There is an issue that happens to women all to often, and I’m beginning to learn just how common it is after sharing my experience. But the story begins when I was about 15, so bear with me.
So around 15 years ago, I began having horrendous abdominal pains. They would start as a sort of stabbing pain, and then would increase until I would be writhing in pain on the floor, thinking I was dying. I remember the first time it happened, I was in the car with a friend and their parents and I had them drop me off at the emergency room. It progressively worsened while I was in the waiting room, to the point I couldn’t even sit in a seat. They didn’t seem too phased by how much pain I was in and had me wait. I waited 6 hours, after which the pain had become milder, asked if we would be seen soon to which I was told they weren’t sure how long it would be, so I gave up and went home.
This pain became a regular thing. The next time it happened, I went back to emergency and was seen this time as it was pretty empty. They ended up doing an ultrasound, told me there was nothing wrong, and it was basically all in my head. Mind you, they were happy to send me on my way with 2 panadeine forte which didn’t even remotely take any pain away at all.
Now, being 15 I just thought to myself I guess this is just normal then and have to suck it up. So each time this horrendous pain creeped up and knocked me for 6, I would crawl into a ball, cry and try to twist or move into positions on the floor that would lessen the severity of the pain. Being a mother now, I can actually describe the type of pain as similar to labour, but worse than the contractions you’d feel. But when I was 15, I couldn’t compare the pain to anything as I hadn’t experienced labour.
This went on until my husband and I fell pregnant with our first son. After I had children, I didn’t experience these pains anymore. I thought perhaps having kids had helped whatever was causing the pain. So, now we have three gorgeous children aged 6, 4 and 2. Well, I got the shock of my life last week, when at 2am I woke up with those god awful pains. I automatically, without even thinking crawled into the ball I used to make when I was a teenager. I rolled onto my tummy, tried arching my back, gritting my teeth, but of course nothing ever worked, just like before. To make matters worse, my 2 year old daughter used her Spidey senses to know I had woken up, and was subsequently climbing all over me, whinging “mummy cuddle, mummy cuddle!” Which was absolutely horrific.
After this wonderful experience, and reading similar experiences online, trying desperately to see if I was alone or not, I shipped myself off to a walk in GP. I was now armed with the stories of strong women whose pain had been written off as “all in their head” or “don’t be so weak, it’s period pain.” I was referred to an ultrasound. I internally rolled my eyes but though nope, let’s give it a chance and it can be a starting point.
So, my ultrasound was yesterday. They did an external ultrasound which found nothing, so this ultrasound tech had the brains to actually perform an internal one. Which was never even suggested to me as a teen when I was sent on my way. The internal ultrasound showed that I had a large ovarian cyst that had burst, and that would have been the pain I was experiencing last week at 2am, AND the pain I was experiencing as a teenager but told was all in my head and I was wasting their time.
I’m not sure what’s kept those bursting cysts at bay for so long, whether it was pregnancy or maybe breastfeeding or perhaps just a coincidence that they’ve started again after stopping breastfeeding 6 months ago, but they are NOT being welcomed back into my life. 🖕🏻
Anyway, I just wanted to share my shitty experience with you all in case anyone has been through similar. Whether that be medical professionals calling you a liar, or pain being blamed on “just your period.” I’m glad I have an answer now, a mystery solved, and now I guess I have to wait and see what the next steps will be once the GP gets the results.