When I was 14 years old, my mother was diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer. It was a horrible time for all of us and I was forced to grow up very quickly.
Around this time, I started to become unwell. Everyone thought it was the
I started having issues with my bowel, I was told I had IBS. I was losing weight which wasn’t great as I was already quite skinny. I had horrible pain in my stomach that would bring me to my knees. My period became erratic, heavy, painful. It was torture.
My mother came out of the hospital several months after her initial diagnosis and was on the road to recovery. She was in remission and everything seemed to be going back to normal with our family life. But my issues continued.
My mother took me to a multitude of different doctors, specialists. Everyone and anyone. They kept focusing on my bowel but it wasn’t until a Gastroenterologist told her that it wasn’t my bowel that she forced doctors to start focusing on something else.
She was getting desperate. By 17 years old I weighed 40kg. I was pale, dizzy all the time, fainting. I had no energy and was in constant pain. I had endured too many blood tests to count. They checked me for diabetes, crohn’s disease, thyroid issues all to no avail.
Mom took me to herbalists, iridologists, chiropractors, Chinese herbalists, naturopaths. You name it, we tried it.
One doctor told me I needed counselling because I was having these issues because my parents divorced when I was four, a divorce I couldn’t even remember. We walked out mid-appointment.
Eventually, she took me to our local doctor. He had a chat to me and told me that “sometimes we feel pressure from our peers to look a certain way.” Yes, he believed I was anorexic. This is despite the fact my mother told him I ate like a horse. Mom was at breaking point.
A few weeks later, after another bout of lying on the couch crying in pain, having a heat bag on my stomach and an ice pack on my face to cool the burning of my cheeks, she took me to another doctor. She begged him to help me. I distinctly remember her words “I’m losing her.” I was so skinny and so unwell. She was desperate. He asked whether I had been tested for Endometriosis. She said no. This was the first we had heard of it. He referred me to a Gynaecologist.
A few weeks later and I was seeing the Gynaecologist. He performed an ultrasound and booked me into hospital for a laparoscopy. He put me in as an ‘urgent’ case. I was in within a week.
I recall him telling my mother I would be in and out in 45 minutes max. Over 2 hours into the surgery, my mother called
After returning to the Gynaecologist for a followup appointment, he informed me that my insides were a mess. My endo was classed in his words as “moderately severe.” I had answers, kind of. No one knows how it started, why it started, why I have it and my sister doesn’t. I had an infection in my uterus, again no one knows how.
22 years on and I have endured 7 laparoscopies, countless medical treatments, chronic pain, hormonal issues, irregular and erratic periods and more. It dictates my life and still no answers.
I was told having babies would solve all my issues. While my endo has actually decreased significantly since having children, my pain and period issues have not. This is because after so many invasive surgeries, I have been left with scar tissue and possible nerve damage that causes daily pain.
Endometriosis and the associated complications are a pain in the proverbial. In modern