Nobody told me My First Painful Period meant I have Endometriosis

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Nobody told me My First Painful Period meant I have Endometriosis

Nobody told me My First Painful Period meant I have Endometriosis

One Wednesday in November 2006 I had my first period. I was in class six. Excitement and confusion ran through my mind. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my mom I was finally a woman. So I got home, told my mom and she just smiled and said, ”now that you are grown, you should stay away from boys.” I just stood there thinking, am I supposed to stop going to the same class as boys and if so does that mean that all the other grown girls in the upper class haven’t experienced their periods yet?(I felt like a matured woman, lol). Anyway my mom goes and buys me sanitary pads and since I was a peer educator in school, I had an idea on how to use the pads. The memories of my first period experience are still vivid in my brain.

The next morning I woke up with this sharp pain on my abdomen, coupled with nausea and had this crappy feeling. I managed to eat but soon after I threw up. My mom took care of me as I spent the day at home. That marked the beginning of a monthly dreaded, painful menstrual cycle. There were months when the pain was bearable and there were some when I couldn’t leave my bed. I used to take pain meds to minimize the pain. Little did I know that the more I grew up the more the pain.

In 2009 I joined high school, far from home, far from my mom’s care and far from readily available pain medication. I used to carry a packet of pain meds for the months that I would be in school.

The menstrual pain became too much and in 2010 I was referred to a gynecologist who checked me and told me that i had a normal condition known as Hormonal Imbalance. I was put on Conjugated Estrogen. This was meant to help balance my hormones and reduce the menstrual cramps. I was under this medication for a while and soon after I was done with my final dose, the pain came back in double portion.

I started missing out on classes on the first day of my menstrual flow every month. The visits to the doctor’s office became more frequent and each time I was prescribed for a different type of medication to try and curb the Hormonal Imbalance.

This meant new prescriptions and new side effects. The tablets didn’t give lasting results since after dosage the pain would come back double. The pain was so much that my upper thighs would numb, making it hard for me to walk. I even started experiencing pain during ovulation and random painful cramps a week before my menstrual period. I was in dire pain every 14th day of my menstrual calendar.

I got so used to taking pain meds that I got addicted for a year and a half. The fear of pain every month got me hooked to pain killers. Premeditated pain I guess. Fighting the addiction has not been easy as I now randomly take the pills to fight the random cramps.

In 2012 I decided to stop all the hormonal meds and face this menses head on. The pain got worse each passing month. The pain grew from being a one day thing to a two day pain, a day before and on the day of my menses. I can’t count the number of days I missed classes.

The visits to the doctor’s office became too frequent that he suggested that I get an injection to induce menopause. At the age of 20 I was experiencing menopause! Yes, the hot flashes and sudden mood changes being the most uncomfortable among the long list of feelings menopause brings with it. I felt it all, the anxiety, fatigue, irritability; you name it, I felt it! I honestly respect women experiencing menopause. On the bright side, the treatment yielded positive results, but only for 3 months. Soon after the 3 months the pain became worse than ever before.

In 2014 I decided to go back to my gynecologist and after a series of pelvic exams and undergoing a laparoscopy test, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. A condition resulting to abnormal growth of cells (endometrial tissue) outside the uterus causing pelvic pain usually associated with menstruation.

In 2016 my doctor introduced me to this new medicine known as Visanne. It’s a bit expensive and the dose is given only once a month. The Visanne tablets have helped ease the effect of endometriosis, particularly making my menses regular but the pain is yet to subside. It has gotten to a point where I have to spend a whole day at home on the start of my menstrual periods.

The worst bit about endometriosis is that its origin is not known and has no cure hence not much can be done. It’s not just cramps or bad periods. Endometriosis is dealing with the fear of pain, the addiction to drugs, the judgement, the loneliness and the unpredictability of tomorrow. It’s a real hustle and it’s affecting women like me in silence. I soldier on…
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  • Maryanne Wanjira Mbuguah

    Posted on Mar 25, 2018 at 16:44 pm

    I stand with you. Even though idk how it feels but no one should go through that alone.

  • Mary Richards

    Posted on Aug 02, 2019 at 19:20 pm

    Am Mary and coincidentally your story and mine are almost similar.

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