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I’ve had endometriosis pain for probably 20 years now. It’s not nice at all, and it takes over your life. I’ve tried all sorts of treatment but even when it’s successful, it’s a short-term fix due to the complications and side-effects that comes with it. For me, and many other women who have this debilitating condition, it’s about doing things to help you cope when the pain strikes.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a long-term and extremely painful condition where tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb begins to grow in other places outside of the womb. It can affect women of all ages and significantly impact on day-to-day life, both physically and mentally.
What is endometriosis pain?
One of the main symptoms of endometriosis is stomach pain, also known as pelvic pain. Monthly period pain is often normal, but when you have endometriosis it can be unbearable.
This pain is exhausting and very often means that those suffering have to put their daily lives on hold and learn to manage the pain as best they can. This is not easy, but there are some simple things you can do to help yourself.
Not everything that I do will help you, but I have learned to do the below 5 things and it helps me feel more in control and this helps me cope better.
1 Use a hot water bottle
Quite simply, if I don’t have my hot water bottle, my pain doesn’t stop. And if I don’t use it soon enough, the pain can be excruciating and take a very long time to stop.
I often talk about heat on my blog and how useful it can be for relieving some types of chronic pain. It helps the muscles relax and can often feel very soothing amongst the nagging intensity of the pain.
Very rarely does a hot water bottle work on it’s own, but it is a vital part of my endometriosis pain management toolbox.
2 Find medication that works for you
I don’t always like taking it, but the other essential item in my endo pain toolbox is medication. I’ve tried all sorts over the years. The best ones (the strong stuff) have always caused unbearable side effects and I always had to choose the best of two evils.
Like with most chronic pain, medication is often the only answer in the midst of a flare up. It’s a complex world and you will need to speak to your doctor to get advice on this.
3 Go easy and pace yourself
I find it frustrating when my pain impacts on my life. I often have to decide between what I want to do and what I must do.
I try to go easy on myself, rest when I need to, and have learned to pace myself when I am able to get back up and running again (not literally running; I don’t do running).
4 Do some gentle movement
This is the last thing I want to do when I have my endometriosis pain, but surprisingly it can work. Gentle movement can really help get the blood flowing to all the right places; it’s a form of distraction; and it can help you feel better about yourself too.
When the pain has subsided to a lower level, I often go for a very short walk – fresh air can do wonders for our wellbeing.
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5 Treat yourself
And finally, treat yourself. Daily pain is tough, so you need those little things that help make your bad days a little brighter.
Buy those luxury biscuits for your afternoon coffee. Pay for that film you really want to watch. Download that expensive book on your Kindle reading list. Order that takeaway. Do what will make you happy in that moment.
How do you cope with endometriosis pain?
What do you recommend that I have missed?