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Me Not Talk Good

I’m only 24 years old, but already I’m starting to feel “old.” I appreciate going to bed at a decent hour. Loud music makes me rather grumpy. The cons are starting to outweigh the pros of eating junk food. Some of this is just the natural progression of aging, but a lot of it has to do with endometriosis too.

For a long time, though, I didn’t know that. I thought this was just what getting old feels like. I don’t have as much energy as I used to, I get a lot more aches and pains, I’m not as young as I was! But at 24 I do think I’m feeling a little older than I ought to.

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One of the biggest changes I noticed was my eloquence. I’m a writer, and while I’m introverted I do feel that I speak well. Or, at least, I used to. Now I find myself fumbling over words and trailing off into nothing more and more. I thought this could be a number of things – just getting older, using technology and the internet more, or perhaps it was a lasting side effect of the pain medication I’ve spent so much time on. I never really thought it could have anything to do with endometriosis.

For those of you who don’t know, endo is a chronic pain condition in women. It is a disease of the reproductive organs. What do those lady bits have to do with my brain and speech patterns?

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Well, something. I don’t know what exactly. But I do know that the more I’ve tapped in to the online endo community, the more reports I’ve seen of this exact problem. It’s definitely a common side effect of endo. It just isn’t talked about much because other symptoms are so much more prominent.

It makes a lot of sense, though. Many mothers-to-be report scatter-brained-ness during pregnancy. Anything that is a side effect of pregnancy can be a side effect of endo because both are instances of shifts and imbalances in hormone levels. This means that endo could be the source of all kinds of things like nausea, tender breasts, bloating, weight gain, and strange cravings.

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When I realized that endo was causing me to loose words and stumble through communication, it opened my eyes to how extensive endo really is. No system in your body is an island. Every part of you is connected, and when one part is unwell, all of you is unwell. Connecting the dots has explained a lot about my day to day experiences. Recently I had extensive bloodwork done to try to understand the infertility issues I’ve been having. What we found seemed random and confusing – until you remember to connect all the dots and see the big picture. Because of endo, my hormones are obviously out of whack. For one thing, I’m apparently insulin-resistant, raising my risk of diabetes in the future. That’s something we would never have found – my doctor said that insulin resistance is very rare in people who are underweight – like me. I also have too much male hormones and not enough female ones – that’s embarrassing. So I get angry, I’m hairier than I’d like to admit, and my acne has come back. Acne, I told you back in high school, leave me alone!

But knowledge is power. I’m taking a female hormone pill and a diabetes medication to help get those things in balance. And the talking? I’ve learned to let it go. I keep talking until I get whatever I need to say out. Grammar does not always accompany it. My husband is very sweet and doesn’t make fun of me when I get lost in a sentence or say the wrong word. He knows what I meant. I must say, though, that I feel really stupid when I’m angry and we’re fighting and I’m trying to say why I’m so upset and then I just babble words that don’t go together. It makes it take much longer to win a fight that way.

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What about you? Have you ever found unexpected side effects of an illness? Tell me your stories in the comments!

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About rachelmeeks

My name is Rachel Meeks. I have endometriosis, an incurable pain condition, IBS, a digestive illness, and PCOS, which causes irregular periods and infertility. After keeping my illnesses a secret, I started to get upset about how my fellow sick people were being mistreated because of ignorance. I knew that I'd need to stand up, make some noise, wear my heart on my sleeve, and admit that I am not well to make a difference.

21 responses to “Me Not Talk Good

  1. Yoshiko

    Hard to wind down after a quarrel

  2. jcerrone ⋅

    Wow. That’s so interesting. I really want to do some research now into more autoimmune diseases and speech/communication. I used to talk NONSTOP. Now I find myself fumbling over words and not communicating clearly. Great post – very thought provoking! ~ Juls

  3. escharae

    I always thought my speech problems had to do with my MS, or with medication I take for insomnia/anxiety/depression. Another thing to add to the list!

  4. I have fibromyalgia, PCOS, and chronic fatigue. I also feel like I’m well spoken but some days I swear I can’t muster up a third grade vocabulary! Just feels like the wires don’t always connect these days.

  5. I see it more the other way around. The hormone imbalance and inflammation present in the body exacerbates the endometriosis. Controlling environmental factors which disrupt hormones and increase inflammation throughout the body will/may help control endometriosis (although not “cure” it). But it’s a tough overhaul, with a drastic change in food and drink choices, getting rid of plastics, reducing stress, and so on. Since leaving practice and talking to people out and about, I am hearing of many very thin females with insulin resistance. I was floored.

    • Yeah the insulin resistance is crazy. I looked it up online and there was next to nothing about being underweight and having it. It always said it happens when you’re overweight. So weird! And ironic. I love sugar! Come on, cells, take it! JUST TAKE THE SUGAR GAHHH

      I’ve already worked on cutting plastics out of my kitchen life. I haven’t really thought about them anywhere else – I guess they’re in everything probably lol. And I only eat organic meat in an effort to avoid those hormones – same with milk and cheese and whatnots. But I’m not really sure past that what to do about food. I also don’t know how the cause/effect works with endo – if endo causes a hormone imbalance or if endo IS a hormone imbalance, it’s almost like which came first – the chicken or the egg? A lot of guessing because somehow we still don’t know what actually causes endo to happen in the first place. >.< Def willing to try new things though, as I learn more and more.

  6. Something people outside of the chronic illness or disabled community don’t fully grasp is how the brain IS WHO WE ARE. So when our bodies change and our brains start to change, that’s us.
    People say, “don’t let your illness define you,” but it’s literally changing your brain matter, therefore your very personality and who you are at the core.
    I can say after having acquired brain damage that having an understanding husband is really helpful in not making me feel like an idiot all the time :/ So glad yours is also supportive.

    • Ha yes, understanding husbands are awesome. And I really really appreciate the fact he doesn’t make fun of me all the time because he totally could.

      And very well stated on the “letting illness define you” bit. I hate that point of view – your body is a huge part of who you are. People are way too in love with the idea of never changing “who you really are” but that just doesn’t make sense, all of us change all the time! Like I said, very well put!

      • Very true, I like the way you said that. People really hate the idea of change- even if it is others doing the changing. We evolve. We grow. It can be a good thing. I personally think embracing change instead of fighting it makes the whole journey (life) better for us.
        I really enjoy your posts. Very glad I found you 🙂

      • Aw thanks! That comment made my day. 🙂

  7. Lindsay

    ugh, with POTS and lack of adequate blood flow to my brain, not only do I get lightheaded, i also regularly have difficulty talking. often i cannot think of very simple words, but instead have to describe it (like instead of refrigerator, i’ll call it the thing that keeps food cold). fortunately the BF has been with me long enough that he knows what i’m trying to see, but it can get very frustrating (not to mention embarrassing) in a professional setting. lawyers are supposed to talk good 🙂

  8. Stephanie

    Unexpected side effects from drugs are very common with me. I have learned to take a prescribed drug, see what side effects I experience, and then I check out the side effects of the drug. I am that 1% that gets the ____ side effect. My chemical sensitivity is a continual learning experience.

  9. Would it help if I told you I was 66 and I just helped my best friend celebrate her 87th birthday? Age is a number. It has no real meaning except to landmark time. There are days I feel 166, but I try to not let those days get the best of me.

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