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

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Endo Month, Day 13: Life as a Type E personality

I came cross this video of Dr. Tamer Seckin — co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America with Padma Lakshmi, who is also an endo survivor — talking about Type E personality. It’s a short but powerful discussion of how women live their lives with endometriosis pain. And while having endo doesn’t always equate pain, nor does lots of endo equal lots of pain, he talks about the mask and strength we don to get through our day — a pride without vanity that weighs heavy on our shoulders until we just can’t take it any more.

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To quote Dr. Seckin:

“I have come to convince myself there is a Type E — Endometriosis — personality. Here is why: I have been treating women in New York City from all origins. They are high achievers — PhDs, lawyers. They would not accept any sign of pain on their faces; they won’t show it to you. … These women — pain they can suffer, but they cannot show their pain. For years they live the same thing over and over, every month. However one day comes, they close the door, they sit in front of you and say ‘I can’t take it any more. I need something to be done.’ …”

He goes on to say that there is no cure but, with good surgery, even women who have tried everything — many doctors, birth control, diet, nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, etc. — can find relief, even if it’s only for a while, and that when endo returns, just knowing what it is and what they can do makes them better prepared to deal with it.

I am definitely a Type E. I won’t tell you I’m in pain unless I have to. Too many days have been spent at work with a heating pad strapped around me, lips and hands numb from codeine, because I must persevere. To do anything else is an admission of defeat.

Then a horrific day will hit me, or my mind and emotions give way for a while, and the whole damn thing collapses. It does nothing for our self-esteem, or our state of health — mental or physical.

Are you a Type E?



Endo Month, Day 10: Yoga for endometriosis

Today’s post is a little late, but I do have a fine excuse: I spent almost the entirety of Friday enjoying quality time with my boyfriend. And when I say “quality time”, I mean “hours playing Dead Island, beheading zombies and eating pizza on the couch.” Which meant a late wake-up time today, and I had to be in early to a short-staffed workday with early deadlines thanks to the time change. Big fun.

But now that is behind me and I can introduce you to a site I recently found called YogaYin. On this site, yoga teacher Alannah describes her practice on focusing on women’s health and fertility, which takes on more weight when you consider she has severe endometriosis herself.

We’ve all been told that exercise helps manage endometriosis, adenomyosis and other pain, but when you are feeling like shit just walking from bed to bathroom it can be hard to muster up the will to go jogging or get to a gym. But I can say that, except for one truly brutal day, I always felt great and was really able to push through my belly dancing classes, just like when I was a competitive cheerleader. And my hips felt so loose and everything felt fluid rather than tight and twisting which was a great benefit.

So I present to you Alannah’s videos on Yoga for Endometriosis. I encourage you to check out her site, and definitely check out this video. Yoga is a gentle but effective exercise tool, all the more accessible for endo, adeno and PCOS women. Here is part one for endometriosis and flexible hips; you can find part two on her site and on YouTube. Let me know what you think!