I was twelve when I first started my period. It was both scary and exciting. But since it was also uncomfortable, I prayed that it stops and I get back to how things were. Sad to say, the prayer was momentarily answered, and I had a break for close to 6 months. It’s unfortunate because when it did return, it came back with a world of hurt and pain.
Initially, it was pain that could be managed with mild painkillers but that all changed when I was around seventeen at which point, I needed to go to the sanatorium each month to get stronger painkillers to relax me. Those thankfully pushed me through boarding and the subsequent years, but again, at twenty-two, I needed more. I did not realize that this was abnormal until I read a random novel whose title and author I cannot recall, but the main character had endometriosis.
Her symptoms were eerily similar to mine: the extreme pain as though someone is squeezing your uterus from within, the irregular blood flow where one moment you are dry as the Sahara and writhing in pain, and the next, you are literally drowning in your own blood. Furthermore, the extreme vomiting and diarrhoea that had my family worried half to death every month, the lack of any oral medication working, which meant monthly injections for pain medications. I then knew I had to get checked, but unfortunately, the doctor I went to in his erroneous way told me I did not have endometriosis. That worried me more than a positive result would have since I did not know how to manage anymore. He, however, got me on contraceptives which worked for a while, but then again I was back to the pain.
It got to a point where regular sex and pregnancy were prescribed as solutions to my issues. I then purposed to have a hysterectomy at 30 if all else failed. As fate would have it, I gave birth at 30 and got momentary relief from the pain for about a year, and then my friend, excruciating pain, was back. I couldn’t work it out until March of this year when one of our local channels was highlighting endometriosis. Then I learned that I had more symptoms of endometriosis than I had initially thought. And research led me to believe that the pain I experienced during sex, the near miscarriage I had with my baby, my lower back pain and migraines, the extreme fatigue which worsens during “those days,” were all explained by endometriosis.
As I write this, I’m planning on going for a laparoscopy to ascertain my fears even as I research and make slight changes in my lifestyle like watching my diet by reducing gluten and red meat and exercising to manage the pain. I see some slight changes, but I guess time will tell.
By Linda Susan
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