Disclaimer: I wrote this two months ago high as can be on heavy narcotics, in that moment I wrote this because the emotions I was feeling were overwhelming. I went to edit this heavily, but chose not too as those emotions cannot be expressed the same.
“You look like you’ve been to war.” My dad said this to me this morning, I was laying on our couch, I had gotten four hours of sleep last night. I smiled at him or tried too. He has this facial expression for mornings like this, he sees the blood all over our house and tries to make jokes with me. His face tells me he loves me, but it has so much sorrow. This morning was particularly bad, I had bloodied hand prints all over our bathroom from me trying not to pass out in pain. I had a trail follow me into the bathroom, possibly staining our white rugs.
It took him two hours to clean up my blood, he made jokes the entire time saying “I can clean up a murder!” or “I better not be framed for your death because I have your blood on my hands.” I smiled at everyone until I was laying again in my bath tub, searching for any sign of relief. I stared at my one hand print, it was gripping the side of the tub and I remember it from this morning almost like a distant memory. I woke up covered in blood and bleeding fast, the pain was unbearable and it took me twenty minutes to get down twelve steps to grab a Percocet before retreating into the bathroom to take a bath for three hours. That single hand print is becoming my life symbol.
That bloody hand print is me in so many ways. It reminds me of all the days I woke up screaming in agony, all the days I looked up at someone before passing out, all the times I was rushed to the hospital. Two years ago if I had woken up with this amount of blood loss my entire family would had assumed I was dying, now it’s a normal. My chronic illness has taken over my life to the extent even heavy bleeding events don’t phase me. No one should lay in a tub and see their own blood go down the drain and think “well, it wasn’t as bad as last time.” No parent should casually clean up their child’s blood because they have a chronic illness that doctors aren’t sure how to treat.
In all my years of having this disease, five to be exact, I realized how unfair life is. This disease affects me and everyone that has ever met me in some way. My boyfriend has cleaned up blood, vomit, and labor discharge more than anyone else should in their lives. We could put an OR team to shame in how fast and effective we clean up blood and bodily fluids. In the past five years I have taken more medication than most people do in their lives, my family has watched me go into the operating room 6 times, and I have been in menopause for three years.
So, yes, today it was a war zone in my house. Today, I learned something though, I go to war every day and yet I still smile. I still find my reason to go on, even if it’s hard I find one every day. I won’t let this disease win because if I am anything, it is not a quitter.
I wrote this two months ago, during a heavy bleeding event that caused me to pass out a total of five times. Where I laid in my tub had a massive red stain as I drained the tub to refill it, at the end of my four hour soak session I left the imprint of my body in my blood. I didn’t have the energy to move to the couch to the kitchen without dreading every single step that would send pain shock waves through my body. A disease that no one seems to speak about has actually destroyed my entire body. I waited that morning for a highly anticipated surgery to remove my right ovary to hopefully alleviate my pain.
I am thankful for the surgery that happened, most people would not have been, but I truly was. My Facebook post to my “endo group” or endometriosis support group read “The ovary is gone and I feel amazing!” Since that surgery (that took my right ovary, right fallopian tube, removed countless adhesions in my pelvic cavity, the removal of a placenta over growth (a then solid mass in my uterus), the finding of possible endometriosis in my bladder, and the removal of endometrium), I have felt better. Even through one infection of the incisions, a major e. coli bacteria infection, and countless UTIs since then from the surgery; I am thankful that I feel better.