The first symptoms were vomiting and passing out when I was 12. It was 1983. It took six months of regular but infrequent bouts of agonising pain before someone realised that it was happening approximately once a month. Was it just period pain?
Just? You mean vomiting and passing out might be remotely normal? Yes dear. It’s all in your head. *pat on head*
I was told to take Tylenol as soon as I felt the pain coming on – usually first thing in the morning. This only covered the agony I was feeling and, as the years progressed, I required more and more painkillers each month. I became an expert at pain management and a walking pharmacy. When ibuprofen hit the market, I took it with Tylenol. I managed the pain without knowing why the pain visited itself upon me every month.
Going through junior high and high school, I had to periodically take days off school due to my pain – the over-the-counter pain meditation was not always able to mask the pain. My grades dipped. Despite the pain, I was accepted to the university of my choice. I moved into the period of my life that I still feel was my best: I had potential. I had dreams. The birth control pills masked my gynaecological symptoms. I was going to take over the world.
Then life happened to me. I ran away to England, got married and got a job – not the career I wanted but it paid the bills.
I’ve already gone through my life with Brian so I will only mention his complete inability to support my health conditions when I was being diagnosed with polycyclic ovaries, insulin resistance and after surgery, endometriosis. The diagnoses explained a lot but took some time to learn to manage. I took lots of meditation at first which included a few things that are advertised on American commercials. I got divorced. I had counselling.
In terms of my physical problems, the two things that have helped most are: a hysterectomy and a supportive husband.