I have been struggling with extraordinary abdominal pain, fatigue and heavy bloodloss which eventually led to being diagnosed with Endometriosis.
I had my Laparoscopy on my birthday in January 2015. Since then I have still had constant pain. Everyday. It has been an exhausting journey. I have been told to try for babies sooner rather than later, I have been told my illness is chronic and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life.
Now, in my personal circumstances, we always knew it wouldn’t be straight forward for me to conceive, my husband and I had planned to save up and go for a clinic where he would undergo surgery. This would be in a private clinic as it isn’t available on the NHS. My diagnosis then put a time-sensitive pressure on us to conceive, which has not helped my recovery or state of mind at all! How am I going to save £3000? I have left full-time work as I can’t manage my pain during a 40hr work schedule! It’s impossible. Hence, my mood deteriorated.
I have been in constant pain, having to take very strong pain killers; called analgesics. The side effects include: drowsiness, nausea, headaches, itching, insomnia, changes in mood and they are just a few. When on these sorts of tablets, I would lose hours, days at a time, not being able to function, falling asleep, being emotional, it was a nightmare. And what’s more, I got tired of visiting my Dr and being met with a blank expression and the ‘trial & error’ merry-go-round; “try this?”
I ultimately reached rock bottom. I was crying all the time, I was scared I would lose my job, my family were all worried about me getting addicted to these tablets.
A good friend & relative of mine did some investigating and told me to register with a different Doctor’s surgery. At this new surgery, I was to ask for Dr D (confidentiality!!) and that he specialised in symptoms like mine, women’s health etc. What? Why hasn’t my Dr mentioned this before? So I went and registered, filled the forms out, spoke with a lovely receptionist who listened intently to my story and signed me up with Dr D as my named GP. Yes.
In 10 minutes, Dr D was able to give me more reassurance and information that in the 18 months previously. He told me that my endometriosis was not under control. He told me that the next stage would be a chemical menopause like Lupron injections (ermm…No Spank you!) and then it would be surgery; hysterectomy. He said that if I was suffering like this at 25, it wouldn’t be much better at 35, and we would be looking at surgery definitely. He gave me other options about our fertility problem and when I researched this at home, it seemed more practical and much more achievable! He understood my need for pain medication, reassured me that I was using them correctly, and when I asked for slow-release Tramadol (thanks to my Twitter sister @BattleWithEndo!) he didn’t hesitate to sign the prescription.
Dr D has given me a plan, a path to walk and a destination. After so many months of working around lost in my own pain and hating myself and the health system, it feels so good to have some clarification.
By no means am I pain-free but it’s manageable. I am only part way through my journey, but at least now I’ve got a map and things have started to show improvement. My bleeding seems to be settling, I have a little more energy (thanks to vitamins!) and I don’t have as many as the nasty side effects. I’m only taking FOUR tablets a day now.
I feel like me. At last.
There is hope. Don’t feel bad for going to a different Dr. Your health is important and you are entitled to expect and ask for what’s best for you.