On the Move With Endometriosis: Suitcases, Face Masks, and Fatigue

On the Move With Endometriosis: Suitcases, Face Masks, and Fatigue
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I am writing from Pamplona, a town in northern Spain, known for its bullfighting festivals — which I’m not into — and its meaty pintxos — which I’m also not into. What I’m into right now are quieter streets, a slower pace, and cuddles with my canine travel companion, Jarvis. At this present time, Pamplona fits the bill for all of that.

As I arrived at Pamplona’s train station some days ago, I pushed along an impossible-to-carry suitcase with rackety wheels and much inside. It felt like I was dragging my entire existence. In a way, I was. I had clothes to suit different temperatures, boxes of medication, a heating pad, a TENS machine, some books, Jarvis’ toys, my laptop, my hard drive … my life. 

As I struggled with all of my belongings I spotted a young girl staring at me. She was actually fixated on Jarvis, who reluctantly sat inside his travel bag I was carrying, his furry head bobbing along.

When I was a little girl, my father took care of all my bags. He packed them into the trunk of our car and never asked for help. I barely noticed when we moved or traveled anywhere as a child. It just happened. Any heavy bags were out of my reach, as was the stress of booking tickets or finding a place to stay. Summer smelled of warm beaches; my skin was permanently salty, my hair curly. All I had to worry about was seaweed getting tangled around my feet, and how much cash I could get out of my dad to eat some strange-looking piece of seafood. 

Back at the station, I couldn’t tell whether the little girl gazing at Jarvis was smiling under her mask, but I did force myself to smile back, making sure I used my eyes. In reality, I was wincing.

Every time the suitcase got trapped in the uneven ground, I felt a sharp tug from my insides.

There is one thing I particularly hate about endometriosis and that’s fatigue. Right now, it is hitting me hard. There will be a lot of travel until I reach anything resembling home. Fatigue makes me feel like every day is a climb up a steep, high mountain. It makes me wish for no possessions to haul around, no responsibilities. I also wish Jarvis could take over everything, but he can’t because he’s a dog. 

While I could do with a personal assistant, the truth is I am grateful to be able to carry my stuff, care for my dog, and have the freedom to move around, albeit slowly. I could just do without the heavy limbs and low energy. 

Worst PA ever, Jarvis Potato. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

Life, when I was little, was simpler and easier. However, as a grown-up, I get to share an ice cream with my dog, giggling disgustedly as I mix up his spoon with mine. I am in a beautiful town I have never seen before, and the sun is shining on both our faces. Then the tug happens again, but Jarvis is looking up at me, and I am delighted to give him the ice cream tub for him to lick clean. 

Remember:

Take it easy. So what if you move slower, do less? It is summer after all. If anyone rushes you, stand still, breathe deeply, and invite them to move along. You will eventually catch up. 

Drink plenty of fluids, as staying hydrated will ease any fatigue-related migraines. 

Wear a mask and wash your hands, over and over. It’s how life works right now. When it’s over, we will look back and say, “Wow, wasn’t that a funny summer?”

Stay safe. Smile at strangers.

***

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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