Ending the silence. Waging the war on Endometriosis.

Endo Warrior: Melissa B.

Endo Warrior: Melissa B. 

Name: Melissa, Location: California, Age: 28 years old, Symptoms started at age 12

 

Endometriosis, a word that would end up ruling my life, but not controlling my life. I have had Endometriosis, since I began my period, which was when I was,12 years old. I remember waking up, covered in my blood from my panties, to my bed sheets, to my mattress! I would also wake up with serve nausea every morning. It was difficult for me to eat, still is at times. I also suffered from anemia at a young age along with allergies, which would cause nose bleeds, I never knew at the time that these were linked with endometriosis. I would spent my weekends sleeping in, my mother tried to help me by giving me tea and allowing me to sleep in, and making me eat and take vitamins.  She knew I had painful and long periods, but never wanted to take me to see an OBGYN, till I was sexually active. Also Latin roots have ways of coping with illness differs from western medicine. My mother, also had Endometriosis but wasn’t aware herself, till years later, so how could I hold my family against it? I simply can’t, because our society is still uneducated on Endometriosis, if doctors didn’t know much…. how would… we know ?! Plus everyone always tell you, this is normal… but pain is not normal, bleeding for more than, 10 days is not normal! We need to get this idea out of our minds, on what normal pain is, in the body. Your body is telling you something is wrong. Once I turned 18, I decided I would move out on my own. I was always independent at a young age; I was 19 loving my new freedom. I also was very active and loved to keep in shape. One day, I got a horrible sharp stabbing pain, in my right side pelvic area and I thought I might have injured myself while working out. I made an appointment and got seen by a nurse practitioner, who misdiagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease, which I knew wasn’t right, from there I went to another doctor who told me I had cysts and wanted to do an MRI. Did I mention this took a year, tons of blood work and ultrasounds, so I’m 20 years old now and have been in horrible pain, waiting to be diagnosed, but by now the pain spread, my pain was in my lower back/bum area! I could not bend over without being in pain to the point that, I felt like my lower back and pelvic area were being ripped apart! I finally had my MRI done, on my pelvic area, now that was a scary experience too. So I’m waiting days, weeks at this point for a phone call back from the doctor nothing, I left her several messages, not one phone call back, so I went down to the place where I got my MRI done, paid a fee to get my results and DVD findings. I went home and I read everything about my results, I had made up my mind, that I have Endometriosis and I know my body, my mother recommended me to a specialist who helped her friend. I made an appointment ASAP took my results and told him, I have Endometriosis, please help me. He did two ultrasounds, blood work and confirmed with me, that I was right. He also said it looks severe and would have to get surgery done ASAP, if I plan to have children and pain relief. He also told me he might have to remove my ovaries if they were damaged. I felt like my world was turned upside down, I’m sitting here 20 years old and to think my chances of having a normal life, felt too far out of reach. It was like someone turned the switch off, froze time and it was me vs Endo! Ha! Endo didn’t know it but I’m one bad ass, and I was determined to beat it. Within 2 weeks I had my first and only laparoscopy. I was 21 years old, it took 9 years for me to finally find relief, to finally find a doctor who knew what Endometriosis was, who I felt comfortable with, someone I trusted my body and health with. When I woke up, I kept asking my mother did he remove my ovaries? She said no, I was so happy he didn’t ! He did tell us and showed us pictures, my Endometriosis had my ovaries wrapped around my uterus, pointing towards my spinal cord instead of pointing forward, it was all over my lower back that’s why my pain was unbearable there and to top it off, my right Fallopian tube was blocked. He decided because I was so young he would leave it in, he told me sometimes the body heals itself. He also mentions, that I have a lot of scar tissue on my lower back and it can come back. He was right, 4 years after my surgery, the pain started coming back. I decided I would try a low dose of birth control for 9 months along with yoga and a rich diet, it did help, but when my husband and I decided we wanted to try to conceive again, I didn’t know it would have been a nightmare. I slowly stop taking the birth control as directed by a new doctor. I had gone to another doctor closer to my home thinking, she had my best interested but she didn’t. She was and still is the worst OBGYN, I have ever encountered in my life. I bled for 2 months, every time, I’d call she wouldn’t answer and would make the nurses call me back instead. My husband rushed me to the emergency room, they told me they didn’t know how I was able to walk with the amount of blood I lost, because I was also working which now I have come to terms that my health, is far more important than my job. I ended up needed 2 blood transfusions, they also kept calling her and she wouldn’t answer and did not come see me once. I did complaint to the hospital about her because she refused to give me a Pap smear as well. I believe I had to have, that horrible experience, so I would know that my doctor, who did my surgery, knows my body best, I haven’t gone to anyone but him after that incident. I went back and told him everything she did, he told me don’t ever go back! I wasn’t ovulating after that, so I went with a natural route. This was 2014, I did acupuncture and I use natural herb remedies to help contain and manage my Endometriosis, it’s been a long road but I’ve only improved my health. That even my doctor was impressed with my body and how it’s been healing! I was able to unblock my right fallopian tube and I was also, able to conceive naturally but did end up having a miscarry, I have faith, it will happen again and I’ll get my miracle baby. It may have taken 6 years but it has been worth it along the way, Endometriosis has pushed my pain limited as well as my mental stability, it has its ups and downs but it’s taught me one thing, I am unbreakable and I am here to stay! Aside of all the physical pain, there is also mental pain that goes along with it, it comes in waves sometimes you feel fearless and other times you feel hopeless. One thing is to never lose hope to know you can heal yourself, you can improve your overall well being. If I could show one girl/woman she isn’t alone and there is hope, I have fulfilled my Endo journey. I have only recently decided to be open about my Endo journey and the amount of feedback I am getting is so inspiring! I did not think I would have an impact, but these beautiful and strong women are teaching me, that I’m not battling this alone and they are helping me heal mentally. I had to break my silence, too many young girls and women are suffering and I want them to know I was there, sitting in that doctor’s office but you can still have the life you want! Don’t let Endo stop you, from doing what you want! Take breaks, be easy on your body and most importantly listen to your body! I am a warrior, I am so thankful for this body! I can never turn my back on my body and I would not change my path in life. Endo doesn’t rule my life. Fight for your body, because everyday your body is keeping you alive and fighting for you! Don’t let Endo end you! I tell this to myself everyday, “I cannot be broken. I cannot be killed. I cannot fail. This is my identity. This is my core. I am infinite. I am permanent. I am unbreakable.”

Thank you, for reading. Check out my blog. Also thank you, Endo Tribe for asking me to share my story and for featuring me. Bless us all.


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