Endo Prayers: I Feel Misunderstood

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Dear Lord,

This is hard. My tears have become my food and I feel as though I am falling apart. The pain is not only during my periods but all through my cycle and I do not know how to explain it to those around me.

Though I look okay on the outside, I am caving in on the inside, and I feel alone. Hurtful statements have been said by those around me, some of which have pierced the little space that Endo isn’t already crunching on. The pain has multiplied.

Lord, you see my heart and my inner being. Please give me peace, strength, and understanding. Help the pain to go away because I feel like I’m clutching at straws. Help me to love even though I am hurting.

For those around me, I pray that you will help them to see the pain beneath my smile, help them to be more understanding and kinder in their speech.

May you be glorified in and through this.

 

In Jesus name I pray and believe,

Amen

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Stories Wanted!

Never underestimate the power of a story. It has the power to transport, transform, reassure and encourage.

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This March,  I would like to share an Endo story every day to help raise awareness for Endometriosis.

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Let us show the world that you do not have to look a certain way to have Endo. That the beauty and fragrance of the rose do not take away the prick of the thorn, it still hurts.

If you would like to share your story please send me an email via yellowendoflower@gmail.com and I will be in touch.

Thanksies.

Endo Prayer: When I Feel Overwhelmed

There’s a dark valley that the Endo journey plummeted me into. In that space, I have struggled to keep hope alive, stay positive and pray.

I’m not where I used to be, but because I know no-one is immune to the darkness and the feelings and thoughts that come when in that place, I will be writing Endo-prayers, little prayers that you can whisper when you feel like an assortment of emotions.

Some days have been harder than others, but there in the darkness, I have seen a glimmer of light and hope. I know that even in the difficult moments, God is there.

Here is the first prayer:

Dear God,

I thank you because you formed me in my mama’s womb. There is no part of me that you do not know. You see all of my organs and see where the Endo cells have carved out a home.

I feel overwhelmed, and sometimes so helpless because I’m struggling to understand your plan in this place of pain. I desperately long to see Your face in this phase, but It’s hard to focus when my tears are all I see.

Please comfort me and ease the pain. Remind me of your love for me.

In Jesus name I pray and believe,

Amen

Blessings!

If you need to talk, or a sounding board, you can send me an email via yellowendoflower@gmail.com

5 Ways To Navigate The Endo Inspired Energy Rollercoaster

I seem to have found the spring in my step. Some mornings I wake up feeling like an Energizer bunny, it is such a good yet surreal feeling. One of the aspects that I hate about Endo is how it hampers with energy levels.

I went from being an energetic teen to a mostly-tired human being. Sometimes the fatigue was physical, other times it was mental, but it was altogether overwhelming. I’d wake up in the morning after an 8-hour sleep feeling like I had been digging all night with interval naps on a bed of thorns. An exhaustion where even your skin is tired. It is hard to glow when you feel so tired. It is hard to be excited about anything when your whole being is just focused on mere survival, no thriving, just living.

Over the last year, I have found a few things that have helped me navigate this tumultuous journey.

  • Keep a Period Diary

My period diary has shown me that my cycle affects my energy levels. This has been so critical to understanding my body has also helped me be kinder to myself and prepare in advance. Putting systems in place to help me on my low energy days makes them more manageable. I am most exhausted when I’m on my period, on day 1 a flood of sleep sweeps over my being. Once I have slept, I wake up feeling brand new.

I have more energy to arrange and do administrative work after my periods, so I schedule such tasks after my period and prepare for this low energy phase by doing them in advance.

  • Check your weight

After I took Lupride, my limited level of energy diminished, I was now getting energy from my reserves. I was surviving on the morsels. Meagre tasks felt like they were so much work to do. Pregnancy caused my weight to yo-yo and the hormonal imbalance also took a toll on my energy. I didn’t look overweight, but I felt so heavy.

Now that I have lost some weight, I am feeling more energetic. Ready to get back to an active lifestyle this year.

  • Check your diet

The fastest way to deplete my energy is to eat too many carbs. My body is in a somewhat complicated relationship with wheat. It tolerates it in small quantities if I have too much of it, I bloat, get cranky, fatigued, constipated and get canker sores. That is a horrible combination.

My pick me up drink is ACV, it has been so invigorating, though my three-year-old daughter is so high-nosed about my elixir. I wake up early to drink it in peace because, in her words, ‘it stinks’, but I love it. The benefits far outweigh the bad smell. It’s an energy drink sans the hidden sugars, preservatives, and palpitations.

  • Avoiding mental stress and fatigue

We often underestimate the effect that mental and emotional stress has on the body. The body and the mind are connected, when you feel drained emotionally you may also feel physically fatigued.

There are days I have woken up after 10 hours of sleep, physically rested but mentally exhausted, which means still unable to perform the tasks that I need to do. I am more sensitive to my emotions because they affect how much energy I have at my disposal.

  • Find something that fills you

Self-care is absolutely important. When you are fatigued it is hard to do things for yourself, but these small things are great pick-me-ups.

I am writing a list of the things that make me happy so that I can plan to do more of these things and fill my cup. You can’t pour out of an empty cup, when you fill yourself then you have something to give.

Here’s to more energized and happy days.

7 Truths Every Endo-warrior Needs to Know

The Endo journey is colored with a lot of pain, uncertainty, darkness, medication and anxiety. Here are 7 truths that every Endo-warrior needs to know:

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1. It is not all in your head

Pain and discomfort are personal. There is no scale that it has to be measured by for it to be termed real. The manifestation of Endometriosis and it’s symptoms differs from person to person. You do not need any person, or physical depiction to validate your pain. Pain is your body’s way of asking for help, so it shouldn’t be ignored or covered up, but treated with the seriousness that it deserves.

2. You are not alone

One in ten women suffers from Endometriosis. Invisible diseases can be very difficult to live with, the truth is that many people may not understand, but that doesn’t mean that no one understands. There are communities of women who are willing to walk with you and stand with you. If you are in Kenya, you can plug in to Endometiosis Foundation of Kenya, Endosisters East Africa or contact me via Yellow Endo Flower. For the international community, please look for the Endo foundations or orgnaizations in your area.

3. You are strong

Holding on takes strength. When you are low on spoons and wonder how you will make it through the day, remember that your strength is intact. It is not measured by the things that you do or achieve; being takes strength, choosing to fight another day takes strength, crying takes strength, acknowledging your limitations takes strength. Oh, dear Endo warrior, you are strong, even when you feel like everything but it.

4. You are your greatest advocate

It is good to have a support system and good team of healthcare professionals. The truth is that they may let you down, and in the moment of despair you may feel defenseless and alone. Deep within you need to understand that you are your greatest advocate. No one can fight for you like you can. If something doesn’t feel right, stand up for yourself. Listen to your gut, the small voice that whispers the ‘buts’ and then speak up.

5. Information is power

There is a lot of information out there about Endometriosis, when you have the energy, read and research. Interact with others online and learn from their experiences. Read the fine print of pamphlets, then listen to how your body responds to medication.

Ask your health provider questions, and try to understand the procedures and treatment plans that s/he prescribes.

6. Your voice matters

When you are ready to share your story, please do, because your voice makes a difference. There are so many women who have no idea that Endometriosis exists, so many women who are suffering in silence.

If we all speak up we will cause a revolution, and many women will be able to get the proper diagnosis in less time and quality health care.

You can read stories of Kenyan Endo warriors here. If you would like to share your story please drop me a line via yellowendoflower@gmail.com

7. You are a star

Deep within you, there is a light that no amount of darkness can dim. Even the depths of Endometriosis and the darkness that it brings cannot hold you back. Take it a day at a time and try to see the silver lining on the grey clouds.

Shine. Dazzle. Be.

Reclaiming What Endo Stole From Me

Happy New Year Everybody!

I have this spring in my step after getting some much-needed rest and relaxation.

A few days before Christmas, I met up with a few Endo warriors and we talked, laughed, and loved being in a space where we could identify with each other. I have many thoughts on Endo, but the one that struck me during this meet is that Endo is  THIEF.

Endo is the kind of person who comes into your house and turns it upside down, a person who doesn’t respect boundaries and wants to leave a mark on every part of your life. The one who drives you up the wall and then has the nerve to ask what the matter is. The biggest naysayer, the one who makes you doubt yourself, your abilities and your dreams.  Endo is like a rat that bites your toe as it blows, then one day it turns into a vicious animal and eats up your whole foot. Endo is a sneaky thief that deserves to be lynched in public, in other words, we need a cure.

“What has Endo stolen from you?”I asked the ladies.

When it was my turn to speak, I shuddered at the thought. Over ten years ago, I loved to hike, in fact, the revolutionary period where Endo reared its ugly head was on Mount Kenya. I had this dream to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and participate in other exciting adventures. These dreams and desires died a natural death, endo has a way of suffocating the life out of dreams. When flare-ups, chronic fatigue, and emergency visits are the things that you think about often, you forget that your heart can beat for anything else other than survival.

 

Endo stole a part of my life and I even forgot about it. After the meeting, I was determined to reclaim what Endo stole from me. Over Christmas, I had a chance to walk along Lake Elementaita, it was beautiful and humbling. It was my first walk clad in sneakers in 11 years. I didn’t feel the weight of my daughter on my back, I felt liberated and restored. If my sneakers could talk, they would tell a tale, one filled with adventure.

 

I’m writing down a list of the things that Endo stole from me and reclaiming them one by one.

Here’s to rediscovering ourselves post-endo, pursuing adventure and dreams coming true in 2018.

Happy New Year!