A place for endometriosis survivors & supporters, and all that goes with it.


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#TBT to the first time I published my #endostory

I recently had to clean out my desk and pack up 10 years of memories and collectibles (and, let’s be honest, papers and condiments and dusty old fortunes). Among my discoveries: the long-lost copies of H Magazine from 2009, in which I lay out my excruciating and embarrassing first emergency room visit for extreme pelvic pain and heavy bleeding, describe some of the more graphic details of life with endometriosis for all my coworkers to read, and required our senior Graphics Editor to make a graphic of what endometriosis and adhesions look like. (Sorry not sorry, Steve.)

The story took a big edit and you can’t even find it online any more, since the magazine is no longer in print, but I was still happy — and maybe a little strangely nostalgic — to find these copies and to know they haven’t been totally lost and forgotten. I’d love to take another crack at this and rewrite this article, to update the facts and improve the prose. Maybe now that my schedule has “opened up,” as they say, I’ll have both the time and resolve to do so.

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Happy Endo March all around the world!

Wishing everybody marching for endometriosis awareness a happy, productive, and pain-free weekend! I love seeing the photos from all around the world as I’m perched on my spot on the couch, heating pad on high and little dog laying bored next to me. Keep ’em coming — wish I was with you! (All of you — I attended the original Washington, D.C., march, and who wouldn’t want to march in Scotland or France or South Africa or Canada!)

We’d love to see your favorite photos from your local endo march. Post them to the new official Endo Sucks! Facebook page, and you could see them featured on the Endo Sucks! social media! Be sure to include where you’re from and who you’re marching for.

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A staff meeting of bizarre levels, or The squeaky wheel gets the cold hard cash

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We just had a meeting with some of the upper brass about our revenue and numbers, which aren’t terrible. There was the usual spread of cookies, cupcakes and rugelach from Publix, and the added thrill of everyone receiving a blue ticket for a cash raffle after the meeting. When a reporter took the necessary step of asking if we’d ever see raises again, our President of Something Important began a long explanation which, after about seven words, you already know is too many to be a “yes.” So that hope is dashed for another quarter.

BUT IT GETS BETTER.

The raffle. Oh, that raffle. I have terrible luck with these things so I didn’t expect a prize. What I could not have expected is not only would the newsroom clean up — a coworker that left and came back as a part-timer won for the second time (the first was in December), a sports desker and a new reporter and wire chief took home some serious cash money (between $200 and $500 each) — but my raffle number was 620. Phil, sitting on my right, was 619 and won $100. Robert, sitting on my left, had a completely odd number series and won $100. The woman two rows ahead of us was 621 and she won $200. Even when they drew a few cash cards based on random employee ID numbers, I did not win. I was a little steamed as we walked out, having literally been surrounded by cash winners while we’re on deadline. So as we’re walking out, The President of Something Newsy — who was also the day’s gift-giver — was shaking hands and thanking people for coming. I shook his hand, and before I knew it, I was telling him “I had some bullshit luck today, and here is why.” (Yes, I used those words.) And I pointed out Phil, Scott, Andrew, Robert, the lady with No. 621. I was just expecting to get a laugh. Instead, this member of the Upper Brass pulled cash out of his pocket and tried to hand me a $20 bill as a consolation prize. I threw my hands up, being surprised and scared to take money from him. Ultimately he talked me into it, agreeing that I’d had some seriously crap luck today and I’d earned it. And I walked out of there with $20 that I feel weird about but now can’t return.

Now I’m working on a locator map for a new Greyhound station that will be my second graphic in print for this newspaper this weekend. Not bad, considering I only started official graphics training on Tuesday. However, I’ve been walking stiffly and hunched over the last few hours, my heating pad scalding the crap out of me, as I start on day one of a brand new birth control that I’ve been reminding my gyno about for over a week (and going without in the meantime). At least it was free. Thanks, Obama! Please find a way to make my uterus behave.

So what did you do at work today?


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Ups, downs and the timing of the universe

The universe giveth, the universe taketh away and says “No no no, not in my house!”

After weeping my way through four hours Friday of trying on dresses (and walking away empty-handed) for an Easter brunch that ended up canceled by Saturday morning, my uncle shows up with a big basket of Jacksonville delight: Peterbrooke chocolates.

So much chocolate ... plus a yellow stuffed bunny. Mom gave up her white chocolate rabbit; her loss!

So much chocolate … plus a yellow stuffed bunny. Mom gave up her white chocolate rabbit; her loss!

Oh my. Among the bounty: chocolate covered potato chips; white chocolate covered Oreos; chocolate dipped pretzels; and of course, Peeps. In chocolate. Peterbrooke is the best. I always give their chocolate covered popcorn as gifts and — wait, why no chocolate covered popcorn in there?! Party foul, Peterbrooke, but know you are so easily forgiven.

This was the most amazing timing, as my Aunt had decided to come to visit about an hour before this basket arrived. You know, my favorite Aunt — and yours — Aunt Flo.

This is the first time the universe has ever sent me a gift basket. Never mind the whole chocolate-period cliche, I’ll take it. Hopefully I can eat some of it once I stop feeling nauseous. Stupid endo.

To complicate things, my mom and I just ordered a delightful set of meals from Jacksonville’s beloved Metro Diner as our Easter brunch and dinner (I still have to go to work, unfortunately). We’re talking poundcake french toast, bacon, lox & bagel, and the best grilled cheese on sourdough ever. EVER.

But as I was getting ready to go with her, my body decided that kick-in-the-head migraine you woke up with isn’t enough. No, the universe punched me in the gut, made me throw up all the water in my stomach, and I think it may have stolen my credit card.

My mom came running in all panicked but I’m sorry, this is what goes with the territory — not always, just when you need it least.

She went to get the food alone. Sorry, mom.

Off to wash colored dishes for the Easterland patio. I’ll post pictures later. My mom did a great job out there.

A merry pagan ova day to you all! Hoping for the ripping pains in my gut will subside and all will be well.


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Updated: Another way to show your supportive yellow!

I’ve just started using PicBadge to try and not only mark/protect my photographs, but also to easily tag photos for Endometriosis Awareness Month. I think this will be a great visual effort and reminder for people adding this to Facebook and elsewhere, and will hopefully continue to bring attention to and questions about endometriosis as a result.

I updated my 2012 endo portrait with the ribbon, and here is the result. You can position the ribbon anywhere on the photo you like. Let me know if you guys have issues with adding the ribbon and I’ll do my best to fix it!

Here’s the link for the Endo Sucks! PicBadge page. Go forth and add ribbons! :: http://www.picbadges.com/endo-sucks/3085495/#

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The 2013 Endo Challenge: A prep for Endometriosis Awareness Month

Holy hell, folks.

It’s the end of February. Which means it’s almost March. Which means (you maybe guessed it): Endometriosis Awareness Month is here again!

It’s a celebration of US, y’all. (Found on Google Images using Creative Commons license filter)

In previous years, I’ve tried to blog every single day for Endo Month. Sometimes that’s worked really well; other years, not so much (i.e. I’m still trying to get over the fact that I abandoned ship in the middle of the month in 2012 after a traumatic gyno visit, about which I *still* have yet to talk to anyone about).

This year, I’m going to take a different approach that I think we all will enjoy: More articles, more reblogs from other awesome endo folks, more photos – maybe not every day, but certainly no blogging famine either.

And in that spirit, I present to you a challenge. THE 2013 ENDO CHALLENGE, to be specific.

Here’s what I want from participants in the Endo Challenge: Set a goal, know why you’re setting it, and then go ahead and do it. Blog about it, tweet about it, post it in the Endo Sucks! group, email me about it — however you want to communicate it so we can share together.

For example, my first Endo Challenge for myself: NO MORE SODA. No sugary drinks, no sugar-free drinks. I don’t know how many more articles and charts and studies I have to see before I give up the ghost and admit the negative effects my caffeinated indulgence can have: cellular damage, the terrible effects it can have on metabolic rates and sugar spikes, inflammation, the unsavory effect it has on your teeth …. UGH. As the many 2-liter bottles around my desk can attest, we drink way too much of it, even if I work a night job. I’ve given it up before, I’ll survive. I’ll just have to take up Water Joe again when I really want caffeine!

I’ll start there, but how will you challenge yourself this month? Here’s a few ideas from the top of my head:

* Start a positivity journal. Write down something good that’s happened to you every day, to remind you that you are living a life, not just a life with endometriosis.

* Participate in a local endometriosis awareness event. For example, The Great Endo Balloon Race 2013 is a way for endo survivors worldwide to pick a day to hand out yellow balloons to strangers, doctors offices, hospitals — pretty much anywhere — and attach information about endometriosis to it, as much or as little as you like — a definition and a URL of an endo blog or a group like the Endometriosis Research Center, the is a good place to start. They also have tips on more eco-friendly balloon choices and other ideas. Join the group and tell them Endo Sucks! sent you! :D There’s also races, meet-ups, the endo quilt — possibilities abound!

* Get in touch with an endo group. Most countries have endometriosis associations; just check out how many I follow on Twitter or what groups have pages on Facebook, or just Google it! Don’t have one? Consider starting one. Small steps lead to great journeys. The ERC is one; other places to start include the Endometriosis Foundation of America and Endometriosis.org.

* Make a change. Change your exercise routine. Start an exercise routine. Eliminate known food triggers from your diet and see how you feel. Drink more water. Eat less gluten. Again, it’s amazingly up to you. Be sure to give diet changes at least two weeks to judge their efficacy and change one food at a time so you know exactly which food is or isn’t helping.

* Talk it out. Make time for this. Talk to your mom and ask her about her experiences. Talk to your friends and make them know that they need to meet you a little more than halfway when it comes to what you can and can’t do with endo. Talk to your partner and gently explain how you feel and what you need from them when you have an Endo Day. Post to the Endo Sucks! group. Talk to a counselor. Unburdening yourself and educating others is a great way to find support you may never have known was there. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need!

* Do your research. Did you know many women with endo also have Interstitial Cystitis, and some of your pelvic pain may actually be bladder pain? Did you know the company that makes Mirena is coming out with a smaller IUD called Skyla that is supposed to be better tolerated by women who’ve never had children, and can help with adenomyosis pain? Challenge what you think you know about endometriosis and related conditions, and know that doctors work for YOU — you have the DUTY to ask as many questions as possible and explore every avenue of treatment.

* Ask your job for Intermittent FMLA. This is something I believe every single working woman should do. The Family Medical Leave Act offers Americans specific, paid protections of their job when it comes to surgery, chronic conditions, maternity leave and caring for others — but they may not come out and say “Hey, did you know you can fill out the FMLA form, get Intermittent FMLA, and have your much-needed endo days at home paid 50 percent by FMLA and 50 percent by your paid time off?” My job didn’t. You don’t have to tell them WHY you need an Intermittent FMLA form — just sit down and ask for one. You’ll need your doctor to sign off on it, but it is SO worth it. (A guest blog is coming soon on this topic!)

* Take time for you. Dare to take good care of yourself. Get a massage. Don’t get out of yoga pants all day if you don’t feel like it. Treat yourself to a movie. Learn to make a new favorite meal. DO FOR YOU and don’t take no crap from nobody.

That’s what I can think of for now. Leave me a comment and tell me what YOUR 2013 Endo Challenge will be — and if you have a blog about it, please link to it in the comments!


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I think this about sums up endometriosis.

It pretty well sums up my day as well. You might as well be useful to me if you’re just going to be sitting there, pills.

But I need help picking which one of these is your favorite! So far the favorite seems to be No. 2, but I’m taking all input, y’all.