I always wanted to glow from inside and out and be the person who radiated with hope, joy, kindness, patience, love and be defined by my own unique beauty... but this all came crashing down like a giant wave when my body and soul faced one of the biggest and fiercest battle of my life.
Lying down on a cold bathroom floor clenching onto my stomach and shocked with unspeakable pain and fear, I cried out to God for help. I was so desperate for relief and for the pain to go away. I was paralysed...couldn't move or cry. These frequent sessions of paralysing pain episodes took control of me.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 Endometriosis* when I was 28 (the most severe form of the disease) in 2006 after I fainted and had to be rushed to the emergency room but it was only after a misdiagnosis and an unnecessary operation I was diagnosed correctly - the ER doctors thought my appendix burst and operated on me!
A month passed by and another episode of bathroom floor pain session, I asked my doctor for another assessment. I was relieved in a strange way to finally know what caused the pain but a pang of sadness, confusion overcame me. When I left the GP's office I felt numb and couldn't walk. Paralysed by fear again, sat on the street bench and watched people pass me by really fast like a scene form the movies. Salty, warm tears streamed down on my cheeks.
This story is years in the making...After 3 very difficult operations ( laparoscopy) where I had touch and go moments of internal bleeding that didn't stop, and 12 years, I'm ready to share. I wrote so many different drafts and imagined in my head how I was going to share this. There was a lot of shame and guilt, and I wanted to be sensitive to my parent's heartache and their vulnerable hearts. There was a lot of cultural stigma and shame surrounding infertility and endometriosis in the past. A lot more information, research and funding now days but it was not a topic easily discussed with your girlfriends over coffee.
And I want my story for some women what I needed to read when I was going through it. This is a journey of healing, grieving of losses, thankful for the grace and amazing support in my life, finding about who I was as a woman, daughter, sister, friend. It has been cathartic for me and our family to finally write and share this with you. I know how to ride the waves with a little more love, wisdom, humour and hope now.
This is my journey of how I'm getting my glow back.
* Note: Endometriosis is a common disease that occurs when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus (most commonly the surrounding reproductive organs, bowel and bladder), resulting in unusually intense period pain, ovulation pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and fertility issues.
According to Endometriosis Australia, 10% of women suffer with endometriosis at some point in their lives, with the disease often starting in teenagers. Symptoms are variable and this may contribute to the 7 to 10 year delay in diagnosis.