Young, Sick and Invisible

My illness has shaped me,
But it does not define me.

Guest Post: 'Natasha's Story'


Bubbles

Hello all, I am Natasha Braid, a newlywed and no children yet. I have Endometriosis and chronic migraines, endo is where tissue that acts like the lining of the womb is found elsewhere in the body. Causing bleeding and swelling. Migraines are a type of headache you get so many times a month.

Before I was diagnosed I loved horse riding and going to the gym/ exercise classes. Now I’m left exhausted and sore after attempting either. I haven’t been able to work for 2 years, I’ve tried to go back to working in the last 6 months but have been unable to get work. I do feel it could be due to the fact I have chronic illnesses.

Endometriosis is said to be something your born with and can flare up anytime after you hit puberty. I had problems immediately from the age of 11 I had heavy and irregular periods as well as crippling abdominal pain. Migraines are thought to be linked to my hormonal problems. I can’t remember when they started to be a problem but I was formerly diagnosed at 20ish. It took 11 years for endometriosis to be diagnosed, I had so many misdiagnosis from ibs to coeliacs. It took me moving GPS at the age of 22 before I was sent to a gynaecologist who diagnosed me immediately and I had a lap to confirm formally. My migraines were diagnosed when I was 20 by a neurologist, I had a number of head scans before hand. I found help on the internet for both conditions.

Flares can consist of my entire abdominal area can swell and I look 6 months pregnant a flare can also make my legs feel achey and heavy. Migraine can affect my sight and make me sensitive to light. The pain I get from my endo can vary from a dull aching pain to a sharp fiery shooting pain all over the tummy. My ovaries can feel like there about to explode. Migraine pain is usual a hot sensation spreading across my head.

Flares can last from a few days to months! For my endo and there’s no way to control it. A migraine flare is only usually a few hours or a day or two Max’s. I cope with these illnesses with strong pain medication and I sleep if I have to. During a migraine I lay in a dark room. I don’t really have triggers for my endo it does what it chooses. Migraines can start just from loud noises. My medications include: dihycodeine, menafanamic acid, tramadol. Depending on the pain depends on what I take. These are for my endometriosis, I don’t currently take anything for my migraines.

I always have a hot water bottle handy, hot baths also help. Don’t deprive yourself of certain foods unless you have to. Food is one of the enjoyments I have left.

I’ve lost friends from it as I can’t always keep plans. I can’t work which has made me a more reserved person. I’ve had to have surgery and know I’ll need more in the future. Working out can be hard because I’m already so tired but it can also inflame my abdominal area further. Some friends don’t understand the extent and just tell me to get on with it and people out there who have it far worse (not very sympathetic). I’d say my family and husband help but it’s difficult to be positive. I’ve started a blog to raise awareness on endometriosis as it’s still not widely known about and there a lot of wrong facts out there.

I hope that in the future I learn to cope with my condition better and help others understand it better too.

- Medicines described in this blog are prescribed to this individual by their Doctor. Always consult your Doctor about what is best for your needs before taking any medication -

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