Day 10 🙂
Endometriosis is messy. It comes and turns your life and emotions upside down, and leaves you to deal with the aftermath.
Juddy Wanjiku shares what Endo has done to her, and how picking up the pieces is not as easy as it may seem. Pain is not normal, pain medication can be addictive.
My name is Juddy Wanjiku Munene, my friends call me Shiko. I am 32-years-old and I work as an office administrator at Saracen Media. I am an ambivert; I love God I enjoy a delightful book and movies. My nieces and nephews fill my life with love, laughter and joy.
I started my period at the age of thirteen, I was scared. I remember they started in while I was in school, but I kept it to myself and didn’t tell anyone. At the end of the day, I went home, showered and slept. Our house help saw my stained clothes and told my mum, it was very embarrassing. For a couple of years, my period was painless and would come only for 2 days. However, this changed when I turned sixteen.
When I started experiencing pain, no one seemed to understand me. Every time I raised the issue I was literally shut down and told its normal all women go through it. My mum would not have any of it, she would give me Panadols and escort me out of the house to go to school. I would then spend the whole day sleeping at the school’s sick bay. One day I had an asthma attack and I was in pain, my dad took me to the hospital and I told the doctor that I was in pain and he gave me an injection to relieve the pain. I was not in a lot of pain at the time, but I got an idea, I would walk to school, wash my sister’s clothes get paid and save the cash and at the end of the month I would go and get injections. That is how I survived high school.
After high school, it got really bad and I would bleed excessively. That is when my parents took me seriously and took me to KNH where I saw several gynecologists, and all they would do is give me antibiotics and painkillers. One of the doctors accused me of being promiscuous.
The pain was so bad, no one understood me and I went into severe depression. I thought I was going crazy, I thought it was all in my head and I wondered why people did not understand me.
After months of treating infections and bleeding one gynae at the KNH suggested that I get a hysterectomy that’s when it hit my mum that whatever I had was serious but she could not have it I was only 20. I thought about it and went to talk to my pastor for him to allow me to have a kid out of wedlock then get the hysterectomy but he refused and instead introduced me to a doctor who was a church member, and finally, at twenty-one, I got diagnosed with endometriosis.
I have tried everything to treat endo, I’ve had 5 surgeries in total, taken most of the painkillers. I have been in rehab after getting addicted to painkillers. I have numbed the pain with alcohol. Taken enough miti-shamba-dawas (herbal medication) I have contemplated getting a baby as a remedy.
Endometriosis has basically taken over my life and the older I get the more severe the pain gets, I can no longer dress the way I want, I don’t have a social life and I don’t even have time for a relationship.
I have had to change a lot what I wear, what I eat, where I hang out and with whom I hang out with. I no longer eat what I want, I must watch what I eat. I have eliminated dairy and wheat from my diet as I find other ways of taking care of myself to at least have a “normal” life.
I am currently struggling with depression, severe pain, heavy bleeding, fatigue and low energy levels. I struggle to get out of bed, sometimes going to work for 5 days is a miracle. I am glad I work for the most understanding employer ever, my boss is the best.
I have learned that I am not crazy, the pain is real and that’s it’s not in my head, and, that its ok not to want to get out of bed. I am learning to take care of myself better, to eat right and exercise when I can. And to find happiness in the smallest of thing like going for a church service, doing my nails or going for a Zumba class.
To my fellow endo warriors, remember, endo is not the end of the world and it’s not in your head. Painful periods are not normal! Speak out until someone hears you. Eat right take care of yourself enjoy the smallest things in life.
You can connect with Juddy on Facebook.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Juddy. I pray that you will have painfree days, and that you’ll be able to do the things that fill your heart with joy.