• We For Women

Erin Colquhoun's Story


Recently, I have discovered that I have a condition called Endometriosis which causes me great pain and tiredness anytime of the day or week.

As I am getting older, it is getting harder for me to manage. Sometimes I may not look in pain, but on the inside, I am howling inside. I am going through pain management and on a waiting list to see the gynaecologist to see what may be done to help my condition. Being on the contraceptive pill for me, makes me worse and I become an extreme emotional mess if I am honest. Over this past 19 years, I have felt a little lost, frustrated and alone trying my hardest to figure out what was unusual and wrong with me compared to others around me. I would explain to others that I was really tired and don’t feel right with a lot of pain all of the time. Sometimes the pain can be numb but there. Sometimes it hits you hard like you are being torn up in the inside whilst being set on fire. And all through this pain, you are expected to look, act and seem normal to the outside world. You are told constantly to smile more when you are trying your hardest. You smile as hard as you can whilst in continuous physical and emotional exhaustion from fighting another day of pain. I thought this tiredness may be a result as I am on my feet a lot during the day but I knew something wasn’t right. The doctor first thought that it may be depression and anxiety many, many years ago. I was immediately given anti-depressant after anti-depressant after anti-depressant. To this day, I have no clue which one was which and what many of them did for me except make me fade into a spiralling numb fog. However, there was one anti-depressant that worked at first. I was as happy as I had ever been in a long time. But suddenly, one day I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a bus. A phrase that I had never heard of before until now! I looked at these tablets and wanted to take them all. I was in a bad place with my health and my personal life. My brain kicked in after being asleep for so long as the pills made me feel no emotion for anything. I phoned my mother straight away who came to my aid, who flushed these tablets down the toilet and rushed me to the hospital. I was given counselling as I refused to take any of these tablets ever again. This helped and this was the place that I found my love for Yoga. I didn’t realise that this was the sport for me. It helps me stay calm and escape for half an hour to as long as I feel that day. Yoga has stayed with me ever since and I am extremely grateful that. I have numerous outlets to escape into for when my condition gets worse for example art, music, yoga, swimming, walking and scootering. But again, just these things on their own can sometimes not be enough. I felt that my pain and exhaustion was now impacting onto everything in my life. The constant discomfort and pain was bringing negativity into my life. When I closed the door from pretending I was fine to the outside world I would cry for days at home if I’m honest. I had been told over the years that I communicate funny and oddly, always tired and whilst trying too hard to be constantly happy. I went to the doctor to see if I had special needs or anything else on a list of things they thought I may have. They explained that this time I may have Autism and IBS but would do more tests to take it further. I felt relieved but worried as this would mean I’m even odder having two things different when mentioning it to people. I always keep people in the loop but I felt weird telling people in case they made me feel even worse. I would mention to others around me what was going on with my health anyway even though afraid. Whilst waiting on the results, I completely changed my diet and also worked on my health over all. I continued to practice Yoga and would either walk or use my push scooter to escape to the beach for fresh air whenever my pain got too much. Making my brain focus for a little while seemed and still does help manage the pain a little better whilst my body gets to move around too. I also followed the FOD diet for a while and gradually cut out all meat and now I am mostly vegetarian. I still have one cup of coffee or tea a day but only one. I have discovered that caffeine makes it a lot worse and no one wants to feel like a whale going to explode with gas and pain especially when you are out and about! Finally, I was scanned at the hospital. They mentioned that Endometriosis is to be the cause and that there was no surprise that it has taken so long to discover. Endometriosis hides and disguises itself as my other different things whilst a young woman is developing and maturing. Endometriosis in most cases is discovered mainly on average in a woman between the ages of 18–35 years old. Sometimes it can also carry on until a woman reaches menopause. I felt instantly relieved when I finally had this confirmed but then a sense of panic set over. My brain started talking and worrying about having kids. My brain would ask “Can you have them? You don’t want them now but what happens if you try and you can't! Ovarian Cancer…that’s not good too! Ulcers that you have to watch in case they develop into….” I paused and spoke the cancer word whispered inside my head as I was afraid again. And also “You had to get a condition that ruins all of your fun! No caffeine! I mean what is that?! And painful sex…go on womb and ruin my fun! And if that lady nurse said one more time that I will always feel this way and there is no cure well…I am going to cry and storm walk all the way home until I find one!” After crying over many days that moved on into a weird state of numbness and anger trying to re-evaluate what I wish in life, I realised that I was worrying too much and I should take it as it comes. If I can’t do the things I wish to do in the future then I will find other ways. And if that does not help then I will move on and I will live a life managing and trying to love my pain. Now I am trying to spend each moment of each day trying to remember that the pain does not rule me. I rule it! I may wake up in extreme pain or I may not. I have to act like there will be no surprises and manage it when it arrives. Living in fear of the pain was starting to drain and take over my life until I realised that I was looking at someone who had lost themselves over constant worry and fear. I am still afraid of my next hospital appointment as they are checking my ulcers in case I am in need of surgery and also to see that they are not growing or spreading into something more serious. I wanted to create this blog to share my journey and hope it may add some insight or information for someone who may know someone going through this similar situation.


Is there a key moment of your life you would like to share?

The biggest turning point through this was when I visited the doctor who first thought that my Endo was originally depression and anxiety. I was immediately given anti-depressant after anti-depressant after anti-depressant. To this day, I have no clue which one was which and what many of them did for me except make me fade into a spiralling numb fog. However, there was one anti-depressant that worked at first. I was as happy as I had ever been in a long time. But suddenly, one day I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a bus. A phrase that I had never heard of before until now! I looked at these tablets and wanted to take them all. I was in a bad place with my health and my personal life. My brain kicked in after being asleep for so long as the pills made me feel no emotion for anything. I phoned my mother straight away who came to my aid, who flushed these tablets down the toilet and rushed me to the hospital. This was a key moment in my life as this situation caused me to have a mental breakdown for he very first time.


How do you reflect on the journey that brought you here?

After crying over many days that moved on into a weird state of numbness and anger trying to re-evaluate what I wish in life, I realised that I was worrying too much and I should take it as it comes. If I can’t do the things I wish to do in the future then I will find other ways. And if that does not help then I will move on and I will live a life managing and trying to love my pain. Now I am trying to spend each moment of each day trying to remember that the pain does not rule me. I rule it! I may wake up in extreme pain or I may not. I have to act like there will be no surprises and manage it when it arrives. Living in fear of the pain was starting to drain and take over my life until I realised that I was looking at someone who had lost themselves over constant worry and fear. I am still afraid of my next hospital appointment as they are checking my ulcers in case I am in need of surgery and also to see that they are not growing or spreading into something more serious. I feel that all of this mess has helped me to realise who I really am and develop a tough yet empathetic soul as I had to help myself and also others going through the same thing.


What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear was that there is so far not much help for this condition and I have to live with it until I reach menopause. I feel relieved that my condition has been confirmed but then a sense of panic sometimes sets over me. My brain worries about having kids. My brain would ask me sometimes “Can you have them? You don’t want them now but what happens if you try and you can't! Ovarian Cancer…that’s not good too! Ulcers that you have to watch in case they develop into…. And also “You had to get a condition that ruins all of your fun! No caffeine! I mean what is that?! And painful sex…go on womb and ruin my fun! And if that lady nurse said one more time that I will always feel this way and there is no cure well…I am going to cry and storm walk all the way home until I find one!” I worry about all these things but these things can occur to anyone at anytime in life.


What is your biggest achievement and how did you get there?

So far my biggest achievement whilst living with this condition is that I have learned to do the things you love, eat well, sleep well, exercise and most of all laugh through the pain as it will not win. Spend a day in bed if you must spending all day watching your favourite film or reading your favourite book. Eat well but you can treat yourself to that giant crisp bag or multi bag of sweets. Exercise to your favourite song and breathe the fresh air!


What would you say to the 10-year-old you?

Now I would tell 10 year old me that I have to try spending each moment remembering that the pain does not rule me. I rule it! To do the things you love and remember the people and things that are important to you.


How would you describe yourself?

Erin Colquhoun has an interest in art, yoga and teaching. Erin has developed her art career taking part in exhibitions, events and projects particularly if they are for a great cause and to help people. She has a background in music after studying Classical/Spanish/Rock and Blues guitar after and is currently doing her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All