In the second part of our inter­view, Lea tells us how living with endo­me­trio­sis chan­ges ever­ything and what helps her in her ever­y­day life. You can read the first part of the inter­view with Lea here 

How do you feel about living with endometriosis? 

I have come to terms with my endo­me­trio­sis. It is a part of me that will accom­pany me for a very long time. That’s why I can’t fight against it fore­ver and have accep­ted it as it is. She is just my silent com­pa­n­ion who gets loud from time to time and brings me to my knees. But that’s ok for me, I can handle it

How does endometriosis affect your everyday life? 

In the begin­ning endo­me­trio­sis affec­ted my ever­y­day life a lot. I thought about it all the time and had a hard time pushing it away. In the mean­time, howe­ver, I try to focus on the here and now and spe­cu­late less about future con­tin­gen­cies that may never hap­pen. That helps me a lot! Of course, this is often dif­fi­cult due to the ever­y­day pain and pro­blems, but I have now found quite good ways to focus on some­thing else.

Endo­me­trio­sis often limits acti­vi­ties, but I, or rather we, have come to terms with that and I am no lon­ger annoyed when it throws a span­ner in the works. In the end, I didn’t choose all this and I can’t change much about it. But I can influ­ence how I deal with it and whe­ther I let it drag me down – and I try to stay posi­tive as much as pos­si­ble, no mat­ter what happens.

Are there any daily habits that help you live with endometriosis more comfortably?

My pain is chro­nic and the­re­fore almost daily. At first it was hard for me. Most of the time I did not­hing, stayed on the sofa because I wasn’t fee­ling well. But that didn’t make it any bet­ter, in fact it some­ti­mes made it worse. That’s why I deci­ded at some point that I can’t put my life on hold fore­ver. The­re­fore, I retur­ned to sports: hor­se­back riding, going for walks, yoga. Espe­cially when I am in pain. Of course, it’s often hard for me to get on the horse and do jum­ping or dres­sage trai­ning when ever­ything hurts. There have been times when I just couldn’t do it. Often times it helps me to focus com­ple­tely on some­thing else. On bad days I do some­thing light, just go for a walk or do a rela­xed yoga ses­sion.  On bet­ter days I like to do more.

Leben mit Endometriose, Endometriose, Bewegung bei Endometriose, Schmerzen bei Periode, Schmerzen durch Endometriose, Ernährung bei Endometriose, Alltag Endometriose, Hilfe bei Endometriose
Leben mit Endometriose, Endometriose, Bewegung bei Endometriose, Sport bei Endometriose,Schmerzen bei Periode, Schmerzen durch Endometriose, Ernährung bei Endometriose, Hilfe bei Endometriose

Photo Credits: Lea

Nutrition

I have always been keen on my diet, also before the dia­gno­sis, any­way, so I honestly haven’t adjus­ted anything yet. I’ve been doing inter­mit­tent fas­ting for several years now, which means I fast for at least 16 hours every day. Most of the time, the food is then con­cen­tra­ted on one very large but healthy meal in the evening. Lots of salad and vege­ta­bles, some fish and cheese, hardly any meat and gene­rally almost no pro­ducts con­tai­ning glu­ten. Howe­ver, I don’t let mys­elf be depri­ved of sweets from time to time. Since my dia­gno­sis, I have also con­si­de­red eli­mi­na­ting or repla­cing dairy pro­ducts, but I fai­led. Cof­fee with orga­nic milk sim­ply tas­tes much bet­ter to me than with almond/oat or rice milk. In addi­tion to that, I have also con­si­de­red a com­ple­tely anti-inflamma­tory diet, but so far I haven’t imple­men­ted it.

How has your life changed since your diagnosis?

Of course, living with endo­me­trio­sis has slo­wed down a lot of things. My stu­dies have been kind of on hold for a while because I just can’t really get on with it. Nevertheless there are also posi­tive sides: I’ve become much more open – I think that’s also the big­gest change. I never thought I would be able to talk so openly about my ill­ness, but it helps me and so many others. I get a lot in return, a lot of gra­ti­tude and appre­cia­tion, some­ti­mes from com­plete stran­gers – that encou­ra­ges me to do the right thing. Moreo­ver I get an incredi­ble amount of under­stan­ding from friends because I talk about it so openly. Ever­yone knows where they stand. That often makes things easier for me.

Through endo­me­trio­sis and the edu­ca­tio­nal work that I am now try­ing to do, I have found some­thing that I believe in, that gives me mea­ning and is incredi­bly fun – and that is worth a lot.

What inspired you to create your blog?

When I first suspec­ted I had endo­me­trio­sis, I scou­red the ent­ire inter­net for infor­ma­tion. Sci­en­ti­fic arti­cles, stu­dies, You­Tube chan­nels, blogs, Insta­gram accounts – I pro­bably know them all. But still, there was usually some­thing mis­sing for me: some­ti­mes a detailed descrip­tion or a per­so­nal insight or a medi­cal explana­tion. The­re­fore, I quickly had the thought that I would like to fill exactly this gap. That’s how my blog and then also my You­tube chan­nel came into being.

living with endometriosis, endometriosis treatment, acne, period pain, leakrssl, lea, Vulvani, endometriosis,
Endometriosis surgery, living with endometriosis, endometriosis treatment, acne, period pain, leakrssl, lea, Vulvani, endometriosis,

Photo Credits: Lea

Do you have any tips or ideas on how friends + family can help someone living with endometriosis?

I think the most important thing I can say is: try to under­stand us and take us seriously! The worst thing is when someone dis­mis­ses what you’re going through or doesn’t show under­stan­ding when we some­ti­mes can’t do what we’d like to do. Living with endo­me­trio­sis can be a huge bur­den – ever­yone deals with it dif­fer­ently. Try to be sen­si­tive to those affec­ted, lis­ten to what they have to say or even accept it if they don’t want to say anything about it. It is not easy, I know that mys­elf. But it takes a lot of pres­sure off when you know that there is someone you can rely on, who takes you seriously and under­stands what is going on.

Leben mit Endometriose, Endometriose, Bewegung bei Endometriose, Schmerzen bei Periode, Schmerzen durch Endometriose, Ernährung bei Endometriose, Alltag Endometriose, Hilfe bei Endometriose

Photo Credits: Lea

Thank you Lea!

If you have ques­ti­ons about endo­me­trio­sis or want to learn more about the dise­ase and living with endo­me­trio­sis, please check out Lea’s blog, Insta­gram and You­Tube chan­nel

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.