After getting my cycle when I was fifteen-years-old I constantly had horrible cycles. The excruciating pain of not being able to do anything but stay in bed, my legs throbbing and going numb, and no pills that could relieve the pain became my reality for ten years.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs. via:www.mayoclinic.org
For five-years, since I was 20-years-old, I would go to my previous doctor about my menstrual pain. I would explain to her about my pain, but my doctor seemed to not know what it was. Instead, she would put me on different birth controls but that did not help at all. I came to terms that I would have to deal with this pain for the rest of my life.
In late January 2019, I was on YouTube and saw a video from Tia Mowry-Hardrict’s channel: “Tia Mowry on her Endometriosis Journey“. I was curious and decided to click on it. As I began to listen to her story I was shocked by how similar her symptoms were to mines. I decided to do my own research about Endometriosis and I found that this was what I had.
After my discovery, I went to my mother and talked to her about everything. She told me that I should see her OBG/YN instead of going back to my previous doctor. I agreed but would not be able to see him until late-March, but that would have to do.
I received a phone call from the OBG/YN office explaining that there was a new doctor that I could see in late-February and I agreed to switch.
On Thursday, February 21, 2019, I met my amazing doctor. For the first time, I had a doctor that actually listened to my pain and sincerely cared about finding a solution for it. My doctor explained that based on my symptoms she believed it was Endometriosis but I would have to have surgery.
I told her that I wanted to have surgery as soon as possible. So my surgery was scheduled for Tuesday, February 26, 2019, and I was nervous but ready for it.
What type of surgery did I have?
I had a laparoscopic surgery, which is where your surgeon inserts a slender viewing instrument (laparoscope) through a small incision near your navel and inserts instruments to remove endometrial tissue through another small incision. via: www.mayoclinic.org
I was nervous about having surgery but so ready to have a name for my ten years of long-suffering. As I waited to be moved to the operating room my doctor came and talked to my mom and me. She discussed the procedure and prayed with us. Let me just say that I am so blessed to have such a God-fearing doctor!! After the prayer I had this peace come over my body and I knew that God had this under control.
I remember waking up right after the surgery completely out of it. I woke up in the Postoperative care area with my mom right by my side.
My doctor came in and explained to my mom while I was out of it that she did, in fact, find Endometriosis and that she did three incisions to get all of the Endometriosis out.
Once I got home my recovery wasn’t bad at all, don’t get me wrong I was in pain but the pain was not as bad as my monthly cycle pain. I was able to tolerate it and only needed to take the medication given to me for two days.
My doctor re-explained to me that I do indeed have Endometriosis and it was a lot of it. She explained that I would need to stay on medication unless I decided to become pregnant because pregnancy can stop Endometriosis. And I would also need to switch up my diet and begin getting healthy.
The medication that my doctor has me taking is ORILISSA® which works by lowering the amount of estrogen in the body, and estrogen† fuels painful endometriosis lesions via Orilissa.com. This medication has helped by minimizing the pain that I previously had.
To actually have a cycle and not be stuck in the bed crying and wishing the day would go by fast was such a blessing, thank you, God!
The most important thing I want women to know that severe pain is not okay nor is it normal to keep living with this pain. I do not want women to waste years not getting the answers they deserve to have from their doctor. I believe it is important to keep seeking help from more than one doctor until you find the right one. Birth control helps some women and for other women, like myself, it did not help at all so it is important to speak up to your doctor.
I have become an advocate and Endometriosis Warrior for all women who have painful menstrual cycles. I know how horrible it is and how you feel helpless and may not have anyone that understands what you are going through. Please know that you are not alone, and you can always contact me if you need to talk.