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Tessa’s Story (Endometriosis)

Tessa's Story (Endo)From the moment I first began having a monthly menstrual cycle the cramping was always the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. When I was 15 my mom couldn’t bear to see me doubled over in pain crying on the bathroom floor so she scheduled my first visit with an OB/GYN. He did an exam and didn’t find anything. My diagnosis was PMS. He said some girls just have it worse than others but eventually they outgrow the symptoms after they have their first child. He put me on birth control hoping this would help with the cramping. That seemed to take the edge off for a little while.

I decided to go to another OB/GYN because the previous one wasn’t any help. However, this one stated same diagnosis. I had PMS and was dealt a bad hand from mother nature and would outgrow it. He put me on the Depo-Provera shot. Again things calmed down for a bit, but I was getting to where I was spotting and cramping with the shot meaning that treatment failed. I was an emotional wreck. I was missing school and work because of mother nature and the bad hand she had dealt me. I didn’t even want to see anymore doctors or take anymore pills. I had countless trips to the ER for severe cramping and heavy bleeding. No one could provide any answers. I then went and seen my final doctor at the age of 21.

During our first visit he discussed my pain and symptoms with me and he told me that he could already tell me what was wrong but he would need to do an exploratory surgery via laparoscopy to confirm my diagnosis. Huh? Surgery? Then he said, “I am positive you have endometriosis.” Endo what? What are you talking about? Of course I left his office and went home and Googled it.Wow! Every symptom listed I had! So I had the laparoscopy done and it was confirmed that I had endometriosis. He took pictures of before and after the treatment.I felt great after I recovered, finally pain free!!

About a year later I was back in the OR getting “cleaned” out again. This time I was told if I wanted children I needed to start trying now. I wasn’t married so starting a family wasn’t an option. Six months later I was scheduled another surgery to have my right ovary and tube out. I was told again to consider starting a family now if I wanted children. At this point my entire right ovary and tube were covered with endo and I had it behind my uterus. I wanted children, but I wasn’t “ready.” I was drained emotionally and physically. What was this evil monster living inside me and how do I get rid of it? I wanted no part of it . What was it trying to do? Take away my insides one piece at a time? The pain never really stopped. I had just learned to suck it up and deal with it the best I could.

I eventually couldn’t take the pain any longer and the doctor put me on a shot called Lupron. This shot makes your body think you’re going through menopause. Aside from the hot flashes and mood swings I felt “normal.” After my treatment was up (we opted to do a six month trial), I was sitting in the doctors office crying in pain. That was it, I had exhausted all options. I was scheduling a hysterectomy for the following week. I cried the whole way home. I was defeated. I was saying goodbye to my unborn babies, to my “womanhood.” I was 22 yeas old and entering into permanent menopause. My God what was happening? I was told having a hysterectomy was not a cure. I knew the odds and I was at the end of my rope with endometriosis.

I had 11 years free of pain. Last December I started having period cramps all over again. Had there been any female part left inside I’m pretty sure they would have fallen out! My doctor couldn’t understand how I had done so well and out of no where have pain again. He tried different hormones and a nerve medication all to no avail. My pain was on one side only and he was thinking it was my colon. He scheduled a laparoscopy with a cystoscopy and sure enough the endo had reared its ugly head once again. He was baffled. I was cleaned out and thankfully my colon and bladder were endo free. At that moment I knew there was no escaping this disease. People can’t comprehend what it’s like to be me. I do not look sick. I have no visual scars of this disease. But inside I do and endometriosis is real. I try not to think about how many more years or months I will have pain free,  because I never really do. Some days are easier to deal with than others. But one thing is certain, I will never stop fighting like a girl!

Submitted 11/15/2013

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.

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One comment

  1. Kim

    I just want to hug you! Well, all the gals on here, but your story really resonates with me for some reason. I’m 32 and experiencing many of the same symptoms you shared. I have an appt this month with a new GYN who I think will be very helpful in figuring out what is wrong, though I suspect I already know the answer to that. All the previous GYNs I’ve been to just threw BC pills at me – I don’t want to cover the symptoms, I want to know what’s wrong! But at the same time, I’m very scared to find out – I don’t know if I’m ready to hear that I may not be able to have kids. I get so frustrated that so many girls are told to deal with their pain and it’s normal to have wonky cycles. I’m sorry – but if it’s wonky enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, I think we deserve more than pandering! Blessings to you as you continue on your journey!

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