So for a long time now, I have been suffering from a chronic condition called Endometriosis. However, I was not diagnosed officially until March 2016. It took lots of begging before anything would be done, and finally there was an answer. But in the 1 year and 9 months that has passed since my diagnosis via laparoscopic surgery, my symptoms had not got better. The hospital I was referred to was appalling, making nothing better or easier. So, I asked to be referred to a different hospital, where the doctors seemed much better. Again, after a couple of appointments, it was agreed that I would have another laparoscopy. I was nervous and absolutely bloody petrified, but I felt that this time, I would have an answer.
So on 04.12.2017, I had my second operation in just under two years. This was to ‘treat’ my severe Endometriosis. I saw the anesthetist and the Doctor who would be performing the operation, who went though my consent form and the possible side effects that could occur during and after the procedure. I asked if she would check my Fallopian tubes, as infertility was something that had worried me. Well, that and the poor information I had received from the first hospital I had been referred to. I then spent four lonely hours in a waiting room, downright scared.
Then they came to take me to theatre, where I was given the anaesthetic and knew no more. Around two hours later, I came around from anaesthetic and I am not gonna lie, I felt like utter shite. My head hurt, my tummy was agony and I could have brought up my whole body weight in vomit. I didn’t know what was going on, I had this hideous blood pressure band thing going off every 15 minutes and I was laying on my cannula tube, too scared to move in case I ripped it out. After what seemed like an hour in recovery – I think it was that long, but as groggy as I was, it could have been fifteen minutes or 2 hours – I was wheeled around to another ward (and just in time, cos the man across from me overreacting to a colonoscopy was making me fuming.) I was given toast and what I would like to call holy water, because thank God I was given it: it made me physically sick. I no longer felt groggy and spaced out; I felt slightly better and able to walk to the bathroom, have a wee and change into clean clothing that weren’t bloodstained and knickers that weren’t made from the same material as hair nets. I then felt like eating, managing a slice of toast and jam. I had not eaten for 12 hours and as anyone who has ever been poorly will know, eating makes you feel slightly more human and less lethargic.
A little while later, the doctor who had performed the operation came to see me. Although I was fully dressed, she pulled the curtains around my bed and my heart sank. I had a feeling that there was something bad about to be said; like she was going to give me bad news. She sat on my bed and told me that they had lasered away the active Endometriosis, inserted the Mirena coil that would hopefully make my bad periods and chronic pain manageable and easier to live with and that they had done what I had requested and had a look at my Fallopian tubes. I knew that there would be an issue with my ovaries and general fertility, because Endometriosis does that to those with a severe form of the condition, and in the past I had suffered from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which can also affect fertility. The Doctor then told me that one of my Fallopian tubes was damaged, the ovary connected not carrying enough eggs to have children in the future. The other tube and ovary was already damaged, so I now knew what it was causing many issues that I was suffering from, alongside my Endometriosis symptoms. I nodded and accepted this information, finally glad to know what was wrong and what could be done. The doctor was happy with what had been done and said that being discharged and allowing the Mirena coil chance to work was the best option now, with regular check ups in the future. I was far too tired and groggy to properly understand what was going on and so just nodded and continued eating my now-cold toast. The nurse then rang my partner and he came to pick me up from Gate 40.
After being picked up by my lovely (and very patient) boyfriend, I went home with codeine and a stroppy attitude. We got back to his house and we ordered a Chinese but I just could not eat the food. So I just had an early night and went to sleep, hoping that I would feel miles better the next day.
On Tuesday, 05.12.2017, I felt even worse. My tummy was utter agony, I had to force myself to have a wee and my throat feels like I’ve swallowed glass, making coughing painful and causing a build up of mucus on my chest. My temperature was very high, i was exhausted and completely fed up and bored. I tried to get university work done, but I just could not get myself motivated and it hurts to even think. However, I managed to keep some food down and had chilli for tea; it was literally the best meal I had ever had, I was that hungry. I could also finally have a shower, which made me feel loads better and less-scruffy. A better nights sleep helped massively, too.
Today was better, with much less pain and I don’t need painkillers as much anymore. However, my throat is worse and I am pretty sure I am getting a chest infection. I am also going completely out of my mind with boredom. University work is completed and I have watched Only Fools and Horse over and over again, going barmy trying to find something different worth watching. I also just want to be cuddled properly but it hurts if I get squeezed. But, compared to my last operation, I feel loads better and I can wear normal clothes, not just pyjamas and joggers; fingers crossed it stays that way.
I will never understand why this condition is one that is not well-known. It affects millions of women, is a chronic condition and can heighten your risk of ovarian cancer: the latter being the worst gynecological cancer with the most dire prognosis.
So guys, the whole point to this post is to make more people aware of what Endometriosis does to you. It makes you need hideous laser treatment called diathermy. It makes you hurt all over and makes you want to vomit whenever you eat. It makes you cry and it makes you stroppy. It makes you not want food and it makes you sleepy. This condition is something Doctors don’t like to tell you about, because they have to go to such lengths to diagnose it.
So ladies, push and fib and beg for a diagnosis, even though it’s hell! Because once you know what it is causing agonising pain, painful urination and bowel movements, heavier and less-frequent periods, infertility and a large number of other symptoms, you can work out how to manage it all and make your life easier and more bearable. Because speaking from experience, anything that makes it bearable is worth trying.