Tightly Bound | My Experience with Endometriosis and Why I Wrote 1 in 10.
Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Summer 2016 was a time for me when I was convinced everything in my life was finally falling into place. I was a naive 16 year old that had no idea just how much emotional and physical derailment was in store for me.
I've had dealt with pretty bad abdominal cramps most of my teenage life. I had accepted it was just a thing I had to deal with and move on in life. This was until early on in my 5th year of Secondary School, I began to notice I was dealing with more and more pain; and not just at "That Time Of The Month". I brought this to my Mother's attention and a quick trip to the doctor concluded a simple solution: just go on Birth Control Pills.
So I was prescribed the pill "Yaz" and I expected all of my problems to go away. They only just began here.
BC pills are incredibly subjective, what works for one woman could be devastating for another. And boy, this pill was my Kryptonite. I still consider the six long months I was taking Yaz to be the worst of my entire life. I had never sunk further into a sour mental state and I blamed it on just about anyone and anything except myself or this pill. I was in no way addicted, but the idea of something that was supposed to make me feel BETTER being the culprit was just too bizarre to me.
I won't get into too many details, but to be blunt; I was essentially a raging cow for most of 2017. This combined with being associated with an abundance of severely toxic, gas-lighting individuals and I was in my own personal hell.
And as many of you reading this may know, I was featured in an phone advert that same dreadful summer. This one particular ad I was in accumulated more than 100,000 views on YouTube, and my Gosh, people were not happy about that. It's hard to be a 17 year old trying to make a music career - or even just get out of bed - when opening YouTube or Twitter will expose you to all these comments calling you a "Specky Bitch" that "Needs to give up singing. For good". Diving deeper opened up much more vulgar comments and even threats of violence and violation... ...I'm not kidding y'all. 2017 was a ROUGH year for me.
It was during all this time when I was taking the pill, that my pains were not even alleviating slightly, matter of fact, I had been hospitalized twice as a result of the pain and it was only getting much, much worse.
As my pains worsened and my Leaving Cert was fast approaching, I was missing multiple days as a result of this seemingly endless pain. It wasn't until one day while I was nearly passing out from contraction-like agony that I first heard the word "Endometriosis". Well, that's a lie, we studied it a bit in Biology. And what did I learn about it in Biology class?
Well, I learned 3 things:
1. There was no known cause.
2. There was no known prevention.
3. There was no known cure.
I had entered my first appointment with my Gynecologist, the doctor that would go on to make a massive difference to my health. After I explained my symptoms he said he was nearly certain that it was Endo, and he did not beat around the bush. I had a Laparoscopy scheduled for just a few weeks later.
The surgery was nasty to say the least. I had 3 deep keyhole incisions right through my abdominal wall, and ablation done on multiple parts of my uterus. It was over a week of post-op pain and recovery.
But I never thought I'd actually feel tears of happiness well up in my eyes upon hearing my diagnosis - Grade II Endometriosis - I had an incurable chronic pain disease.
But it's the truth; I was so happy. I wasn't crazy. My pain was REAL and there was a REAL reason for it.
Of course, this happiness was short-lived. Now it was understanding the fact there actually was not a whole lot of treatment options for me. Now it was realising this disease was often believed to be fake or made up by sensitive girls that should just "take a Panadol and get over it." It was the anger that came with knowing 1 in 10 women deal with this every day, faking smiles, popping any painkillers they can get their hands on just so they can function and suffer in silence.
In this frustration, I staggered down to my little home studio and stayed there, messing with my software until I felt like I had vented enough. Then there was idea. Then there was a scratch track. Then there was development. Then there were lyrics.. Then nearly 2 months later.. I had a song.
And after all the boring legal stuff, that essentially brings us to now.
I wanna send a big thank you to the Endometriosis Association of Ireland, especially Chairperson Kathleen King for their support over the last few months.
Thank you to my family for being there for me with every hospital visit and painful night they had to endure with me.
Thank you to my incredible friends who are always around when I need a confidence boost or just some cop-on.
Thank you to John Greenham, who helped bring this song to the next level of where I wanted it to be.
Thank you to every doctor, gynae, nurse and physiotherapist that have been so kind and understanding to me every time I was in hospital because of this.
And thank you to my amazing friends in my CCFE Music course, especially my course director Eamonn Mulderrig for helping me find a passion for music again and putting up with my antics every day.
Thank you to my caring partner Joseph, who somehow has stuck by me these last few years even when I was at my very worst.
At the end of these crazy few years, even after the hardest times I have learned that no matter what; music will always be there for me.
This Specky Bitch is coming back.