This story from Jonelle is common one of severe period pains from an early age, endometriosis diagnosis, drug treatments, side effects and still in pain
is Jonelle’s story …..
My story started when I was 11 years old. Ever since my first period I have been having severe menstrual pains, but my mother told me that this was normal.
I continued to believe that this was part of "becoming a woman" until a nagging feeling told me that something was wrong. I then persuaded my mom to take me to the doctor when I turned 18 who referred me to an OBGYN. It was then I was diagnosed with Endometriosis.
I was scared. I had no idea what this was about and the doctor wasn't very clear on the explanation, so I did my own research. Seeing that I was not even sexually active, I could not understand how this would happen. The doctor recommended that I do a Laparoscopy to properly diagnose the condition and at the same time, have the tissue growths removed.
Things were fine for 2 months after the surgery, but then the pains came back. I was so frustrated I began to cry.
My period was so painful I started to have severe lower back pains, nausea, severe abdominal cramps which painkillers did nothing for me. I suffered vomiting, large blood clots and heavy bleeding which got me extremely concerned and severe mood swings a week before my period.
The doctor then prescribed Depo-Povera which made me gain excessive weight, which I was not happy about. I'm 5 ft 2 and I gained 25 pounds within 2 months without eating! I told the doctor about my concern and I was switched to various birth control pills which my body became immune to after about 3-4 months.
I was so frustrated, that I have switched doctors 4 times. I also think that doctors are so matter-of-fact with this condition that they have no empathy and treat it as though this is something I have to live with-end of story.
I also went to a doctor in another country, but the results remained the same. I have had 2 surgeries over my short life of 28 years, and several of the doctors informed me that if I wanted to have a child I should try now.
I am no longer in a long-term relationship and that is not an option for me right now as I am studying and working, however when I am ready in the next 3-4 years, I am worried that I would not be able to conceive.
Countless times I had intercourse with my ex-partner without a condom and missed my period, but the tests always came back negative- to my disbelief. I have since stopped taking birth control altogether seeing that I am not sexually active at the moment and for now my weight is under control.
I have been going to the gym for years, but it is only now I have finally been able to maintain my weight. The exercise helps sometimes, but I am still in severe pain. 3-4 days out of my seven day-cycle I'm in pain and about one week before that, a lot of discomfort and tiredness.
I feel as though I only have 2 weeks to my sanity every month.
I stay home from work every month because of it. I felt as though I've tried everything, but nothing seems to work. It's good to know that there are people out there who I can relate to with this condition and that I am not alone. Doing this letter was very therapeutic for me as I have never spoken about my condition to anyone at length. If anyone has any suggestions out there from their experiences, please let me know.
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