Andie M. Hayes

Author | Artist

Endo-Me-Tri, "Oh, Sis!"

So, yesterday an old college friend asked me about endo and infertility. I answered his question and then I thought to myself: “When did I become this big endo expert??” Since getting diagnosed with endometriosis 4 years ago I’ve had anywhere from 10-15 people—some close friends, some friends that used to be close, others people I barely know—ask me about endo. The questions have varied. Some folks have thought they had endo themselves, some have thought a family member or friend had it, some just had questions about how it affected me in general, but all had questions, questions for me.

That’s when I realized, I haven’t become her, this great big expert on endometriosis. I am her. Let me back up for a minute. I’m not saying I am the end all be all of endometriosis information because I’m not. I’m really, truly not. There’s SO much I don’t know about this disease raging on inside my body that it scares me half to death; but, at the same time, I am endometriosis. What do I mean? I’ll tell you.

I am strong. I am resilient. I am determined. I am resourceful. I am angry. I am fueled by the pain that lives deep within me. I am the very thing that has taken over me and I have taken that pain and made it my own and I am using it to make myself stronger and more powerful than I have ever been before in my life. I am all the things endo is, but better. New. Improved. But, I’m also beaten down. Sickly. Defeated in so, so many ways.

As I write this I’m being treated for walking pneumonia. That’s right, kids. Pneumonia. In the middle of summer. Well, I guess it’s “technically” still spring until June 21. But whatevs. It’s Georgia and it’s swampy and it’s hot and I’m totally getting off topic. Endometriosis!

Basically, this post is to say thank you to all of you who have come to me for advice about endo. Thank you for feeling that you can trust me with your health concerns. Thank you for not ignoring my pain and taking my story at face value, but for really taking my journey with endometriosis to heart. It really means a lot when people come to you and ask for advice about something as serious as a chronic illness and I didn’t realize that until I got here myself. When people ask me about endo I don’t feel like less of a person. I don’t even feel like a sick person. I feel like someone that can help others because of my unique situation. I couldn’t do that before.

Please don’t confuse this for me saying that I like being sick. In no way, shape, or form do I like having endometriosis and adenomyosis, but I have found a slight silver lining and that’s being able to help others get through their diagnosis or prediagnosis every once in a while. Having someone to help navigate through the mess surrounding endo is a blessing I didn’t have when I was being diagnosed, and so I like to be there when I can.

So please, keep asking and I’ll keep helping. Let’s keep the conversation flowing. Let’s keep the conversation simple. But mostly, let’s keep the conversation about endometriosis open.