There’s no cure for this, only acceptance
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I wake up in the morning and I take my medications. It’s not just one either, I take six medications in the morning, and five at night, not including the medications I take for viruses (which I tend to get quite often), or the probiotics to repopulate my gut with bacteria, or the Tums I take with every meal.
I remember being a young girl and reading one of those trashy YA romance novels (this one was about time travel). The main character, a girl who could see ghosts, had stopped taking her medications because they made her into a “zombie”. For years, I thought medications were supposed to do that to you: strip away all that was unique about you and leave you as a shell that’s supposed to know how to function. Which, in reality, is exactly the opposite of how medications — at least my medications — work.
In all honesty, I feel like the medications I take aren’t the only part of me that have this big dark cloud of stigma around it. All the diseases and disorders I have — anxiety, depression, a uterine condition called endometriosis — aren’t supposed to be talked about. The word “uterus” itself is taboo. But taboo doesn’t help anyone.
And that sucks, because that means I can’t talk to anyone about it without being shot a pitying look, or making people extremely uncomfortable. We need to talk about things like this though, because endometriosis is something I didn’t understand what my condition was until just recently — for at least three years of my condition I didn’t know what it meant, and that’s a scary feeling. How could something so present in my life remain such a mystery?
Sometimes I look back, and see myself as a 14-year-old girl and begging — begging — my mother to let me have a hysterectomy because I was in so much pain, and maybe if I got rid of my stupid uterus, I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore. But that’s not how it works — and of course it isn’t, because nothing can ever be that easy. Having a hysterectomy doesn’t cure endo.
And here’s the kicker, there is no cure for endo. There probably won’t be in my lifetime. But there are people — good, smart, kind people — who want to help, who want to make my life better. And it has been better, at least, since I’ve met these people.
I resent my endo. I wish it never existed. But I also know that I can’t change it, I can’t get rid of it. This disease has become a part of myself, and — for once in my life — I believe that’s OK.
–Nov. 10, 2016–
Michaela Kinnear is a veteran member of the Raider Times staff.