My little (but much taller) brother and Chris are forever reminding me that "a lot can change in a day and a month can make a huge difference"; I have heard this phrase so often that it has become somewhat of a mantra for my life. Every time my endo gets me down, when I feel like I haven't had a break from the pain, when the endo has kept me prisoner in my bed, when I have to let go of my goals, Chris and Cormac are always there saying "I know it seems bad today, but tomorrow is a new day and a month can make a huge difference."
Thankfully to date they have always been correct. In November '14 my brother made me promise that when I felt up to it we would go on a city break, 25 year old bed bound me never thought that day would come...but in August '15, as we sat on the plane waiting to take off to Berlin, Cormac took great pleasure leaning over to tell me "I told you so, remember last year when you thought life would never get better, well a lot can change in a day and a month can make a huge difference."
This has been a turbulent week for me and Frank. I have had a lot of pain, coupled with a nasty period, I have felt particularly beaten and broken. On Wednesday evening I found myself reaching for my last morphine tablet in a desperate bid to rid myself of the pain and avoid a night in A&E. Thankfully the combination of pain relief and my heat pad calmed Frank and my pelvis, easing the physical pain, but mentally I was still struggling.
I have noticed lately that the pain has a domino effect on my thought process (yes this realisation seems commonsensical, I had noticed a correlation between physical and mental pain, but this week I began to recognise each domino as it fell and what feeling was next in the pattern).
When the bad pain kicks in, now I'm not talking about the 'normal' dull ache but the sharp, breathtaking, crippling pain; when the bad pain kicks in and I have to take my strong meds I begin to panic and think this is it, this is my life, I am never out of pain. I genuinely believe I am always sick, I never leave the house, I am always in bed, I am a fun sponge, l worried that Chris will grow tired of my boring ways, I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had plans on Thursday with a friend I haven't seen in a while that I had to cancel, I hated letting my friend down (again) and I resented my body being consumed by the endo beast and pandering to Frank's (my right ovary) tantrums. I felt like I didn't control my life, the endo did - I am a bystander, a spectator to my own life. On Thursday morning (needless to say) I was feeling very bluesy in the car on the drive to work. I explained my feelings to Chris and ranted about how little control I had over my own life and how I never do anything anymore. Chris simply looked over, smiled and reiterated "a lot can change in a day and a month can make a huge difference." I absorbed the words like it was the first time I had heard them and smiled knowing he was right.
Over the last year, in 12 simple months my life has taken so many twists and turns, I have encountered happy times, sad times, painful days, pain free days, hospital visits and holidays. I have had days, weeks and even the odd month of being restricted to bed, I have cried in frustration, I have cancelled and rescheduled countless plans, I have consumed more prescription medication than any 26 year old liver should ever have to deal with, I have broken promises that I'd be there, I have been carried physically and emotionally by my friends and family, I have spend a ridiculous number of hours fighting, pleading and thanking doctors, nurses and receptionist....But....I have also loved and been loved, I have laughed, I have danced, I made the plans I had rescheduled, I have been to Germany, I have spend weekends in Donegal, I left a job that didn't make me happy, I applied for, interviewed and got a new job, I have went on weekend walks, I have enjoyed lazy weekends when I choose to lay in bed, I have seen more of my friends and family than I ever thought possible. I have lived my life how I wanted to, I have called the shots and I have chosen the terms.
Life with endometriosis is a constant journey; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes the mountains are easy to climb, sometimes you come to a cross road and you get to choose the path you take, sometimes the views and stops are beautiful and take your breath away, sometimes the people you meet along the way make your journey more fulfilling, enjoyable and worthwhile. But sometimes the mountains seem too tall, sometimes the terrain seems too rough, sometimes the path is twisted long and scary, sometimes there is no alternative route, sometimes the forest is dark and dense and you can't see through the shadows, sometimes the people you meet seem to only want to trip you up, they want you to fail and they intentionally obstruct your path. When times on your journey through a life with endometriosis are tough, just keep walking, keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep pushing on because a lot can change in a day and a month can make a huge difference.