Endo Warrior | Amanda Chico

Painful. Uncomfortable. Confused. Scared. Worried.  These are some of the emotions I felt when I found out from my doctors that I have Endometriosis. Going back to when I was in middle school is when I first noticed that something was different. When I got my first cycle, I was nervous and scared. I remember the horrible sex education talk in 5th grade. Trust me we have to get better as a society to explain puberty to girls. Most girls (myself included) were so embarrassed to talk about periods. The talks they have in schools make the conversation feel rushed and leave girls with so many questions. Speaking for myself I had so many questions, but felt too embarrassed to ask. I had the feeling that I would be judged by my peers for asking questions that made them feel uncomfortable, and me left feeling dumb for asking question. I am grateful that I have a mom and sister that helped me through this challenging part of life. They made me feel comfortable and informed about my body. I wish all girls felt this way, and had someone to help them through this part of life. 

I noticed these were not the normal period symptoms and feelings. I would feel so helpless getting up out of bed and saying "oh great…. My period is here", the cramps, the back pains, the headaches, and all the things you experience being on your period. My cramps were unbearable! My family and friends would tell me “ Oh the first day is always the worst and could be the heaviest”. I noticed that my cycles were heaviest for almost the whole week and sometimes would last longer. If my first day of my cycle landed on a school day I would most likely have to skip school because the pain was so bad that I couldn't walk. Or I would try to suck it up and go to school which resulted in only going half day because the pain was unbelievable I was so nervous to tell my mom that I felt I needed to go to the doctors and be put on birth control. At this time I made the decision because most of my friends were experiencing the same thing. They mentioned that being on birth control helped lighten their periods. I went through multiple forms of birth control to find the one that worked best for my body. I tried the pill-nothing. I tried the shot- and it actually made my cycles longer and heavier. I came across the IUD, and that has been the miracle worker. After being on the IUD for at least a year I noticed my mood immediately changed. I felt that I had more energy throughout the day. The first day of my cycle is always the worst, cramps for sure, but the IUD  has helped so much. Within the year my period was gone. Having endometriosis has been challenging, but I am extremely thankful that the IUD has helped me so much through life. 

I want to spread awareness to all girls of all ages to not feel embarrassed. It’s your body! If you are feeling a certain way ask your doctor. Explore your options and see which one works for you. If you are not feeling ok, it's ok to not feel ok at times.  But, it's so important to ask for help. You are not alone in this, you should not feel embarrassed for asking for help. I would love to break the stigma, of if you are asking for help or reaching for guidance does not mean you are weak/powerless/dumb. It does not mean you are weak if you need help. You are not weak if all you want to do is sit on your couch with a big bowl of ice cream and watch reruns of “One Tree Hill”. You are important, always, and forever. Talking to my  doctors about birth control helped me so much. It gave me energy to go to work, hang out with my family, and be around horses. Those of you who follow my journey (IG: amandachico.equine) may know Roy, he is an almost 14 year old Holsteiner that I have been leasing for 7 years! He is so sweet and makes the hard days instantly better. On the days I am feeling not myself and down, cuddles from him make it all better. He has helped me be the person I am today. If not for him, I could not imagine my life the way that it is. Thank you so much for reading my story. Always remember your voice matters, it is YOUR body, and that you are fearless!