The First Misdiagnosed Embarrassment

The First Misdiagnosed Embarrassment

I started to experience my endometriosis pain around the age of 16. The pain became so unbearable that I ended up taking a trip to the ER. My parents were going through a divorce at the time, and I was with my dad, who took me. After a few generic questions, the ER doctor said he was ordering a pregnancy test. As a 16 year old girl who knows there is NO possible way of being pregnant (that bridge hadn't been crossed yet), I kept telling the doctor it wasn't possible. Disregarding everything I said, he said that was the first test he needed to do before proceeding with any other testing. So, with my dad standing there, I went ahead to go pee in a cup while wanting to burst into tears and crawl in a corner and hide with embarrassment.

Ovarian cysts became the regular "diagnosis"

Not to my surprise, the pregnancy test was negative. After an ultrasound, the conclusion was that I had an ovarian cyst that burst. They sent me home with instructions to take Advil. This became the ongoing diagnosis for years. Every OB/GYN, ER doctor, and primary care physician that I encountered had the same suspicions of ovarian cysts. Years of internal and external ultrasounds were performed, and "cysts" was the only word I ever heard.

Living with the pain was "normal"

The pain I experienced became something I hid. After my first embarrassing experience with it, I just wanted to ignore it in hopes it would go away. I didn't want to discuss it with my parents.  It took years to discuss it with my doctors on a regular basis. No matter how the pain affected my life, I just lived with it. I didn't want to stay medicated, so dealing with the pain was the only option.

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