Many years of gynecologist visits…
For many years I have wanted to start a blog, but I never did because I thought it would be silly of me. I wanted to start this blog to share the journey I have had with female issues which started at age 14. I wanted to start this blog to rant about how depressing and frustrating my health issues made me at such a young age. I wanted to start this blog to tell other girls and women to NOT give up and keep fighting!!
One morning I woke up with horrendous pain in my lower right side. I instantly alerted my mother while she was at work and she called my grandmother to take me to the doctor. I went to a walk-in clinic in my small town where my grandmother had recently worked as a nurse. When I got there everything was a blur. I can’t remember much from that day. I remember being paralyzed from the pain and not being able to do anything but throw up. The doctor came in to see me and she thought my appendix had ruptured and told my grandmother to get me to the ER. My grandmother took me to the local ER in our area and they started running test. When the doctor examined the area where I was in pain she automatically knew something wasn’t right. She noticed major swelling in that area. When my CT scan test results came back the doctors informed us that I had a baseball size tumor on my right ovary. I had no idea what that even meant at the time. I was only 14…. I knew they told my mother it was a teratoma and they were almost always benign and that seemed to be good news to her. The doctors scheduled surgery for the next day and kept me overnight to help tolerate my pain. Although I don’t remember much from that day, I do remember that I had many visitors that night! I remember my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, family friends, and a ton of my high school freshman friends! Seeing all my friends was a great distraction at that time.
The day of my surgery everything went well. The surgeon only had to do three little incisions to remove the tumor, but once he started surgery he realized the tumor was much larger than expected. Although the tumor was the size of a grapefruit, he managed to remove the tumor through the small incisions. Unfortunately my right ovary was not able to survive the tumor, but I still had that left ovary that was working great! I was very sore for a few days, but I had a great recovery! They done a biopsy and IT WAS BENIGN! Thank you, Lord! So that was the end of my journey with female issues, right? HA. I wish…..
Life went on for a couple of months after surgery and everything seemed fine….and then there was pain on the left side of the pelvic area. The pain was unbearable and my mother took me to the ER. I was thinking the worst…I thought I had another tumor, I was going to lose my other ovary, and I was never going to be able to conceive a child. Thankfully, it was not another tumor. I learned that day what the pain of an ovarian cyst bursting felt like. The doctors let us know it was just ovarian cyst and they did not seem to be an issue, but when they burst the fluid gets in the pelvic area and causes a great amount of pain. They managed my pain and sent me home that day.
I made an appointment with my gynecologist to discuss the ovarian cyst and he decided birth control was the best to help keep my ovary healthy. My mother and I agreed it was best to give it a try and I started taking birth control pills…..That was a disaster…. I became depressed and had very abnormal periods with dreadful pain. I was constantly bleeding while on the pill which was very annoying and upsetting for a 15 year old girl. My bleeding wasn’t very heavy, but it was heavy enough to have to wear a light pad daily. I came off the pill and discussed other options with my gynecologist. My gynecologist recommended trying the Implanon implant, so I gave it a shot. WOW! Even more of a disaster!!!!!!! That little thing in my arm was literally the DEVIL! I became anemic because I bled for 8 solid months! I started gaining weight. I was miserable. Self-conscious. Depressed. I was NOT the same person. After 8 months I finally got that stupid thing taken out of my arm.. It took two doctors to dig it out! It was AWFUL! I thought my life would finally go back to normal….. Little did I know this journey of female issues would continue for a few more years and I would constantly be searching for answers…
I can not stand a doctor who makes you feel like you’re crazy and don’t know what you’re talking about. NEWS FLASH: THIS IS MY BODY!!!!!! I KNOW WHAT IT IS DOING IS NOT NORMAL!!! I AM IN PAIN!!! I AM MISERABLE!! So thank you to the caring doctors who truly listen to our issues and do everything in their power to find answers! A few years went by and I was NOT on any type of birth control. I was still in pain, but I just dealt with it because birth control just did not work for me. I continued seeing my gynecologist that I had been seeing since I was 14. I switched between two different doctors in the same office. When I graduated high school in 2013 it was obvious that I had gained a few pounds over my senior year. The fall after graduating high school I started college at a community college in my area. School went great for the two years I was there. I had great grades, I made some new friends, but that weight was still coming on and it was coming on hard… I tried numerous diets and exercise plans, but I never seen a pound drop… It was extremely depressing. I always had a healthy weight throughout high school and I had always been very self-conscious about my body. During my time in college I became extremely tired all the time. I could sleep for 12 hours and still be exhausted during the day. Because I seen my gynecologist so often, I considered her my family doctor. When I noticed some changes in my body and how tired I was, I made an appointment to see her. She done some blood work and once it came back normal, she sent me home and that was the end of that… LOL! Oh, thanks for your concern!!!!! I am not in medical school, but it is NOT rocket science that blood work does NOT show everything when it comes to health issues. A few weeks went by and I couldn’t get through the day without being completely exhausted and it was so miserable! I made an appointment with another doctor which I had never seen. His office was a simple walk-in clinic and I knew I needed to find a family physician. At my appointment I explained all my issues and how exhausted I was. That day he done blood work and once it all came back normal, he called me back in to see him. He told me that all my blood work was in normal range, but he wanted to do a sleep study!!!! Sure enough, the sleep study confirmed I had sleep apnea. Thanks Dr. T for going that extra mile for answers!! I thought to myself, well this is great… I’m not crazy after all… I have some answers finally…This could be why I am gaining all this weight!! Then I got my CPAP! Satan…. It was so hard to adjust to. I am still struggling to adjust to it, but thankfully I have some energy now! But unfortunately the CPAP did not help with the weight issues.
During all this weight gain, I also noticed some major acne. I have never in my life struggled with acne and I though that happened when you were in middle school… Well here I am at 20 years old and struggling with acne all over my head, neck, back, and face for the first time in my life. My hair was also falling out by the hand fulls! I was becoming so depressed again because my appearance was disgusting to me! I had another check up with my gynecologist shortly after being diagnosed with sleep apnea. I informed her real quick that I had sleep apnea and that is one reason I felt like pure crap all the time! That day while seeing her, I was having some pelvic pain. She done an ultrasound and of course a cyst had ruptured. I have never seen my only ovary without a cyst on it, by the way. With all the symptoms I had been having I mentioned having PCOS… She assured me that my cyst were not “PCOS cyst.” While at that visit I let her talk me into birth control, once again… Stupid me… This time I tried Nuva Ring… Guess how that went?? Once again I was bleeding for a solid 3 months. Finally, I decided to change doctors which I should have done a LONG time ago! When I seen my new doctor for the first time I let her know my history and then told her that I had just started the Nuva Ring and was having some issues. She told me to come back to see her in 3 months to see if my body had adjusted to the birth control. I returned to her office 3 months later and I was still bleeding…I told her all my issues with the weight gain and not being able to lose it, acne, depression, pain, etc. She took me off birth control and wanted to schedule an ultrasound. A few weeks later my mother and I went to Birmingham for the ultrasound. I met with her right after getting the ultrasound done. As we expected, she confirmed Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I wanted to cries tears of joy, weirdly. I was just thankful for answers. I prayed and prayed for answers!! And I finally got one! Although it really sucks to have PCOS, it could be soooo much worse. I will struggle with my appearance and my hormones forever, but at least I am not fighting for my life daily!! I may never be able to conceive a child, or I may conceive my first try! I know the Lord is in control. All the symptoms started around 2013. It is now 2016 and I JUST now finally received answers. Those three years seemed like an absolute life time! So my message to other girls struggling with similar health issues and feeling like you are crazy and it is all in your head… IT IS NOT! Keep fighting! Keep changing doctors! You will get answers at some point!!!! YOU know your body the best!
Do what you gotta do, BUT DO NOT GIVE UP!!!