My Vagina is Broken
- Author Jasmine Crawford
- Published July 16, 2023
- Word count 1,026
“So, tell me more about yourself” he said as he looked down at his half eaten steak and potatoes. Begrudgingly, I decided to get it out in one quick breath so I said “well, I have endometriosis so that changes everything from my reproductive abilities, food intake (and outtake), simple daily activities like existing, all the way to the lack of sex because it feels like my uterus is being ripped out. Also, I’m a Pisces and my favorite color is blue. What about you?”
His neck snapped up at me at the thought of painful sex. Not sure if it was sympathy, empathy or just fear, but as he slowly massaged the back of his neck while simultaneously choking on his food and words, he quietly motioned to the waiter for the check.
In a confused state and disheveled edges outside my bonnet, I then woke up and realized my vagina was still broken.
For the last 6 years I’ve been in and out of the hospital with illness after illness and surgery after surgery with nothing to show for other than scars. An emergency appendectomy on Thanksgiving, tumor in my thigh bone and in my hand, ovarian cysts, and a “giant” pre-cancerous polyp in my colon. All were shocking, to say the least, but I remember telling my sister something was wrong. I was at the peak of my physical condition and it seemed my body was giving out while my head was following suit. During my professional MMA career, my coaches and I struggled to understand why my body shut down and wouldn’t cooperate. Granted, cutting weight is not the healthiest, but I was doing it the right way. Clean eating, consistent working out and sleep as much as I could, but by my last fight, it had shut down. I specifically remember doing 2 hour runs for 10 miles and not losing a pound. At that point, I was riddled with insecurities at the thought of my coaches thinking I was lying to them, but that, truthfully, seemed more rational.
It wasn’t until August 26th of 2022 when I finally found the answer. I was diagnosed with stage 4 Endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a chronic disease in females where endometrial tissue is essentially found in places it shouldn’t be. While there, it causes an inflammatory effects that triggers the body to attack itself.
The most common side effect is infertility. Hearing I had the most severe stage at 33 devastated me. I waited until I was 24 to give my virginity away because I didn’t want to become a teen mom or someone who wasn’t ready to be a mom. I thought I was being responsible. I thought I did it the right way.
A few months prior to the diagnosis, I had just said out loud what I wanted in this stage of my life; to be a mom. I daydream about growing a garden for my children so I know they’re at least eating properly at home. I dream for the times when I could have a little black girl and show her that not only is her hair beautiful, but it’s okay to dance in the rain. And my heart aches at the thought of the sound of a child calling me mommy. Now I’m not sure if that can even be a reality for me.
The side effects are extremely painful. It is much more than simple period pains; these pains shut your life down. Every woman is different, but for me, I don’t digest food properly, my colon is compromised, my kidneys and ovaries present cysts which constantly impairs my lower back, my hair fell out to the point it looked like my 3 year old nephew took scissors to my hair while I was sleeping, rectal bleeding, extremely painful sex at times, pelvic pain so bad my friend has seen me cry real tears, and the list can go on and on.
Quite literally, my organs are distorted.
And that is simply the physical aspect. Emotionally, everything becomes different. Dating at 33 already seems impossible, but adding in the conversation of possible infertility is a layer that makes it 10 times more worse.
With endometriosis, you are an emotional wreck and the crash happens with your heart and the vision you desire for your future. With this, you’re grieving the technicolor dream you once had that is now a wash of grey with a giant question mark. Also grieving the person I once was. I went from a 2 hour run not being enough to tire me out, to a 30 minute workout causing me to have to sit on the toilet for 2 hours and then straight to bed.
Endometriosis has no cure, no known working medicine, and no understanding as to why it happens. Like me, most females are diagnosed much in the later stages. The average doctor doesn’t believe you, or thinks you’re over exaggerating and it’s part of being a female. The only management of this is strategically planning every aspect of your life, or a hysterectomy should the surgical excision not work.
If my math is mathing, it took me 6 years to get diagnosed and that’s not okay.
I’m getting the surgery sometime next year and I just don’t know what is after that. Constant painful and expensive fertility treatments, or giving up on being that chocolate, neo-hippie mom I’ve envisioned? I wrote this with the hope that others in the EndoFamily would read it and know they’re not alone. Although Endometriosis effects 1 in 10 women, it’s very lonely. Most women don’t know they have it, and most doctors say “you’re fine.” After finally climbing out of the dark hole that is depression (in large parts to playing Beyoncé’s Cuff It and Church Girl on a loop) I have some resemblance of hope.
I don’t know what’s next for me, but here’s to turning a steaming pile of shit into manure, planting some seeds, and figuring out how to make that shit grow.
Hi! My name is Jasmine and I write about dope people and places. I write about ordinary people with extraordinary stories and my goal for every article is for each people to see value in themselves and in their stories. I hope you read, like and #BeInspired.https://articlebiz.com
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