More Than 20 Years to a Diagnosis
Last updated: March 2020
I first started experiencing painful periods, cysts and abnormally heavy bleeding at 14 years old. I went to the ER several times. I sought assistance from my OB GYN more times than I can count. I was checked for fibroids, for bleeding disorders, for other things I cannot recall. I was placed on as many as three birth controls at a time. I developed debilitating migraines. My younger sister was diagnosed with endometriosis and had an ovary removed and yet I still sought answers.
Are my painful periods really just "normal"?
At 39 years old I was at my OB GYN again for my annual explaining that they could not continue to tell me that some woman just experience heavier periods and some woman experience more painful periods. None of my friends were being woken up in the middle of the night in severe pain. The new doctor in the practice asked me if I’d tried ibuprofen before. When I explained that yes, I take 800 mg of ibuprofen on a regular basis she then explained to me that I really need to make sure that I’m taking it on a strict schedule to get the best benefits from it.
After multiple tests, finally a diagnosis!
I convinced her to schedule another ultrasound since it had been more than a year since my last. They found an 11 cm by 11 cm complex cyst that had completely destroyed my Fallopian tube. Second ultrasound done at the hospital, two MRIs, multiple labs for tumor markers and finally a laparoscopic surgery to remove the cyst and tube and I was FINALLY diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis.
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