Anyway, I do have thoughts on coping with endo. There's no cure for endo but using hormonal birth control can help. I'll refrain from going off too far on a tangent about the debates about covering birth control pills, but, for me, the pill is essential to making it possible to live with endo. I take the pill continuosly, tossing the week of placebo pills that a normal user would take the fourth week at which point a woman would get her period (side note: a period on the pill is totally different from a "real" period...it isn't any more natural to have a pill-induced period than to skip it). Some pills are now marketed to help women avoid their periods as a lifestyle choice but I use a standard pill and just go through a pack in three weeks instead of four. This keeps my body in a steadier state. If I miss even one day, I get a severe uptick in pain. Getting the prescription written right is important for getting insurance to cover the quicker rate of use.
A few other things that help when the pain ticks up:
- Heating pads -- I've got one that is microwavable and has a belt attached which is handy.
- Pain patches -- I don't like the bulk of Thermacare patches but actually have used BenGay-like patches in the pelvic region. Honestly, I think they just serve as a bit of a distraction...it is a feeling other than the pain.
- The fetal position -- Curling up seems to provide actual relief in addition to being a bit emotionally/mentally comforting.
- Breathing exercises -- I think some degree of instinct led me to use Lamaze-like breathing exercises. I don't have formal training in it so it's kind of a tv version of labor breathing but it actually provides some relief. I think it is also distracting.
- Medicine -- OTC stuff does nothing for me, but sometimes I've needed strong pain pills in order to get through a bad spell.
- Endo sisters -- Having connections with other women on the same journey is extremely helpful. The internet is definitely a great resource in finding "sisters" who truly understand what it is like to battle this disease.
EDITING TO ADD a teddy bear -- Maybe it's silly, but sometimes having something to squeeze always helps me when I'm in pain. I even brought my teddy bear with me to my back surgery and gave major props to the nurse who ensured he was on my bed when I woke up in recovery.