22 going on 40

For quite a few months now, I was in a pain that my doctor shook off. It was not until I choose to ‘humour’ my best friend and go to the ER that we found out that it was not something I should have let her brush away.

The first visit lasted just under 24 hours. At first, it was all basic questions for the nurses who came in. Throughout my entire stay, I had two male nurses. They were the kindest, funniest and best nurses I have met to-date and it makes me sad to admit that they were not there when I had to return a few months after.

My case seemed to confuse doctors for the entire day. They poked and prodded at my stomach with their fingers, asked the same questions and sent me for tests that they expected to show nothing but did simply because they were at a loss. The conclusion when I was discharged from the hospital for the first time was “burst ovarian cysts and quite possibly, appendicitis.” After a first year surgical resident was stumped, she sent the senior resident on the Gold Team… who also had no idea. After waiting a few hours for the surgeon to get out of surgery, he let me know about how in many countries, they do not operate anymore but instead, try to treat with antibiotics.

Sure enough, this was the route that he sent me home with and decided that if the pain persisted enough within the following few days, to return and that they would operate. As much as I was ready to scream “I’m not leaving here with as many organs as I came in with!” I left quietly and recovered temporarily.

About a month later, it started up again. After approximately a week, it disappeared. This started to happen for two or three months before I made the time to go to the doctor again. This time, it was not my family doctor but instead, one that I had seen in previous years that I knew was affective. He did not disappoint. After one more ER visit and consistent, weekly check-ups with him to make sure I was doing alright for pain management in the lull period, my appointment with a gynaecologist finally came.

When I walked into the office, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had never seen a gyno before and really never expected too. I was a presumably healthy twenty-two year old and was not pregnant, therefore it never crossed my mind that anything more than my regular doctor was required. Regardless, I sat in the waiting room and went to sit down when called, unsure at what exactly to expect. I will honestly admit I had doubts in what she was going to be able to tell me when the ER doctors had no answers that were conclusive, even using all the fancy equipment the hospital had to offer.

She proved me wrong.

I remember her saying “you poor girl, they’ve poked and prodded you so many times when they didn’t have too!” In my head I rolled my eyes a little, as little did she know they had scheduled me for another internal ultrasound the day after the appointment. Fun fact, I didn’t go to that appointment.

The visit went on with her drawing me the female reproductive system upside down (I am still impressed two months later) and telling me that I did not have to fret about what the medical term was called. She went on to explain that the lining that I shed every month is not where it should be. Instead, it is inside the muscle of my uterus and every month when the hormones from my ovaries interact with what should shed, it does- but inside the muscle. This creates my uterus to be consistently bruised and just to add a bit of fun, it’s so sensitive and has been having the ovarian cysts bursting on a monthly basis as well. The only ‘solution?’ Hysterectomy.

As a twenty-two year old female, my first response was to tell her she was not touching me with a ten foot pole. Thankfully, she agreed that it was drastic to do such a surgery on someone so young because I did want children. I do want children.

A temporary fix (a.k.a. stopping my cycle) is the only way to control the pain until I am ready for the hysterectomy. The question is, as a twenty-two year old, I’m not sure I will ever be ready. Although I do not yet have children, I know that I want them. I say them but in my head, I know that I would be happy even if I could have one. Such a chance in my life is surely years away, but I cannot imagine what I would have done if everything in my body was hating on me to an extent that it stopped me from being able to have children.

I asked. It doesn’t. Not as long as I have my uterus inside of me. So, for these next few months it will be adjusting to my new reality. Knowing that one day I may have to make the “adult” decision to remove my uterus, but for now, I am staying that twenty-two year old that is not ready and cannot imagine the day that she will be.




One thought on “22 going on 40

  1. I’m so glad you finally saw a doctor who knew the cause of your pain. I think we can cope with a lot when the unknown becomes known. Here’s to the years ahead, Elizabeth, and the fulfillment of all your dreams.

    Liked by 2 people

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