I found out on Thursday 14th of February that I have a 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) cyst on my right ovary (that can rupture at any time according to my doctor), three fibroids in my uterus and my Mirena coil had slipped into my cervix. A lot to take in but it explains why I feel the way I do at the moment – (pelvic and back pain, discomfort, bloating, frequent urination, irregular bleeding, trouble sleeping).
It also brings back the many years of struggle with my illness endometriosis, my previous operations and painful recovery’s.
In November 2007 I was rushed into hospital with a 9 cm cyst on my left ovary that had ruptured.
Removal of an 8 cm cyst and left ovary in February 2008.
A twisted colon and a lifesaving colostomy operation 24th of April 2009 caused by a mass of endometriosis in my bowel (same day as my mother was found dead).
A stoma reversal 2nd of November 2009.
I find it unbelievable that we as women still to this age suffers tremendously with Endometriosis and it’s not only the pain we have to endure within our bodies – it’s the lack of support and understanding from doctors, friends, partners, family, work…Being told that it’s only in our head and that it’s just some “period pain” is beyond ridiculous as well as an insult.
Endometriosis itself may not be fatal but it grows inside our bodies and gets stuck to our organs – which in some cases can be fatal. If I hadn’t been taken into hospital in April 2009 I wouldn’t be here today. My bowel was about to burst and it would have killed me.
Did I go to the doctor before it went that far?
Of course, I did. I knew something was wrong, I felt it and I couldn’t eat properly or empty my bowels. I was sent to the hospital for an ultrasound and was told by the male doctor that I had been there a lot lately and there was nothing wrong with me.
I felt like a burden to him and why is that? I’m not pointing fingers to male doctors, this is the attitude I have experienced from females as well.
I suppose we almost get immune by the pain and the lack of support I guess. But it shouldn’t be like this. Endometriosis is a serious illness and you should not feel ashamed to talk about it. Endo affects a woman’s whole life. We live in constant pain, go through multiple operations, some of us cannot have children, we can’t hold on to our job and we are struggling with doctors and relatives who do not take our pain seriously.
Will it ever change? I truly hope so, it’s a different world now and women are not afraid to speak up and sharing their story.
After my two major operations in 2009, I was advised to try the Mirena Coil. We did discuss the possibility of a hysterectomy, but my doctor thought I was too young to go into menopause so I agreed to try the coil.
I have to say that it’s been really good for me. The last nine years it has worked really well, my period didn’t stop but it decreased and for someone who’s had a period since I was nine-years-old, it was a huge relief for me. My period used to last for two weeks and as a child, it was unbearable to cope with. My absence from school was immense.
Last year I began to notice that the coil wasn’t as effective as it used to be, and since they discovered at my ultrasound that it had moved my GP decided to remove it one week ago. It felt right to do so and I was relieved.
However, my GP never mentioned that I would experience anxiety, depression, fatigue, mood swings etc. I have never felt so down and depressed as I have felt for the last three days. I know it will pass and I also know that it’s not really me – it’s my body that tries to cope with the change.
As women, we know our bodies quite well, and we can sense when something isn’t right. Next, a consultation on Saturday the 9th of March and thereafter surgery. Even if I am a bit scared for what may come, I am grateful that I got my scan at the hospital and that my current GP listened and took me seriously.
So ladies, do get checked out if you are in pain and stand your ground if your doctor doesn’t take you seriously 💖
With love, Cath B 🦋