Emily started with severe painful periods while
in high school, then going on the birth control pill had reduced her pain and
she had pain-free periods. However, this had covered up the fact that she had
endometriosis. After having a laparotomy,
it was revealed that she had severe scaring and adhesions throughout her
Emily's story .....
I was diagnosed with endometriosis at age 26, much to my surprise. I had severe menstrual cramps for part of my high school years that usually left me going home from the nurse's office once a month. At home I would take several Motrin at a time, lie in scalding hot water, get red welts on my skin from a too hot heating pad, and lie in bed in strangely contorted positions.
Whether or not these symptoms are a sign of endometriosis, I'll never know. Over two years I had experienced a dramatic increase in weight gain, and a decrease in energy and libido. I thought the weight gain was because I had started napping instead of exercising. I never thought that this may have any real hormonal connection. Later, I had recurring yeast infections that I never had problems with before.
I was still having pain-free periods since going on the pill at age 17. Then all of a sudden in November things changed. I had a routine gyno appointment with nothing unusual noted. The following day I awoke with a dull ache in my left ovary area and lower back.
I used a portable heating pad and the ache was gone by lunch. I also had another infection. The next week I began my period and upon waking I knew something was wrong. I had severe aches from my left hip to my toes, vomiting and diarrhoea.
I tried to wait it out but became so sure I was dying that I had my husband take me to the ER. There, my temperature was 94 degrees; I looked like a total strung out person, and whatever medication they gave me was useless. The ultrasound showed a very large cyst and fluid around the left ovary. I was freezing and shaking off the gurney. By 5 pm I was no longer in agony, but totally freaked out.
A follow-up with my gyno revealed his suspicions and he suggested a laparotomy ASAP. I'm thankful for the 5" scar on by abdomen. The surgery revealed severe scarring and adhesion's to the abdomen, bladder, right ovary, uterus and intestines. The "chocolate cyst" on the left ovary required a complete removal of the ovary. He also noted extensive scarring in the right (good) ovaries fallopian.
A hysterosalpingogram showed complete blockage of the tube. How could this happen with no forewarning? I did 6 months of Lupron as treatment, lost tons of hair, had night sweats, hot flashes immediately. I started POP BCP once my cycle returned 8 months later. They made me miserable so I quit them. I was a hormonal, sad, irritated and hopeless wreck - all horrible symptoms.
I worried we'd have to pay large quantities of money to do IVF because of the scarring caused by endometriosis. I cried, why me and so on. However, 4 months after the return of my period, I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant. I feel the Lupron had a part to play in it.
My son was born healthy. However, I still wonder if the hair I'm suddenly losing 2 years after his birth is normal, or is the other ovary being ravaged. I still have more cramps than I would expect, but nothing a couple Motrin can't handle. But, now I have bloating symptoms during ovulation, and periods coming a couple days sooner than expected.
My mood and irritability are often more than I can bear and I feel like a monster. Is it just me, or from what I'm learning, Endometriosis could still be festering, running my immunity down and compromising my health? Is my libido low because of my struggles with weight and is the discomfort during sex because of having a baby? Am I this tired for some other reason than Endometriosis?
I read others' stories and feel out of place, because I feel my symptoms experience has been minimal in comparison. But not knowing what's going on with me for certain is making me crazy. Will endometriosis come back, will I be able to have another baby, Will I be in early menopause?
One thing I do know, is that the sudden pain that led me to diagnosis is far greater than natural childbirth. Since Endometriosis seemed to come so suddenly for me and has yet to rear its ugly head again, I do wait in constant fear of what-ifs. These stories have given me the realization that Endometriosis is more complex for me than I think and there are different ways to cope and be proactive that I never thought or was advised of. For those suffering ... My thoughts are with you.