So as I said last time, this post is all about my appointment with the Gynaecologist 3 weeks ago now.
I turned up with my mum as I do to every appointment, yes I am 21 but sometimes it's a lot to take in and if I can't concentrate or things get upsetting it's best to have R'Pam there. Anyway, as we waited half an hour past the appointment time we sat starving the death watching cooking shows in the waiting room, (if people aren't miserable enough in hospitals) we thought this would probably be another waste of time not being taken seriously.
When we finally went through to see the doctor she took down my symptoms and lifestyle questions.
My symptoms covered nearly all of Endometriosis' symptoms and the doctors first thought was Endo. She then went on to explain about ultrasounds and different forms of contraception as this is a way of coping with Endo. Then I was told about the laparoscopy that would happen, basically keyhole surgery and that if they found any tissue they would get rid of it there and then if they could.
I was then taken for the dreaded examination. It basically takes away all women's dignity that they ever had. Well that's what I think. I'll be honest; it was like being stabbed in the stomach. I'd never experienced anything this painful in my stomach. I don't really know what happened as it was so painful and I was crying and I just couldn't focus on what she was telling me but I found out after that she burnt some tissue off there and then. The only good that came out of this was that someone finally saw how painful it is for me and took me seriously.
Yet again me and my mum came out of the appointment thinking finally something was being taken seriously. We pretty much a got a diagnosis of Endometriosis and I'm now being referred for further scans and tests to confirm this. But we were let down again. After being told by the doctor that the waiting list for the scan would be about a week, it was looking good. Unfortunately doctors don't know how long waiting lists are as confirmed by the ultrasound department and I received an appointment for when I'm on holiday even though it was on my record when I'm away. This means I have to wait until October which they can't even book yet because they don't have a diary for it. You can probably understand my frustration.
Before I was given the referral to Gynaecology, I'd been having the stomach pains and other symptoms for a while, in fact over 3 years now and every time I mention endometriosis to the GP they just ignore me or say it's not common in my age. I've even got a copy of my medical records now which says I mentioned Endo. The GP surgery will be getting some complaints.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is when tissue like the lining of the womb but is found on the outside of the womb. The tissue can be found in different areas of the body but most commonly on the ovaries and the lining of the pelvis. It is most commonly found in 25-40 year old women. It is a long term chronic condition and causes painful or heavy periods. It can cause pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis and lower back as well as fertility problems. It can also contribute to lack of energy.
Why does it happen?
Like Fibromyalgia and M.E/CFS there is no known cause for Endometriosis. Again, there are lots of theories. I don’t know why but my body seems to love having these unknown caused illnesses.
How is it treated?
Also like Fibro and M.E/CFS there is no known cure for Endo. Symptoms can be managed though by pain killers and hormone medication (the pill) this can help the condition from interfering in everyday life.
Surgery (laparoscopy) can also be used to removes patches of the Endo tissue which can help improve symptoms and fertility.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
- Painful or heavy periods
- Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis or lower back
- Pain during and after sex
- Bleeding between periods
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Long-term exhaustion and tiredness
- Discomfort when urinating and passing stools
- Bleeding from your back passage or blood in your stools
- Coughing blood (in rare cases when Endo tissue is in the lung)
(I’m not going to say which symptoms I have, as I find this quite personal but I don’t have every one)
If you have any of the symptoms I would go see your GP, some of these symptoms can also be other illnesses as they are quite similar. I’ve found some are similar to Fibro and M.E/CFS and this may be why it was over looked. If you believe you have Endo and your GP won’t check it out, try seeing another GP and keeping persisting like I did. They might think they know better than you because they’re qualified but you know your body better than anyone.
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