Worldwide EndoMarch: Team Chicago

On Saturday, March 24, 2018 women, children, and men came together to empower, educate and effect change at Team Chicago's Endometriosis Worldwide March.
"I have Endo, but it doesn't have me!"
You may ask "What is the EndoMarch?" The Worldwide Endometriosis March® better known as EndoMarch® is a global movement and urgent call to action to improve the quality of medical care for millions of women and girls who suffer from Endometriosis.

Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women.
The EndoMarch is celebrated all over the world in over 40 countries, and 7 cities across the U.S. including Chicago. This the the 5th Annual Worldwide EndoMarch and World Endometriosis Day, and Chicago's 1st Annual EndoMarch. 

Worldwide EndoMarch Team Chicago captains Julie Kuhn and Sarah Witt
The festivities kicked off with a march starting at the Oak Park Public Library down East Ave to Madison Street and back down Oak Park Ave, as well as through downtown Oak Park. Right after the march there was a screening of the documentary "Endo What?"


Other events for the the day on the behalf of EndoMarch were "Yoga for Pelvic Pain with Annie Cumming" sponsored by Ahimsa Yoga Studio Oak Park. As well as co-hosting with A Lill Annoyance Stand-Up Show to include the theme of the day Endo/women's issues! 

Check out all my photos of the March here!


Endo-What? Endometriosis is an incurable, chronic disease in which tissue that normally would line the inside of uterus grows outside of the uterus, often called endometriotic implants (lesions). It commonly involves ovaries, fallopian tubes, as well as the tissue lining of the pelvis. In rare cases endometriosis may spread beyond the pelvic organs. Endometriosis grows in the same way the lining of the uterus (endometrium) does every month during a menstrual period. This can cause inflammation, cyst, severe pain, the list goes on and on. 



Symptoms of Endometriosis include: irregular periods, painful periods, pain during sex as well as during pelvic exams, and pelvic ultrasounds, lower abdomen and lower back pain, painful bowel movements and urination, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea and vomiting with severe pain during periods, depression, fatigue, lightheadedness or dizziness, as well as infertility or difficulty to conceive.   

1 in 10 women are affected by Endometriosis. Women may experience a delay in diagnosis or even misdiagnosis due to persistent beliefs that is is normal to have severe pain during periods and that it is uncommon in teenagers and adolescents. 

There is no cure for endometriosis but ways to help treat it such as contraceptives or medications that block estrogen such as Leuprolide, Letrazole, or Lupron. Back in March of 2013 I was suggested to go on a estrogen blocking medication along with hormone therapy to see if it would help with the pain I was dealing with before advising a laparoscopy procedure to see if I had endometriosis. This was the worst 3 months of my life. I went through a temporary menopause for the duration of the treatment with unbearably hot flashes and out of control mood swings that I like to call octa-polar.  All I did for those 3 months was sweat, cry, and get into arguments. (Looking back, it's no wonder why the guy I was seeing then left me for my best friend at the time.) Long story short after the 3 months, the treatment did help with my pain for a short period of time, then in July 2014 I couldn't stand not known what was wrong with me so I decided to undergo the laparoscopy procedure.

The only way to properly diagnose endometriosis is a biopsy during a laparoscopy procedure. The laparoscopy allows the surgeon a close-up view of the pelvic organs and any endometriosis lesions to be remove by either burning or vaporizing. It hurts like HELL!!!! After my laparoscopy I felt like I got cut in half, comparable to Elizabeth Short aka the Black Dahlia. To this day it boggles my mind that I have gotten better pain meds from my dentist for a root canal than what was prescribed to me for my laparoscopy recovery. Severe cases of endometriosis may call for a laparotomy. Unfortunately in some cases these procedures are not a one and done solution to endometriosis, many women face these procures multiple time throughout their lives.

There is hope. There are hundreds of support groups all over the country and internet with women who face the same struggles you might be facing. With the help of the you along with the EndoMarch, let's empower, educate, and effect change to END ENDO!

Image Courtesy of @kandymcv 
References
"Endometriosis. Blog Post. Worldwide Endometriosis March. N.p., n.d. Web. 26. 2018.

Worldwide EndoMarch: Team Chicago Worldwide EndoMarch: Team Chicago Reviewed by Kandace McVickar on Monday, March 26, 2018 Rating: 5
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