As my lovely followers, you know that I suffer from mental health issues. I have opened up with my story a little bit regarding my struggles with them but my topic today is something that I haven’t really dabbled into and is another silent disease called: endometriosis. The link provided is from The Endometriosis Foundation of America and has some great information if you are interested in learning more.
I will never forget in January 2013, I was suffering from some severe pain in my left , lower side. I have suffered from pain each month, to a point that pain killers did not even touch the pain that I felt. So, I did not think too much about it and thought it would pass, I took some medication and went about Fuckboy’s work holiday party, I simply did not have time for this and so I sucked it up, shook hands with the bosses, smiled and chatted with their wives and tried to force the pain down a river of endless beer.
It did not help. In fact, the pain progressed over the weekend.
I somehow made it through the dreadful weekend, called my doctor first thing in the morning on Monday to be seen. Surprisingly, I was able to get in quickly if I remember correctly, but my wonderful and caring doctor dismissed my concerns initially because “I looked fine.” I appeared to not be in pain in her eyes, luckily she still took the time to do a physical exam. Where I squirmed and yelped in agony as she prodded my ovaries.
“Oh, I guess you are in pain” as she continues her cold hearted prodding to my raging insides.
She finished the exam and suggested that I get an ultrasound. She suggested that it may be a cyst. However, since they are so common and typically go away on their own, she was not too concerned; but she did go ahead, and get the ultrasound scheduled for me. Gee thanks doc for listening to me…ahem.
So this is where things started to take a turn, I was able to go to a local branch to get the ultrasound done the next day I believe (by chance). However, this time I had to drink my body weight in water beforehand and hold it for this type of ultrasound…..you could say, I was about to get up close and personal with this ultrasound tech and her not so magical wand. I did not even get dinner or even a damn lollipop post session. She was nice though, so I guess that is all I could ask for…and perhaps a hug or additional therapy.
It turns out, I did in fact have a cyst. It was one that was solid versus the “typical ” fluid filled kind. Now, things were rushed. I was referred to a specialist/local OBGYN to evaluate and treat asap.
We all know that I suffer from anxiety, so as you could imagine, I was internally losing my mind. What is this elusive mass on my ovary and how dare it! Causing me great pain, moving in and taking over my lady organs without paying rent or giving back at all. Quite frankly, it was just rude!
So on to the next appointment and another ultrasound…ugh. Dr. Chan diagnosed me with an endometrioma or also known as: chocolate cysts or blood cysts. At the time, she wanted to try the wait and see game. I would have a repeat ulrtrasound in about a month to see if it shrank on its own. In the meantime, I got a full blood panel done because since this was a more solid mass, scary terms like mass and cancer was being passed around. “While unlikely, it is best that we take these tests to rule out any additional concerns.”
I took a deep breath and agreed to the tests.
Listen guys, I don’t handle medical needles well. I have tattoos, mostly where I did not watch them drill my skin and for a reason. Watching someone draw my blood, especially several vials – I was feeling severely overwhelmed, anxious, and terrified. It seems that I was right over the years but here is the thing – endometriosis can only be “officially” diagnosed through surgery. While this was on the list of possibilities. I was hoping this asshole cyst would go away on its own.
A month down the line, the pain persisted and when it was time for my next ultrasound, my cyst grew to the size similar to a baseball, just a little bigger. It was time to really talk about surgery.
I spent the month between appointments researching endometriosis and what that would mean for me. I have always wanted children and I was with my long term boyfriend at the time who also wanted children one day. How would I talk to him about this? How can I accept this? Engagement was coming close and hearing this information threw me into a depression.
I will never forget speaking to Dr. Chan, in her little private office about the surgery. Recovery and what I wanted for my future. Worst case, she needed to know if she needed to try to save an ovary if I wanted children .
I was 24, going on 25. Sitting alone, planning a surgery that may impact my distant life.
I choked out, what were the odds that my fertility would be impacted. There is no simple answer for that.
Some people have little endo and experience great pain and fertility issues, some do not. Others have severe endo and still have babies. She would not know the severity of mine until she went in to remove my cyst and we wouldn’t know how my fertility was impacted until I were to actually start trying.
Ideally, it’s best to try right after the surgery since the adhesions would be removed from my organs. Again, at 25 and where I was at in life, it wasn’t going to happen.
So then comes the thoughts – how could a man love me? Would my then significant other run for the hills? How would I bring up the topic to any future lovers. I mean, I don’t know myself, but when do you insert the statement “oh hey, I’m not sure sure what you were feeling here…But if you want children with me, I need you to know there may be complications.”
Does that come after drinks a year down the line. Is that something that should be covered sooner so no one gets upset or too attached?
**I had not been had the surgery yet mind you. This was just flying through my head on my drive home, to my then boyfriend and tell him the plan and news.**
Surgery day came, I was hangry and ready to vomit the bile that was the only thing left in my stomach. With no food after midnight and my surgery pushed to 12p. Whew. All I could think about was food.
When the dreaded time came, I was sent off from a few loved ones and I was out before I knew it.
I woke up groggy, in pain and of course the news that endometriosis was indeed found. She lasered all that she could and successfully removed my cyst without having to remove any additional organs. I still had two ovaries – thank god.
Recovery was slow. I could not wear real pants for like a month and time around the house left time to continue into a black spiral of “being a broken woman, that no one could love long term.”
I had a supportive partner at the time or so I thought. I sometimes wonder that if possible fertility issues was part of the reason he up and left before the wedding. But hey, we won’t spend another second on him.
Time went on, I grew to accept that my window of “ideal” procreation came and went. I grew older and went through periods of acceptance, anger, back to depression and also periods of “I could be just fine!”
But I have generalized anxiety and we like to cover all the grounds 😂. Post surgery, I had to start taking a continuous regimen of birth control pills to try to control symptoms of endometriosis.
It’s been about 5 years since then and that’s kind of been the course. But now I’m facing 29, with those scary thoughts and have a sort of significant other?? 😂😳
I’m still terrified. I still wonder if I will ever be a mother or if I would have to adopt or just be a dog family. I guess time will tell.
The scary thing about endometriosis is that it can go untreated for many years, women suffer in agony before many take them seriously – this includes medical professionals. It is very similar to my experiences with mental illness. Others do not see an open wound on your arm and it doesn’t exist. Or it’s not as “serious” as you claim.
It is truly heartbreaking that this is the case, because it can impact many aspects of a woman’s life in the current and future.
I leave you with this, I ask you to educate yourself if you do not know much about endometriosis and share that information with others. The more attention that is brought to the disease, the more hope we can have for the future!
I hope you enjoyed my post or learned a thing or two. I encourage you to take a look around and if you are having symptoms or have a friend, family member or loved one with these symptoms, support them ❤️.
If you have any questions,or have a story of your own, I would love to hear it!