Things I have learnt this week

I have Endometriosis

After having some horrific symptoms last September (a month long heavy period) I rang my GP and she rushed through blood tests and an ultrasound. The ultrasound through up cysts and ‘something’ that may or may not be an ectopic pregnancy near one of my ovaries. Another scan later on revealed the cysts had got bigger but was more telling was the questioning from the radiographer. How old were my children? How easy was it to conceive? What pain do I regularly experience? After answering 17 and 13, 1 month for my first and 1 year for my second and just lately it feels like I have a permanent UTI. He mumbled ‘sounds like Endometriosis’ and walked away. I did a bit of research on the internet when I got home and I felt like Endometriosis was more likely than anything else I’d looked up.

I had more blood tests and an absolutely gut wrenchingly painful biopsy. I am quite stoic when it comes to pain. I don’t like to complain and will say I’m fine when I’m not. My consultant asked if I was okay and I said ‘NO’. Tight lipped and digging my nails into my palm he quickly reassured me it would be much longer. It probably was only 60 seconds from start to finish but it felt longer. He then referred me for a MRI a few weeks later and said he’d see me again once he’d have the results of both the biopsy and the MRI.

The appointments didn’t take too long, MRI on the Tuesday and my follow up appointment the week after on the Wednesday. I know some people are claustrophobic and the thought of an MRI would have them running for the hills but I didn’t mind. It wasn’t the way I’d choose to spend a Tuesday morning but I knew it was one step closer to finding some answers. If I’m being honest I’d been a bit worried that it was something more serious and had to keep reminding myself to not unduly worry. The day of the appointment came and I’m glad I was a work beforehand as it took my mind off it until I actually sat in the seat in the consultants room.

When he actually looked over the results of the biopsy and he said it was normal, I realised I must have stopped breathing before as I let out a very long sigh of relief. He said the MRI had shown nothing wrong with my bladder and bowel, the cysts were still there and he could see adhesions near my ovaries and around my pelvic ligaments. He said it was Endometriosis and that I’ve had it a long time. I think he was glad I’d already looked up the condition and didn’t bombard him with 100’s of questions. He recommended a laparoscopy to remove the adhesions, drain the cysts and fit a Mirena coil. The operation would reduce my pain and heavy periods by 60-70%, I decided to say yes.

Now, here is the part that baffles me. I’m 40. I turned 40 last July and this is the first serious symptom that has bothered me enough to phone the GP and the GP to actually take it seriously. Thinking back I have been torturing myself with every time I’ve sat down to talk about health concerns and I’ve been fobbed off.

Painful periods aged 13 – Here take these stronger painkillers

On going but off/on IBS symptoms – Eat more fibre/Lose weight

Re occurring UTIs – Drink more water/Some women are more prone than others/Lose weight

Irregular periods – Keep a diary/Lose weight

Depressive mood swings – Keep active/Lose weight

I’ve gone to the doctors on and off since I was 13 with mild or non urgent symptoms and obviously if anything had really concerned me I would have persisted with getting answers. But as it was, the symptoms didn’t present themselves all together and I wasn’t questioned about other concerns whilst I was there. The common theme of any consultation conversation is ‘you need to lose weight’. Yes, I am over weight but I’m slightly annoyed that being told to lose weight is the only sticking plaster to any ailment.

As it is, all the loose ends have been tied up. I have a diagnosis, I have a plan. I can’t be angry or bitter about it, it is what it is. I hope that someone else who reads this will take something from this and asks for help.

Endometriosis UK | the leading UK charity that supports women living with endometriosis (endometriosis-uk.org)

I’m always late to the party

Not literally. Not in Lockdown 3. The lockdown to end all lockdowns (if you believe the right wing press and the buffoon we call our Prime Minister). But watching stuff that’s well old. I’ll give you some recent examples

The Office (The US version, far superior) originally shown 2005 – 2013. We watched it in 2020

Parks and Recreation originally shown in 2009 – 2015. We watched it in 2018

Marvel stuff originally from 2008. We’re currently watching it now. Now I say stuff like I’m not really paying attention to what’s happening, but I am. It’s just that I’m denial that it’s got to the point where we are watching Superhero stuff and whisper it quietly, we are quite enjoying it. We are watching Wandavision on Disney+ and thought we would watch the movies that explain the back stories. So we watched them and have now decided to watch the movies in timeline order. We’re about 6 movies in and so far I have enjoyed looking at Captain America. The Iron Man movie wasn’t as bad as I feared, neither was Thor. There was no need for Iron Man 2 though and I’m slightly dreading Iron Man 3.

Seafood sticks are not as bad as first feared

I’ve grown as a person this last week or so, I can’t deny it. I tried seafood sticks a few years ago, they tasted vile. I had a craving the other day for seafood sticks dipped in tomato ketchup. Lets just say I downed 6 of the bad boys, they served their purpose, I brought loads more, ate too many of them and now I’m back to disliking them.

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