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Don’t give up if you know it’s not normal

One week after surgery in March 2020, at age 23, and I realised that it is not (!) normal to constantly have a sharp pain on the right side of your abdomen for 9 years…

About four years ago was the first time I finally did something about it. I mentioned to my GP about painful periods, hormonal symptoms, heavy bleeding and bloating and got sent to a gynaecologist. They gave me an ultrasound, said it was normal, gave me a pill and said “might be endometriosis but can’t see anything, so it’s not severe”. Didn’t have a follow-up appointment so I assumed that the pill would fix it and if not, then I was probably just being dramatic since they found nothing.

Three years went by and I put up with all of this:
– waking up in the middle of the night from severe cramps
– diarrhea, constipation, bloating, fainting
– vomiting in the bathroom at uni from the pain and going back to class because I couldn’t miss another day
– headaches, acne, heavy bleeding.
– PMSing for 2 weeks before my period, anxiety so bad during this time that I couldn’t even drive my car safely

And one day, 3 years after I initially saw a gynaecologist and 6 years after getting my first symptoms, I was walking around the mall with my partner and pretty much fainted because I was on day 21 of my period. He convinced me to ask my GP again about period problems. She sent me to another gynaecologist and he did a scan, blood tests and laparoscopy. In one follow-up appointment I found out that I have stage 3 endometriosis, severe adhesions around my appendix and pelvic wall and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The gynaecologist seemed to expect me to be sad when he told me the news, but I cannot tell you how happy I was. These symptoms were finally not “all in my head”.

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