The truth about endometriosis

12:00 PM

I struggled internally before deciding to come out of the woods on this - I am an endometriosis warrior and I am not alone in this. This entry is completely my own opinions and experience, certainly beats a non-endometriosis patient saying how one should seek treatment if you have mentrual pain yada, read it straight off the keyboard of one. 

Some textbook symptoms are:

- Symptoms of irritable bowel including diarrhea, constipation and colic
- Pain before, during or after passing urine
- Pain before, during or after bowels
- Bleeding from bowel especially during menses

Ok, the cold hard truth is - I discovered I had an endometriosis cyst very randomly in a routine health check and for the third time in my life, I had to be warded. I hate hospitalizations so much - more than cockroaches really, though there is no way they can be compared on the same grounds.

The horrifying thing about discovering the cyst is the health check usually gets delivered by a GP - so she reads it off the report like a recorder and in my case it was the ovarian cancer marker being higher than normal. And then she proceeded to list the possibilities - cysts, fibroids or the much dreaded c-fiend. Options available to me were few, I needed to get an ultra scan pronto to find out the root of the problem.

As mechanical as it was, I booked myself on the next available scan possible and god damn friday bad news because they screw the entire weekend up. I possibly freaked the entire family out with this piece of news.

Thankful or not, the gynae who delivered my sis is still in business! The very next day I got myself scanned and diagnosed and even booked a surgery date. At the very least, we had some peace through the weekend - finding out it was highly likely to be a cyst is way more comforting than any other news. There is a chance that it may rupture hence surgery was recommended as the best option.

I grew up with menstrual cramps and they were bad but not to the extent of not being about to go about my daily life. Otherwise, it was fine and dandy. No swellings, pelvic pain, no signs, nothing. Mine was well hidden in my left ovary and boy it was large. 7cm in diameter makes it sound like a tennis ball already. (On a lighter note, I promptly christianed it "coco", in medical terms, it is also known as a "chocolate cyst".)

Let's talk history now, Coco lived in me for as long as forever.  In short, I was born with it and when I started puberty, every menstruation would mean it grew too. Until this particular more thorough health check did its existence got discovered.

Key hole surgery it is then if all goes well, laporoscopy specifically. Three punctured holes - one below the belly button and two at the sides. Not meaning to be graphic but I wish this went without a scar for remembrance. The flipside then would be having an insertion made for an extraction should the cyst be too close to any vital organs and then the lovely bikini line scar would occur.

Lots of risk involved but I suppose this is normal for any surgery.

2 days before my surgery, I was put on laxatives - first the pills and then fleet the friendly drink which truly has to be the most rancid thing I ever drunk but they actually tasted sweet thereafter. I am not going into the details and gore but sleep is definitely sacrificed. Upon checking in,  I was given yet another enema to empty whatever remnants - I heart went all out to the battered anus at this point.

7am admission for a 1pm op - no water or food allowed till probably the next morning..I'm not sure about all of you but I could barely eat at 5am. Sleep versus food at such an ungodly hour, I can only say sleep trumped. Fast forward into the operating theatre, I suppose television always glams things up and I was expecting closer to camera-lights-action sort of an equivalent (hey, we are tops for medical treatments for a reason yes?) I give thanks for really kind nurses who were with me throughout, ensuring that I was not in too much pain and kept warm.

This would have been closer to what I expected. 


This, was what I had. Or maybe smaller. Very clinical and cold. 

The whole rara with the anesthetist and the waking up hoolabaloo is, I cannot remember a damned thing. Including flashing a victory sign outside the theater. Waking up groggy is expected and I am not sure how I lasted through the night mumbling replies to my worried family. 

Day 2 was alot easier but gungho me decided to go without painkillers - the pain that travels from the diaphragm up to the shoulders are intense and weird. I finally caved in at dinner time begging for pain relief. 

I share this story hoping to spread the word on this - it is not uncommon, it can be treated and when I realised about this a fair share of the people around me had some idea what this is. Pain during menstruation is not normal, the most it should just ache and not have to curl up in pain, take painkillers or just lie in bed. Realise it early and relieve some pain at least! The most unfortunate thing is, I am not cyst free for the rest of my life, recurrence is likely but for now, I'm clear.

I cannot emphasize how important it is for family support and of course, the bestest situation is for the boss and colleagues to also understand. I was blessed with both and truly, that made this alot easier than thought. 

2 weeks on, life has more or less resumed. I'll be on a 6 month long jab in order to minimise the recurrence of yet another cyst. 


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