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Category: Delayed Diagnosis.

I believe my story is a little different to everyone else’s in the way I had very delayed pain.

When I first got my period when I was 12 I didn’t experience any pain with my periods at all. I never understood why other girls in my class would complain about it. I mean it was annoying but I never experienced any pain.

It wasn’t until one day when I was 17 that I started to experience what I knew then as ‘period pain’

I was completely knocked off my feet and I couldn’t get out of bed to get ready for school. It wasn’t normal for.me to be sick from school. In fact I rarely had days off. The pain lasted for a few days and then disappeared when I stopped bleeding.

Another thing to mention is that i had struggled to use tampons. I could never get them to sit right or comfortably. And I didn’t understand why but i gave up on them in the end.

My next period felt even worse. And mum mentioned we should go to the doctor because this didn’t seem all that normal. The doctor put me on naproxen for pain control. This seem to have no effect so I was told to take ponstan. This didn’t really seem to help much at all either so with another doctor’s visit I was put on the pill.

I was on that particular pill for a year and I was happy skipping periods and going about my life. When I was 18 I got a job overseas for a year so took a 6 months prescription with me and headed off. After my prescription ran out I have to go get another one as they didn’t have the one I was on in this country I was in. With the change of pill I started to be bleeding all the time and was in huge amounts of pain. Which sucked because i was traveling at the time. And wanted to be in the moment enjoying it but instead I was in bed in pain with no one around who could really help me.

I decided to give up on the pill and wait until I was back in New Zealand. Through this time it was about 7 months of pain when my period hit. Because of my job it meant I wasn’t fit for work (as I looked after kids in the ocean for surf camp) I didn’t get to do as much in field work.

After returning to New Zealand I asked about the pill again I told my doctor about what I’d been though and he didn’t say much and just out me on the pill. This time round I was on the same pill as I first started on, but I was bleeding all the time , in pain a lot, and no matter what pain relief o got prescribed it didn’t help. I started to accept that this was normal for me and started to grit my teeth and deal with it. I tried a different pill, but I was bleeding for 3 months straight.

Work started to get harder as I started to feel like I could concentrate, my vision would get blurry and I started going home sick a lot. Which drive me insane (and my boss I’m sure). One day I went home sick and got told I needed a medical certificate. I booked an appointment with who ever was free and went to the appointment. I walked in a started crying and I think I freaked the doctor out. I explained to her what was up she asked me “do you have endometriosis?” And I said “no? I don’t know what that is”

The next thing I know she is telling me she believes that I have endometriosis. And I’m being referred to a gynecologist. I’m now 22. After 5 years of complaint about pain, something different was finally happening.

Within 2 weeks I was booked in for my first surgery. I was getting a jaydess. Something was actually happening and I finally had a diagnosis. I wasn’t just being pathetic.

1 year on from surgery…
I am currently a couple weeks out from am appointment with my gynecologist.
Unfortunately my periods haven’t stopped. I’m bleeding for about 2.5 weeks and then getting barley a week off before I start again. My pain comes before i start bleeding now. It never used to. And it lasts after I’ve stopped bleeding which is new for me. To get through a day I rely on tramdol. Which I’m not a fan of. I try my best to distract myself with things to do and people to see. But same days are worse than others.

Living with a diagnosis though has really helped me and changed how I feel I get seen by health professionals. I have people around me who are very supportive. Your always going to get the people that don’t understand, and that’s okay because I like to think that I can help them to be a but more understanding. Through my story and my experience I have now helped 2 of my friends approach their doctors for help and they have both been diagnosed as well.

I hope that by spreading my story to people around me that others won’t have to wait as long as I did to get a diagnosis.

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Strength through support - mā te tautoko, ka whai kaha, ka ora

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