living life yellow.
the ramblings of a 21 year old
Little bit of a backstory;
Earlier this year, I met Emma at the Canterbury Youth Awards. She had been nominated for a wellbeing award for the work she has done fundraising for endometriosis research and education in schools. Of course, I thought she was the most amazing person in the room, so I invited her to write a blog post.
Hi Jasmine's Blog! My name is Emma Brown and like Jasmine, I too suffer from Endometriosis. I was asked by Jasmine to write up a wee blog of my own to share with you all so I’m going to start with telling you a bit about my journey.
My symptoms first started when I was 14 years old, and like most endo sufferers, I had no idea what was going on. I was confused and in an indescribable amount of pain. From this point on, I had countless doctors appointments, trips to A&E and had a professional gynaecologist telling me that it was “all in your head." I’m sure many of you have felt the exact same way.
I had my first surgery where I got told nothing was wrong, yet when I had my second surgery (which was only months later) I was told that I had been diagnosed with extensive endometriosis. In total, I’ve had 6 surgery’s, and I am now 18 and have just graduated from high school. So for me, high school wasn’t what it was supposed to be. In year 10 I missed out on half a year of school. My friends kept asking me “Why aren’t you at school?” and every time it was the same answer: I’m in too much pain.
I didn’t feel like a normal teenager, because I couldn’t go out and enjoy anything without wanting to crawl into bed. After being told that my surgeon didn’t want to operate on me anymore, I started to explore different avenues. That’s where I found out that I had to go gluten and dairy free, as well as cutting out garlic, onions, mushrooms and red meats out of my diet. This is quite similar to a low fodmap diet, and I do recommend trying it if you are stuck on what to try next. Since having gone off all these things, I have more pain free days than what I do pain days. And I know its not something that will work for everyone, but it’s really worth trying.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of this, and for those of you that are suffering from Endo, keep fighting because you are strong and you can get through absolutely anything.
Once again, it's been way to long since writing a blog post. I'm sorry, I've been unwell. You really should have gotten used to this by now!
Starting back with a super riveting topic; Tea.
I drink SO MUCH TEA. I don't know why but for every mood/occasion there's a type of tea that you can drink that will help you feel so much better. Today I'm going to highlight some of my fave teas and why I love them. Basically they're all amazing for endo and IBS type problems.
I’m sending you this letter because our friendship over the years has meant so much to me, because I care about you, and because I truly see us being friends for many more years to come. However, over the past year you probably don’t feel that have been that great a friend to you- and that scares the life out of me. Friends really are very important to me. Perhaps you think I’ve become quite distant or disinterested in our friendship? Or maybe you think I’m depressing to be around, or boring because I rarely come out anymore? I really wouldn’t blame you, I suppose I have been like that a lot of the time. But I want you know that I haven’t been acting like this because I don’t care about you, or about our friendship. Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, I’ve been feeling really unwell the last few years, and last year I was diagnosed with endometriosis. In some ways it is so good to have a diagnosis now, because I am hoping to use it to get the treatment I need to feel better. I know that you know this already, and I really appreciated how nice and sympathetic you were to me when I told you.
Hi, it's me, Jasmine. If you've been here for a while you will obviously know that I'm not exactly a super healthy person 100% of the time. For those newbies here, this is me. A fairly regular looking 20 year old on the outside, but on the inside it's a different story.
Read this blog post.
Your vagina will thank you for it.
Less is more.
There's been a bunch of crazy "vagina care" tips of the last few years and reality is, it's all just a money making scheme. Your vag is self cleaning and has its own way to keep its pH balanced. So really, you don't have to do much to keep it in line! Of course, if there's a problem, you should see a doctor, but you don't need to douche or steam-clean your vagina on the regular to stay healthy. Trust your vagina to do its job.
Pelvic pain sucks. There is so many muscles and nerves down there that sometimes, once the "problem," (@endometriosis) is "gone," you still suffer from pain! After having 3 surgeries last year, I (and my specialist) and pretty sure most the endo is out so we need to look at some other options, which is when I got referred to a gynaecological physio! Sounds kinda weird but you would have physio after any other injury or operation so why wouldn't you for your vag?
One of my biggest insecurities is my skin. Growing up my skin wasn 't so bad, but recently, I've been having huge, sore, hormonal breakouts on my chin. It's honestly the worst. I felt Like I had to wear makeup every time I went out and even when make up was on top of it, it never looked that great either. My confidence was so low because I was so insecure about my skin, until I came across this game-changer...
So I've started slacking on the blogs again so sorry.. Let's just accept my procrastination and move on..
Next week on Saturday (June, 9th, 2018) I would have been alive for 20 years! That's two decades. It doesn't even feel that long ago that I was celebrating my 10th birthday with a high school musical themed party.
20 is quite a daunting age to me. I guess it's because I'm no longer a teenager and at 20, I'm going to have to be a "real" adult. I'm terrified and excited at the same time.
I am also taking turning 20 as time to reflect. I like to do this so that way I can remember that the past 20 years were not a total waste of time!
Here is 20 things I learnt before I turned 20!
1) Mum knows best.
As much as I hate to admit it, my Mum actually knows whats best for me. As I have gotten older, and especially in the past year, I have needed my Mum more than ever. All the "friendly reminders" (nagging) is to keep me on track, and without that, I don't know where I would be today. I have also learnt that I can talk to Mum about anything and I wish I did more growing up.
Am I the only one who when having a flare up my self care just goes out the window?
During a flare for me I tend to just not do anything and wallow in self pity. It's not the most healthy thing to but it's just what happens. As soon as the pain starts rolling in I turn into a hermit and hibernate for a few hours (days..)
To try combat this problem I have going on I came up with a list of things to do when I'm feeling horrible to make myself feel somewhat better. Whenever I have a long flare when I've spent a lot of time in bed, or am feeling depressed, I refer back to this list to help me get back on my feet.
I don't think I look depressed. Or anxious for that matter. I suppose I don't even look like a sick person most days either. But here I am.
When I was young, I was what my mum describes as "the life of the party." I was a happy child. But now, sometimes I just feel sad, or anxious, for no reason. I feel numb. I don't want to talk to anybody, I just want so sleep it all off. I have no motivation to do anything. For example, it's taking me a lot of willpower to force this blog post out of my brain. I hate it.
Nothing traumatic has happened to me in my life so the doctor is putting it down to a serotonin (the chemical that makes you happy) deficiency and that at the moment, my endo is making life pretty tough. I started taking amitriptyline in august last year, after my parents and boyfriend became worried about my "low moods." I soon changed to nortriptyline as I could handle the side effects better, but I was noticing no change in my mood. At the start of this year, everything became tough again, so my doctor prescribed me fluoxetine (Prozac) and stuck with it ever since.