Well, this is a long ugly road that never got clear till recent years and we still fight every day! When I was in my teens I was an active farm girl. I would get these PAINFUL cycles. I would be in bed for two to three days, it scared me how much I bled each time. I was told to “deal” with it. I tried all the natural relievers, the typical relievers, heat, ibuprofen, etc. At 16 I found my new best friend that would cure what ails all (and masked everything) till years later, alcohol!!! DO NOT go this route! It will kill you!
I am going to fast forward to the birth of my second child, a beautiful baby girl!! She is now healthy and 18 alongside her 22 year old brother! I now know that God does for us what we can’t do for ourselves (I had them young and dumb). If I had waited I would have never had the blessing of them in my life. You may ask why is this important? After her I did not want another child, they would not tie my tubes due to my age, so the next best (and new at the time) was depo-provera! This amazing drug let me not have the pain of a cycle, I knew when I would ovulate though, and I would spot on occasion or after intimacy. I never thought these were the warning signs of one of the worst fights for my life later on.
In 2002 I found the lump that makes you stop in your tracks! It was a whirl wind of fear, tests, a new marriage, and surgery. I am fortunate that my being “always sick” was my body doing everything it could to save itself when I would not listen. On the summer of that year I had an encapsulated tumor removed. Thankfully to this day I am still cancer free! Though every vigilant, oddly this is the easiest part of my story! Odd that it is this part, but it is. I do self-checks daily and do my yearly mammogram!
Now we will fast forward again. The signs were always there, I was too drunk to notice or care. As long as I got a little respite from the pain, I was good! I have now learned that your body will just quit when it no longer has strength or support from you listening. I had stopped the depo in 2006 and went back to the 10 day cycle that made me MISERABLE! But because lac of insurance and money, you feed your kids instead.
In 2009/10 I started to develop “cardiac issues” this is when I got hit with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and costochondritis (chest pain), my high blood pressure from the hard periods and constant pain was now attacking my heart. This is when I decided alcohol and the medication I was on was a real bad mix. So out of self-preservation I decided to quit drinking and drugging.
2011 was the year of surgery for me! I at this point I had quit drinking (finally) and was/am working a program to stay that way! I am gratefully in recovery! I had a cyst rupture, oh my gosh the pain was amazing! My boyfriend at the time (now fiancee) and family rushed me to the hospital. They found that my gallbladder was basically “done” and that they felt I had endometriosis. A week later the gallbladder was removed and a dilation and curettage was done. I wanted this over with! From this I learned about the severe endometriosis! There were two options take a medication that was really expensive each month, that may or may not work, or a hysterectomy. I took option B. My kids are grown and I am not able at this point to have any more, being that I was now sterile. Oh yes take it all! Make it stop! And two months later we did, time to get my affairs in order, and talk with my children.
I thought I knew pain, I did not till the day after this surgery, It was like a car accident, not bad the day it happens, but the days after! Two doctors pulled me apart for an hour surgery, he went out to my family and said he had no clue how I was able to stand, let alone work for how bad it was. He now understood why I was complaining so much about this pain! I’ll tell you this, it is not fun shocking doctors, it’s painful.
So did it work? Yes, I am now in full blown menopause! And this is such an interesting way of life!! But it is good I am here to live it! It is so much better then the months between the rupture and surgery. I had five free days a month and was cycling the rest and it was heavy. So yeah I’ll carry a fan!
From here we truly uncovered the fibromyalgia. I am constantly watching tests, but gratefully here to do it. If anyone will get the post operation side effects it’s me. My common bile duct is trying to heal and act like a gall stone, so I see two more surgeries in the near future. So my fight continues, being ever vigilant of pains and aches, but I am here to live it! I am not done yet!
Do get your tests!! Do get your yearly exams! Be knowledgeable! Ask questions! And DON’T give up! It is going to be okay!
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.