I thought I was pregnant. I had missed my cycle and was experiencing these throbbing pains. That is when this all started.
21 years old. Recently single and going through my first true heartbreak. Terrified of what the doctor in the Emergency Room told me. I had developed a very large ovarian cyst. I would need to have surgery to remove it. I will never forget how I felt in that moment, in that phase of my life. I felt alone; I felt scared felt like I had no idea what each day would bring me. I was never really a sick person. The only time I ever missed school was when I was on my period and almost passed out in class. I remember my dad thinking that I was faking it when he had to come pick me up from school. So to be told that I was going to have surgery, go under the knife, be put under anesthesia, to have somebody cut open my body to remove something that was foreign, was beyond my comprehension. I am literally crying right now writing this. It was the start of it all. It was also the first time that I thought nobody cared about me. That’s all I’m going to say about it right now.
3 years later, we were on our way back from Jerome. I thought I was carsick. My dad pulled over on the I-17 where I threw up in the nastiest bathroom. My Mom and sister, Kari, moved me to a bush, outside, to finish it up. I finally was able to make it back into the car and we made it home. Longest drive of my life. The next 2 days, I spent in excruciating agony. I had to sit with my left leg all the way up to my chest to put pressure on my stomach to help soothe the pain. Finally, my Dad and Kari decided that I should go to Urgent Care. I won’t forget, the look on my sister’s face when I was lying on the bathroom floor in the Urgent Care screaming in pain. My Dad, the Vietnam vet, pacing quietly back and forth. They told him that I had to be taken to the emergency room via ambulance because they thought I was septic and had a bowel obstruction. My sister rode in the ambulance with me; she had tears in her eyes because she could feel my pain. Hours later, I had two large cysts and one had ruptured, causing the unbearable pain. This is where things get a little crazy. I had no insurance and my doctor recommended I quit my job and get state medical. I did that and had to live in pain for one month for my medical to kick in and schedule the surgery. This is supposed to be the same as last time a laparoscopic outpatient surgery. I woke up with a long incision closed with staples on my abdomen. The ovarian cyst had wrapped around my intestine and attached to scar tissue from my previous surgery. They also had to clean up some endometriosis. I was in the hospital for 4 days. I had recently started dating somebody and the beginning of the most toxic relationship I have been in. The next month I spent trying to heal, trying to cope with the loss, trying to understand why this was happening. We had countless fights over how I needed to “deal with it and stop being a baby”. Such a supportive asshole.
Dr. Mikel told me I would have difficulty ever conceiving. I was 25 years old. I was devastated. I have spent a lot of years coping with that pain. 32 years old. I haven’t had insurance for a long time. I knew what my doctor was going to say when I walked into her office. By now, it has become normal. She had to clean up a lot of endometriosis AND remove cysts’s. This time though, there was something different. I had a completely supportive partner. I was living a healthy lifestyle, but I knew I did not want to go through any of this again. With consulting my family and my loved ones I decided that I would have a hysterectomy keeping my one ovary to prevent me from going into full-blown menopause. There were other options; I could take an injection that would be a chemical streaming throughout my body forcing me into a false sense of menopause. I could go on birth control pills like I had been for most of my life to combat my menstrual cycles. None of those were an option for me.
I am 2 weeks post operation. I still can’t believe this happened. I know this sounds crazy, but I still feel as though I could get pregnant, that I could still carry a child. The truth is, I will never be able to create a life inside of myself. That hurts to say as a woman. The big picture. My journey isn’t over. I’m going through some emotional waves. I’m trying to organize my feelings. I’m still going to the process of understanding a lot of this. The healing process has been hard. I am always GO GO GO GO GO GO! The quieter I have become the more I can hear. I know with all this comes something else…. something else I was meant to do.
Endometriosis is a disorder which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus and attaches to organs. Ever since I became a women, every cycle I had, was literally making me sick. The most common prescription from a Doctor is to “suck it up”. So many women suffer from endometriosis and never know. My advice to any ladies, going through this is to find a doctor that will listen to you. Try 100 doctors, if you have to. Also, clean up your eating. I have spent a lot of years pissed off that my body betrayed me. I can play the hand I was dealt or I can fold. For now I will focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t.
Love your whole story, even if it hasn’t been the perfect fairy tale.