Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

What it's like to Suffer from Endometriosis

Today I welcome back my gorgeous sister, Tegan, to talk to us about Endometriosis to help us understand why some people find it difficult to have children. May I say here that boys you might want to stop reading unless you want to be completely grossed out! Haha don't say that I didn't warn you!

Tegan's bump!
Take it away Tegan.

I was roughly 14 when I was delighted with the site of my first ever menstrual cycle. WELL I won't go into the glory detail but here's a rough idea of what I went through...

From day dot I experienced pain like you would not believe. My periods where very and I mean VERY heavy, I passed clots the size of 50 cent pieces, I experienced iron in-deficiency due to loosing so much blood, I would faint, get hot and cold flushes, break out in random sweats etc (this was soon controlled with iron tablets) and my periods would sometimes last up to 2 weeks at a time.

I could not take the pill to try and control my periods because I experienced migraines. I would also have a blurry vision and a tingling sensation down my arm. The doctor told me that there was an ingredient in the pill that could trigger a stroke therefore she referred me to a mini pill which was safe. I tried 2 different mini pills which both didn't seem to have any effect on me what so ever. I was then encouraged by my gynecologist to try the implemon, which i did.

The implemon is inserted into your inner arm and is meant to last 3 years. I had mine in for 2 and a half years before I started to experience old symptoms again so I had it  removed.

When I was 16 I had my first operation; a Laparoscopy. This explained all my symptoms; i was diagnosed with Endometriosis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endometriosis My uterus was covered in it. My gynecologist in Port Lincoln whom completed the surgery referred my to a gynecologist in Adelaide whom was more experienced with the removal of
Endometriosis as it was all around my main organs. I also had adhesions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adhesion_(medicine) in my tummy from when I had my appendix removed when I was 14 years of age. In other words; my uterus was a mess.

  I then went through with my second operation a Hysteroscopy.http://www.thewomens.org.au/Hysteroscopy This allowed the gynecologist to have a good go at cleaning up my uterus and burning away the adhesions caused from having my appendix removed.  He found that my ovaries had attached themselves to the back of my uterus walls. My ovaries were released in this operation. ALSO the gynecologist found 2 chocolate cysts, 1 on each of my ovaries which were also removed in this procedure.

After each operation I would have a check up with the gynecologist to find out all the details about what they found. I was 18 when I was told to have children now. If I left it too much longer, than my chances of falling pregnant would be incredibly slim.  WOW that was a lot to swallow but I didn't really think much of it as I wasn't even ready at the time anyway!

I was nearly 21 when my partner proposed and we started discussing plans for a wedding and then children. Wait.... CHILDREN!!!! That is when my concerns kicked in and I asked my gynecologist if there were any tests I could complete to find out my chances of falling pregnant. At the age of 21 a blood test confirmed that I had 4% chance of concieving. At this stage we were handed a whole heap of brochures about IVF and were told that there were other things available if we couldn't conceive naturally. WELL... with my wedding coming up in just over 12 months my partner and I made the choice to wait until our wedding to start trying.

3 months before our wedding my partner and I were laying in bed when he brought up the conversation that he was ready to start trying. I remember saying 'you are just being lazy and don't want to put protection on!!' He then reassured me that no he truly was ready! I thought to myself 'OMG are we really having this conversation?!' After my partner saying 'the chances of it happening between now and the wedding....' I thought about it and said as I was giggling 'knowing the wedding IS only 3 months away we no doubt will conceive just because we have waited 12 months now....' Therefore we booked in to the doctors together to discuss what we needed to do in preparation for conceiving. 
I had many blood tests carried out to check for many different things and my partner completed a sperm count. My results came back positive and I was ovulating beautifully so my dr said and my partners sperm count came back with a high percentage also. I was waiting for my next period to carry out yet again another test to make sure I was releasing the correct amount of eggs in a cycle. I keep records of all my periods in my calendar on my phone therefore I was able to give my dr dates to work out when I was roughly ovulating. This allowed her to give us a 'map' of when to 'go your hardest' were our dr's terms.

6 weeks into 'going our hardest' I got this feeling that I just needed to complete a pregnancy test. My boobs were sore and I felt guilty one night when drinking alcohol with a friend. I just felt different.

My partner was away at work as he works 7 days on and 7 days off. I built up the nerve to take a test when my partner just happen to call me as I was heading to the toilet. I mentioned to him what I was doing. After I peed on the stick we waited in silence as the screen started to display the chemical reaction. My partner was saying 'well what does it say?!' After waiting the few minutes I compared my results to the instructions. 
I remember saying 'i think it is positive.' My partner demanded that I send him a picture of the instructions against my test so that he could compare it. I waited in silence as he received the picture message and then as he cleared his throat he says 'congratulations WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!!' I cried as he shouted with joy!! (so really it took us 3 weeks).

The next morning I woke up and raced into town and bought another test. I went up to a friends house where I completed it. 2 lines appeared... another positive test!! I also just happen to have a dr's appointment before I had to be at work to complete a pap smear but on arrival I mentioned to the nurse about the tests and asked if I just went through with a blood test. She agreed and later on that afternoon I was phoned up from the surgery with a lovely 'congratulations, the test came back positive, you are roughly 5 weeks pregnant!' WHOOOOOOOOO i couldn't not stop crying with joy!!!

I just wanted to ring up my gynecologist and say 'HA, 4% chance my bottom!!!!' (or really is it a miracle??) Who knows but WHO CARES - I'M PREGNANT!!!!'

  I am now 24 weeks and loving every moment of being pregnant, the sickness and all!

Therefore if there is anyone reading this that can relate to any of the above or has been tested and told that your chances are low, do NOT believe what you hear as in my circumstances, you just never know!! Stay positive and keep on 'going your hardest' so my dr told my partner and I!!

Is there anyone else out there with an amazing story like mine? I would love to hear it!!

All the best & goodluck!! :)

1 comment:

Dreaming. Wishing. Doing. said...

What an awesome inspiring story! HUGE congrats to your sister! She must be over the moon!