At 10:50am today I had an appointment at the gynecology ward to discuss the possible return of my Endometriosis.
I walked into the waiting room thirty minutes early (as usual – I’m always early for healthcare appointments, just in case) and I actually got called in early. I was lead to a room where I would wait for my doctor to see me, left alone with my thoughts swirling around, making me nauseous. I’m not normally one to panic about my health, as I don’t lead a particularly unhealthy lifestyle and tend to adopt the “whatever happens will happen” approach to it all, but this appointment had me nervous.
In 2014, I had a laparoscopy to determine whether or not I suffered from endometriosis, and if I did, remove it. I did and I had it removed. There may be a blog post about it one day, but today is not that day. As I sat in that little room, I could see the examination couch on my right, and a table with one-use speculums next to it. Wonderful. I knew that even if no decisions were made today, I’d still have to have an examination and boy, do I not like those.
A gentle knock on the door brought me round and a lady walked in and introduced herself as the doctor who would be seeing me today. I wouldn’t have minded if it was a male or female doctor, but her warm smile was reassuring, and I really needed it right then. She asked me about my past medical history with endometriosis and then followed it up with asking what brought me there that morning. I explained that my cramps were back with a vengeance, my bleeding was happening willy nilly and I was as emotional as a truckload of heavily pregnant women. She sympathised and decided that she wanted to perform an examination. Woop-woop.
After excusing herself so I could get semi-naked and lie down on the couch, she came back in (with another gentle knock) with a nurse to help her. Out came the dreaded speculum and the cold, clinical lubricant and with a drop of the knees, off she went. They tell you it hurts less if you relax a little, but there’s nothing sexy about an unwelcome speculum, so that’s not really going to happen. I will add, though ladies, that if you dip your legs a bit lower and open your hips a bit, it really does make it easier for the doctor to see what they need to see. As I’m now 28, she performed a smear test for me at the same time and saved me another trip to the GP – silver linings, I guess. She left, I put my jeans back on (and my knickers, socks and shoes, you weirdos), and she came back in.
So we have a plan of action for now; I take pain pills to try and control the epic cramps and keep a diary of all the symptoms to see if a pattern can be discerned. In a few months time, I’ll return to the hospital to show my findings and we’ll go from there. I’ll probably end up needing another laparoscopy, but if that’s what it takes to make me better again, then so be it.
If you’re reading this and either feel like you’re experiencing similar symptoms, please go and see your GP about it. It’s far more common than you think and it can be managed. The links above can give you more information, but the GP is your best bet. If you’ve already been diagnosed with endometriosis, then you’ll know there are others who share your pain. Try the Endometriosis subreddit to find people who also suffer and talk about your problems and feelings with them.
So yeah, there’s a little TMI for you, but I’m not shy about it. It’s not my fault I have this condition, and I’m not ashamed of it. Let’s just hope these cramps bugger off, eh?