During Heartbreak and Illness, Life Can Still Be Funny

During Heartbreak and Illness, Life Can Still Be Funny
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As I type this, I listen to Céline Dion. You can’t see me, but you can visualize that I am lip-syncing quite passionately to “Your Light,” one of Dion’s hidden gems from the ’90s. I’d begun this column intending to write about the sorry weekend I had, with its bad dreams, nonstop bleeding, and a painful flare-up that rendered me useless while my pelvis slowly tortured me. I suffered through it completely alone, save for my two dogs and a wonderful box of codeine I’d forgotten about. Crying through my pain, all puffy-eyed, I felt like the biggest loser in the world. Mostly, I was terrified that inside of me hid yet another endometrioma ready to burst like the one that did so right before Christmas.

Yet instead, I am writing about a Céline Dion anthem … hold on, here comes the bridge! I should add that whenever I lip-sync to Céline, I do so with all of her power moves, chest-slapping and wide-legged stance included. 

And yet, my uterus still hurts. 

The lockdown in Madrid continues. I haven’t seen a familiar face in real life for almost four weeks now … I think? I am unwell and still, unfortunately, heartbroken. Teary-eyed, I am also missing everyone I left behind in the U.K. 

Yet, I don’t know if it comes with being part-British or having endometriosis, but I have a dark, sarcastic sense of humor. Whenever I am not crying, humorous is my default mode. And this is the mood I am presently in, despite all of the hurt. 

Which is why this is not a column about sorrow and endometriosis pain. 

Because why cry about the Death Valley that is my uterus when I can give it a pet name, like Baby Nosferatu, and direct all of my hatred at it? Some people project their negativity at those closest to them, their partners, wives, little sisters — how unhealthy that is. I look at what sits behind what was once a stunning belly button (thanks, repeated laparoscopies) and curse that useless and downright cruel pile of flesh. 

Also, why dwell on the fact that I have no one to care for me when my body fails me? Being by myself means I can shamelessly crawl to the nearest cupboard and eat all of the dark chocolate, completely guilt-free. I can also order a pizza on a weekday and feel no judgy eyes on me, except for Jarvis’s, who clearly expects me to give up all the crust. 

“Are you sure you should eat all of the pizza crust?” Jarvis, in nurse mode. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

Why cry about having to stay horizontal when it means I can watch all of the “Captain America” movies? Appreciating every single one of Chris Evans’s muscles is a formidable way to exercise my brain (and malfunctioning ovaries) while faintly cheering whenever he punches someone into oblivion. I can think of worse ways of spending a day in bed.

I know, I know … you cannot always laugh at your problems, Jess. Except, with endometriosis and the other conditions plaguing my tiny body, I’ve earned the right to do so. If anyone tells me otherwise, I will do a little dance, and with every pose I strike I’ll yell a symptom I live with daily — they will have to shut it. Because, my body, my sense of humor. Also, I am not alone in looking at my life through a comical lens.

I am fortunate to work with the most talented bunch of misfits. 

The rare disease community is full of the funniest, most politically incorrect jokers. For us, our sense of humor is not something we hide behind. It’s a language we have developed to digest these unique existences we get to live. Our perspectives are unique. We are hyperaware of the subtle ironies, or sometimes cruel pranks, life throws at us. From where we are standing, sitting, or lying, life takes a different shape, and it is sometimes interestingly funny.

Hey, we invented staying-in memes way before they were cool. 

And now I shall return to Céline Dion. “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” has just come on, and I have to give that epic power ballad the treatment it deserves.

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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.

My name is Jessie. I am a writer and part-time Yoga instructor living in the south of England. Since being diagnosed with endometriosis, I’m determined to be the boss of my chronic illness. You’ll find me with two sausage dogs curled up on my belly and my duvet nearby, writing about life and whatever my mind thinks up. This is my journey.
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My name is Jessie. I am a writer and part-time Yoga instructor living in the south of England. Since being diagnosed with endometriosis, I’m determined to be the boss of my chronic illness. You’ll find me with two sausage dogs curled up on my belly and my duvet nearby, writing about life and whatever my mind thinks up. This is my journey.

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2 comments

  1. Hi, Jessie
    Great column! Eons ago I was diagnosed with endometriosis. During the first few years I had some sort of x-ray to measure its progression. I guess there wasn’t any change, because they stopped requiring the test. I had no idea (or maybe I knew and forgot) that it could have ruptured. I look forward to reading more about your life with this heavy stone around your neck, and I hope that your condition stabilizes soon. Perhaps you’ll come visit me and say, “Hi,” at Fibromyalgia News Today.

    • Hi Christine, thanks so much for reading, and commenting :), and your well-wishes. I am sending you a massive hug – and yes, I SHOULD check out your column very soon, especially since fibro and endo are quite linked x

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