One of the things I wanted when creating this space was a place to be open and honest.
I am a firm believer that one person’s experience can be life-changing for someone else, and this was definitely one for me. Something that took years for myself, and my doctors to piece together.. except I got to my end of the conclusion about 9 years before my health care providers did.
Now talking about this can make you uncomfortable, but at the end of the day… if vagina’s aren’t your thing, you should probably avoid reading after this because I use anatomically correct descriptions.
My story starts in Oregon, where 21-year old me woke up in the middle of the night with what I described to my doctor as a bomb going off inside my pelvic region.
That night I had the first of many ovarian cyst ruptures and started an uphill battle with numerous healthcare providers. From that point 1-2 times a year my right ovary would have a ruptured cyst and after the fifth time, I stopped going to the doctor because they would give me the same answers every time.
“THIS IS COMPLETELY NORMAL”
“HERE’S SOME VICODIN, THERE’S NOTHING ELSE WE CAN DO”
During this 9-year time span, I had tons of people tell me to stop complaining and that I was being dramatic about the crippling cramps, heavy bleeding, and consistent abdomen pain. My boyfriend during this time told me to “get over it” and so I did. I got over it by not talking about it and told myself it was normal and I was fine, but I wasn’t.
Then there was this other flip of the coin when I would go to the doctor I would be berated with accusations and “simple” conclusions that I suffered from an STI or the pain was in my head. The worst being a few months before I got married and the wonderful, female, doctor insinuated that maybe my fiance wasn’t being faithful because they were 100% sure I had an STI. Talk about feeling like crap, and me saying it wasn’t that didn’t matter.
THE TESTS THEY RAN FOR EVERY STI CAME BACK NEGATIVE EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
I spoke with doctors about the possibility of having PCOS or Endometriosis and was brushed off. FOR NINE YEARS! The fact that my mom had been diagnosed and had a hysterectomy because of it… but again these diseases are “rare” and it was “likely all in my head”
It wasn’t until I moved to Northern Minnesota and found a doctor who listened to me, she sent me to an OBGYN at Sandford in Thief River Falls and for the first time in nine years, in seeing over 9 doctors (6 of them being gyno’s) I heard the following statement;
“I BELIEVE YOU, AND I THINK YOU HAVE ENDOMETRIOSIS“
I cried out of relief… a little out of fear too, because it meant I’d be having surgery.
So why talk about turning 30 before? Oh, because my 30th birthday landed perfectly between two weddings to give me enough time for recovery. So while most of my friends are planning girls weekends or a fun party I underwent a 3.5-hour laparoscopy.
So on my 30th birthday, I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis. My doctor found everything he thought he would, and while I lost a fallopian tube, I am otherwise fine.
So now what? Well, I am taking this one day at a time and have been doing tons of research. We will be sitting down with my doctor about treatment options, family planning and all of the things that “normal” couples don’t usually have to do when they start even considering the minimal possibility of starting a family.
So what do I want you to take away from this? WELL let’s just say that you should always, always trust in God’s providence. This is 100% part of His plan for us, and I am just trusting in His word and all that He will bring for us.
I also want you to take control of your health. If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms that I’ve described above PLEASE find a doctor who will listen. This is a serious condition that can harm you! It sucks, it’s nerve-wracking, but at the end of the day having an answer to chronic abdominal pain is way better than constantly questioning yourself.
This condition is far more common than people would like to believe.
1 IN 10 WOMEN SUFFER FROM ENDOMETRIOSIS
and for my family, it’s been my mom, my sister and myself!
This diagnosis is NOT the end of the world. There are medical advances made constantly and pain management that doesn’t include being constantly on heavy painkillers which is huge. I’ll be sharing more as time goes on especially as we have started our TTC journey and this diagnosis makes it a bit more interesting.