12 Years and Counting: The Story TLC Would Never Air
by Elizabeth Perry
Let me start by telling you how my day was. I am a very proud parent of 2 amazing children, my 7 year old step son that I've raised with my husband since he was 2, and my beautiful 3 year old miracle baby that they told me would probably never get a chance to live.
I'll get back to that, anyway I am 26 years old, been happily married for 6 years. My husband and I rent a small 3 bedroom trailer in a small town in Arizona. We have a beautiful happy family with fantastic friends, great jobs, 4 dogs and 3 horses. We look like a normal family, but we aren't.
Today I stayed home from work because both of my kids were sick. Through the course of the day I had to tell my daughter 3 times that I couldn't pick her up because "Mommy's belly hurt." To which the first time she lifted my shirt and kissed my hysterectomy scar to make it better. I almost cried when those gorgeous brown eyes looked up at me and she asked "All better"?"
Of course I said "yes baby thank you" while choking back tears. Here was my 3 year old daughter, who I was supposed to be taking care of, was comforting me. Again. I continued cleaning the kitchen and sat down for another 20 minutes because it hurt to stand any longer. I'll tell you why.
In 2006 I met my first real boyfriend. He was funny and charming. He made me smile and feel good about myself. After about a month of dating, he did a full 180. He became controlling and abusive. Both physically and verbally. He raped me daily. He threatened my life and my family's life. The first time he raped me, I got pregnant.
Needless to say he changed his mind halfway through the pregnancy and at almost 5 months pregnant he shoved me down a flight of stairs. I didn't get proper treatment after the miscarriage. I just tried to forget it and move on.
I left my boyfriend, didn't tell a soul what was going on and focused on work. About 2 months after leaving my boyfriend a co-worker attacked me and raped me for hours causing a lot of damage. Again, it wasn't reported and I wasn't treated. After all, he used a condom and who would believe me anyway. Well at 16 that made sense.
So again I moved on. In 2008 I met my now husband who was the first person I willingly had sex with. Soon after I had sex, I started having pains. They were dismissed as cysts and as long as they didn't burst, I was fine. The pains got worse over the course of 3 years. I went to the hospital numerous times.
I was misdiagnosed every time. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Adult Colic, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and anything in between. I was also put on a drug seekers list and accused of being a "pill popper". I had 4 more miscarriages.
It was 2012 and I was pregnant for the 6th time. I waited until I was around 2 months along before I went to the doctor, in case of another early miscarriage. I got an appointment when I was almost at the 9 week mark and had an ultrasound to check up on things. Turns out, I was having a false pregnancy. The theory was that my body recognized the old tissue from the other miscarriages and treated it as a viable pregnancy.
So I had all the symptoms of pregnancy, but no baby. I was devastated. I had a D & C to removed the false pregnancy and that was when my doctor finally diagnosed me with endometriosis. I had my first surgery in 2012. The pains continued to come back and get more severe.
I had more surgeries with still no relief. My doctor started talking about major surgery. But I wanted a baby first and the doctor believed that pregnancy may cure my endo. He gave me 6 months to get pregnant. 7 months later I was finally pregnant.
The pregnancy and delivery were normal as can be. The first 6 months after having my daughter were amazing. No pain whatsoever. I didn't have to take a single pain pill. I was able to function again. But that big black cloud came sprinting back with a vengeance. So it was decided to do the hysterectomy.
In October 2014, at the age of 24, I had a full hysterectomy with the exception that I have one ovary left. Soon after surgery my doctor retired. Unfortunately my endo battle did not. The pains came back. Just as bad as ever. I became addicted and overused my pain medication. So I had to stop those.
I couldn't raise my children while abusing pain killers. So I got my medical marijuana card and completely stopped my pain pills. Today, I am 26 years old, still battling my own body daily, attempting to hide the severity of the pain but failing and failing as a mother and wife.
I have a hard time doing anything that involves to much motion. Scar tissue is very rough and coarse and that's what causes the pain, so the more you move the more the scar tissue moves, creating tears and cuts that are incredibly painful and creating more scar tissue. I will never win.
We can't qualify to buy a house because our credit is terrible, mostly because of my hospital bills. We are barely scraping by and to top things off, my mother in law is moving in with us with her 9 dogs into our 3 bedroom trailer.
I'm exhausted and sad all the time. I just hope that someday we can have a home to leave our kids. Until then we will continue to just do the best we can. Maybe someday we will catch a break. Maybe one day I'll catch up. Thanks for reading.