I Thought This Was Normal
I had always thought that my periods were normal. They were regular, I didn't think they were heavy, and everyone said that periods were supposed to be painful. I didn't know the blood shouldn't be purple. I didn't know you shouldn't have to change your tampon every three to four hours for several days. I had just lived with that, thinking that this was what women went through.
Fast forward to when I got married- I had no reason to have concern for my fertility. After all, I was regular. But month after month of trying went by with no pregnancy. And on top of that, my periods were becoming more and more painful by the cycle.
It was my husband who finally convinced me that this might not be normal. I went to an OB-GYN appointment to prove him wrong more than anything else. And they were about to let me leave, with instructions to pay more attention to my diet and lose weight, when they asked to draw blood. I passed out - something that had never happened before. In a panic, we went to the ER- where we found out that I had a ginormous submucosal fibroid in the muscle at the top of my uterus.
It was a circus in and of itself getting the myomectomy to remove that scheduled. But the pain persisted post-surgery. I went back into the OB-GYN, who told me the only thing she could do was put me on birth control.
I desperately wanted a child. I didn't know what to do. But I couldn't live in this pain.
My husband, again, convinced me to seek a second opinion. My second doctor listened to my symptoms and immediately suggested endometriosis. I was scared, especially after everything I read. But we went ahead with the diagnostic laproscopy, where we confirmed the diagnosis and realized that I'd need much more extensive surgery to clear me out properly.
Post-surgery, I was able to conceive my now 18-month old son. It was a long journey and a hard journey- I needed to take supplemental progestrone until my third trimester, and the pain was immense- but absolutely worth it.
I am so grateful for doctors who listened to me, took me seriously, and supported me. They still support me, as pain begins to return post-partum and we look to trying to have a second child.
Being listened to, being heard- that made all the difference.
The holiday season is among us and can be so stressful! Do you experience more flares during this season?