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. Instead of leaving my system a few days later, it flared up my endometriosis.
I ended up in the 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 appendicitis, 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 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 two 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 three minutes. They start in my lower back and spread all across my abdomen. I get what I would call “normal” period-type pains, too (you know, that dull ache all around your ovaries). It’s 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 landed me with a surprise trip to a hospital. Six 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: I was rushed to the hospital, pumped full of drugs, given all the scans, and eventually was 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, and rushing here, there, and everywhere in between. I was even dreaming about it! A few other factors also 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 where it was emanating from. I’m now finding that I’m super sensitive to certain foods. I’ve already started 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 realize how much it can actually effect. Six years on, I’m recovering in the exact same way.
You can follow more of my journey over at www.emlwy.com.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.