I know you’ve heard it: It’s the end of a decade, the start of a new one. Make this the best decade yet.
But can you make this the best decade in terms of your endometriosis? If you’re like me, when I feel better, everything else in my life gets better. I have the energy, stamina, and focus to be present with my loved ones, to do my best work, to care for my body, and to experience things I’ve longed to try.
You might have loads of goals for this year or the next decade, but how would those goals be affected if you focused on being well first?
This year, I asked myself what held me back last year. Which health challenges affected my personal growth, goals, happiness, and well-being? Resolving which health problems would affect me the most?
By asking myself these questions, I identified three key goals for 2020. I hope to expand on them over the next decade. Perhaps they will motivate you on your own health journey in 2020.
Sleep is an ongoing issue for me. My cortisol and insulin levels have been messed up for a number of years, and painful bladder syndrome and noisy neighbors meant 2018 and 2019 were not great years for sleep. But last year I actively worked on doing what I could to feel rested in the morning. Some nights it worked and I was on fire with energy the next day; other times, I struggled to push through.
I know there’s more I can do. So this is the year of sleep. I’m committing to reading, no screens, and low light before bedtime. I will have a set bedtime, and strive for a minimum of eight hours of sleep. I want 2020 to be the best year of sleep I’ve ever had. For someone who’s suffered with insomnia most of my life and is known for working until midnight, it’s going to take dedication, commitment, and discipline.
One of the things my physio has been working on with me is muscle tension, which is causing pain and distortion in my bladder and is affecting the pain I feel when I have an endometriosis flare. I have incredibly tight calves. In a downward-facing dog yoga pose, my knees are at a right angle — no exaggeration.
The tightness of my calves is affecting my pelvic floor, and I’ve been doing a forward-fold pose to loosen them. But it’s slow progress and I want a goal to work toward this year. I’ve decided to get my calves so stretched and loosened that I’ll be able to do a downward-facing dog or forward fold with my hands touching the floor and straight legs. It’s going to require me to show up, stretching every day and doing yoga, pilates, physio, and massages. But I’m here for it.
Bladder function and comfort
In the last few months of 2019, I focused on healing my painful bladder syndrome symptoms with pelvic floor physiotherapy. It made a huge difference to my quality of life, and my pain and frequency were noticeably reduced. That work is ongoing, and I’ll keep it up for as long as needed, but I also want to turn my attention to the internal lining of my bladder.
I’ve been avoiding a cystoscopy, but it seems any small trigger food causes a painful flare in my bladder. That tells me and my physio that there’s damage that needs to be addressed internally. The real way to know what I’m dealing with and how to fix it is to have a camera inserted. It’s not something I want to do, but I need to do it. From there, I will work with my nutritionist and address any long-term infection that may be present. I’m planning to check with my health insurance to try to speed up the process.
My aim is to have a comfortable, symptom-free bladder with a normal level of frequency by the end of the year.
What are your health goals in 2020?
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.