My story starts from when I was 13. The first time I got my period, the first thing I said to my mum after vomiting my guts out was “oh no, I’ve got that thing that Nana had! And sure enough, four years later I did get diagnosed with that awful thing my nana had – It was called endometriosis. The road to my diagnosis was not easy, however it was quicker than a lot of other peoples’. This was all thanks to my mum getting onto private health insurance just around the time I was due to get my period first time – She had an inkling at least one of her daughters would fall victim to ‘that awful thing that nana had’. So from that first time I got my period and vomited everywhere (probably more from fright than from pain) I had a tough time every month.
To begin with nurofen seemed to do the job. However I vividly remember one night being woken up with the most awful pain in my whole pelvis. It seemed to come from every angle. I was in so much distress and was profusely sweating so I walked outside where I proceeded to roll around on the wet grass in pajamas to try cool myself down. When I finally decided that the combination on nurofen and rolling around with the hedgehogs was not going to ease the pain, I went inside to wake my mum. This is when she realised we really need to get this sorted.
My symptoms got really bad around the age of 15 so the worst of my journey happened in my later years of high school when you really don’t want to be having a ‘fat stage’. But me feeling sorry for myself, I let myself eat all that chocolate, and stay home from my beloved dance classes because the pain was just that bad. I tried many different contraceptive pills to begin with. I also tried the Mirena twice – The first of which managed to end up doing a bit of a backflip of sorts. As one could imagine, this was not pleasant. Everything hurt. Even just sitting down hurt.
I had my first surgery when I was in year 12 and 17 years old. At the beginning of high school I was a brainy kid, so when I started missing school and letting my grades slip my teachers didn’t understand and thought it was best to send me to a school counsellor to sort out my already diagnosed disease of the pelvis – not the brain. I finished my final year of school on a real downer. I had missed a lot of class, lost contact with a lot of my friends, had an awful break up, and definitely had no plans for the year ahead considering I found it hard to leave the house let alone move cities to go to university.
I had a second surgery when I was 19 and since then have managed the pain with the oral contraceptive pill. I went through a phase recently where I decided I didn’t want to be on so many hormones so I tried the progesterone only pill for about a month. One night I had the worst pain I think I have ever experienced, and my poor flatmates were terrified! So back to the combined pill and my dancing and somewhat healthy eating.
Although I am only 23, looking back at my experiences so far I can say that my life would be completely different if I hadn’t been saddled with that awful thing that nana had. I might have moved cities for university, I might have taken a completely different path. And without a doubt my family would have had a very different experience of raising their teenage daughter.