My Fight With Endometriosis
3 months. It has been 3 months since I last posted. I have had many a topic up my sleeve, started writing, never finished. There are many reasons for why my time has just been cut so short and left the blog lacking. It could be the fact that I started coaching at CrossFit Cedar Park and immediately took on a full load of classes. (woohoo! – There will be more on that later) Juggling that on top of another full time job, working almost 70 hours a week, moving into OUR FIRST HOME the end of March, and just trying to live life has left me kind of exhausted. I mean I will admit they were pretty awesome reasons to be exhausted, but exhausted none the less. Unfortunately, even more than these fun things happening there was the building issues that I was struggling with amidst all of this that left me down for the count. That made every minute I didn’t have a job or a workout or a household task to be doing a minute I just wanted to sit or lay or rest.
For some time now I experienced on and off abdominal pain. For a while it was simply just a day or a few hours and I would toss it up to a strain or something related to the intense and consistent exercise routine I had. However, over about the last year, these pains became more frequent. So the first thing I thought was digestion… I took the time and effort to change and restrict and test my diet; through my own experimentation, cleanses, and then completing a challenge back in November with my gym. I became so strict with my nutrition and saw amazing changes in my body, in my skin, in my strength, in my energy. I tried everything in the book to see if perhaps it was something I was eating that was causing an undesirable reaction. Through all of these trials and changes one thing remained consistent… my pain.
Finally I broke down and went to the doctor in January. It was time to find answers. Well a few tests and an ultrasound later and nothing. There was nothing wrong with me? So maybe the pain WAS in fact a strained muscle? And maybe I just never let it heal properly or wasn’t being as careful as I thought. So I let it be with the advice of coming back in if it got worse… Well, guess what happened within a few months?
Yup. You guessed it… It got worse.
By March it was awful. I had days, or if I was lucky a week, where I would be pain free. But most days were uncomfortable. I returned to the doctor for more tests and yet another ultrasounds. This time they found a cyst on my ovary but the doctor informed me that it appeared it had already burst, to which she attributed pain, and said it was clearing itself up. She seemed unconcerned. I was advise to take a specific prescription and told it shouldn’t give me too much of a problem anymore. That was calming… But when the pain went away for only a week or two and then proceeded to do nothing but increase, the calm was hard to keep.
By the time my parents came to visit me at the end of April, I was struggling to put on a brave face. I was in pain and uncomfortable more often than not. Finally, I got in for a 3rd appointment in the 2nd week of May. At this point, we were left with one option. My doctor had a strong feeling it could be endometriosis and her only recommendation was to go in for a diagnostic laparoscopy; to head right on inside and actually see what was going on. I scheduled it and had a few weeks to wait. But I was ready… right? I had to ready. Ready to be out of pain.
Well over the few weeks I waited for this procedure, my emotions got the best of me. I was appalled, frustrated, shamed. Years of CrossFit. Years of changing my entire lifestyle. Years of focusing in on my nutrition and striving to have the best health possible. How does this happen? Illness and disease is supposed to happen to those who don’t devote so much of their life to being healthy and living healthy. From chemical free makeup and homemade shampoo to homemade household cleaners to organic and all natural supplements to a paleo (and sometimes paleo-ish) diet… I did it all. Did that all count for nothing? My world was being crushed and I was having a really tough time wrapping my head around everything that came with this possible diagnosis.
To make it even worse, the nurse who did my pre-screening for the hospital acted shocked to everything I told her… I had no previous existing conditions. I take no medications. I have no history of health problems. I have never had any other kind of surgery or medical procedure… With every answer I gave her voice became more and more shocked.
Am I the only one that thinks that is unbelievable? That no one at the age of 26 can have a perfectly fine bill of health; up until this incident that is. That a nurse is shocked that a young person is living a healthy lifestyle? It blew my mind… And just made me feel even worse about the whole situation. Really, how did this happen? Even worse, I didn’t have a definite answer yet!
I”ll save you all the suspense… Turns out, yep, it was endometriosis. My doctor found it in 5 spots. Luckily, it was mild and it was able to be laser-ed off. So now there I was, done with my very first operation. Happy to have results but a little scared to see what would come.
Today marks one week post-op.
For someone who works as a crossfit trainer, has an active full time job, and workouts typically 5-7 days a week herself … Let me tell you, laying around and resting is TOUGH. I have had some SERIOUS gym FOMO this week and I know it won’t get any better through the next week until I am cleared to getting movin’! Even then, it is a solid 5-6 weeks until I can lift or crossfit. That is a LONG time… Especially in the gym world. So where has this left me?
Well after I worried about my recovery and focused my energy on sleeping and healing, I was able to think a little more about everything…
Issues can happen to anyone. Endometriosis is more likely if it is in your maternal line (which it is for me). Having this come about does NOT mean I was not living healthy. It is not something to feel shame for. It IS something that happen. It IS something that was properly dealt with. It IS something that can be monitored and I DO have the control and ability to continue to live a healthy lifestyle and do everything I can to maintain my otherwise good health.
Moral of the story… Living a healthy lifestyle will always win over an unhealthy one. Eating clean and working out is always a better choice over eating crap and being sedentary. But things may come up. Things may happen. What’s your best defense? Learning the ways to battle these things. Learning what your body likes and doesn’t like. Learning what kind of reactions your body, your individual self, has to all kinds of food.
Every BODY is different. Every body reacts differently to all things, all environments. Learn what fuels your body, gives it what it needs, and lets it run on clean energy. Learn what your body rejects, what makes it feel like crap, what makes it susceptible to disease and illness, what unnecessarily challenges or disables your immune system.
Know your body. LOVE your body.
Love it in every condition.
No matter what.