I fight Endometriosis. I started my period when I was 10 and had very heavy, painful ones for a long time but never really thought much about it. My mom had always had the same problem so I just assumed it was normal. At age 12, I started having horrible stomach pain to the point I could be walking and suddenly drop to my knees. My mom took me to my pediatrician and she couldn’t find anything so I went on ignoring it till after a few months it went away.
When I was 16 I started having the pains once again. At this point I was finishing up my senior year of high school, my mom had just been through a thyroid storm that had lasted over a year nearly killing her and she was still recovering. For several months I ignored it and played it down to my family. At first it was something I felt I could handle. I figured I would just ignore it and it would go away. It didn’t and swiftly got worse. It got to the point that it would hit me so hard I would be down on my knees. My mom took me back to my pediatrician again who ran test after test on me and couldn’t find anything. For several months I had one test at least every two weeks and ended up in the ER every weekend because the pain would be so bad. My pediatrician couldn’t find anything and ended up saying it was all in my head. I was 17 and in my first semester of college. I felt like I was going crazy because I couldn’t explain how bad the pain was and every test they tried came back clear.
One weekend I was at home babysitting my two younger brothers who were 14 and 3 at the time. I went to the bathroom because I felt sick and before I knew it I was flat on the floor. The pain was the worst it had ever been and I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe and couldn’t speak. I could hear my brothers in the living room playing and all I could think was God please help me. I had the phone with me and after the pain intensity let up enough that I could move some, I called my mom and sobbed begging her to help me. She was on her way home but still about 10 minutes away. My aunt and uncle lived down the road from us, she called them and they came within the next 5 minutes. When they got there I was still in the bathroom floor not able to move. They got me up into a sitting position and by this time the pain started to ease. They took me to the couch and my mom arrived soon after. She convinced me to go to the hospital because she was worried I might have an ovarian cyst. I went upstairs and as I started to change clothes it hit again. My mom and aunt ended up dressing me and my dad carried me to the car.
Once at the ER the same thing as always happened, they gave me an IV of pain medication and were sending me home. I and my mom were both in tears from the frustration and feeling like no one was listening. One of my nurses (who was actually a guy) talked to my mom after the doctor went out and asked if I had ever been checked by an OBGYN. I hadn’t of course and so the next week I had my first visit with my mom’s OBGYN. She is the doctor that had delivered my youngest brother and she is a complete God sent in my life!
One visit and she told me what was wrong. Endometriosis. She gave me my options, birth control pills or surgery. I decided to try the birth control pills first. I have found I have a VERY hard time with birth control. My body can’t handle them and when I’m on them my family can’t handle me 🙂 So three months after my first visit to her, August 09 I had my first laparoscopy. They removed Endometriosis and several cysts. After that, I was pain free for a year and then in the fall of 2010 the pain came back worse than ever. I had another surgery and went back on birth control. I’ve been through eight different kinds of birth control and I can’t handle any of them for more than a few months.
I go back in a few weeks to decide what to try next. It’s so frustrating sometimes because you feel like no one understands. Endometriosis affects you physically and emotionally. I’ve found that sometimes it takes a lot of strength to get out of bed in the mornings and face the day. The greatest thing is knowing you are NOT alone!! There are other women out there just like you that face the daily battles that no one else can see or understand.
I have a blog if you’d like to follow my progress as I face another surgery and more treatment. www.onceuponatimewithrachel.blogspot.com .
Keep fighting ladies! We are all in this together! Much love and pain free wishes!
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.