living life yellow.
the ramblings of a 21 year old
Why is trying to get a diagnosis so frustrating?
I can remember the day I first got my period. I was 12 and a half, and it was ridiculously painful. Not only did it feel like I had been stabbed but it was also crazy heavy. For about 5 years I bled through pads and tampons within an hour or so, and took the days before, during and after my period off school because it was so damn painful to leave bed. Sorry if this is too much information, but this is what I thought was normal.
"It's just a part of being a girl."
This was the most frustrating words to hear. From friends. From family. From doctors. All girls get their period, it sucks, but life goes on.
This is why it was so hard to get a diagnosis. For almost 6 years, I was misdiagnosed. Firstly it was just "bad period pains," then it was heading more towards IBS, then it was just labelled as chronic pelvic pain - because you had an ultrasound so you don't have endometriosis.
By this point, I was pretty pissed off. I even made a word document named "why I have endometriosis," a 4 page essay I had written linking the symptoms of endo to my symptoms, and had emailed it to both my parents.
I was 17 when I was finally referred to see a gynaecologist at the public hospital. 5 months of waiting, I was seen and put on the waiting list for a diagnostic laparoscopy. The gynaecologist also made it very clear that there was a very large chance of the surgeons finding nothing. Four months later, I had my surgery and was diagnosed with stage 2 endometriosis.
The moral of this blog post is if not-normal things are normal for you, push to get help. If you think you have endometriosis and your GP is flogging it off as just bad period pains, keep pestering for a lap or go elsewhere. The only real way to diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopy!
Symptoms of endometriosis are:
For me, personally I have always found male doctors a lot more thorough than female doctors. They have always checked everything that could be wrong whether it be by feeling my abdomen, doing swabs, or referring me elsewhere. They have also always explained to me why or why I don't or do have something to worry about. It's good to have your mind at ease. I purely think this is because male doctors do not have anything to compare to. Female doctors all go through their own period so they can compare, even though "no one is ever the same." Having a good GP, who listens to you is super important.
It is hard when you are in so much pain, but you think everyone other female in the world is/has going through this and they're doing just fine. You know your body better than anyone else does. If you believe that there is something not quite right, fight for it. Get second opinions. Go see a specialist. Talk to others who have endo and get them to tell you their story.