Endometriosis | My Story

Entirely different blog post guys. This one is about my condition that is taking over my life right now. So I feel like I need to tell my story and hopefully help some of you women going through this awful illness! It’s called Endometriosis. And it’s basically a condition where the lining of your womb grows or develops outside the womb, so can go on your ovaries, cervix, bladder, bowel etc. It causes painful, heavy periods, pelvic pain,headaches, nausea, bloating. The list goes on. But it can also cause infertility. The pain is the biggest symptom. And it can be constant. And you can get flare ups. I’m currently going through an immense flare up. So I felt the need to write this post!

This drawing was done by me!! If you don’t know, I’m an tattooist by trade and my artist name is Flim Flam, so draw A LOT. @flimflamtattoos for all of my tattoo posts on instagram! @mentallyems for personal posts.

I started my periods at 13. It was quite a funny story. I was on the toilet and shouted to my mum “MAM IM BLEEDING” she said “it’s just the rose petal toilet paper sweetheart, don’t worry” to which I shouted “The rose petals aren’t red mother”. And so she ran to get the “kit” of pads etc. And then…two days later, the cramps started. Nothing too bad. But it was certainly noticeable. And thought, okay, being a woman begins.

Things dramatically changed. As I got to age 15/16 my periods got heavier. I mean heavy heavy. To the point where when I got up one morning, I was wearing my favourite sheep pyjamas and stood up and the ketchup bottle happened (if you know, you know) but when I say a pint of blood came from my downstairs that is not exaggerating! The whole right side of my pyjamas were sodden in blood. And all over the carpet. My mum grabbed me because I went a bit faint. And we went to the doctors. And what did they say “it’s just called being a woman”. Thank you shitty nurse!

I was put on the contraceptive pill to settle my periods down and It worked. My periods went from 21 days to 9 days, and still now are between 7-9 days. My gynaecologist told me at a later date that for the pill I’m on, that is still WAY too long! But I shall digress. I went through issues with my mental health when I was 17 until now. And whenever I get anxious or have a particularly stressful time, I spot. I then got into running, and every time I’d run longer distances or push myself that bit further, I spot. If every I sneeze too bloody hard (no pun intended), I spot. So I went to the doctors.

When I was 20/21 I went to my GP and had a lovely female doctor. She just GOT it. She examined me with a speculum (which was rather unpleasant as it was my first time and I was unsure what to expect). She got me in touch with a gynaecologist and I had an appointment within two weeks. My gynaecology was SO lovely. She told me no woman should have to suffer this. This is abnormal. No woman needs to go through this much pain and excuse my frankness, not being able to wear “pretty knickers” because you’re only going to mess them up. Lovely. So she recommended a diagnostic laparoscopy. And I had an appointment within 4 weeks for a consultation and then 3 weeks later, it was booked. I could not wait. I was finally being listened to!

This was my post operation selfie. I had to message 100 people that I was okay so thought I would do a post that IM ALL OKAY! My gynaecologist is a very busy lady, but rarely gets chance to see their patients before their surgery. She went down to deliver me the sexy af compression socks. How amazing was that! There was a delay with my surgery and I was STARVING by the end of it. But it went well. They gave me something beautiful to calm me down. And I was, excuse the crassness, off my tits. I have two memories from coming round. One, nurses telling me “that’s a nice smile”…so must have been proper gorming! And the second…someone wiping dribble off of my face. Mmmmm. Sexy!

So that operation seemed to work really well. No spotting. I could sneeze hard, ran my fastest half marathon, all sorts of things that I never could do without bleeding from it. Oh, and I bought some posh underwear! And they weren’t spoilt from blood! Hurrah!

But then 8 months later, I ran my longest run, 18 miles. And bled. I put it down to being my longest run. So I put it down to around 30 miles a week instead of 50. And it improved. Amazing, but then I went through a breakdown again. Mentally I was in a very bad place. And I bled. And then I ran a 6 mile race (which at the time was fairly easy for me due to my training) and bled. So I went back to the doctors as this was not normal.

In July, I had an appointment with a new gynaecologist. He seemed lovely at first. But I was explaining my symptoms. And he nodded but I didn’t feel like he understood. He asked to examine me, but I explained I was still bleeding and he literally pulled an EW face. He also put down my symptoms and called it “mild bleeding”. FUCKING MILD. Excuse my profanities. But I was so shocked because everyone was talking about the severity of my symptoms and to put it down like that hurt me. I did not get a good vibe from him. He put it down do a “little cyst” and put me into to 16 WEEK waiting list for a letter, not a scan, a letter.

Around the beginning of October, I went to A&E as I had spotted about a tablespoon of blood. No where near my cycle. It was completely irregular. They said as I was under the care of my new gynaecologist they would report it to him, but I was physically okay. Which was a relief. Until they told me to basically just get on with it.

But then a few days later I was getting pain so I thought I’d call my gynaecologists assistant as it was nearly over the 16 week threshold. I think she panicked, at least that is the impression I got. They had forgotten about me, so gave me a scan for 2 weeks later. Why my case got lost, I don’t know, I know the NHS are strained, but my symptoms were progressing so it was irritating!

“The only thing keeping me going is raising awareness for women who have to suffer this excruciating pain. Endometriosis is just painful periods. Endometriosis is just heavy periods. Every woman deals with that. NO. Endometriosis is ruining my life. I took this picture this morning first thing…even before I peed!! This next picture was 4 hours later after spending time with some friends. The sheer agony I’ve been feeling isn’t even a joke. That is just how swollen endometriosis is making me and it gets bigger and bigger at night. I go from a size 10 to a 14/16…in four hours. Now tell me it’s just painful periods. It’s pain EVERYDAY. It’s your uterus lining sticking to your organs, my bladder for example. It’s stabbing sensations through your lower abdomen. It’s bleeding abnormally in between periods. Its consistent cramping. It’s cysts filling with blood and growing inside you. It’s severe pelvic aching like it’s splitting in two. Its tests. It’s scans. Its probes and speculums. And its infertility. This is why I can’t work right now. This is why I’m having to put my dream job on pause. I can’t walk fast, I’m shaking, I’m sweating yet shivering, I’m spasming internally. Would you trust me tattooing like this?? My ovaries feel like they are being squeezed like a lemon. And my uterus feels heavy; filled with a kettlebell and someone wringing it out like a flannel. I’m on a high dose of painkillers yet the only thing to soothe me is a hot water bottle. So the next person that tells me “just get on with it” or “it’s called being a woman” clearly has never been through this. Women are strong. Women are powerful. Hell, pregnant women literally grow feet, nails and bones in 9 months!! And the women who can’t….have to endure physical and emotional trauma every day. And get judged for it. Or get told “that’s TMI”. Well here I am. Talking about my lady organs. And how much I hate what they are putting me through right now! To everyone else who has to go through this debilitating condition, we can fight this!!! “

I wrote this post on my Facebook and Instagrams. I went to A&E five days earlier with horrific lower abdomen pain. They ruled out appendicitis. So put it down to the investigated of gynaecological issues. Possibly a cyst they said. They were lovely. But then I was in and out of doctors surgery’s and hospitals. Being pricked left right and centre to test me for various illnesses including cancer. I was terrified.

My scan came along, and I had an external and internal scan. The internal scan was not as scary as I thought. It was a thin probe that they lubricate and put it inside your vagina up towards your cervix. They move it from side to side around the ovaries and one side feels a little stranger (not painful OR uncomfortable, just odd) due to a bowel loop being in the way. They told me I would need a follow up appointment and wait 10 days for results. They also followed this on to my GP.

So I went to my appointment with my GP and they told me that there is no sign of anything worrying on my ultrasound. Which was a massive relief. So they said the pain was most likely growth if endometrial tissue. So my gynaecologist decided to DISCHARGE ME, the same one who pulled the ew face at me. Even though I’m in immense pain. So my GP has put me back with my old gynaecologist, the lovely one, and they said they would potentially take out the tissue. And then they told me the Depo injection may work wonders for me. And as I do not want children at all in my future. They said a hysterectomy may be on the cards later in life for me. And when that day comes, I bloody can’t wait! Take them out!!! I’m fed up of constant pain!!

Sorry if this was a bit of a downer. I want to let you know I am okay. I have amazing family, friends and partner around me. And my GP and gynaecologist are AMAZING! so I’m being very well looked after. And you guys have been sending me lovely messages and emails too! So thank you! Us endo-warriors have to stick together. This is not the endo us!!!

Thanks for reading! Love ovary one of you 😉

5 Replies to “Endometriosis | My Story”

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