Dangers of Just Dealing with Endometriosis Pain
When I first started dealing with the pain of endometriosis, I was barely in high school. We continued to try specialist after specialist, because nobody wanted to admit that a 14 year old could have endometriosis. Even though we have a family history of endometriosis, the doctors still tried to ignore all the symptoms and signs due to my age. Due to this, I was in extreme pain, and assumed it was simply the endometriosis, and something I had to learn to live with regularly.
Ignoring pain is dangerous
Throughout high school, I took advanced placement classes, which required a test at the end of the term to qualify for college credits. One year, I had been in excruciating pain but was under the impression that this was just my life, and I had to learn to live with the pain. None of the doctors were taking my complaints seriously, and we were being told that I was simply depressed and that it was "normal period pains", that I was "being dramatic". I went in to take the end of term test and could not hold my pencil because I was shaking uncontrollably. The teacher overseeing the test called for help to get me to the nurse's office. They called my sister and she took me to the emergency room where we met my mom.
The issue: a cyst
The hospital found out that I had a cyst inside my right ovary that was the size of a grapefruit. If you are unfamiliar with cysts, that is extremely large for a cyst. Since the cyst was so large, it put pressure on a tube and caused an infection. The pain I was experiencing was my body trying to tell me that there was an infection starting, but because I assumed the pain was from my endometriosis, I did not have it examined. By the time the hospital found the infection, the infection was in my blood- it could have killed me if the high school did not insist my family take me to the hospital. I had to go take extreme antibiotics for a week in the hospital with a stent in my arm, and we had to continue antibiotic treatment twice a day for two weeks at home.
I learned the hard way that ignoring pain can be something that can ultimately cost you your life Our bodies are set up in a way where pain is supposed to be a warning that something is wrong inside your body. The problem arises when doctors refuse to acknowledge that the pain you have is valid and due to something real and not simply "in your head". While it is hard at times, we have to be our own advocates to keep pushing specialists to help treat our endometriosis. If they will not do so, move on to another doctor. Your health is yours and you must fight to keep it.
Have you had experiences with cysts?
Do you know someone that has made a difference with endometriosis advocacy?