So how do I start this blog?
What is my combo pack? Endometriosis and PCOS. Endometriosis is classified as a chronic disease, and occurs when tissue that lines the uterus is found outside of the uterus. This tissue can then be found in many places where it is not welcome, such as in the abdomen on the ovaries, the bladder, and many other places. It can be very painful, depending on the effected female. PCOS stands for Polycystic ovary syndrome, and is an endocrine system disorder that causes a collection of fluid, called follicles, located in each ovary.
How I Found Out:
I was fifteen when I started having lots of abdominal pain, and I was always tired. My mom and grandma took me to the doctor, who referred me to an OBGYN. The OBGYN, who was amazing, informed us on the first visit that she was pretty sure that I had endometriosis. The only way to truly diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopy, which is a surgery where a camera is inserted into the belly button, to see if there are signs of follicles on the ovaries, or anywhere else. If found, then they will be removed during the same surgery. Instead of automatically going the surgery route, there were steps taken beforehand to exclude other possibilities. I was immediately placed on birth control to suppress the symptoms, then had an ultrasound which gave no results, and sent to a specialist who ran tests for other diseases that all came back negative. Finally, I was given a round of lurpon depot shots to see if they would ease the pain, if they did that meant there was a huge chance that I did in fact have the disease. They helped tremendously with the pain, and it was decided that I would have the surgery. After two years of stress, tests, and struggles, the surgery confirmed that I for sure had endometriosis. After the whole surgery and process afterwards, I felt 100% better for about seven years, then the same symptoms started appearing again. August of 2015, I visited the OBGYN again, and told her about my recent troubles. I expected to be told that the endometriosis had probably returned, and then given steps of what would happen afterwards. She wanted to do an ultrasound that day, which I found alarming, and as she came back in the room, and began to tell me the results I was shocked. She explained that not only was there a high percentage chance that the Endometriosis had returned, but also that they had discovered that I had PCOS through the ultrasound, which also explained a lot of my recent symptoms. It was hard to hold back the tears. I had heard so many horror stories about PCOS and how it effected a lot of lives. I wanted to hit the floor. She explained that if I wanted to have children, it was suggested that after I attempt, whether I succeed or not, I should have a hysterectomy soon afterwards to prevent future issues. So many things went through my head; my future flashed before my eyes.
How Has It Changed Me:
I could never explain all the ways that Endometriosis and PCOS have changed me as a person. It took most of my high school years, and still tries to rob my days whenever it chooses. However, I have learned how strong I am, no matter how cliche that sounds. I still have to remind myself that even if I wake up feeling like crap, I have to live and go on with my life. When I’m not on medicine, it’s a struggle to just go through with normal activities and have a positive attitude. I have met and spoke with women who have had parts of their life destroyed by Endometriosis and/or PCOS. Not being able to pursue the career they wanted, unable to have the family they dreamed of, or just exhausted from trying to live life. But I decided that I have to fight, and use this as a way to connect to others and help them through their struggles, whether similar to mine or not.
It hurts when people ask me about having children. I’m fine with talking about it, I’m an open book, but it sucks to feel like I’m being pushed, when there is nothing I can do about it. It stings every time I hear that others are expecting, knowing that might not be my reality one day. However, it has also opened my eyes to the amazing world of adoption, and I strive to adopt one day, even if I can have a biological child of my own, and I want to use that as a symbol of love.
I still have to make the conscious decision to live life, follow my dreams, and not let it hold me back, but instead be a testimony. I’m human, I get down, I cry, but then I drink some coffee, eat some chocolate, and move on. Having this disease and PCOS has helped me become who I am, but I refuse to let it define me.