Finally being in my 30s I have been officially diagnosed with Endometriosis! I had my period at the age of 13 and had to wait until I was 32 to be diagnosed with Endometriosis. The average time for getting a proper diagnosis on Endometriosis is about 6-10 years! It literally took almost 22 years to figure out that I had Endo! But I already knew in middle school that something wasn’t right with my periods. I had sooo much blood and big blood clots that I knew it wasn’t normal. But my doctors kept telling me that it’s just a bad period or that it was normal to have that.
It took a long journey for me to find out I had Endometriosis was because I started taking birth control when I was 20 and got off of it when I was trying to conceive (TTC) with my husband at 31. So birth control helped mask my Endometriosis symptoms where my periods were regulated and it was more on the light side. But once I got off of birth control that’s when my Endometriosis symptoms started showing. I had light brown spotting before my periods and then during my periods I would have 3-4 days of heavy bleeding where I would cramp up, bloat where I got a huge endo belly, bad PMS and wouldn’t be able to function! I would need to use a heating pad and take pain medication to relieve my pain. My periods lasted at least 7 days which is super long as well. Before when I was on birth control it would only be 5 days.
So after a year of not taking birth control I started forming cysts on my ovaries. On Thanksgiving day 2020 I had an Endo flare that I was in so much pain that I started throwing up and my stomach was in excruciating pain. It lasted a whole hour where I was just crying, panting on the bathroom floor just trying to breath to just stay alive cause I was in so much pain. Luckily I was blessed to be around family that night that my sisters were there rubbing my belly which helped relieve some of the pain.
The following day I was still feeling pain in my stomach so I wanted to make sure I was ok. I went to the emergency room to get it checked out and the ER told me they just found a 3cm cyst on my left ovary and that I would need to just get it checked with my OBGYN.
So I booked an appointment with an OBGYN at Stanford hospital with a Nurse Practitioner since that was the earliest appointment that I would be able to get with any kind of doctor since this was COVID times. So I had to wait until January 2021 to see the OBGYN and when I went in I literally asked her if I had Endometriosis and she straight up said No most likely not it was just a bad period. I was like ok fine and was happy that it wasn’t Endometriosis. So they kept monitoring the cyst with ultra sounds. I would have to wait another month to get an ultrasound and at that appointment they found my cyst growing and then they found another cyst that grew on my right side.
They continued to monitor my cysts and finally I went back to get another ultrasound and that ultrasound technician found out that they were Endometriomas! So that was the day that I finally got diagnosed with Endometriosis. I knew I had Endometriosis cause the episode that happened during Thanksgiving totally screamed Endometriosis and I knew it in my gut that it was.
So I was lucky in a sense that I didn’t have to get surgery done to see if I had Endometriosis since that is the only way to really diagnose someone with Endo. So with finding out that my cysts were Endometriomas that meant for sure I had Endometriosis. Since I have endometriomas it is considered that I have Stage 4 of Endometriosis which is the worse stage unfortunately.
The Endometriomas caused me so much pain that I randomly got Endo Flares all the time and at random times. I literally couldn’t sleep at night cause I was in so much pain! I even took pain medication and it wouldn’t help! You never know when you will get a flare up and it takes hours for medicine to kick in and waiting for the pain meds to kick in is so painful. I went 2 months without having adequate sleep since I was in so much pain all the time.
Finally I was able to get my laparoscopy with an Endo Surgeon! Dr. Lum is amazing and was able to squeeze my surgery in earlier since I was in so much pain. Thanks to her I am now pain free for now. Endometriosis is a forever disease and will never go away! So sad that there is no cure for it! But at least the laparoscopy has relieved my pain for now and I am grateful for Dr. Lum!