I've had it since I was a teenager and didn't realise that the level of pain I had every month was substantially worse than others. It wasn't until 6 years ago it was finally diagnosed after spending months in excruciating pain that would keep me up all night and have me on the sofa with a hot water bottle all day. My Husband eventually persuaded me that this wasn't just normal lady problems and I went to see a specialist.
So what are my symptoms? Well without being too graphic, extreme stomach cramps which over the years have spread into my back, rib cage, hips and thighs. Some months I cant sleep for the pain in my right hand side altogether. On the worst months it can feel as if someone is pulling out my ovaries and stabbing me in the back all over at the same time. It can occasionally make labour pain seem like a mild tummy ache. Maybe that's why labour hasn't really bothered me. When in labour with Caleb the midwife kept telling me I had to have pain relief as it would get worse and I had to explain I was used to pain. Other symptoms are bloating and heavy bleeding/clotting.
I've often wondered how many women are out there who suffer like me and put it down to 'lady problems' as GP's don't really seem to be too quick to refer sufferers for help.
How is it treated? Well, at the moment I am on a contraceptive pill, ovaranette, Mefanamic Acid and large dosed of co-codamol. I've been told the only cure is a hysterectomy which I don't feel at the moment is an option for me. I so want more children if possible and the disease doesn't seem to have affected my fertility thus far, touch wood, too severely. I've been told pregnancy can help with symptoms for a while after but both times mines been worse and during pregnancy I had terrible pain for the first 5 months with both babies which is worrying and mean I was scanned every 3 weeks from 5 weeks onwards to check for internal bleeds.
This month has been one of the worst so far and I've found it very hard to carry on with the little one and the house, but as its an invisible problem it's still expected I carry on as normal which really gets to me. When the pain is worse than labour and I'm grinning and baring it on heavy medication and feeling sick and sleepy I still get no sympathy or help. I think I'm my own worst enemy with it as over the years I have learnt to get on with life as much as I can until it passes but as it gets worse I wonder if I'll just be seen as a moaning woman or whether people around me will try to understand a bit better?
Right now I just live for the good months and hope they don't become few and far between.