When I was sixteen, I received a string of pearls. No, not the kind you wear around your neck; mine happened to be on my ovaries. Just weeks after my birthday I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. A few months later, I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis. My pain continued even after being treated for these two diseases. Finally, when I was seventeen, I was diagnosed with endometriosis.
I didn’t quite understand it at first, after endless research (and guidance from my doctors) I realized how serious it was. We explored many other treatment options and finally decided on trying Lupron therapy. After one full year of treatment, my endometriosis went into “remission.” However, ten short months later it came back, and it came back even worse than before. Just this past September (2012), I had my third laparoscopic surgery. There, they found that it was worse than my doctor had originally thought. It was completely clogging both of my Fallopian tubes, was all over my my uterus, had ruptured from one of my Fallopian tubes, and had found its way to my colon. My ruptured Fallopian tube and colon was/is wrapped together with endometriosis and ultimately (together) plastered to my uterine wall. Since then I’ve started my second round of Lupron Therapy.
Having chronic diseases brings the issue of chronic pain (as we all know too well). I went from being a very active, sixteen year old girl to having great limitations in physical activity. Going to school became a great feat; simply getting out of bed was and still can be a challenge.
However, with the unconditional support from my family, friends, and boyfriend (who has been by my side since my first diagnosis), I was able to regain control of my life. Three surgeries later and now twenty-one years old, I have learned to accept my diseases, but not let them “win.” As a result, I am studying Speech and Language Pathology and feel like the fun, loving, happy Jen again (most of the time, at least). While the pain is still there I’ve learned that it is something I’m going to have to get used to. Every day I continue to fight like a girl…and that’s a fight that I’m definitely not going to walk away from.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.