Her chocolate brown eyes, so unlike my own blue, were dark and terrified, betrayed by the body rebelling against her. Suddenly, certainty fled my world as the person I’d always relied on to be there for me needed help, and I couldn’t do anything.

My mom had an emergency hysterectomy when I was young. Fibroids and endometriosis. A delightful cocktail. I should have known then what was in store for me considering the genetic component to the disease. But at the time, I remember being sick with fear, not knowing what was wrong with my mother, aware that it had something to do with her period, even though this was the first time she had ever mentioned hers to me.

I’ve always been secretive about my period, not wanting to let anyone know when my most private monthly time was happening. It’s a weird side effect of my upbringing, I guess, to be be very private about bodily functions.
My mother and sister can barely wee in a strange loo because of their shyness. But this reticence to open up about my period became increasingly difficult to hide.

Without me noticing, I’d reached the point when I only had one good week in a month when I felt good, when I could be my self, uninhibited by pain.

Two weeks had varying levels of nausea and cramping. That right ovary, especially, became my warden and parole officer. Unexpected movements, dancing, being too happy and laughing too deeply, resulted in a hook and pull from several opposing directions tightening around that ovary like a chain and reigning in my natural joyful movement.

I move slowly, rigidly, ready to grasp and poke and massage the pelvis, the thighs, the ovaries, wherever the next pull comes from. That one week of pain to the point of passing out can be avoided with my arsenal of defence: anti-inflammatories, a heat pad, ginger, and a hot bath.

The emotional strain, the irritability, the stress, the fatigue from pain, the foggy feeling due to devouring anti-inflammatories, the toll on relationships with friends and family, how many signs did I ignore? It was the over thirty day period, with thick chocolate brown blood continuously and seemingly unendingly drip drip dripping that ended my willful blindness.

The gynaecologist saw a clear picture of cysts, especially on the right ovary. He wants to do a lap, and suspects that he’ll have to cut out the right ovary during the procedure. In the mean time, I’ve started Visanne as a way to halt the growth of the diseased cells. Perhaps once I’ve dealt with the shock of this hormone therapy the recovery after the lap will be smoother and the regrowth prevented for as long as possible.

Endometriosis. It’s a bitch.

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