It all began when I was 11 years old. That’s right, 11. I was a very early bloomer. By 15, when my friends were finally getting their periods, I was an expert. I had this whole period thing under my belt.
When I was 17 and in VCE, I started to notice my periods changing. The cramps became real bad and my blood flow increased. After a few months, I decided to go to the doctor. I was almost instantly told it was stress related due to VCE. Now, I was not an overly stressed person, however, who was I to argue with a medical professional, right? The doctor also told me to go on the pill. I wasn’t super keen on the pill, so she gave me some sort of painkillers instead.
However, these pain killers did nothing and my periods only seemed to get worse. I started to get severe thigh and back pain plus the hot flushes I experienced honestly led me to believe I was going through menopause or was going to melt and die.I also had really intense pain every time I pooed…poo’d…pooped….you get the point. I, of course, Google’d my symptoms and discovered Endometriosis.
I went back to the doctor and explained everything that was happening. She didn’t even mention Endometriosis. She politely said, “some women just get really bad period pain.” I argued and told her I thought it was Endo but she dismissed it and told me again to go on the pill. Well, I didn’t really see what other option I had.
I will admit, the pill helped. For one, I didn’t think I was going to bleed to death every month so that was nice. However, by now, I’d finished VCE, so that “stress” should have gone, plus, I was at uni and dating my bestie. So when my hot flushes, cramps, back and thigh pain only got worse, I headed back to the doctors. I’ll never forget what she said to me. She said, “Look, even if it is Endometriosis there’s nothing we can do but put you on the pill, which we’ve already done. So don’t worry too much.” She then asked if I had thought about having kids. I was 19. Fantastic.
For nearly 2 years I went from specialist to specialist, did test after test and was asked by every single person, “are you sure it’s not just bad period pain?” I became a pro at urine samples and giving blood. Eventually and reluctantly, I was put on the waiting list for a laparoscopy. The specialist warned me it probably wouldn’t show anything.
One week before my 21st birthday I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Let’s just say my 21st party wasn’t entirely what I’d imagined. I was basically high on painkillers and had to listen to people tell me how sorry they were and ask whether I would start trying for kids. Just what every 21 year old wants to think about…. On their birthday.
So that’s my diagnosis story. I don’t want you to think I believe all doctors are bad, I just didn’t have the best experience to start off with. When I was finally diagnosed, I remember feeling a combination of sadness and relief because I finally knew what was going on. After 4 years of doctors, friends and family telling me it was, “just part of being a woman,” I was starting to consider a sex change. Okay, not really, but I did think I was going crazy. Turns out, not crazy, it’s just that my uterus hates me.
I would love to hear other people’s experiences. Please contact me or comment below if you would like to share. I would love to be able to interview you and share your story. By interview, I basically just mean chat.