Hi everyone! I’m Rachel and I fight Endometriosis. As a new Power Writer for FLAGC I thought I would just do an introduction and tell you my story so you can get to know me a little 🙂
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 until 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 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 worse 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 OB/GYN doctor. I hadn’t of course and so the next week I had my first visit with my mom’s. She is the doctor that had delivered my youngest brother and she is a complete God send in my life! One visit and she told me what was wrong. Endometriosis. She gave me my options; medication, hormone therapy or surgery. I decided to try medication and hormone therapy first. I have found I have a VERY hard time with both. My body can’t handle them and when I’m on them my family can’t handle me 🙂
I’ve been through eight different kinds and I can’t handle any of them for more than a few months. 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 it then in the fall of 2010 the pain came back worse than ever. I had another surgery and went back on hormone therapy. The surgery of December 2010 was a lot longer, and more difficult than my doctor had thought it would be. She found a lot more then she thought she would, and she also had to remove a cyst that had completely encased my left ovary. She had my appendix removed as a precaution because she was afraid that it would become inflamed and burst just because I’m so used to dealing with the pain. The recovery was long and with more complications. By the time I went back for my post 6 week check up the pain was back just as much as before the surgery. Needless to say I was extremely frustrated and pretty depressed. My mom had been talking to a lady that told us about an endometriosis specialist in Memphis, TN and suggested I go to get a second opinion. My mom called and had all my information faxed and the next weekend we spent driving to see the doctor.
To keep this post from going on forever and turning into a novel, the outcome of the appointment was him looking over my case and telling me there was nothing he could do. I cried. He said he had seen a lot of doctor’s notes but mine was by far the best he’d ever seen. I am very blessed to have a doctor who cares about me and takes good care of me like mine does.
So I’ve been off and on hormone therapy until about three months ago. I go back this week to see 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 great family and great friends who are all very supportive but in the end no one but someone who has been there can know what you’re feeling. This disease wears your body down and it can wear your emotions down too. I’ve cried many tears over just the feeling of loneliness and feeling like no one understands. Sometimes I get down and depressed because I feel like I’m young and I shouldn’t be worrying about how every little move I make will affect me. Then I tend to beat myself up for getting down and out about it because I know I also have a lot to be thankful for. Am I the only one that does that?
If not, then I want you to know that you are never alone. There is someone who knows what you’re going through and you don’t have to face this fight, trying to be brave, and facing another day alone.
Until next time my fellow fighters,
Much love and pain free wishes!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational
information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.