A Little Here, a Little There: Endometriosis and Creativity.


As most of you know, I have endometriosis. This is a disease that only affects women. Generally speaking, it is caused by the lining of the uterus detaching itself and implanting in places it doesn’t belong: on and in fallopian tubes, outside of the uterus, on the spine, peritoneum, lungs, etc. It can cause pain and a multitude of other unpleasant symptoms; yet some women have endo and have no pain. It’s a weird, complex disease. It’s basically a cancer that doesn’t kill you.

After five years of pain, I was diagnosed with endo in 2008 through laparoscopic surgery. Since that surgery six years ago, my disease has grown progressively worse. Where before it used to be only pain on my  period, now I have pain in one form or another throughout the month (the back pain is a particular kind of terrible). I also have limited energy to do all the things I need to do and want to do.

I have big plans for this month. Yesterday was not a great day for me. I carried a sewing machine about forty feet and was in pain for the rest of day. I shouldn’t lift heavy things but sometimes I forget this and my independent, stubborn side just screams “You don’t need no stinkin’ help!” and I do silly things like mop, and vacuum, and scrub the bathtub, even as my husband is saying “STOP STOP STOP” and then I hurt for a few days. Silly. Silliness. I’m twenty-five years old (soon to be 26) and I can’t mop a floor. Silliness. I’m twenty-five years old and don’t always ask for help. Silliness.

There is a bit of hope on the horizon for me: another surgery. But this time, the correct kind. The kind that will make me feel somewhat better. My specialist doctor says that he doesn’t think I’ll ever be pain free, but that he can drastically reduce the pain I do have. This is WONDERFUL news. He also says that I may need months of recovery and specialized medical care to get me back to functioning almost normally. The surgery is not a silver bullet. But it’s hope. And I haven’t had hope for a long time.

Back to yesterday. I was really upset with myself over how poorly I was feeling, upset that I lifted that damn machine when my whole body was telling me not to, upset that I hadn’t already had the surgery and was already through the long recovery phase so I could be at my best for Blue Genie. I was feeling incredibly down looking at all the work people are getting done for the show on Instagram; feeling upset that I couldn’t be powering through product after product and getting my display components completely ready in the way that other people are. It was a sad place to be and I broke the cardinal rule of the Internet: never go on a lifestyle-comparison spree on Instagram when you’re feeling badly.

But instead of completely wallowing in that self-pity, I only partially wallowed. I got up when I felt like I could and did one thing. Even if that one thing was: get the pincushion and put it on the table – I did that one thing. By the end of the day I had several pieces of fabric cut out for my new Jack Friday product, and a plan for today. In addition to that, I wrote just over 3 thousand words for NaNoWriMo. I just sat and typed when I felt like it: a little in the morning, a little before dinner, a little after dinner. And by the end of the day I had 3k to show for it.

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit better physically, and realized it is November 14. Just by doing a little here and a little there over the last two weeks, I’ve written over 17,000 words for my novel, which is more than I’ve ever written for one project, ever. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m going to have a book written by the end of the month and that is a goal I’ve had nearly my entire life; I’d just never had a plan before. I’ve designed and ordered parts for a whole new product, I’ve woven the fabric for that product, and I’ve cut out the parts for that product. In 14 days, by just doing a little here and a little there, I’ve achieved so much. It’s not what I used to be able to do, and it’s not all that I want to be able to do. But two years ago I was living by the thought that if I can’t do everything, I shouldn’t do anything.

This year I’m in Blue Genie and am writing a book. And those are beautiful things.

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6 Responses to A Little Here, a Little There: Endometriosis and Creativity.

  1. Hannah Corson says:

    17,000 words?! Thats insane!!! Congrats!!! What is your book about?

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Thank you!!! It’s a mystery. The sleepy town of Harper’s End is perplexed when Victorian dolls start appearing on the doorsteps of houses – dolls that look exactly like the young women residing there.

  2. Diane says:

    Hang in there! I hope the surgery goes well and that the recovery is smooth. I haven’t seen your blog in a long while, but I thought of it today because I went to a local fiber arts sale put on by a weaving guild… it was amazing and great fun. There were demos of spinning yarn and weaving.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Thank you so much, I hope so as well! I love fiber fairs so much; we just had our local one. Look forward to it every year. Thanks for coming back by!

      • Diane says:

        One of the looms that was being used was called an inkling loom. The name made me giggle. The woman was weaving the most beautiful ribbon.

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