When waiting years for a diagnosis, it can be quite the mix of emotions when you finally receive it and it so common to feel like you have lost all control.
For me personally, I was so happy to finally have an answer! But I was also frustrated with how long I had to wait for help.
I personally feel like there is only so long that you can wallow, before you need to pick yourself up and take back control!
There are so many ways that you can take back as much control as possible with endometriosis, but these are just a few of the things that I found have helped me:
- Being open and honest about my condition! I never apologise for my condition if I am having a bad day. I have instead learned to embrace it and use it as an excuse to educate! My friends now know all of my symptoms from the most common to some of the strangest, and probably know my endometriosis just as well as I do as I share so much information about it! I refuse to be embarrassed about it and I feel like my confidence towards breaking the taboo and stigma around periods and endometriosis means that I have educated so many people who would usually shy away from talking about periods!
- Carry medication, everywhere! Long gone are the days that I would go out without my ibuprofen thinking I was a hero for baring the pain hahaha. The only way I can carry on with my day, if I am having a flare up, is using the medication recommended and hot water bottles galore!
- Talking of hot water bottles, they have been a life saver for me through my teenage years and 20’s. Using heat, alongside medication, has been by far the number one immediate help. I find that for me the heat helps take the edge off the pain and settles me down.
- Stretching. Every morning and night I stretch, and if I’m due to be sat around for long periods of time, I will get up and stretch or walk around a little. This doesn’t necessarily help with physical pain, and I use it more for a sense of routine, because I know that even during a bad flare up I can walk about (even if it is just a few steps to the bathroom) or do small stretches.
- Allowing myself to have bad days is really important to me. Not every day can go to plan, especially with an unpredictable chronic, invisible illness! Over time I have learned to look after my body and read the signs! If I feel like I am physically unable to do something in that moment, then I won’t do it! But equally, if I am able to do it, then I will. I have come to learn what pains I can still do my day-to-day life things with, and what pain will leave me in bed all day!
- Saying bye-bye to the dreaded trigger products. I cannot begin tell you how long it took me to take my coffee without milk, or get used to the almond milk substitute. Cheese, chocolate and soya are limited in my diet, and I am working on ruling them out altogether, along with alcohol and caffeinated coffee (my two weaknesses)! Milk and butter, however, are long gone out of my diet for good!
- Thinking happy thoughts! Like I say, not every day can be a good one, but you can always start it in a positive way. I personally would recommend the book “Calm”, which was gifted to me by my wonderful best friend Erin. It has helped me to deal with the mental side of poor physical health! Other things I do to boost my mental health are as follows: bullet journaling, blogging, walking, thinking of between one to three reasons why today was a good day, chatting with friends and family, seeing Max, cuddling my dog, and anything that generally makes me feel productive!
How have you taken back control since your diagnosis?
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