Hey Lovelies, I hope you’re all warm and well.
This post is a little different to my usual content. It’s really personal. Something I’ve wanted to share for a long time. This is my journey to diagnosis. A mentally and physically challenging journey, going on for years and years. The point of this post is to share my story and create conversation on these topics. There’s thousands of girl out there with More than a bad period lets raise the awareness and support each other.
Let’s start from nearish the beginning.
Growing up, I didn’t really know anything was wrong. I kinda just thought this is what every girl my age must go through. We were never educated at school on women’s health issues and I guess I was just a little ignorant to everything..
Anyway, as time goes on I start talking to my girl friends more about periods and all that girly stuff. That’s kind of when I had a feeling something wasn’t right. I was shocked that some of my pals only had their periods for a few days, mine lasts well over a week and come and go as they please. I could never be prepared and all my plans were made according to my cycle.
Nine months of bleeding.
To be honest, I didn’t really think to much into it. I still had no idea women’s issues even existed, I’d never heard of anything like that and just told myself I was being dramatic. Let’s skip forward a few years to when I was around 19. I’d not long been with my now husband, things were going great. We were sitting at his mums watching a film together and I felt a rush of something. Knowing exactly what it was, I ran to the toilet in embarrassment and sorted myself out for what I thought was a period.
That period lasted 8 months. Everyday. It was exhausting. I went to see my GP a few times during those months, and it kind of seemed like they didn’t believe me, or it was brushed off as nothing to worry about. How can 9 months of bleeding be nothing to worry about. Anyway, by month 6, I’d fully had enough. I demanded to see a professional who knew more about the issues I was having to deal with day in day out.
“If left untreated, it could become cancerous”
While waiting for my referral letter, it was advised I had a smear test. It’s not common to have them so young (usually from 25+) but the GP had concerns (and rightly so). My smear results showed I had an abnormal, mosaic pattern of cells growing on my cervix. I was told at 20 years old that if these cells were left untreated. They’d become cancerous. How fucking terrifying is that. Within a week I had an appointment to get these cells removed. I saw an amazing Gynaecologist. He made the whole experience less daunting. Talking me through the whole procedure in language I could understand and made me feel less nervous about everything.
The cells were removed. Only took about half hour but felt like a life time. He wrote to my GP and told him as a women so young with this issue, it was important I had 6 monthly smear tests for 3 years to keep an eye on everything. So that’s what we did. All 6 tests came back fine and I was then forgotten about.
The issues didn’t end there. Okay, so I wasn’t bleeding continuously, but my periods were so irregular, I had no idea when I was due on, how long it would last, what amount of pain I’d endure and what my flow would be like. Everyone told me to revisit my GP. So I did. She had a few concerns given the cell growth on my cervix and suggested I could suffer with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). All the symptoms added to that so I prepared myself for the diagnosis. I was sent for more blood tests and an ultra sound. Both came back fine and my GP confirmed that I didn’t have PCOS. Again, I was forgotten and left to get on with it.
Is it all in my head?
Years go by and I’m left with the monthly struggle. I began to give up myself and after almost every professional I had seen had insinuated it was all in my head. Maybe I had just been over dramatic for all these years. Maybe I was fine and this is just normal. I pushed the issues to the back on my mind and tried to live a fairly normal life.
What if I leak on my wedding dress!?
In April 2017, while on holiday on our favourite carrribean island. Shane dropped on one knee with a ring and we were engaged. It took a year to book and plan our wedding. We got married May 6th 2018 in the same spot we got engaged. A few months before the wedding, I checked my cycle tracking app (clue) and noticed that I was due on my period two days before our wedding. I was devastated. Our special day was going to be ruined with a ridiculous amount of pain. There was also the fear of leaking on my wedding dress. Imagine how awful that would be.
“It’s just a bad period”
To try and prevent this, I went back to my GP. Explained my situation and she perscribed me some strong pain relief and something to ease the flow. She also told me that my “bad periods” could be because of wedding planning stresses. Again, passing it off as nothing. So the pain killers worked and with all the luck in the world, my period arrived the day after our wedding. yay! Although it affected the remainder of our holiday, I was just thankful it didn’t ruin our day.
Crippling pain and floods of tears
So as the months go by, I have no stresses, no worries, no change of anything. I began to accept that for around a week of each month, I had to live with the crippling pain that brings me to tears. That’s just my normal.
A couple of weeks ago, my Nan and Grandad had a family get together at their house. All the family came and it should have been a lovely day. Not for me. The day before the party, lady flow struck. I was in bed crying with pain. I thought I could disguise it well but my family know me, and they saw straight through it. I’d taken twice the recommended amount of pain killers just to get through it with a smile. Speaking with my mum and aunts, they knew something wasn’t right with me that day. All of them told me to revisit my GP and demand another referral to finally get to the root cause of this agonising pain.
A male Doctor!?
On Friday the 31st of August, I went to see a doctor. My surgery only had male doctors available and I was a little apprehensive about seeing a man over a female issue. I explained my periods last between 7 and 10 days. Extremely heavy. Told him the pain affects my everyday life. Explained my constant exhaustion and also that me and my husband have been having unprotected sex for well over 5 years and I’ve never had a confirmed pregnancy (only a suspected miscarriage).
Do you know what he told me.
“That’s More than a bad period, lets get you to a specialist”
A wave of emotion flooded over me. It was such a strange but refreshing feeling to know that this isn’t all in my head. I’m not being dramatic. I’m not over reacting and this ISN’T normal!
He’s referred me to see a Gynaecologist. He also told me I needed to have my bloods done again to test of anaemia (because of the amount of blood I lose each month). He’s booked me in for another smear test, another ultra sound and given me new pills to help with the pain.
My road to diagnosis has only really begun. I’m glad the ball is rolling. It’s hard not to get my hopes up because of the previous let downs, but I really feel like I’m going to be taken seriously this time. It may have taken a few years, but I’m getting there.
I’ll probably post an update after all my appointments if anyone is interested in my story.
If you feel like something isn’t right. It’s so important to be persistent with the Doctors. You know your body more than anyone. If you suspect you’re suffering with a female related issue. Don’t suffer in silence like I did for so long. These things take time (unfortunately, to much time) but be strong and in time things will hopefully become clear.
If you’ve stuck around till the end, well done you. You’re probably well bored now.
Go make yourself a cuppa and relax.
Related posts you might like
Thanks for being here
Kisses and Love