For those of you that have been following along, I have been keeping you updated on my health journey. ⠀ ⠀ It’s funny, (in a not-so haha way), because as I went to write this post I started to wonder why I could share hard parts of my life story; ie moving out at such a young age, but I couldn’t open up to being completely honest about this, part of my ‘life story’.
I think it’s obviously easier to share the things we have already conquered in our mind after experiencing them in our life, and for me I feel like I haven’t conquered this experience yet.⠀ I haven’t totally come to terms with this being a part of my story because, honestly, this wasn’t supposed to be? ⠀
FACT; The female reproductive system is one of the most under researched parts of the human body.⠀ ⠀ Unfortunately what has been so hard about my journey is 1st of all convincing a doctor to help me and then 2nd is telling my story to other women. ⠀ ⠀ I had my first procedure on my cervix when I was 18. This came after being told by 4 different GP’s that I was unable to have a baby and experiencing my first miscarriage. ⠀ With no investigation or real information on what we were doing other than, ‘it was a bit of skin growing on my cervix that we were going to burn away’. I also discovered that my uterus is an irregular shape.⠀ ⠀ Fast forward to being 20, more painful and personal symptoms, my uterus then became inactive where I bled for 17 weeks before the specialist broke my cervix and siphoned the blood out. ⠀
Both procedures I had I was awake for and only the first did I receive a local anaesthetic. ⠀ Again there was no investigation just a hope to relieve my symptoms. ⠀
In the past 7 years I have had 7 internal ultrasounds where they have never found my ovaries, resulting in being told, more than once, ‘we can’t rule out ovarian cancer’. My first cancer scare I was 18.
I have been told to take Panadol or nurofen to help with my symptoms as severe as feinting and cervical shock. I’ve been told more times than I can tell you, that I can’t have babies to then only be told that I can and ‘we’ll just have to wait until we cross that bridge’.⠀ ⠀ Sharing this with other women has been really hard and I think that is because we all have a story. The reproductive system is so miraculous and complicated that we all experience symptoms and the first thing our GP will tell us is, 'wait until your next cycle and see how you go and then we may consider some form of contraception to help your symptoms'.
With this being the usual response from our medical professionals I do feel that it leaves us with a feeling of not being heard, and in turn when we try to share our story with each other we are looking for that same validation and that same sensation of being 'heard'.
Hence why our response is not always a compassionate one and rather a comparative one to experiences we have had or someone else we know, ‘my sister had endo, that’s probably what you have’, ‘I get real bad periods too’, ‘are you on the pill? Maybe you should try the marina'.
Not everything I share is easy for me. I don’t want pity or to be compared to your girlfriend or sister. Not that their or your experiences weren’t bad, but for me, right now, this is apart of my journey that has only just begun and to be honest it is terrifying.
This year I suffered another miscarriage and as my pain and personal symptoms became more often and harder to handle I found the courage to reach out to a new GP. ⠀ She was one of the first to say to me ‘this is really not ok and you need to get this fixed’ but the difference was, she met me with compassion and understanding.
She did the the usual tests and sent me to a gynaecologist.
As I have mentioned I have been to a few in my time and he was the first that didn't assume it was endometriosis and in fact refused to touch me because he thought it completely unnecessary with my history, he just wanted to get to the bottom of my issues and wanted to start with 4 cameras in a simple day procedure.
I mentioned earlier, my uterus is a 'love heart shape' and he explained to me that I was missing 20% of my uterus and believed that my kidney and bladder function pain and symptoms were related to this.
On Wednesday of last week we went through with the day procedures that would include 4 cameras to investigate my cervix, uterus, bladder and kidneys, and while he was there he would take samples to be tested.
Before going under, my doctor said that there was a 50/50 chance of finding anything at all and he wasn't looking for endo; however if he found any, it would be very minor and would be able to remove it while he was there, furthermore worst case if there was any 'major endo' I would be referred to an endo team. But he comforted me as he thought this was not going to be the outcome.
When I woke up I was in so much pain and there were holes in my hips over my ovaries as well as my belly button. This was a surprise to me because it was supposed to only be in my belly button.
As you can imagine I was pretty drugged up so my chat with the specialist was brief.
He said 'I was really disappointed because I did find endo and quite a lot of it. I was able to get some of it but it has developed in your bladder, kidneys and cervix and we will need to do another procedure and will take 5-6 hours as it was major.' He mentioned it explained 'most' of my symptoms but we would know more after we received the results.
I didn't feel disappointed with these results, in fact I still feel hopeful to find more answers and I feel a sense of validation, after 7 years, to not be dramatic or having 'stress related symptoms'.
I was nervous to share this part of my story and after writing this all out I realise that I was afraid to be 'lumped in to the endo group' where I feel it is assumed as, 'severe period pain'. This has affected my life completely for the last 7 years and for some their whole lives and let me tell you there is so much more to it than 'period pain'. It is hard having a chronic illness because even some of my closest friends can't fathom this type of experience so can't relate, or maybe they have endo too and are looking for their own validation, or some just have no idea what to say so they stop saying anything.
I am not looking for pity, comparison or validation; sharing this part of my story has reminded me that when any of us share, what we are truly looking for is, compassion. And in sharing this vulnerable blog, along with any of my painful life experiences my message is to remain compassionate.
Consider the other perspective as if it were you own because you truly never ever know what it has taken anyone to get where they are.
Lastly, you know your body, if something isn't right don't give up. This is only the beginning for me but it has been a long time coming and as terrified as I am to continue investigating what is happening below the surface, I am so grateful that this year I did something to help myself.
And on a spiritual level, trust your intuition. For months I had been manifesting answers and I just continued to pull cards and receive messages about females being incredible for carrying babies, and how we can create life is incredible etc.. I kept thinking 'I am not pregnant and am not looking to be pregnant right now.' I realised a few months back, what it was actually telling me was, there was something wrong with my reproductive system and to seek help. I also continued to pull cards about being compassionate; these never made sense to me until I decided to share this blog. #messagereceived
Always trust yourself and your intuition. You ability to remain sympathetic and empathetic is your compassion and that is how we connect to one another.
All we can do it try; So we have to try everyday
You deserve it