Jelly Fish

I wobbled up the stairs, wincing in pain while basking in joy.

I had survived my first workout in the gym. It was painful. I doubt I knew how long ten minutes really was prior to the kettle-bell circuit. Yo! I had started with a fire in my belly, ready to show myself that I wasn’t as rusty as I felt. At the fourth minute mark, I was asking myself why again I thought this was a good idea.

When I was done, my thighs burned. It made the ab workout feel like a resting period. home workouts had prepared my abs for the pain, but nothing, not even climbing stairs in buildings without stairs had prepared me for the burn in my thighs and glute.

It was painful but it was necessary. Last week I was battling fatigue all the time. I woke up tired and sluggishly moved along as the hours went by. In the afternoon I was spent, all I wanted to do was sleep.

I slept the first day and the second day. On the third day, my daughter, Miss K, told me that she thought I had slept enough. My sleeping and sluggishness meant that she couldn’t craft with me. In this season her language of love is crafts and paint, oh paint. She could paint all day long, and I now find painting therapeutic.

Her comment was my wake up call, I knew that I needed to do something about the fatigue. The next afternoon, when I snuck away to rest (read: sleep) I decided to work out instead. It didn’t feel exciting, nah! It took a lot of self-control to stay the course, but I finished and I felt great. Tired, but energized, and I was able to be more present for the girls later that day.

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Yesterday was my first day in a gym this year, I had run out of excuses why I couldn’t go. Miss K’s words rang through my mind as I did the workout. I felt like a wobbly jelly-fish when I was done, but that is much better than feeling like a hibernating bear.

Here’s to more jelly-fish days in the hope of one day having the energy, agility, and excitement for life like a dolphin.

 

 

 

 

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Kenya: Endometriosis Care & Support

There is a growing community of Endo warriors in Kenya. No endo sister should walk alone.

Thank you so much Lisa of bloominuterus.com for compiling this information.

Bloomin' Uterus

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I’ve had the pleasure of talking with a new EndoSister who lives in Kenya.  She had all kinds of questions and I would like to find her some information about Endometriosis care in or around Kenya, as well as connect her with any local EndoSisters for support.  So let the research begin!

For those of you who may not know, Kenya is a small country (about twice the size of the state of Nevada) and is located in East Africa, bordering the India Ocean.  Approximately 47 million people live in Kenya.

There are four Kenyan hospitals that came up while searching for Endometriosis care.  If you don’t already have a gynecologist, please locate one in your area or consider seeing one at these facilities:

Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi

Ladnan Hospital, Nairobi

The Karen Hospital, Nairobi

The Nairobi Hospital, Nairobi

The International Centre for Minimal Access Surgery is…

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The Pad Dispensers Are Here

When people talk about their period cycles, I thank God that I now have a cycle. Meaning, it is now somewhat predictable. Previously, it was more like a period doodle, yup, something out of a toddler’s workbook. I  was somewhere in between a 21 day and 37 day cycle doodle. So I seldom knew when my period was coming. I was caught unawares more than once, hah, Auntie Flo had a way of checking in when I’d just left the house. Perfect timing. Not. When Auntie Flo comes when you are not prepared, you become innovative, as you wait to find a pad. It’s most irritating when it’s easier to find a condom, than a pad in the ladies bathroom.

PAD DISPENSERS ARE HERE

You can imagine my sheer joy when I heard about Inteco Kenya and their pad dispensers. It was music to my ears.

Meet Ms. Munira Twahir, the beauty and brains behind Inteco Kenya.

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Her Story
I was 9 when I started periods and I was told not to touch boys. That was the end of my orientation into womanhood. The last 14 years has been on my own research and exploration which without guidance can be very risky territory to navigate.
Periods need to be demystified. It needs to be talked about so that girls do not feel as though it is a hindrance or a burden. The fact is womanhood should be celebrated. I have noticed there is a clash in wanting to speak about it and cultural norms. What can you or should you tell a 9 year old about sex and reproduction? Yet, they have started their periods and they are at risk of so many things because of this. I read a recent study that some girls have no association with having periods and pregnancy. This is an extreme case but, many girls transition into womanhood alone.
Inteco Kenya
Inteco Kenya aims to alleviate menstruation  related stress and anxiety by providing women a comfortable, accessible and flexible purchase of single sanitary pads. But, we are much more than that. We want to work with partners, individuals, corporations and institutions that share our passion, to celebrate women. Menstruation should not be a burden or a curse. It should not be a hindrance in the girl child education. It should not be a reason to go into seclusion every month.
We have a Sexual reproductive health programme. It’s aim is to give girls information about their body without judgement. Our curriculum covers reproduction, Menstruation, Sex, Risks, Contraception and boys. In each of these topics we have a technical teaching and the emotional side.
We usually have a conversation with the girls in the school to assess their level of knowledge and curiosity. Some schools we have been to are very conversant with menstruation health management but not with STD/STIs and vice versa. This is done as a casual conversation between the facilitator and the girls. The ratio of facilitator to girls is 1:40
Next we come back and get the numerical data of the conversations we had. This is for our statistics and research. It will form our base line.
We then use the two research methods to write a report on the particular school which we will share with the administration. This report will guide us on how to structure our classes and sessions.
The machine is part of the programme. We sell the pads at 10 shillings. The pads are not our own we are more than happy to partner with companies that are in line with our cause to supply their pads to our demographics. In a school, we only need the space in the lavatories.

You can get in touch with her here.

Blessings,

Ess

One In Ten Women

 

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Women are strong, resilient, gentle, powerful, and beautiful. They are powerhouses. Women deserve to be celebrated and appreciated. They don’t hear how great they are everyday, but they are the stars of our society.

One in ten women suffer from Endometriosis, yet we don’t talk about it. 176 million women are estimated to suffer from Endometriosis. If all of those women were to form a country, it would be the seventh largest country in the world.~@Endowarriors, #Endofacts

The most common symptoms of Endometriosis are:

  • Pain, especially excessive menstrual cramps which may be found in abdomen or lower back
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Abnormal or heavy menstrual flow
  • Infertility
  • fatigue
  • Painful urination during menstrual periods
  • Painful bowel movements during menstrual period
  • Other gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and/or nausea

(information courtesy of reguardingwomen.)

Endometriosis is more than just a painful period. It is a pain that disrupts your entire life. Some women describe it as being stabbed from the inside. Pain is not normal. It needs to be discussed openly and early diagnosis needs to promoted.

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Let’s talk about Endometriosis, and encourage women to seek medical advice.

Happy  women’s day!

 

Blessings,

Ess

#TheKenyanEndoStory

When I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, I only knew one other woman with Endo and she was not willing to talk about her journey because of the stigma she had received. I was alone; I felt like an anomaly. My journey with Endo was very lonely and depressing. There are many times that I was almost consumed by these feelings. Suicide crossed my mind a couple of times. By God’s grace, I made it through.

As I researched about Endometriosis a few years back, I realized that there were many stories from the UK and USA but very few, if any, from Kenya. A few years later, I found other women in Kenya who were fighting Endometriosis; I was encouraged and wished I’d heard these stories of pain, strength and courage earlier.

 

one in ten

A couple of months ago, I had a dream to share stories of women suffering from Endometriosis in Kenya. I wanted the world at large and the people of Kenya to know that:

*If you know ten women, you know Endometriosis. It affects one in ten women.

*Endometriosis does not fit in a box, it is vast and multi-faceted. It attacks different organs, so every woman’s experience in unique.

*Endometriosis doesn’t have a trademark look. Many women are suffering yet they look normal. Behind their smiles are souls that carry pain unknown.

*Information is power. The more we talk about Endometriosis the more women we empower and together we decrease the stigma.

*We need policies that support women with Endometriosis in Kenya

*Specialized healthcare needs to be more affordable and accessible. Getting a diagnosis in Kenya is like buying a parcel of land.

Several months later,

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a new segment on this blog #TheKenyanEndoStory. yellowendoflower.wordpress.com.

It will feature stories of pain, hope, courage and strength to encourage women in Kenya and around the world. The first story goes live in a few minutes.
If you would like to be featured in ‘Her Endo Story’ #TheKenyanEndoStory, please send an me an email via yellowendoflower@gmail.com and I will be in touch.

Blessings,

Ess