Three years of my life was wasted on an indescribable amount of pain. I was 15 years old when this started. The doctors used a scale of 1-10 and I would tell them I was off that scale. Over the span of 3 years I’ve had an appendectomy, two colonoscopies, Botox injections, various narcotic pain medication prescriptions, and a barium swallow test. I saw a pain psychologist to help manage the pain, and had many hospital visits dealing with doctors who had no idea what was wrong with me nor how to treat it. I spent 3 years running around chasing a diagnosis I wasn’t sure would ever come.
I had no quality of life. The summer of grade 10 was spent in and out of the hospital and in grade 11 I was taught by a hospital homebound teacher because I couldn’t move. I could not get out of bed without assistance. Sometimes I had to crawl on the floor the pain was so excruciating. I was told that it would pass and that exercise and Advil and Tylenol would make it better. The more exercise I tried to do, the worse the pain became and that meant more time in bed. To play one inning of softball landed me a 3 day stay in bed unable to move and in tears.
I had doctors insinuate that the pain was all in my head, but I was told to not ever believe that, there was something wrong and somehow we were going to prove it. All the medications I had been on built up resistance in my system and every heavy duty narcotic drug I tried to control the pain so I could enjoy some part of life, failed.
Finally I got referred to Dr. Williams and the Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis at BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre. Doctor Williams and the Team at the Centre are specialists in Endometriosis and I owe my life to them. Dr. Williams was shocked by all the previous attempts at treating the endo that I had undergone. These included Biofeedback, Botox injections, alternative medicine, massage therapy, lupron shots, the pill and again the various pain medications. I was reassured that my case was typical, which I had never been told before. I had been treated as a mysterious undiagnosed case of pain.
Dr. Williams did a laparoscopy and removed the effected endo tissue. There were areas of endometriosis on both sides of my cervix, which were confirmed by the lab. Over a year has gone by now and I have been amazingly pain free. The time right after my surgery was the most incredible thing ever. I had no pain- it was gone. I didn’t need to take any of the recovery pain meds because the recovery discomfort was nothing compared to what I had been feeling. I remember going home that day a little out of it but totally free of pain.
In my 1 year free of Endometriosis, I’ve been able to play softball again, work, spend time with my friends, family and now a boyfriend. I’m slowly getting back into life adjusting to being able live life again pain free. I can do a lot of things now without worrying how much the pain will affect me later. I went from being a girl full of tears and pain to all smiles and good health. I’m extremely happy to report that I am currently still Endo free, though I know there is a chance of reoccurrence. But if that happens I won’t be wasting another 3 years of my life getting treatment. It will all be taken care of as soon as I am able to go back to the Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis program.
My goal in writing this testimonial is to educate doctors. You don’t have to be a specialist in Endo, but if you are aware of the many ways women are affected by endometriosis and how important it is to refer your patients to the program at BC Women’s, you will help them get effective treatment much sooner than I was able to.
I also wanted to write this for other girls like me. Don’t let them push you around and tell you your pain can’t be diagnosed. It can. And don’t let them throw medication at you. It doesn’t always help no matter how strong. If you’re still in pain keep going back to them saying something is wrong. Don’t ever give up. The fight is hard and long but hopefully with this testimonial and all the amazing work of the doctors and the Team at the BC Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis, your time to be in pain will be much shorter than my three years.
~ SH, 2012