This is a really personal post, but in fact it effects you, and the others I share my content with. There are so many people living with chronic illnesses, auto immune diseases or injury and I don’t feel it’s spoken about enough. Which is what has given me a desire, my voice to speak up and talk about living an active life with pain.
Although I’ve not trained in the gym all my life, I’ve been active and immersed in the outdoors. From a young age I loved horse riding, and spent my weekends fresh faced and covered in mud. Growing up I developed an interest for weight training, running and boxing. During my late teen years to early 20’s, I’d confidently say I was my most confident in my physical appearance and abilities. And although I could put this down to having abs which were close to a six pack, I really believe it’s down to the fact I felt healthy, well and free of pain. Something you never appreciate until it’s no longer there.
Fast forward to 2015, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. An illness that effects around 1.5 million women in the UK, although it doesn’t have the publicity it so needs. My symptoms included pain and bleeding during and after sex, heavy and painful periods, lower back and pelvic pain and prolonged bloating. After multiple scans, investigation and doctor appointments I was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis in June 2015. I was also ‘treated’ for the illness by means of ablation, which means they laser the tissue in the hope of removing it. (I also had Mirena coil inserted which is meant to act as a form of hormonal treatment, this is a whole other issue that deserves a post to itself.)
There’s much talk over this form of treatment, as it’s believed by some it can in fact encourage the Endometriosis to spread further and or cause complications from surgery. However, I am not a medical professional and do not pretend to have the knowledge that of one. But, I do have the illness and have done extensive research. I know my bodies likes, dislikes and what it responds to. After this surgery, my symptoms died down for six – nine months. But unfortunately it soon raised it’s ugly head once again, and this time I decided to change my diet to 100% plant based to help manage some of the symptoms.
Let’s fast forward to the present day, and what’s going on now. My symptoms now include pelvic pain and bloating, irregular pain during and after sex and exercise, lower back pain, fatigue, nausea and bleeding if I push my body too much (the reason I had to stop the 5k running challenge in January).
The Reason Behind This Post
I’ve been relatively successful in managing my symptoms, without too much effect on my lifestyle and or career. However, in the past six to nine months I have been suffering from a lot of pain, discomfort and stiffness in my hip region. Whilst I initially put this down to endometriosis, there’s potentially another reason behind this and I’m currently undergoing investigation work to hopefully discover the problem!
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve had times of real despair and loneliness with the pain and symptoms over the past few years. I’m not training a great deal, and my physical and mental state isn’t where I’d like it to be. However in saying all this, I’m actually feeling mentally stronger and more positive than I have done in a long time. Which is the exact reason I’m writing this post, I feel this whole process has ignited something inside me. It’s given me my purpose, and an even stronger desire to connect with any person who’s suffering from an ongoing illness or chronic pain.
You might have to change the type of training you do, or think twice about how you look after yourself and of course some days might be harder than the next but that doesn’t mean you have to give up. Looking for the positives and focusing on moving forward (opposed to what life used to be like), has been a game changer for me. I really want to reach out from the screen, talk to you and tell you that you can and will do this (I would say hug you, but I’m so socially awkward when it comes to being tactile I’d probably do a ‘Chandler’ and make a stupid joke). Life has so much to give, as do you. Let’s make a promise, that no matter how hard things get we won’t give up or let it get the better of us?
I feel this is the start of a beautiful thing, and I would love for you to join me on the journey. Remember, you are never alone.