I experienced very painful periods throughout my teenage years. I still remember going to the family doctor when I was 15 and being given the contraceptive pill to try and alleviate the pain I was experiencing. Although this did help for a while, I still had heavy periods. I would wear two pairs of underwear and forever had to change the bedding. For some reason, which I still have not been able to fathom, the left side of my face used to swell up as well! It looked like I had the mumps, but it only happened during that “time of the month”. Also, my mother made it very clear that I was not allowed to tell any boy that I was on the pill. I still laugh about this! I stayed on the pill until I was married to my first husband at 25. When I came off the pill, the pain that I had experienced during my teenage years was mild compared to what I was about to go through.
After being unable to conceive for three years I went to my GP. She made some notes and referred me to a gynecologist in Hamilton. I was put on the infamous “waiting list” to have laparoscopic surgery. Luckily I didn't have to wait too long. I had the surgery done in Thames Hospital that September, which also involved a D&C (dilatation & curettage). Within 6 weeks I was pregnant. I guess you can imagine the elation that my husband and I felt. Unfortunately, I miscarried and spent Christmas Eve in Thames Hospital.
After this, as we were now living in Papakura, I had several visits to Middlemore Hospital. Each time they thought it was my appendix. The pain was excruciating. Thankfully I had an amazing GP who referred me to a gynecologist based at Middlemore. By this time my first husband and I had divorced. I had three laparoscopies and on the third one, they diagnosed endometriosis! I was relieved that I finally had a name for what I was experiencing, because for some time I thought that I was a hypochondriac!
My endometriosis was so severe that within six weeks I was booked in to have a full abdominal hysterectomy. As I was single and in my 30’s I didn't think that I would marry again. I was also planning my OE and I didn't want to have to be in agony and not enjoy myself. I then met a fabulous man through the internet whom I am now married to. I was unable to have any children. However, I have two nephews and two nieces that I love with all my heart! I have also been blessed with two great-nieces.
I have had two major surgeries for endometriosis since my hysterectomy. The first one I ended up having two surgeons - a gynecologist and a general surgeon operating on me. As my endometriosis was attached to my bowel, I had to have my bowel resected.
As I write this story, I am booked to see another gynecologist, I am experiencing again a lot of pain, especially around the bowel area. The pain seems to intensify for 7-10 days every month even though I have had all my reproductive organs removed. I’m not sure how I came to find out about Insight Endometriosis, but I would just like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the team who do a fantastic job looking after us all.