A Fight Against Illness, Or A Battle For Wellness?

There is often a vast amount of war-related language utilised when we, generally, speak about illness – chronic or otherwise. We fight for cures, battle our symptoms and add the word ‘warrior’ as a form of a suffix to the nouns that describe that which ails us. So far, so understandable – living a life like Sisyphus is not easy. Sisyphus, however, had no choice. To refuse to push that boulder up the hill would have incurred the wrath of the Gods.  You may be thinking that illness isn’t a choice either – that is correct – but how we respond and deal with said illnesses, is. We can look at that giant rock and say “no, not today”.  So why is it that even in support communities that treating ourselves with the kindness we deserve often considered to be a sign of surrendering to disease? Continue reading “A Fight Against Illness, Or A Battle For Wellness?”

Is This The Reason Why Endometriosis Treatments Are So Ineffective?

We’re heading towards Endometriosis Awareness Week, and my original plan for this post was a ‘listicle’ outlining some of the prevailing myths around this debilitating illness.  The first ‘myth’ I was planning to bust was to be what I perceived as confusion surrounding the diagnostic tools that are currently in use.  I was constantly hearing from other sufferers that the only definitive way to diagnosed this illness was via laprascopic surgery.  Nonetheless, my diagnosis was first floated after an abdominal ultrasound (the type used to view a foetus) and every last one of my adhesions was clearly visible on my MRI.  In fact, the MRI showed more than the surgeons had been able to see during my various procedures.

I began to wonder if this was due to some kind of cultural disparity between the United Kingdom and the United Sates.  It does take an age to get diagnosed in both countries but British women fair a little better, waiting, on average, eight years for the condition to be spotted in comparison to the twelve years that American women face.  I believed that maybe the UK was simply more likely to use imaging tools, initially; moving on to surgery if the symptoms persisted despite the scans coming back clear.  While researching the reason for what I believed was a state of wildly differing diagnostic methods, I stumbled upon a medical paper (The Endometriosis Syndromes: a clinical classification in the presence of etiological confusion and therapeutic anarchy), written in 2003, by Professor Ray Garry.  Reading this paper I came to understand why those different approaches exist. Continue reading “Is This The Reason Why Endometriosis Treatments Are So Ineffective?”

The Uphill Struggle For A Diagnosis Part 2

Read Part 1 here

I adore Rodney Mullen.  For those of you who don’t recognise the name, he is the Godfather of modern street skating. Pretty much all of those impossible looking tricks you see people doing (the ones that look like pure wizardry) were invented by him.  Now, I’m not a skateboarder myself, but at that particular time I was going through a Roller Derby ‘fresh meat’ training program (the Derby thing will get it’s own post in good time…) and I was finding that Mullen’s TED talk ‘On Getting Up Again’ was really helping me deal with getting used to hitting the floor so often.  At least, that’s what I told myself – in truth, I just really like hearing him talk. Continue reading “The Uphill Struggle For A Diagnosis Part 2”