Check On Your People

RoseGood morning conglomerates! Happy Sunday! Today I want to touch base on a topic I have been wanting to discuss for a few months now but I was unsure how to approach the topic. Today, I decided the message has to get to someone & awareness needs to be spread. A few years ago, beloved actor/comedian Robin Williams committed suicide. On June 5, 2018, fashion designer Kate Spade did so as well. A few days later, a 61 year old celebrity ended his life prematurely. Although not new, the revelation that celebrities are commiting suicide has taken social media by storm. Suicide is not a new pandemic but in a society like the one we live in, it is treated like a taboo. Suicide is a topic that is not discussed or remembered unless it is committed by a figure in the public eye.

Today, I want to remind you that suicide is VERY real. It is not a situation that only occurs to people we do not know or on television. Sadly, suicide can hit really close to home; even if we do not know it. The thought to commit suicide plagues the lives of people often. A few months ago, I wrote a memoir reminding you all to Nurture Your Mental Health.  I expressed the importance of not being ashamed to speak up when you are not feeling like yourself or if assistance is needed. I encouraged you to ignore the judgemental statements of those who contribute to the ignorance of society.  I asked that you mindfully & gently put the care of yourself & your loved ones first. I reminded you not to be ashamed of your mental health status & to remember that despite how you feel or your diagnosis that you are “normal“. Sadly, people’s mental state has led them to  pursue a definite & irreversible fate, if accomplished. It is heart wrenching that the only way people feel they can pursue peace is by making such a final decision that does not allow them to keep living.

To give you an idea:

  • Nationally, 44,193 reported suicides
  • Rate 121.1/day
  • 33,984 of all male deaths were by suicide
  • 10,199 all female deaths were by suicide
  • A person has committed suicide every 11.9 minutes
  • For every one suicide, there have been 25 attempted suicides
  • Though men are 3.5 more likely to successfully commit suicide than women, women attempt 3 times more than their male counterparts

So to fullfill our moto & live our best lives we have to understand that living our best lives does not only apply to our own personal lives but to the lives of our loved ones. Today, I ask that a group effort is made to actively check in on one another. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we forget that people are fighting internal battles that they may not express to us. What we may see as outlashing or withdraw may actually be a cry for assistance. Often, those who are suicidal feel they are a burden in the lives of others & fail to reach out on their own. Therefore, we can save them, what seems to us as a a small step, & reach out to them instead. Many times we allow our pride to get in the way. We write a person off as “attention seeking” or selfish when we do not hear from them. We never stop to think that maybe their struggle has nothing to do with us but everything to do with their inability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Though we have not all had suicidal ideation; we have all had periods when we have felt alone, unloved & unwanted. So gently checking on them can save us alot of heartache in the future & get them the help that they need in the long run.

Though the signs may not always be evident. Certain indicators can alert us that an individual is in acute danger & may urgently need help.

  • Talks about wanting to die or kill themselves
  • Expresses feelings of hopelessness or having no purpose
  • Expresses feeling trapped or being unbearable pain
  • Concerned they are a burden to others
  • Increase in substance use (alcohol & drugs)
  • Anxious, agitated or reckless behavior
  • Little or too much sleep
  • Withdrawing & feeling isolated
  • Exhibiting rage or expresses a need to seek revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

With that being said, make a conscious decision to “drop a line” to someone you have not heard from in a while or you feel may be acting differently. Though their behavior may effect you negatively or you simply may be overwhelmed with your own life; some people have a harder time doing stepping away from their misery. Although they may not thank you now, I have no doubt that they will thank you later. You never know how your small gestures can help someone finally see the light they are so desperate to see. Calling in & acknowledging we are thinking of them can be the first step to the intervention they desperately need. For this purpose, I will ensure to include resources at the bottom of this memoir if you feel they can help save someone’s life.

Now, if you are the person who I am referring to in this memoir & you feel that there is no way out of your predicament; I want to assure you that you can get through it. Though you may not feel like it, the world will be a very different place if you were not here living in it. Your life is valuable. You are not a burden & there are people on this Earth that love you & will miss you desperately if you were gone. Your story & your life matters. Despite feeling how you feel, you are worthy of happiness. Unfortunately, joy & pain are realities of life so please try to understand that your pain & sadness will come to an end. Even if it feels like it, it will not last forever. You are a SURVIVOR & capable of so much more than you think. Seek help. There are people who are trained to care for you & provide treatment that is made specifically for you. Please do not give up. Do not be ashamed. You deserve everything you want for yourself & more. YOU ARE WORTH IT! Please refer to the resources I have included below. There is someone that will be more than willing to help you.  To remind you that your life is worth living, I have included the story of a suicide survivor who describes feeling much like you do at the lowest point of his life. Use it to remind yourself that you are not alone.

Kevin Hines, Suicide Survivor

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Please be advised, if assistance is needed you can receive initial assistance from your primary care provider. If there is an urgent situation, calling 9-1-1 can assist you with getting what you need immediately. Also, other resources to assist are listed below. Please feel free to reach out to them for assistance.

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727)

Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat

If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

I know many of my subscribers are located in NJ. I have also included resources that are available in the South Jersey area.

NJ Hopeline Call Center 1-855-654-6734

Camden County Screening Center 1-856-428-4357

Gloucester County Screening Center 1-856-845-9100

Second Floor Youth Helpline 1-888-222-2228

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Image obtained from: https://www.owlcube.com/products/beauty-and-the-beast-rose-easy-3d-diy-diamond-painting-kits-owlcube-canvas-wall-art?variant=52901646724

Statistics: Foundation For Suicide Prevention: More Than Sad

Daddy’s Little Girl

Father’s Day is today & I will be honest enough to tell you that until recently I really did not know how to celebrate Father’s Day. Aside from buying my mother a card & a small gift or wishing my uncles a Happy Father’s Day; I never thought much more about the day because it never has had much significance in my life.

As you have read in my memoirs, Accepting Failure & The Best Side of Me , I was raised by a single mother who for a good while posed the role of “dad” in my life. I cannot tell you what it is like to have my biological father love me, love into me, protect me or be an example of the kind of man I should marry. Though in the past I have tried to, I have failed to recognize if any of his features look back at me when I stare at my reflection in the mirror. Even if it was possible, I would not even know what feature of his to compare it to because his face is not a face I have seen in my lifetime. But even in his absence certain things are very clear to me. Though I cannot visualize a face to his name, he has given me a clear visual of the type of man I would not want to be the father of my children or the kind of man I will not raise my son to be. Though in the past it often left me feeling unwanted; I am totally ok with his absence. Because if I told you what my heart feels you would understand my lack of curiosity.

Despite not having a father in my life, I do know what it is like to be loved by someone who did not have a hand in physically creating me but has had a significant impact on the person I am today. I know what it is to be reprimanded through love & given advice by someone who looked at me (though not his) as a little girl who was worth it. I know what it is to have someone remind me every day that blood is not always thicker & love means more than any last name I could be given. I also know that it takes a special person to look at me, regardless of the times I have attempted to throw him away & still claim me as his.

Even if he is not my biological father you can not tell me he is not my dad. As an adult I can reflect on the lessons he has taught me. It is because of him I am honest. He taught me that I must be accountable for what I say. I know it is because of him I am a realist because all things are not always just black & white. He taught me how to throw my first punch & he was on my side when I finally told Mom that I no longer wanted to wear cartoon characters on my clothes (she was crushed). Even as I transitioned through my life the lessons have never stopped coming.

Up until May 2017, my mother & him have not seen each other in over 15 years. Yet, somehow, he & I have maintained our relationship. A relationship that truly grows stronger as I get older. I am older now & do not take for granted how blessed my life has been with his presence. It was not until I turned 25 that I started to call him dad & that is the only sure way I can tell him I love him just as much as he loves me.

I struggled growing up without a biological father. I was hurt that my family did not look like others & I was bruised because I could not understand why my biological father did not want me. I learned really early on though, that it had nothing to do with me but everything to do with him & his inability to accept himself which in turn made him unable to accept me. In his absence though, I have learned the most valuable lesson I could ever learn all my life. Take heed to this lesson as it will save you from blaming yourself from the things you cannot control. This alone will remind you that you are worth more than what someone else may have overlooked. You cannot change the minds of the people who choose not to stay. In turn, you should always value the people who have chosen to stay even when you have made it hard for them. I learned to be grateful for the people God has removed from my life because I can only imagine what I have been protected from. I believe God removes people & places people in your life because he knows the impact their energy can have on you. I promise I thank God often for placing a “stranger” in my life when I was two & making him one of my very best friends at twenty-nine. Life is all about experiences that mold you. What others see as a sad story is actually a success story for me. There are not many people who are as “rich” as I am. Despite the odds they said were against me, it is so lit to have someone who has invested in me so much that even my mom cringes from the similarities (lol). I have been blessed beyond compare & I thank him so much for choosing me. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

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Image: https://www.stfinnbarr.org/apps/news/article/684582

Sacrifices Are Necessary

Good morning Conglomerates!! Special thank you goes out to you for joining me another week. The constant feedback & support has surely kept me motivated to continue on this Nickkie&Co. venture so- THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

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Today, I feel a discussion on making sacrifices is a necessary discussion to have because sacrifices make final goals that seem out of reach feasible. We all do it, no matter how big or small it is; we do. If you are a parent or guardian of another human being you most certainly do. Regardless of how small or large your sacrifice; I am here to tell you, it will be worth it. Society treats sacrifice as a form of deprivation. Nickkie&Co. on the other hand recognizes that a sacrifice is a promise you have made to yourself in order to reach a final goal that allows you to be your best self while living your best life.

For as long as I could remember, I have made sacrifices in order to afford myself opportunities that I may not have if I did not make the sacrifices I did. My whole college career was based on the promises a sacrifice has afforded me. Despite how trying the sacrifice has been, I have always attempted to keep my eyes on whatever the final goal was; the prize. Even now, temporary sacrifices are still evident in my life in hopes that in the long run it will be worth it. Aside from reaping the rewards sacrifices have afforded me; I am sure to keep in mind, especially as I write this memoir, that patience is key. I have learned first hand that sometimes moving too quickly & forgetting what you did it for will have you forgetting the whole purpose; the promise you made to yourself.

So today Conglomerate, I want to remind you to stay focused on your goals & be mindful of your sacrifices. Regardless of how big or small they might be they make your overall goal obtainable. Sacrifices are TEMPORARY & I can not stress the importance of not giving up to you enough. We make sacrifices everyday, whether it is a weight loss challenge, a financial challenge or professional challenge; the lingering lesson in it all is that your patience is the key to crossing the finish line.

I can relate to the disheartening feeling that visits when the reward does not even appear to be peaking over the horizon. I can also vouch for feeling discouraged when progress is compared to the progress of someone else. It kills your momentum & it crushes your self esteem. Do not allow it. Do not compare yourself to the success, progress or advancement of other people because their journey is not relevant to your journey. Your story is not their story & their story is not yours. The paths laid out for your lives are different & you must make due with what you have. The irony in this is someone is looking at you doing the same thing; wondering how you have it all together even though you know the opposite. So do things your way, at your pace; the best way you know how. I understand it gets frustrating. I also understand that at times, in the process of living through our sacrifices that mistakes are made; that is totally ok. The idea is to pick up where you left off. No one said you had to be perfect, you just cannot give up. You owe yourself everything you are striving for & you are more than deserving.

Ok, you need to sacrifice a little financially so you can become a homeowner? Do it. Think about the equity you build for yourself instead of the equity you build for someone else; all because you chose to make a sacrifice. Tempted to eat something you feel you shouldn’t so that you can lose that final 5 pounds? Do not do it. Imagine how accomplished you will feel when you finally reach your goal. Life is all about taking little steps to get to the destination. It is a struggle now but once you arrive the sacrifice does not seem as painful.

All the goals you set for yourself are attainable you just have to believe they are. You have to trust yourself to do right by yourself because YOU conglomerate are capable & worthy! Do not get discouraged. Keep making the sacrifices, you will cross the finish line before you know it. Once those goals are slayed you open up the opportunity to create new sacrifices & new goals to make your life more than what you want it to be. You were not created to be stagnant or mediocre & you surely were not created to not believe in yourself. The world is yours. Act like it.

XO.

Image obtained from: http://www.cambridge.elim.org.nz/sermon/love-sacrifice-part2/

Dealing with Loss

Dealing with LossIn one way or another we hope that at some point in our lives we do not have to experience losing a loved one. Though it may cross our minds briefly, one never truly is prepared to deal with losing someone dear to them. In 2009, I had my first experience. I lost a friend to gun violence at a local community center to someone he never met a day in his life. In 2013, I fell into a deep depression when I lost a brother figure to another senseless act of violence. In December 2016, my family dealt with it’s first blow when my uncle lost his sudden fight with stage IV cancer exactly a week after his birthday. Though I can say I have been blessed not to have a lot of final losses in my life; it still hurts me just the same.

In all three of these scenarios I have gone through what they call the grieving process; however the order of the process, I have been through it. As ugly as it has been, I am getting through it. Because truth is, from my experience, the grieving process never ends. As life goes on without my loved ones, I have learned to accept that they are no longer with us. Though with time it gets a little easier & I may not think of them every day as I did initially; their absence rings loudest to me during celebratory events they are no longer here for. Eventually pictures of them start to age & all we have left are the memories. With that being said, in all 3 scenarios, at some point, I was riddled with regret wishing there was more time to spend with them & tell them that I loved them with a wish that I could have done something to prevent the inevitable.

In life, unfortunately as we get older we start realizing that death is not so uncommon & that loss gets closer to our hearts. The passing of our grandparents, friends, siblings, parents & children start to plague us but some how we are expected to get through the day. Our jobs gives us 3 days & we are told by whomever, with whatever letters behind their names, that generally the true grieving process, from start to finish, takes about a year. Bless the soul this is true for because it surely is not true for me. Sometimes I am crushed thinking of the experiences they may never get to experience or the things they will never get to see. I get moved to melancholy or joy when I hear certain songs or if the weather is a certain way.

I tell myself often that had I known I would lose them when I did I would have prepared myself. I would have cherished every moment & though I was as good as I could have been while they were here on earth, somehow I often feel I could have been better. But then I realize, I truly gave them the best version of myself I could have because what I gave them was me; genuinely. They got all of me even if it was for a shorter period of time. They saw the real, the raw & the ugly. They have seen the good & the bad. Shoot, sometimes they even felt it. But it was authentic. They got the sides of me that I do not believe they would have seen if I prepared myself for them leaving so soon.

So today, I tell you that if you have not dealt with loss yet, sadly, one day you will. If you are dealing with loss please keep this in mind. Despite what may cross your mind, I want you to know that there is nothing you could have done to prevent this. I also want you to know that regardless of how hard it is you can not stop living because they have; they would not want it that way. Instead, we have to live in their memory. Live for them. Have the experiences they would not be able to have but relish in your moments to your fullest. It is not realistic of me to tell you not to be sad & I will not bore you with cliches telling you why you should not be sad. Instead, I say be sad; feeling every emotion, whether sad or happy, it keeps them alive. It is ok to feel out of sorts & it is ok to miss them. It is also ok to wonder if life’s little miracles are small gestures from them telling you they are ok. It is ok to be hopeful that they are with you & watching over you. Most importantly, it is ok to LOVE them more each day they are gone because it is YOU who keeps them alive. I urge you though, do things at your own time. Do not rush your healing by the timeline of someone else. Instead, accept the pitfalls & the lows. If you need assistance getting through the hurdle it is ok to seek it. Strive to do anything that allows you to be your best self, even if your best self seems so far away. You will come around. It is hard now, it will be hard later but it is how you evolve in these moments that will make those who have passed on proud.

XO.

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Knowledge is POWER

Growing up we obtain the majority of our knowledge from relationships we build from adults & our peers, school, books (if we read) & TV. As we get older the avenues we use to obtain our information may vary a bit but regardless of the source; information is retained that molds our beliefs & understanding. Some information is ingrained in our brains permanently; others not so much. Conglomerates, in order to live our best lives for ourselves & our families we must never stop learning & be open to resetting the information we may have obtained over the years. This fact remains true regardless of how old we get, how our experiences effect us or how generations shift. As people get older, a shortcoming many people have is that with age they fail to realize that new information is available to access. Usually they are unwilling to reset what they have learned due to generational ignorance or an inability to accept that with time information changes as well. It is most helpful if you continue to learn new information as it becomes available while keeping your span of your knowledge fresh & renewed.

As I age, I have learned that some of the information I learned as a child has become outdated or has just been plain out wrong. Though the wisdom behind the information may not have changed directly, how it applies to life may have. With age, experiences & time are not the only variables that make us wise. Instead, having the patience to keep up with new changes such as technology or being humble enough to recognize that some information that you have learned in the past may very well be wrong; will always make you wise beyond your years. The retention of information is generational. Therefore if something continues to be taught incorrectly or out of context, we risk passing on ignorance to our loved ones that may hinder them long after we are gone. This in turn contributes to a blood line of generational ignorance & inconsistencies.

I come from a family in which some people just fail to accept that some of the information they are sharing is no longer correct based on the time or era we are currently in. Granted, I know this is not intentional & I understand that they have grown up in a time when challenging information was unacceptable but I have seen first hand how roles have shifted. From being the “go-to” person everyone ran to for answers they eventually shifted to the person we go-to sometimes because they have opted not to advance along with the information that once upon a time held true. As my generation in our family gets older we no longer accept that things should be done a certain way or is fact because someone older than us told us so. We have the ability & readily accessible resources that challenge our way of thinking. We acknowledge its importance & we take advantage of what is available to us so that we are never limited by what we do not know. It is acceptable to challenge what does not make sense but we must be accepting of new information & research what we do not know. Most importantly, so that information does not die with us, we need to be open to share what we learn so that no one will ever be taken advantage of on the basis of what they do not know.

Sadly, so many of us strive to live our best lives but we will fail to do so if we allow ourselves to stay behind the grid. Knowledge truly is key & it does not have to come from expensive tuition rates & outdated text books. Knowledge is attainable to anyone who wants it. If the goal is to live your best life, never allow anyone to dictate what information you should have access to. Never allow yourself to shift from the “go-to” person to the “sometimes” person because you failed to teach yourself new things & reach your full potential. Understand that as long as you are living, you can never know enough. Understand that what you do not know does not take away your worth but gives you an opportunity to learn something new & may open doors for you that you did not think you had the keys to. Do not be the cause of your limitation & the generational limitations of your family. Understand that there is power in knowledge & why it is important that we have it.

Historically, failure to access knowledge bred oppression. Laws were passed to prohibit access of knowledge to slaves partly because once it is obtained, it at minimum allows us equal footing to those who do not find us worthy. We are worthy! Knowledge makes us fierce & learning this is an essential step to living the life you always imagined you could live. Over the years the avenues in how we access & gain information has gotten more creative & more readily accessible. Teach & learn. Be hungry for it. Hunger for knowledge is the one sure way to guarantee your survival & your ability to live your life; by your terms, your best way.

XO.

ENDO WARRIOR

Good morning Conglomerates. Today I am honored to announce that Nickkie&Co. has a new guest writer that is here today to use her experiences to help other woman who may struggle with a similar or the same chronic condition she does. Eugenia is a super woman – nurse by day, model by “night”- who intends to use her platform, experience & expertise to spread awareness on a condition that marks & effects the lives of many women while finding a natural cure to a said cureless condition. I pray in reading this post that you are inspired to advocate & research your health concerns so women no longer feel silenced by their conditions but feel strength & confidence in knowing that other women are fighting as well. So, I present to you conglomerate/ENDO WARRIOR, Eugenia Odonkor BSN, RN.

img_3278Hello Conglomerates! I am ecstatic to be a guest for Nickkie&Co.! My name is Eugenia and today, I will share with you my battle with ENDOMETRIOSIS.

Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. It can even travel up to your brain! Endometriosis can cause pain — sometimes severe. It affects more women than breast cancer but you probably never heard of it. It’s not terminal but it’s also incurable and affects 176 million women!

Growing up, I remember almost all of my female friends talking about their period. They spoke of their experiences and I always felt left out wondering when my menarche would occur. My menarche finally made its appearance at the age of 14, the summer before I became a freshman in high school. It occurred overnight but I hadn’t known until I woke up that morning that I had had my first menses. That night, I tossed and turned in so much pain. I remember telling my mom and my grandma that I wasn’t feeling well and that although it didn’t appear the way everyone spoke about it, it was indeed my menses. This was only the beginning.

A few cycles after that, I noticed I had become increasingly sick prior to my menses. I would have painful ovulation and then when my actual menses would occur, I would have symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fainting spells, anorexia (loss of appetite which lead to my having a hard time keeping weight on), etc. I would also be bed and bathroom ridden for the first day of almost every period. This occurred on and off for years! I had suffered in silence for years.

I recall seeing a female gynecologist for a Pap smear (a very TERRIFYING experience for me to this day) who poked fun at me for being in pain during this “quick” procedure. She said, “I should’ve given you a mirror! You should’ve seen your face! It wasn’t that serious!” Of course, I didn’t think twice about continuing to see that gynecologist ever again.

I had given up. I didn’t think I could make it through. I was mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. I would miss school and/or work. I almost failed a course because I was too sick to walk let alone go sit through a final exam. Thank God my professor was understanding and allowed me to take the exam when I felt better. During my years of suffering, I ran from doctor to doctor. I had become a test dummy for medications that would just exacerbate whatever was going on with me. Nothing was working. I went for second, third and even fourth opinions. Some would say, “These are normal period symptoms”. Another would refer me to see a Gastroenterologist. One doctor, I had driven 4 hours to go see in Hershey, PA, prescribed futile pain medications. One of these medications was an old antidepressant whose off label use was for pain. I’d sleep all day and have nightmares. This is when I knew I wasn’t “crazy”.

One day, I had done some research and stumbled across a male, Penn Medicine doctor. I decided to give this male a chance because after my experience with aforementioned gynecologist, I vowed to never see another female gynecologist again! You would think a female would empathize with another female since we have the same “parts” but NO! In my opinion, they seem to be rougher. This OB-GYN turned out to be amazing. In fact, as soon as I described my symptoms to him, the first thing he said was, “I think you have Endometriosis.” And I replied, “I think I do too!” Immediately, he scheduled me for a Laparoscopy (an exploratory surgery that is used to diagnose the disease). I was diagnosed by my doctor and also surgeon, at the age of 21, with Endometriosis. Interestingly enough, I hadn’t had a lot of affected areas but suffered so greatly. He cauterized those affected areas and I was fine. I felt great.

However, this was unfortunately not the end of it. I had to have another surgery because I just didn’t feel right. I had to go with my gut and relay my feelings to my gynecologist. Another laparoscopy scheduled. He found twice the amount as the first surgery. All I did was cry post surgery. Even with my family by my side I felt so alone and hopeless. How could one disease make one feel so defeated? I’d always ask God, “Why me?”

In between those surgeries, I had a colonoscopy, cystoscopy and even visited a fertility doctor to rule out the return of the “Enigmatic Endometriosis.” My doctor could not believe that I was still symptomatic! Every time I came for another appointment, he always said, “Eugenia, your condition really has me scratching my head.” He was just as tired as I was- tired of trying to figure out why I was always sick and never free from feeling better. It would seem I had gotten worse. Again, my gut told me, I needed another surgery. He frowned upon going in again but I begged for a third laparoscopy. May 18, 2015, I had had my final laparoscopy. We both were baffled to have found only a few, small affected areas. Keep in mind that one may have small areas and suffer greatly as opposed to another woman who may have extended amounts of affected areas and be simply asymptomatic. My doctor cauterized (burned outside of the uterus) his findings then said that in order to keep from being symptomatic, I must shut my reproductive system down to make it think it’s in menopause, in order for this disease to SLOW DOWN. I emphasize those words because sadly, this disease is incurable.

I was put on Lupron, a medication that puts the female reproductive system into pseudo-menopause (after months of not wanting to try it due to the horror stories I saw on google) to temporarily inhibit the disease from feeding off of my own hormones. Lupron ended up being my savior. The down side to this is that I can not be on this medication consecutively past one year. Side effects include bone loss; what I’m currently suffering from. I have to consume Calcium and another medication called Aygestin (Norethindrone; “add back therapy”) concurrently with the Lupron to keep from acquiring other diseases such as Osteoporosis.

Due to insurance issues, I no longer see the Penn Doctor who diagnosed me with the disease. I am forever grateful for him. He actually listened to me and empathized. He was Heaven-sent!

I found another male OB-GYN who was highly recommended to continue my care. My Lupron deadline had approached and my new OB-GYN placed me on DEPO PROVERA. This was also a nightmare because I bled and had cramping for an entire month STRAIGHT. I made an appointment to explain what was occurring and during my appointment, I was told that I need to have a Hysteroscopy/ Dilatation and Curettage done to explore the cause of bleeding. It was found that I had had a polyp on my vaginal wall. That too was cauterized.

I am currently back on Lupron. Although I’m on the medication, I have occasional unexpected flare ups and they especially happen when I am stressed. I plan on putting a halt to the usage of this medication and finding natural/homeopathic remedies to feel better.

Despite all of my tribulations, I attained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I try to remain positive and keep my faith in God.

I wish this story had a happy ending. I wish I can say I’m cured from this disease but unfortunately, I am not. With my Nursing background, I plan on discovering a NATURAL cure for this debilitating disease!

Ladies, please care for yourselves. See a doctor, do plenty of research, and most of all- TRUST YOUR GUT!

#Endometriosis #EndometriosisAwareness #SpreadTheWord #EndoSucks #FEndo

“See a doctor, do plenty of research & most importantly trust your gut”  -Eugenia Odonkor, BSN, RN