I’ll start this column with a confession: I am a strange person.
It’s not that I consider myself special or unique — I can’t be the only one whose idea of heaven involves strawberry milkshakes with fries. However, I tend to describe myself as “perfectly normal” when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. If you watch me closely, I engage in some very peculiar behaviors. And most of these habits are closely linked to my chronic illness.
My endometriosis affects every aspect of my life: morning habits, dietary needs, nighttime routines, even how I sit. After living with endometriosis for a few years, I have developed a series of practices that feel completely normal to me, but can seem quite strange for anyone unaffected by this disease.
Following are some of my peculiar habits:
I hate sharing a bathroom.
Who loves taking turns and sprinting to the toilet when it is free? Not only do I hate this, it causes me a great deal of anxiety. Before going with friends on a holiday that involves sharing a bathroom, I will obsess about it for weeks. If someone mentions camping, thoughts of communal restrooms will send me down a spiral of despair. My anxiety will manifest in sweating and an unbearable amount of pressure on my chest.
The fact is that I live with symptoms that sometimes make me run to the bathroom. The thought of someone being in there when my body decides to “implode” is my version of a nightmare come true.
I check every chair I’ve sat on.
I do this not once, but twice. Because heavy bleeding will make it through any moon cup, pad, or item of clothing I’m wearing, I check every surface my butt lands on. I will even do so when I am not bleeding.
I take my hot water bottle to the movies or on public transport.
My pelvic pain kicks me in the butt more often than not, and when I need an extra bit of comfort I have been known to fill up my hot water bottle at home and carry it with me wherever I go. I get puzzled looks every time. Yet what baffles me is why don’t I see more people doing it, because my hot water bottle is my preferred form of pain relief.
I decide that some foods aren’t good for me but eat them anyway.
Many dietary restrictions that others swear by make no difference to me. Since overdoing it with painkillers years ago, my stomach became extremely sensitive to certain inflammatory foods. Sometimes I am bloated just because, even when I avoid the foods that tend to trigger my discomfort.
It’s no surprise that I sometimes wonder what’s the point. That’s when I break and dive face-first into the biggest pizza I can find, which is definitively not gluten-free.
Avoiding inflammatory foods can be beneficial for endometriosis patients, so I wish I could be stricter with my diet, but it turns out I am human after all.
Writing about my strange habits feels akin to sharing my darkest secrets, but I know I am not alone in this.
What are your peculiar habits? What are the things you do that others would consider strange? Please feel free to share in the comments below.
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.