By the time I was 29 years of age I had a full hysterectomy. The shocking part of this is that it took 6 years of pain and suffering to get a diagnosis. I married young and had two beautiful children by the time I was 21. Both deliveries were easy – no pain medication needed. In fact, I had no health issues until two years later. I began to have painful menstrual cycles which included a week of premenstrual aches and soreness followed by a week of heavy bleeding and cramping which was followed by another week of discomfort. These pains and cramps were worse than labor pains.
After several agonizing months, I was back at the ER. This time for battling 21 days of heavy bleeding. I was diagnosed with appendicitis. I went into emergency surgery. After coming out of anesthesia I was told I had a slightly inflamed appendix but, inflammation and blood was found in the lining of my stomach. Advised to see a specialist, I saw a doctor who diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Really? I was treated for IBS – the medications made me feel like a zombie. I was also, put on the pill to control my long menstrual cycles. Several specialists later an ultrasound revealed that I had a tumor on my right ovary.
I wanted a second opinion before accepting that I had cancer. Now, the doctor found that I had a tumor on my left ovary. Wait!!! I was told that I had a tumor on my right ovary! Somewhere around that time I was also diagnosed with a tubal pregnancy! I was beginning to question my sanity. I was losing my mind. Research showed that our meat and poultry were injected with hormones. This posed the risk of humans consuming hormone laden meat -I began a vegetarian diet.
By the time I was 28 I was broken-spirited. I decided to see an older gynecologist. I told him all that I had been through. He concluded that I had endometriosis. The only way to find out was through laparoscopy. I signed a form permitting him to perform a biopsy and at most a partial hysterectomy if deemed necessary. After I came out of surgery, I saw the incision made in my abdomen. The doctor told me he had never seen such a severe case of endometriosis. Severe internal bleeding explained the presence of blood in the stomach lining. My right ovary and fallopian tube were removed. I was put on Lupron for six months which put me right into menopause. After I stopped the Lupron, I was back to square one. The pain came back. I had had enough, went to the doctor and this time requested a full hysterectomy.
Now 20 years later, I often wonder if things could have been/should have been done differently. I have come to realize that no one knows my body as well as I do. I was at the mercy of symptoms. Would I have gone through a total hysterectomy at the age of 24 if I was accurately diagnosed? I think I would have. It would have spared my family and me the emotional ups and downs. My family, especially my husband, has been very supportive. I was lucky to have had two kids already. Just because I was not in the typical age range of endometriosis does not mean that there are no anomalies. Should it have taken 6 years?