Disabling symptoms

by Caroline

Endometriosis started when I was 16. I would get so sick during my period that I would miss 3 days of school. My mom would tell me there was no way my cramps lasted that long. The school was sceptical, and as I got older, my employers started suggesting I was faking it. The pain was so bad I couldn't walk. I would lay in bed for days at a time with a heating pad trying to sleep, sick to my stomach.

My doctor said I just had bad cramps and she put me on birth control pills. The birth control made my stomach hurt so she tried a different pill. The same thing happened. After trial and error it was clear pills weren't going to work. I even had a test done on my stomach to check for stomach problems. Nothing.

When I was 19 I was in so much pain one day I went to the ER. A young doctor examined me, said I had my period and sent me home. No kidding! A new round of birth control proved hopeless and I spent the rest of college thinking that I was just a big baby and my pain must be like everyone else's, I just couldn't handle it.

After college my doctor said we should try the shot. I was desperate for relief so I agreed. The first month was fine. Then the bleeding started. My doctor said that could happen and told me to come in for my next shot. The bleeding wouldn't stop. After the second shot I continued to bleed. It was hell. I had a four month long period. I wanted to die.

Again, I gave up on any hope. I couldn't take birth control because it made me just as sick. I couldn't have sex because it hurt. I couldn't even tell you when I could expect my period or what it would be like because I didn't know. My uterus was a psychopath on an a murderous rampage with no clear motivation.

Then I moved to Chicago when I was 24. My mom referred me to her old doctor and three minutes after greeting him he told me I had endometriosis. He hadn't even LOOKED at me. Of course my exam told him exactly what he was thinking and suddenly I had hope. A year later, armed with good insurance, he opened me up and did his thing.

For six months I was suffering through induced menopause. It wasn't half as bad as the pain I had suffered trough before. When my period came back, it hurt, but it was nothing compared to before. He put me on birth control, and I started getting sick again. My stomach always hurt. I stopped taking it.

Now here I am, 28 years old, it's back just as bad, if not sometimes worse. Sometimes I have an ache for a day and I'm fine, other days it's excruciating and radiates from my legs to my chest and last for days. Sometimes I require prescriptions for pain.

Does it get better? Will it ever stop? I don't know what to do. I don't even know where to look for help anymore all any doctor wants to do is prescribe pills. I don't want to be dependent on drugs for the rest of my life. I just want to feel healthy.

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