Monday, 22 January 2018

:: COLUMN :: When other health problems affect your endometriosis

Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/2DCoaN0

:: This column was originally posted on Endometriosis News ::


I haven’t had the greatest start to 2018. I had food poisoning on the second day of the year. Nothing that remarkable really. I’ve had it before and I’m sure it won’t be the last time. However, this time, something else happened too. Instead of leaving my system a few days later, it flared up my endometriosis.

I ended up in hospital because I simply couldn’t take the pain. It was tearing through me and no amount of grabbing at the hospital bed mattress and screaming was stopping it. Eventually, after a large assortment of painkillers, the pain dulled. The hospital thought it was my appendix but countless x-rays, scans and blood tests didn’t show anything. I was given penicillin, fluids, some more painkillers for good measure, and was discharged the following night. Although I still felt very poorly, I could cope with it.

I thought that would be it. A few days of rest and I’d be back on my feet. But, over 2 weeks later, I’m still spending the majority of my days in bed, curled up in terrible pain. And when I say ‘terrible pain’, what I actually mean is contraction type cramps. In fact, one Saturday night was spent rocking back and forth, curled up on the floor of my bedroom, with the pains coming every 3 minutes. They start in my lower back, spread all across my abdomen and I get what I would call ‘normal’ period type pains too (you know, that dull type of ache all around your ovaries). Exactly the same as a tightening contraction. I spent a lot of time doing and feeling the exact same thing when I was pregnant, but I certainly didn’t think I would be feeling them when I wasn’t pregnant! 

This isn’t the first time my endometriosis has landed me with a surprise trip to hospital. 6 years ago this month, I woke up in the middle of the night and instantly knew something was wrong. I didn’t feel ‘right’. I went to the toilet, but that didn’t help. I tried taking some painkillers. That didn’t help either. Shortly later, I was screaming the house down with the pain. The same thing happened: rushed to hospital, pumped full of drugs, given all the scans and, eventually, sent home.

However, that time, looking back at least, I knew something was coming. I’d been under a massive amount of stress at work, planning a major awards night for the company I worked for. I was working longer hours, rushing here there and everywhere in between. I was even dreaming about it! There were also a few other factors that didn’t help at that time, and it all eventually culminated in my endometriosis feeling like it wasn’t getting enough attention!

This time though, did take me by surprise. No real stress. No real amount of exertion. Just a completely unrelated ailment that you would never think could affect your endometriosis. But, I knew as soon as it happened, that it was indeed my endometriosis.

The doctors didn’t really listen to me when I spoke about endometriosis. In the end, they put it down to ‘non-specific abdominal pain’ which, I guess, was correct really. The pain was so bad I couldn’t tell what where it was emanating from. I’m now finding that I’m super sensitive to certain foods. I’ve already had to start cutting out dairy because it was making me feel so sick and I have no appetite whatsoever. I’m simply eating because I need to. But, if I had the choice, I could easily go without food.

Six years ago my endometriosis turned my life around, and made me realise how much it can actually effect. Six years on, I’m recovering in the exact same way.

S.
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