- Women's Health
What Is Endometriosis | A Personal Story
What is endometriosis
Endometriosis is a condition where the walls of the uterus thickens and grows on the outside of the uterus instead of the inside. This tissue is known as the endometrioma. The growth is stimulated by the production of estrogen. In most cases the cervix is blocked by the growth which prevents the semen passing through in order for the woman to get pregnant.
This condition is very painful and may result in the woman having to have surgery. In the USA and Canada alone, over 6,000,000 women are effected by this condition. No one knows the actual worldwide figures.
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Chronic pain. Pain during and after menstruation
- Painful sex
- Excessive bleeding
- Loss of appetite
- Constipation or diarrhea
My Endometriosis Story
It was 1997 and I had just return from a trip abroad. The trip was supposed to be a vacation but turned out to be a disaster. Upon returning home I applied for a job as a Nanny and got the position after one telephone interview.
The Sunday that my prospective employer was supposed to pick me up I started to experience abdominal pain and bleeding. I really needed the job and I thought I was having an early period, so I told my boss nothing about my condition.
During my first week on the job I had to visit my doctor who told me I had an ectopic pregnancy, which meant that the baby was in my fallopian tube instead of the womb. He did not do a pregnancy test but gave me meds to stop the bleeding, which actually made it worse.
One morning after my twin charges had gone to school my boss’ husband returned home for something he forget only to find me passed out on the floor of the living room. My blood pressure had dropped so low that it caused me to faint. When they tried to get a reading for my blood pressure there was nothing, there was no pulse.
I was rushed to the hospital that September morning, can’t remember the exact date, and was admitted, being told I would not be sent home until the Doctors could figure out what was wrong with me.
I WAS NOT PREGNANT. I was only fifty percent relieved to learn I was not pregnant. Being twenty six and childless I really hoped that the pregnancy was real. However, happy that my body would not have had a child in danger as an ectopic pregnancy would mean me maybe having an abortion or the child not coming to term.
It was one week later after many blood tests, ultrasounds, x-ray and physical exams that invaded places of my body I recoil to recall, that I was told I had endometriosis.
The options available to me were limited. Get pregnant through in vitro fertilization and maybe that would reduce the growth somewhat, but that would have to be after an Adhesiolysis. This was a surgery that removed not the tissue, but the adhesions. Adhesion are where the tissue stick to other organs like my bladder and any other organs in its path.
Everything was going fine after the surgery even though there was no prospect in view for me getting pregnant. I was relieved that there was no pain, bleeding (which lasted more than three months), vomiting and loss of appetite. For over one year I got injected once per month so I wouldn’t menstruate. I was given a male hormone which had me growing hair on my chin and my voice was getting heavier. It was making me sick all the time so my doctor decided to let me try nothing as those were the best meds he could find for my condition at the time.
I was at work when I started having cramps and bleeding again. The same job. My employer saw me through all my problems and took care of me.
“Miss Samuda you’re having back pain because your condition has gotten worse and the growth is spreading toward your spine. It has adhered to your bladder and intestines. We have to do a hysterectomy.” I said nothing sitting there in the Doctors office at the outpatient section of the hospital.
“You know what that means?” I said nothing.
“If the tissue wraps itself around the spine it could cause serious problems, even fatal.” Still nothing, my mind was totally blank.
“Miss Samuda, you know you won’t be able to have any children.”
I must have passed out or something because I woke up in a hospital bed in the same ward that I was admitted before. There were tons of Doctors lined out around my bed. I became a guinea pig. There was never a case of endometriosis so bad in the history if this hospital. There was a growth so big I looked over six months pregnant. Honestly some persons I knew thought I was carrying a child.
For three months I was given injections in my abdomen to reduce the growth to a reasonable size in order to operate as it was too large, as removing it as it were was very risky.
In April 1999 my uterus and Fallopian tubes were removed. I will never be able to conceive. It has been painful dealing with that knowledge but there are other children I can have, those without hope, love and homes.
Sometime soon I will make at least one of those children who need me my own. How did I get through it? I did it by beginning to see myself as a woman again. Loving myself all over and accepting that God knows why even though I’ve asked many times and receive no reply.