I was thankful that I had a good pain week for our holiday and apart from a few minor aches, I was able to get out and about every day without any issues. However, this week has been another story. Does anyone else who takes Amitriptyline feel like they are on a constant rollercoaster? I thought with taking a new medication I'd feel a bit off and then things would settle down, but since starting this I've had really good weeks where I've almost felt 'normal' (or, what I imagine 'normal' feels like!) and then I'll have a really bad week where I'm completely exhausted, in pain almost every day, my emotions are all over the place and I'll feel sick and groggy. Is this what should be happening? I know this medication is used for pain relief but as an anti-depressant I imagined I'd be feeling on top of the world with it and yet I'm finding it quite the opposite in reality. I'm starting to see a correlation between my sleep and pain though now. When Hunter has a bad night and I'm awake nursing him, my pain and general grogginess is much worse the next day. But, if I get to sleep early and Hunter just has his normal wake up's and settles easily then I feel quite good the next day. Same thing applies if I've been busy on one day, I'll feel worse that night and the next day so I'll have a day of rest and then I feel better again. I guess it all goes back to learning how to 'pace' but it's difficult when you have a very energetic toddler in tow!
I have to admit, I've found it quite hard to get my head around having fibromyalgia. I've lived with endometriosis for so long now - over 20 years of my life! - that I feel like I know it inside and out and I spent a lot of time blaming all my other issues on my endo. But, now I've been diagnosed with fibro also, I don't really know what is down to what anymore. I've chased this diagnosis for years and I could have jumped for joy when I finally received confirmation of it, but it settled in later on and I've been feeling a little lost ever since. Do any of you ladies have any tips for dealing with both endometriosis and fibromyalgia? How do you distinguish between the two? Does one effect the other? I just feel quite bewildered by it all so I'd love to hear from you if you have any wise words to share on the matter! It feels odd not really knowing anything about the illness you have and none of the doctors I've seen have really been able to tell me that much and definitely nothing in regards to my endometriosis also. All I really know is that, for now anyway, my borderline osteoporosis is not causing any problems so I can put the issues surrounding my periods and abdominal pains down to my endometriosis, and the pains everywhere else down to fibromyalgia and the fatigue is just a symptom of both illnesses. I'll just ignore the big blurry bit in between!
My acne is also really bad at the moment. I say really bad, but I was watching a programme the other night which featured a girl with acne and her's was terrible so when I say really bad, it's not really that bad. But it is bad to me, and painful and in general I'm just really fed up of being a spotty 30 something year old. I wish I'd made the most of having clearer skin while I was pregnant - though on the most part my skin was recovering from the bad acne and to be fair, I did have a lot of other things to focus on during this time! I think the next step is probably medication but I can't do anything until Hunter stops breastfeeding. Maybe it will magically clear up by then... There is always hope!
This week is Mental Health Awareness week 2016 and although I feel pretty stable with regards to my mind right now, I wanted to point you all in the direction of one of my old posts Self Destruction, where I spoke about my experiences with self harm and depression. You can also read through my other posts on mental health by clicking here. I've had a tough couple of years and had a lot thrown my way, but I feel at my strongest now. I have a loving and supportive partner, a lovely home and the most longed for little miracle I could have ever wished for and, although my health is still up and down and I don't have any clue as to what will happen with work/money, I really feel quite balanced - minus those days this blummin' Amitriptyline makes me want to cry all day! That's not me, that's the medication! What I really want to say, is that it's OK to feel down and sad, and everything else. But, if those feelings are tipping you over the edge and you feel like they are becoming just a little bit too much, then seek some help. Whether that be talking to a friend, someone you've never met online or a qualified doctor - it might not stop those feelings, but it will definitely make you feel a little less disconnected from the world.
Before I go, I just want to take a moment to re-introduce myself in case any of you are new to reading EMLWY. I have updated the About section and mentioned bits here and there but just to put it out there again... Hello! I'm Shireen! I'm in my early 30's and I live in a small village in the Midlands, UK, with my partner, Danny and our little boy, Hunter. I've been with Danny for 6 years now although we were friends for a few years before that. It took us two years and a very uncomfortable round of IVF treatment to conceive Hunter, but he's now a very happy and healthy 16 month old. I've had endometriosis since I was 12 but only started having obvious problems when I was 21, which, luckily, led to a very quick diagnosis. I've had 4 surgeries for it, tried various treatments and nothing has yet helped it and those treatments have only led to me being diagnosed with borderline osteoporosis as well as fibromyalgia. I haven't worked since 2012, when I had a flare up and was unable to return to my job - which I was later made redundant from. I started blogging because I needed some support and in turn found that a lot of you also needed the same thing. I've had a bit of a break and now I'm back and I've got some hopes for this small space of mine.
By the way, I'm wanting to write a few pieces but I need your help! I want to continue with the "My Story" series which showcased your personal experiences of living with endometriosis, so if you would like me to publish your story, or I've already posted your story and you'd like me to update it, then please email me! I also want to put together a post on endometriosis after pregnancy - specifically I want to hear from you if you've been diagnosed with and had problems only since giving birth. I follow a lot of mama's on Instagram who complain of terrible periods and pains post-birth and a lot of what they are experiencing sounds exactly like endometriosis to me. So I'd like to spread the word and write an article informing those who know nothing about endo, that what they are experiencing could indeed be endo and to get checked if anything they are feeling is abnormal to them. Please get in touch if you've been in this position. Likewise, if there is anything you want to read about, want to write a guest post, want to know about me, anything - get in touch! I want to take this space to the next level and make it not just about me, but about all of you too. You can find all my contact details in the Contact section at the top of the page or you can find me by clicking on one of the buttons on the left of the page under my mugshot! I really hope to hear from you soon!