For most of you that know me, you know flying if my life – correction, was my life. Flying used to be my break from life, break from reality. It was my way of living life, that was until things changed. That was before the days of me being stuck with an invisible illness that currently has no known causes and no known cure. I’d be lucky to have one ‘good’ week a month. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been unable to get out of bed because my pain my was so bad, the amount of times I’ve had to cancel plans leaving people thinking I’m just being lazy although reality was, I’d be unable to physically move. Over the past two years, my hot water bottle become my best friend. Walking into school 2/5 days I should have been there, trying to smile through the excruciating pain acting as though nothing was wrong, and of those days I managed to get out of bed it would usually end the same way every time. Leaving early, going home and crawling into bed with my hot water bottle. My family would be lucky to see me for an hour a day. Yet despite all the crippling pain I went through the most common thing I’ve heard from people is ‘you look fine to me’ and all I could think to myself was ‘I wish I felt fine”. My pain came in two levels. Bearable and unbearable. And what’s worse then the pain? Nobody believing your pain. I had doctors dismiss my pain saying “it’s not as painful as you say it is” “just take some pain medication” which I’ll add, nothing ever relieved my pain. Not a single thing and the medication I got prescribed did nothing either. Sometimes even worsened my pain. When you get told this over and over again, from health professionals who are meant to be helping you, and you have nothing to do about the pain except sit there and deal with it, your worst friend starts to creep in. Depression. I was lucky to have the most supportive people by my side to help me through this. I am one of ten woman who suffer from Endometrosis. An invisible illness than can only be seen from the inside. Maybe that’s why so many people and doctors know nothing about it? I’ll admit, I’d never heard of it till I started facing my own battle with it. Yet through all of this, I continued to fight for myself, all the doctors who said “your imagining the pain” or said “I think this is your problem…” was the motivation I needed to find the right person. I eventually got referred to a specialist who immediately agreed with me and had me book in for surgery but unfortunately this came at a hefty cost. We didn’t have health insurance but I was lucky enough to have people around me that could support me and get me the treatment I needed and for that I will be forever grateful for. At the beginning of July I had my surgery and I was relieved when the surgeon came to me the next day saying I had moderate endometrosis on the severe side. I finally had the answers I was looking for. From my first doctors appointment to getting the surgery was about 4 months. I sometimes wonder why was I the one to get diagnosed this fast? On average, a woman will wait 8 years to get diagnosed with endometrosis purely because there is so little to understand about it but I was fortunate enough to find the right one so early on. I’m still in the early stages of recovery but i no longer lie in bed in crippling pain wondering what is wrong with me and why no one has answers for me but I’m I know I’m still not cured. Will I ever be cured? It’s hard to say. Will my pain come back? Quite possibly. Will I need more surgeries in the future? It can’t be ruled out. My point is, you and only you know your body. You know when something isn’t right. I had to fight to get the answers I wanted and so do you. Pain isn’t a normal part of day to day life and neither it should be. You need to be the advocate for yourself because no one else will. Sometimes all you need to do is put up a fight. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.