My health story

For as long as I can remember I have had issues with my periods. My first period came when I was 15 years old and unlike my friends was heavy and very unpleasant (not that they ever are pleasant), that very first month was heavy and draining I dreaded the fact that this would happen every month until my 50’s. 6 months into my periods I started getting pain with the first day being completely unbearable without painkillers, some months I had to take time off school and in later years work.

Fast forward to 2014 and the symptoms I suffered every month began to get worse and worse, every month was a struggle of nausea, ovary pain and then the first few days of each month unbelievably painful. I always describe it as if someone is trying to pull my pelvis apart.

In December 2015 I ended up being rushed to A&E with excruciating pain and sickness, this turned out to be a dermoid cyst which had to be removed by laparoscopy. I remember coming round from the operation which ended up taking 4 hours rather than 2 to be told that the surgery was more complex than expected. I had a lot of adhesions and scar tissue in my pelvic area as well as severe endometriosis.

The dermoid cyst histology came back with borderline cells and my consultant decided to remove my ovary to ensure that no further issues occurred because of this. Tests were done in the second surgery on different areas of my lower abdomen and the results came back with a very rare condition called peritoneal melanosis, this comes from the dermoid cyst rupturing and releasing a substance of old blood and melanin. although rare its not harmful and will go away in time but also means that my original diagnosis of severe endometriosis was actually more moderate. Thankfully and I really am thankful everyday that nothing further was found borderline cell wise.

I asked why the endometriosis was not removed during the surgery and was told it too extensive to do so and instead I was put on the pill to give my body a break but this actually ended up making me so much worse. What was supposed to stop my periods completely actually did the complete opposite and gave me periods every other week for 9 months. I decided to come off the pill and for 18 months or so I was ok, not great but my pain each month was manageable and confined to about 3 days a month.

Where I am now in 2018, following a period of quite high stress at work (i’m a bit of a perfectionist and also very sensitive emotionally which is a great combination) I started experiencing pain 3 weeks out of 4 each month, digestive issues, loss of appetite and nausea. I decided it was time to speak to my consultant and requested a my 6 monthly ovary check up, that I have an appointment with an endometriosis specialist. The long and short of the appointment was that they wouldn’t do any surgery on me again so soon after having 2 consecutive laparoscopies in 3 months less than 2 years ago and i’m now booked to have the IUD fitted and will take the mini pill with this in the hope it stops my periods.

At this very moment I survive and cope by taking painkillers, i’m actually allergic to paracetamol so my combination is usually ibuprofen and codeine. It’s really not ideal and I am starting to change my diet on recommendations from books and the internet to help reduce this.

This is my story so far…

Thanks for reading!

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