What does an Endometriosis flare-up feel like?
It feels like someone is grabbing your insides and twisting them as tightly as they can. Like the “rug burns” that children give each other on the playground by twisting the skin on their arms, but inside of your pelvis and abdomen.
Like recurring, nonstop, appendicitis. Many women with endometriosis are actually misdiagnosed with appendicitis! I never had it, but I’ve been checked for it via ultrasound multiple times in the ER when I’ve gone in with endo pain. I heard from several ladies who have experienced both and said that endometriosis is similar or worse. Even one whose “appendix almost ruptured due to [her] high pain tolerance from endo.” Yikes, girl!
Like a dull knife making quick jabs into your abdomen repetitively for days.
It feels like your body and insides are entirely bruised. Like your legs, hips, back, and stomach have all been punched repeatedly. Like pushing on a sprain or digging your thumb into a fresh, deep bruise.
It feels like the worst food poisoning you can imagine. Your muscles are tight, you’re nauseous, dizzy, and there is an uncontrollable, sharp, pain in your stomach.
Like a large hot iron, being prodded at your insides every few minutes. And even when the iron gets pulled away, there’s a lingering pain from the burn.
There are many opinions about comparing endometriosis to labor pains, by the women who are lucky enough to experience both. (Endo is one of the leading causes of female infertility) More often than not, I hear that the pain is similar, but some mamas argue that endo is worse. I heard from two mothers :
"When I had my daughter, early labor and transition labor felt identical to endo pain."
”I had very long and difficult labor with my first born (almost 10 lbs)…. Giving birth without epidural twice, I can say that for me endo is much, much worse than giving birth without epidural.”
It’s throbbing. Aching. Ringing in your ears. An entire body feeling overheated, but in need of heat at the same time.
It is a relentless pain. Sharp and then dull. It teases with previews of what is to come, then magnifies your pain to points you didn’t know a person could tolerate until you had no other option.
I’m sure words can only do it so much justice.
We black out. We faint. We vomit. The room spins. For hours on end. For days in a row. And it leaves only to come back again. And we know it will be back again. Every time, we know.
And that’s why endometriosis feels like hell. Sometimes, it feels like wasting life away. Sometimes it feels like failure. Like jealousy. Bitter, isolated, and misunderstood.
Sometimes the physical pain is the least painful part, actually.
For many women with endo, and in my particular case, daily life consists of a dull discomfort. Exhaustion, nausea, aching muscles, twinges of pain in the abdomen - like a dark reminder not to get too comfortable.
And for other women, there’s none of this. Just because the pain isn’t as regular or as severe as other girls may describe it, doesn’t mean it isn’t endo. It very well could be. It’s really important to remember that everyone’s symptoms are different.