A few tips for School & Social Settings
Keep a pain journal: this is an easy way to track your symptoms. You can review your journal with your healthcare provider to help “map” your pain daily experiences. Keep notes on when pain and symptoms occurred, what you were doing at the time, how your diet was that day, and other relevant information. A simple way to note your pain levels is on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being minimal and 10 being the most severe. Detail other symptoms, like bleeding, stomach pain, bladder issues, etc. so you have a comprehensive review. Chart in your journal at least every other day – and include days when you feel good and have no symptoms.
Talk to your nurse or counselor - or even a trusted couch or academic advisor. Explain what you’re going through and seek guidance from these trusted professionals. Often, those around us understand better if they know what’s going on.
If you are going away to school, or are already away, make sure you have copies of your medical records and insurance cards. Find out where the campus health center is and what services they offer. Ask in particular if anyone at the center has experience with endometriosis. Find out the closest hospital in case you need it, and find a local gynecologist to manage your care while you are away from home.
Pain in social settings can be very difficult. You don’t need to be embarrassed, however. Let your friends know what you are dealing with and although it may be hard, try not to let your symptoms rule your life. If you are having a rough day (or week), encourage your friends to get together at your home or dorm room instead of going out. Planning in advance when possible can also help you stay involved in activities.
If you have to cancel activities or miss class or work, try to take it all in stride. Be honest with those involved and offer an explanation. Dealing with chronic pelvic pain can be stressful and upsetting, so do let those around you know what you’re coping with. You may even discover others in your circle who are also dealing with the disease.
Don’t try to overdo it. Understanding your pain thresholds and symptom triggers can help you manage and adapt accordingly.