I'm 47 now so I should be at the other end of this particular tunnel. Endo took away my job and research is now suggesting that although at the time I was told it was nothing to do with my recurrent miscarriage problem (18. Eighteen...) endo was probably at the root of that. Couldn't do my job, couldn't be a mum, and then I had a massive nervous breakdown which left me clinically depressed to this day, and agoraphobic. This bastard disease has completely taken away my life. But, like you, I 'accepted' it for what it was, and for a few years, after my particularly problematic left ovary was removed, I trundled along with it all with just the 'usual' pain at period time. Luckily I have a FANTASTIC gynae who monitored me every 6 months to make sure that right ovary wasn't growing cysts to whom I could pour out all of my worries and frustrations and together we tore into the disease and put it in its place, in words, anyway.
And then the menopause started, or at least stirred, and things kicked off again. The first sign was a Cyst Out Of Nowhere on an ovary which had been quiet for 10 years; we zapped it with Zoladex and it disappeared, but the endo was on the march. I started experiencing level 6/7 pain 24/7, shooting up to level 10 at ovulation and period time and any other random time in between. We went through every painkiller known to man and the only thing that touched it was pethidine. My GP was horrified, the pharmacist refused to prescribe it so I had that fight on top of everything else; luckily my gynae came through again and wrote strongly worded letters and it was sorted.
But on Monday, when my mum and dad went to pick up my prescription (what with me being agoraphobic, remember) the chemist told them that Pethidine has been discontinued. I had to phone the doctor's surgery because I had none in the house, and then I had to phone around every chemist in the area asking if they had any in stock, and then I had to organise a new prescription, all with one hot water bottle clamped between my thighs and one at my back. When I'd found some and the situation was resolved (for now) I was chatting with my mum and dad about what would happen now, painkiller-wise.
And my mum...MY MUM, who has lived through 21 years of this with me and is supposed to...well, you know...was more worried about the fact that any new painkiller might be addictive like the Pethidine, and won't even the Extra Strong paracetamol work?
And that's what made me crack. Not the pain that the previous day had me being sick, and has my husband spending hours rubbing my back for hours because God knows there's no way he's getting any sex at the moment, and has me missing the family occasions I could fight through the agoraphobia to get to. It was the fact that my mum, who has had to call the doctor for me before, who has held my hair back while I've been sick, who's sat at my hospital bedside with my husband, actually either doesn't appreciate how bad this pain is and thinks a couple of aspirin will do it or worse doesn't believe me. My mum. Another woman, bad enough, but MY MUM. Even as I stared at her in disbelief I knew that her concerns were legitimate because these painkillers are hardcore....but when I am rolling around on the bed or the bathroom floor in agony the very last thing I am considering are the moral implications of a drug's addictive potential. I just want the pain to stop, and stop NOW. That's my priority, and it should be hers....
So yes, I know exactly how you feel The menopause is not a barrel of laughs in itself, even though I've had several 'practice runs' over the years with the Zoladex, but yesterday I was so low with it all that I stayed in bed all day and sobbed. My gynae says that along with having some of the worst endo she's ever seen, I am her most stoical patient. I'm thinking she's not going to see that side of me tomorrow.
Sending even more massive hugs. It's crap. But WE know that. And really, when all is said and done, we only have to answer to ourselves.