Being Diagnosed with a Reproductive Disorder at the age of 18


167 ER visits, 5 different hospitals, 42 painful pelvic exams, 11 pointless antibiotic treatments & a million tears later. . . I was finally diagnosed!

For as long as I can remember, I've always dealt with stomachaches, as years went on the pain increased. At the age of 15, I got my first menstrual period since then I've probably only had a total of 40 lasting no more than 4 days, all of which were extremely painful. I never understood why I experienced such great deals of pain but I also never questioned it until the pain worsened, and occurred without the presence of my period. At that point birth control was my only option (or so I was told), shot after shot, pill after pill, a failed IUD (story to follow). . . but still the pain persisted.

The Story:

Shortly after graduation (2014), stomach rub after stomach rub (thanks to my amazing boyfriend whose been there for me through it all), tear after tear, the emergency room became my second home. It was my only hope, a few times I even visited 2 different hospitals in one day, 6 in a week, 24 in a month. All doing the same test over and over (urinalysis, blood work, pelvic exams, ultrasounds, & CAT scans) in that order! My "diagnosis" each time would be as minor as an Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) to something as severe as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. It not only became stressful but also frustrating.

And then one day, something different happened, no test were done, no exams performed, just a pill for pain and a profound doctor to converse with. He began by simply stating his understanding of the frustration my mother and I may be experiencing and asked that I called her. He explained that after viewing hundreds of negative test results, false diagnosis, and an unbelievable ER history, he would not be adding to this list but simply recommended that I see my OBGYN for a possible laparoscopy. & so I did! (Thank god for his perceptiveness!)

A few months later I was scheduled to have my laparoscopic surgery, the last thing I remember before going to the operation room was the nurse telling me how natural my lashes looked (irrelevant, I know but it's apart of MY experience). Once the procedure was completed, the OB doctor explained to my mom what she found (endometriosis implants and some scarring) and she also mentioned she was able to laser a few areas which should help with the pain I was experiencing (it did, but not for long). 

What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disorder of the female reproductive system, that occurs when tissue similar to the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is found outside the uterus on other parts of the body. There is no cure and the only diagnosis is to undergo laparoscopic surgery.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years later, I've had a successful childbirth but unfortunately, still experience pain. I will be going for my second laparoscopic surgery in a few months by an amazing doctor {Dr. Bridgewater} and hope to have some relief soon (update story to follow).

Do you experience painful periods? Been diagnosed with endometriosis? Have endometriosis symptoms? Know someone with endometriosis? Or would just like to chat! Feel free to comment and share your story! Support is important and also helpful! 




5 comments

  1. This is a great piece, and you have a great voice! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had painful.periods all my life but fortunately lately i have been pain free. Working out regularly and switching to a menstraul cup has really changed my perspective hope u get some relief. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  3. That can't be easy and I admire your bravery. It's also not easy to talk about such things on the internet, but I'm sure there's plenty of women out there that can relate to your story. All the best for your next surgery! Thanks for sharing, Leanne x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing your story! It can be difficult to share the struggles you've been through. I'm glad to hear you've had a successful childbirth and I hope your next surgery goes well#

    ReplyDelete