It took years for them to work out what it was.
I had almost given up hope and really started to believe the constant messages they were telling me. Messages of it all being in my head, that I needed to just deal with it or that period pain was just “part of being a woman”.
There was one day that really stood out for me. It was a hot day and I was in the middle of our physical education session at school. We were asked to run the circumference of the school soccer field three times as a warm up. I remember staring at that field and feeling like it was the biggest field in the world! I remember questioning some deep part of myself on how I was going to get through this. How would I manage to run, in this heat with the immense pain I was experiencing in my lower abdominal area? Everything ached, everything pulsated with agony and yet, that giant field with the sweltering heat was being forced upon me. I remember walking up to the PE Teacher and expressing that I had my period and that I didn’t feel up to running that day. She didn’t seem to sympathise that much. I was told that in no uncertain terms that I needed to get out there and that having your period was no excuse! Many woman have their periods and can still run around the field! “Get moving!” she said and stop coming up with excuses!
Every inch of my body fought that experience of running. The jolting up and down. The holding my stomach in as I pushed through the motions. The barring pain that came with each pounding with the ground. With every step, the pain seemed to intensify and travel further into every inch of my body. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stand and I certainly couldn’t run another step…. and so I collapsed on the ground in a heap of pain. I remember feeling so incredibly embarrassed by it all. Feeling like I was weak and resenting my body for not being able to push through it somehow. Why could other woman run with the periods and not experience things the way I did?
The years passed and it felt like every month, my body would go through intense pain with every period. At first it was okay to just take a few pain-killers and somehow it became a little more bearable but as the years went by, the pain seemed to intensify with every cycle. It was a throbbing pain, intense pain and the kind of pain that made me not want to move my body or feel any kind of jolting motion. Driving over speed bumps was the worst!
For the most part, I hid my pain and simply acted like I was fine. I didn’t want others to know that I was “weak” or “pathetic” at dealing with my period pain. Ultimately, I resigned to believing that my period was just more painful than other woman or that perhaps I simply had a low pain threshold. I went on like this for many years.
Something massive shifted when I developed a bladder infection while on holiday. I took anti-biotics to get rid of the bladder infection but something remained…. permanently. It was a pain on my left side. No matter what I did, it didn’t seem to go away. At first I thought, perhaps the bladder infection hadn’t cleared up properly, so proceeded to go for more tests. They kept probing and asking about the pain and we went through a range of scans, blood tests and tests to try and work out what was going on. No-one seemed to have any answers.
I remember feeling incredibly anxious about it all. Feeling lost, alone and incredibly unheard. Like no matter how many times I expressed my pain, that some how no-one seemed to hear me. As if, I was making it all up! Like I was simply seeking attention or something! It felt so incredibly frustrating and minimising. Like me, my pain and my struggle just didn’t seem to matter to anyone. It was an incredibly sad time in my life. I remember feeling so incredibly isolated and alone with it all. Like no-one got me or cared enough to help me.
There was one night in particular, where I was sitting the bath. I remember staring down at my body and trying to connect with it. The mysterious pain was still lingering in there. My body appeared foreign to me. Like it was trying to tell me something but that somehow I had disconnected from it. Eventually, an inner voice started to reach out to me and tears started to stream down my face. I could feel the knowing of my bodies message in that moment. It was telling me that it really needed care with my womanly parts. That ultimately, I would need to see a Gynecologist.
I believe I was lucky. The Gynecologist I met a few days later, was incredibly well-informed about various health conditions which women were facing. When I described my symptoms to him, he knew instantly that it was Endometriosis. I had never even heard of the condition. I felt relief in knowing that finally someone had answers and that I wasn’t imagining the pain. It was a real condition and that it affected 1 in 7 woman.
If you suffer from period pain or know someone who does, then it could be Endometriosis. This condition affects your fertility, your health and your well-being. I have shared a previous post which will provide you with a detailed description of what Endometriosis is.
Period pain is not normal or something you have to fight through. You don’t have a low pain threshold, and no (!!!), you are not imagining the pain. It is real and what you are experiencing is real. It could be a condition called Endometriosis.
Please seek the health care you need to feel better!
I eventually found a resolve for my Endometriosis, which was diagnosed through a Laparoscopy. They discovered stage 4 endometriosis and I finally had an answer for all those years of pain and suffering.
After years of using conventional treatments, which didn’t support my body, I opted for a natural and holistic approach to endometriosis that helped me overcome my symptoms and go on to living pain-free.
Big hugs and please know that you are not alone.