This is Jessica’s story of discovering she had endometriosis after being told it was IBS. Her laparoscopy confirmed she had endometriosis where it was discovered there was much scar tissue and damage because she had been mis-diagnosed for three years
A long story made short..... When I was about 13, I started noticing problems with my period. I just figured it was normal. By the time I was about 21 it got so bad every month that I would be at home for a week living on advil. I'm sure a lot of women can relate. I never really thought anything of it at the time. Around that time, I started noticing problems with my bowels, constipation for weeks then outbreaks of diarrhoea.
I went to my doctor who said I had a mild case of IBS. About two and a half years went by and I adjusted my lifestyle and eating habits as if I had IBS. Nothing seemed to help. I didn't put two and two together at the time until about the age of 23. I started getting mass pains in my lower abdomen and ended up in the ER about once a month. My family is not one to talk about their history so I had no idea what was going on.
In September I turned 24. This is when all the troubles began. I am a science student at a local University and during the beginning of my semester found myself in the ER twice a week. I was vomiting constantly, in extreme pain all the time, dizzy and disorientated. The doctors told me it was just advanced stages of IBS, shot me up with morphine, and then sent me home.
One day at school in the University library I began getting intense stomach pains and dizziness. Instead of going home I decided to take action. I used my resources at the library to read documented scientific journals about different illnesses. I came across a disease called Endometriosis; all the symptoms fit. I made an appointment with my doctor the next day and demanded that I see a gynaecologist.
When I went in to the gyno's office I told him I believe I have endometriosis and I need laparoscopy surgery. I was in for the surgery two weeks later. I ended up having to drop that semester of school which was probably the best decision to make. I went in for the surgery, recovered, and am current back in school full time as of Jan.
The problems I face, physically and emotionally, are always going to be there.
Currently I am on depo to stop me from having my periods and letting the disease progress any further until I finish my degree. This is a personal choice that I will have to live with. The pain that we go through having endometriosis is something that is life changing. I was misdiagnosed for 3 years, and now I am told at 24 that my chances of having children is next to none.
When the surgery was done there was so much scar tissue and damage. Endometriosis is a disease with no cure and the women that suffer from it are the only ones that know how hard it can be on us and the people in our lives.
It prevents us from living a normal functional life without the relief of pain killers in the form of narcotics and emotional constant distress. There was a point where I not only hated my period but I was afraid of it, hence the depot shot.
Now, I have learned to live with it and hope that one day when my education is finished, I might go on to have a family despite what the doctors say. To all the woman out there who know what it is like to live with endometriosis, I give you my warmest smiles. I know how it can affect one’s self-esteem and confidence, not only personal but in all aspects of life.
I have been sick and conquered it once and I plan on doing it again and again. It might sound weird to say but having endometriosis has made me a stronger and wiser woman. I see life from a different angle, full of unexpected turns and obstacles that I am ready and capable of taking on. In a way I guess I’m thankful.