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Managing Expectations and Emotions

Hey Herd! It's Allie Carlson, back to share more of my endo journey. The last few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster across the globe. With a looming surgery date for an autoimmune disease, I have felt extra uneasy. My day to day life isn’t drastically changed. I work from home, and my horse is boarded at a very small private barn so it is easy to keep my distance from others, but there was one significant change to my life and plans, my endometriosis surgery date.

From the start, my surgery was pushed back almost 6 weeks from when I first met with my doctor and we decided surgery was the best route. My doctor was traveling, and I was farm sitting so dates were not lining up for scheduling surgery and then be physically able to handle the work load running a farm requires. Eventually we settled on March 27th. This week I got the call that my surgery would be postponed. My doctor had traveled outside of the US, and it was deemed all surgeries must be delayed two weeks to ensure he was healthy and would not be passing on COVID-19 to his patients.

While cognitively I understand, and am grateful for this, emotionally I am tired. Last summer was a battle with my uterus. I had many painful days, and moved plans around, and would worry that events and things I wanted to do would fall on days where I had my period, and was too sick to attend them. I do not want to face another summer like that. One of my biggest issues that they think is part of my suspected endo, is chronic back pain. It is worst at night and will wake me up and causes me to have trouble sleeping. I just want some of these battles to subside. I don’t want to worry about my period making it impossible for me to live my life. I don’t want my back pain to wake me up every night. I want relief. And it is hard to have seen it coming so close (less than 10 days away) and then having it delayed again.

So what’s a girl to do? Well I got mad, felt sassy (okay, that might be more of a permanent state of being). I told my husband and Forest that if they pushed it back again I wouldn’t do it until the fall so I could ride (or not ride, see struggles above) this summer while Alaska had its break from the snow. Both Tom and Forest reminded me that as hard as it is to see and accept, my health should be my number one priority. The reality is, I need to look at this with gratitude that my herd (Tom and Forest) and the doctors were looking out for my health. And I need to respond the same way, by hopefully having surgery on April 10th. It could find nothing; it could find something. Who knows? But it will give me direction, and hopefully clarity about the pain that I have battled with for many, many years.

The moral of my story, lean on your herd. Talk to them. There will be many disappointments as we face quarantine and isolation, but trust your herd to have your back, even if it’s just via texting or FaceTime. We are all going to have moments of fear, anger and sass, they are real feelings that we need to acknowledge and accept, but we are in this together.