I’m not really sure when the symptoms really started. I started my period when I was a young little thing. I was on my way to middle school. I was told it was tough. I believed it, heck I got to see it prematurely. My oldest sister had terrible periods. She’d lie on the floor in the fetal position, crippled by pain and vomiting. I was scared of her experience before I even made it to that time of my life. Soon after I was lying on the floor alongside my sister. I didn’t realize my heavy flow, persistent pain and vomiting were signs of something more serious. I just thought everyone had a week of pain and ridiculousness.
I looked pitiful lying on the floor. Wishing, crying and praying the pain would go away. I wasn’t lucky like some, where they have shortened periods, oh no. I was in for the full seven days. It resulted in me losing a bit of weight each cycle plus the exhaustion from it all. Later my pain got so bad that I was missing school and work. Heck, one day I was working through pain and nausea, the shift was extremely busy. I ended up passing out and was told to go home after the ambulance cleared me. I snacked to get my levels back to normal and eventually made it to my car. It didn’t stop there though. I proceeded to drive and didn’t make it 3 miles down the highway before I was overcome with chills. I then started to non-stop vomit and shake with chills. I wasn’t stuck there too long. A state trooper pulled up to check on what looked like a car in distress.
Walking up to my car the state trooper didn’t know what he was in for. Shaking like crazy, covered in sweat and gripping and plastic bag I was able to crack my window. He began to ask me questions, for some reason I couldn’t find the words. So I handed him my driver’s license and my phone, which I had already dialed a person of contact. He talked to my friend to inform them of what the situation was and called the ambulance. Within twenty minutes the ambulance and help from friends had arrived. I was in good hands.
After that crazy day, I had to get in and see a doctor. I then had an ultrasound and they found a cyst. Well, what they thought was a cyst. They told me it would take care of its self with time. It started off at the size of a dime and later enlarged to a golf ball. The pain was also more intense by this time. Years later I still had those crappy periods. The issues with this had turned me into a completely different person. Years later I gave in, this was not going to “take care of itself”. I requested, heck, I demanded surgery. I could no longer live with the pain of this so-called cyst and wanted it gone. It would solve all of my problems.
My surgery was set for April first. I was excited, scared, nervous and looking for answers. I almost chickened out in my hospital gown because I was so scared, ha, my mom could tell you. Waking up, I told my mom I changed my mind and she replied baby you’re done. I was in awe but at the same time relieved. I woke up to good news. I was informed that it was not a cyst. Following that the bad news was that I had been diagnosed with Endometriosis. The so-called cyst was a ball constructed of endometriotic tissue. Oh, and kicker, the last thing I caught, was that there is no cure. While they were in me they burned off the tissue and cleaned me out. The tissue they found was all over my stomach, uterus, fallopian tubes and more. You could say we wiped the chalkboard clean, to a certain extent. Over time it will come back and start to create issues but it can be managed better now. At this point I was over it, not only did the surgery not fix my problem but I had to live with this too.
After surgery, I was started on a drug called Lupron Depot. I was told it is the same strength as chemo treatment. It would suppress my period for six months. this would also relieve me of pain so I was super excited to start. It was in the form of a shot, not my favorite, so each visit wasn’t something I was looking forward to. A few months had past and I started to see the side effects they advised me of. My mood and personality were off, I was way more emotional. Oh and HOT FLASHES, that’s for the birds. I cannot deal! How do our ladies in the older community handle this?
Years after surgery and the depot, I have been managing my periods with birth control. Not to say it’s working but it does sometimes. My periods are hit or miss. I am currently on week five of my period. Mind you, I faithfully take my birth control every day. I just think my body no longer cares about the tiny little pills. When I mention it to people they are like, “How are you so calm?” To be honest, I try to be. This isn’t my first rodeo though, it has happened before, enough to count on two hands. The longest time I experienced my period so far is two months. Crazy right?
Since all of that, I have been doing more research on Endometriosis. I have joined support groups on Facebook and so much more. There are many resources out there for women with Endo, never feel alone.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!