*This is a guest post
I’ve been suffering from endometriosis for about 11 years, I’ve experienced all the side effects and illnesses that come alongside it. There have been months where I would suffer from horrendous flare ups, ending up with surgery to remove the endometriosis and anywhere it had by then spread. I’ve had seven surgeries, numerous tests, countless doctors, medications and treatments. It’s been a physically painful and emotional roller coaster. Not just for me but my family as well as I have tried to navigate parenting with a chronic illness.
I was one of the few women lucky enough to conceive
My gynaecologist had always prepared me that this may not happen or may not happen easily. In 2011 I had my 4th surgery to remove my endometriosis and appendix which it had spread to and infected. A few months after this we went to my gynaecologist to discuss fertility treatment, but miraculously I was already pregnant. I was high risk and well taken care off my whole pregnancy but there were problems during delivery ending in an emergency C-section.
I’m sure many of you know by now that doctors always suggest pregnancy to help with endometriosis. During my pregnancy, my hormones definitely changed and I felt better than I had felt in years. I was so happy and energetic that I set up my own business.
Despite the regular hospital visits and baby scans I felt a bit more normal for those 9 months. After my pregnancy, and the long recovery from the c-section I went back to work part time, while finally being a mum and a wife.
I felt amazing and so fulfilled, so purposeful
…and finally i felt useful. Looking back I don’t know how i did it, but I did. I was running my own business, cooking, cleaning, nursery drop offs, shopping, just living! And it felt so great.
It happened very slowly
The following months I slowly lost my energy, the pain slowly came back. And this time it wasn’t like i could just rest in bed, I had a child to look after. The next three years I slowly got much worse, although I tried to stay strong. I spent years sneaking in naps wherever i could, I struggled so much with work, and of course all the housework.
I didn’t realise how much this illness could affect me and i was scared of how much worse it was going to get. I was frightened to speak to my husband.
After all who was going to look after my daughter and work if I couldn’t?
My husband already worked full time and did as much as he could around the house. We were not getting anywhere treatment wise, my specialist tried hormone treatment. I spent 10 months menopausal. It was horrendous and didn’t help with the pain. I was being prescribed codeine and morphine yet not getting any better. We were told the only cure is a hysterectomy yet I was too young to have one (hysterectomy is not a cure).
Now i spend my days stuck in bed in agony
feeling weak and zombified from the pain. I cant do any of my responsibilities, not as a wife nor as a mother. I spend too much time in hospitals, and seeing specialists.
Watching my child grow up yet not being able to be there for my daughter is heartbreaking. Sometimes when I stop to take it all in, I can’t breathe. I wonder what my purpose is, or do I even have one?
What example am I showing my daughter?
and how is me being so sick affecting her? We’ve changed our whole lifestyle to help make our lives more manageable, my husband had to change around all his work hours so he can be there to take my daughter to and from school. So he can be there to feed, bath and put her to bed. He’s there to take care of me, and help me with things I can’t manage.
Being a mum, and not being able to take care of yourself, let alone your own child, is impossible
I carry around a weight of guilt on my shoulder, I feel like a constant burden, as well as an utter failure. After all, how am I supposed to feel spending days sick in bed sleeping, accomplishing nothing day after day? Everyone tells me not to feel bad, I’m looking after my body, I’m doing all I can etc, but it doesn’t ease the guilt – I still feel so useless.
I don’t know what the future holds for me and my family
I used to have big hopes and dreams, but now i can’t see anything. Having an incurable illness is like being in a tunnel with no end to it. I can’t see the other side anymore, and that in itself is so hard to accept. It’s heartbreaking the amount of women who are out there suffering. All the mothers, the tired, brave, strong, in pain mums, I don’t believe anyone could fight the battles we fight daily, and we have to remind ourselves how strong we really are, even if we may not feel it.
Michaela abenson recently began blogging about life as a mum and wife with a chronic illness. Her aim is to make others more aware and understanding, as well as raising awareness about her illnesses. Michaela’s profession is wig making however she has always loved writing since a young child, she finds since her health has gotten worse it has been a great way for her to deal with her emotions as well as connect with others. Michaela has had a few articles published over the past year. Writing is Michaela’s way of escaping and putting her heart on paper.