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I was about 16 years old when I first heard the word "Endometriosis". The pain I experienced on a daily basis was odd and unexplainable. This was the early 2000s and internet access wasn't something easy to come by. Any research was mostly done using a medical journal, encyclopedias and sometimes by fighting with a sibling for the family computer.
I had seen several doctors. Each one had a different theory on what was wrong with me. My pain levels were through the roof. One doctor thought I had Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Another said endometriosis, but at the same time, a different doctor with the same office said I was too young for it (as did several teachers I had at the time). One exam I had confused the doctor because my Pelvic muscles were contracting. Every doctor had a different theory as to what was going on.
Going to school was hard because the pain was unbearable. My grades were obviously failing and for a teenager, life was pretty stressful. I knew there was something not quite right and my mom decided birth control was the best option as it would help control my menstrual cycle.
When I was 19, I married my first husband. I would call my doctor weekly to complain about my pain. I finally asked that they stop giving me painkillers and try to find a permanent solution. We scheduled a laparoscopy and honestly, I don't think the doctors expected to find anything and just did the surgery to prove a point. However, they advised me that I did, in fact, have Endometriosis and it was at stage 2.
After the surgery, the doctor told me that if I wanted children this would be the best time. I ended up with my daughter right away. I got the baby I always wanted and she is now 11.
12 years have passed and I still have pain issues. I have been through two more surgeries for these issues. One was in 2010, just to explore and see if the issue had grown. In that surgery, all they found was a cyst and some Endometriosis in places they couldn't get to. I would need a specialist. I ended up losing my insurance and was unable to do so.
The last surgery I had was in July of 2018. This surgery was more tragic and emotionally painful. I went through what can only be described as a roller coaster of events which ended in an ectopic pregnancy. We didn't think I could get pregnant again and really had no idea what was happening.
My body has never reacted well to birth control, so I haven't been on it in years. I have been in a relationship with an amazing man for almost five years. We decided that whether we got pregnant or not, we would be happy either way. It had already been so long since my daughter was born, we figured the chances were really slim.
On July 4th of 2018, I decided to take a pregnancy test. It is normal for me to do so because I have several other pain issues and have a Medical Marijuana card. I have always been worried that I would end up on the show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, so I take tests every few months.
My fiancé and I were very happy to see that all three tests I took came out positive, yet I had a sharp pain in my lower left side and I was spotting. I knew to spot in pregnancy wasn't uncommon, but just as a precaution, my fiancé decided he should take me to the E.R.
They did an ultrasound and didn't see a baby, but told me to go to an OB/GYN for more information. The doctor's office told me that I lost the baby but there was hope for future children. It was an extremely hard experience, but at the same time we had hope and were very positive about our chances.
Things took a heartbreaking turn and the following week my nausea grew tremendously. One night, my fiancé came home from work and I was sleeping. He woke me up and said I was really pale and at that point, he started to really worry about me.
I couldn't eat anything for a few days and was constantly nauseated and throwing up. We decided that if I couldn't eat solid food, we would try a health shake and see if I could keep that down. Luckily I could and I started to feel 80 percent better.
On July 12th, I woke up in good spirits and felt amazing. My fiancé and I went out for another shake and went home. He went to work and I went to my room and turned on some television.
About an hour later I got a sharp pain in my lower left side once again. I also started bleeding and got really dizzy. My fiancé couldn't leave work until about an hour later. My parents and my sister were in Florida on a trip to visit my brother who was out of the country. I called my grandparents and my grandfather came over and picked me up to take me to the hospital.
I was so scared in the E.R as the doctors looked at me like I was crazy. I had just been there a week before. They did some tests and another ultrasound. This time the ultrasound didn't take as long as all the others I have had in my 32 years of life. I knew at that moment something wasn't right.
First, the doctors came in and told me it was a cyst, but they would send it to OB and have the doctor on call look it over. A few minutes later and we found out it was an ectopic pregnancy and they were taking me straight to surgery.
Luckily, my fiancé had arrived by then and was able to contact friends and family who mattered the most. As I mentioned, my parents were out of the state and about to be out of the country. They needed to know what was going on. I called my grandparents and left a message with my grandpa who was already home by then.
I had never been so scared in my life. I doctors and nurses surrounding me and my fiancé was looking me over, extremely worried and also helping me answer all the questions that were being thrown at me. I tried to talk through tears and was given some medication to calm me down and was out in seconds.
When the surgery was over, I woke up to find that not only was my fiancé there, but my grandparents rushed there as soon as my grandma returned home. I learned from them that my Endometriosis was now at a level that not even the doctor had seen before. The fallopian tube was now completely broken.
This experience has been so heartbreaking and my emotions have been up and down. I was trying to have a positive outlook when we thought it was a miscarriage, but it is harder to have a positive outlook when the chances of this happening again are so high.
It has been a little over a month since these turn of events. The doctor has given us clearance to try again but is also having me go in for an ultrasound that will explore my other fallopian tube and hopefully that will be good news.
This has been the first time since I was about 12 years old, that my left side isn't in raging pain. I plan to get healthy and into shape. There are a few other things I need to worry about but for now, I should be happy and positive. I am trying, but it is extremely hard.
I am lucky to have the family I was born into. I am very lucky to have my daughter and also lucky to have such a wonderful man in my life. We plan to keep trying and hopefully, we will have a baby in the next year or so. All we can do is wait for now.