriosis report increased levels of pain over time.

Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis may include:
• Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into your period and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
• Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
• Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
• Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).
• Infertility. Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
• Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

Endometriosis is easily misdiagnosed as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Another challenge to endometriosis diagnosis is that it can only be confirmed by laparoscopic surgery which is expensive and requires a very experienced doctor to carry out.

The intensity and severity of your pain might not be a reliable indicator of the extent of the condition. Some women with mild endometriosis have extensive pain, whereas some with very advanced endometriosis may have little pain or even no pain at all and my only discover it after unsuccessful conception.

endometriosis_definition

For more information on endometriosis please check www.healthline.com/endometriosis or any other reliable medical site.

Please feel free to get in touch or drop us an email/comment.

Always looking forward to hearing from you.

Nkatha Ogutu

Please follow and like us:
0

The life and times of an Endometriosis warrior

Your-sparkleThe stories and articles on this page are inspired by my own journey with endometriosis (spanning over 20 years) as well as the experiences of other girls and women going through endometriosis. They might not follow any chronological sequence as they are written to reflect different stages in the journey and each piece is triggered by one or other experience or memory. I hope it will be informative and educative.

The material here is not in any way meant to steer one into self – diagnosis or medication. Please be sure to seek proper medical guidance and care in case you suspect that you could suffer from the condition. Otherwise, welcome aboard the army camp of the endo-warriors and join me and other endo-sisters out there as we fight on to manage the disease and live a pain-free life.

Feel free to also get in touch if you require further information or would like to join a support group near you.

As always, looking forward to hearing from you.

Nkatha Ogutu

Please follow and like us:
0

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://www.maycethayanka.com/endo/2016/03/">