Experiencing my first period.
Seven years ago nearly exactly to the day I got the biggest shock of my life up to that point in the form of my first period. Normally this is a moment in becoming a woman but this was the most painful experience. The day before I got my first period was my best friends birthday party and I got really sick and I was a miserable mess. On February 20, 2011, I woke up shocked and overwhelmed by the sight of blood all over my bed sheets and soaked sleepwear and I didn’t know what had happened. I didn’t think I was ready for this. After my first period, I waited for months until the day before my family traveled to Europe; I was struck by the worst pain and cramps at school and a heavy bleed.
Is this pain normal?
Moving on to high school in Hobart where I went to an all-girls school and lived with grandparents period talk was normal at school but no one ever mentioned the pain. I spent many early hours of the morning crying, getting up to the bathroom, vomiting and not able to move. My grandparents had no idea and told me just to talk panadol and get over it. I went to school like this and I was a miserable mess. At school, I cried in the comfort of the beanbags in the library. I was afraid of bleeding through my uniform and having a period start at school. I used to shake in fear.
In year 10 I got really ill at school and I was unable to move. I was sent to sickbay and it was the first time I was ever sent home because I was unwell. My grandparents still had no idea how much pain I was in.
Doctors and medications were not helping.
In January 2016 I thought I was making a responsible decision by seeing my family doctor for the pain. I was prescribed the oral contraceptive pill for the first time to control the pain and my body didn’t like the dosage I was given. It did nothing and made me experience side effects like weight gain and acne.
I spent many months and years crying over the pain and trying to seek help but every time I seemed help I was given a different pill to try. Nothing seemed to work or like me. I struggled to get to school with migraines and pain. I felt like doctors were not listening to me. In May 2018 I was finally referred for some further investigation and I saw a gynecologist for the first time. Seeing a gynecologist for the first time changed my life and she referred me for excision surgery.
A diagnosis that came too late.
Finally, in July 2018 I had my first surgery and it leads to a diagnosis that impacted my life. I was diagnosed with later stage endometriosis and it had damaged my entire body. Endometriosis is invisible and damages organs that you cannot see. My illness had damaged my uterus, bladder, bowel, and lower regions. Now I’m a chronic illness sufferer and TIREDGIRL trying to live my life. I still study at university but struggle with exhaustion and pain. I don’t know if I’ll be able to have kids and the future is still in doubt.