A new series of endo stories: creative nonfiction by endometriosis patients. Creative nonfiction uses literary styles and techniques to tell a personal story that is rooted in fact and reality. Kelly Sgroi’s flash piece is a powerful example of what it’s like to live with endometriosis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sleeping Bear
Just sitting at my kitchen table-cum-writing desk, that has become a home learning station for my two children, who have done their school assigned tasks for the day and are working on a writing game I set out for them, one that involves picking various characters, settings, and story details from a store bought kit; the sun is warming my back, an egg timer is running and it is quiet, too quiet for an anxious person on high alert with the current state of the world; a pandemic is the cause for my children to be learning from home, the reason I’ve been thrown in the deep end, teaching, but I sit in this chair at the head of the table in front of a north facing window as I stare into space, but then the ducted heating kicks in and its whooshing sound wakes me as I consider how I’ve missed the boat to be creative during lockdown because I can’t think in a house full of people and it is getting stuffy in here but the cold of winter is setting in and even though I know the house needs to be aerated and thoroughly cleaned, I don’t see the point or a way that would make it possible at the moment because no one can stay in one place, there is always something that wills everyone to move about: a full bladder, an empty stomach, a ringing phone that I can’t hear my husband using right now because I set him up in a room at the front of the house so I could sit at the back where my kids are quiet because they’re really getting into this activity as I’m staring into space again, leaning back on a Perspex chair that I love, and although it moulds to my body, I cannot sink into it, I must hold myself up on it or else I could slide right off, especially in the tracksuit I’m wearing now and every day, these days that seem to go so fast and never end, just like all the things I think I want as I appreciate the rays heating the back of my head, as everything becomes bright, all I see is light, there is no longer a lounge room and kitchen, a hallway that leads to a front door, everything goes black just like an anaesthetic, and the last time I was put to sleep led to my endometriosis diagnosis, my endometriosis that is causing me to bleed now, so much, but that is normal for me, just like my iron is low, and my blood pressure too.
I wake up when my head hits the porcelain floor and yell for my husband because I fell off the chair and didn’t break my fall, I lost consciousness. A reminder of what’s going on inside me. Just when I think I’m fine, the sleeping bear wakes. Endometriosis.
Kelly Sgroi is 39 years old from Melbourne, Australia. A stay at home mum and aspiring author who’s currently querying. She was diagnosed with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis in June of 2018 and has had PCOS for much longer. Her blog on Endometriosis Australia’s website details her suffering. https://www.endometriosisaustralia.org/post/2018/10/08/it-s-time-to-talk-and-end-the-shame.