When I tell people I have a chronic disease, they often look at me and say “no you don’t. You seem to look fine.” Yes, I understand the confusion because I too see myself physically okay. However, my invincible illness is not allowing me to feel better about myself even though I tried therapy online. So, allow me to share my situation and let me start from the very beginning of where I thought that something wrong was happening with me.
How It All Started
It was years ago when I feel that something changed in me. The first time I experienced a menstrual pain, I thought that it was normal. I am positive and confident that I am not alone in this kind of suffering. That all girls are also undergoing the same pain and agony, I feel every time my period comes up. But that’s just what I thought. My struggle with severe abdominal pain continued for a couple of more years, and I felt that it’s not going to stop any time soon. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do so much in school, and all I can think of is the physical discomfort inside my body. Most individuals around me used to tell me that everything is going to be okay. That all girls experienced the same thing and I shouldn’t have to worry about it because it will go away after a few years. Unfortunately, it didn’t.
By the time I reached my 20th, I had significantly suffered on my first weird pelvic pain. I didn’t put too much concern about it because I somehow thought that bodies often experienced random weird pains from time to time. Again, I was wrong. The pain got worse and intense over time. It was like a knife that continuously strikes me and made me fall into the ground. With that immense pain, I finally decided to seek out for professional help. That’s where I discovered I have polycystic ovary syndrome.
The Condition That Changed My Life
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS contains microscopic cysts inside the ovary. It causes terrible menstrual periods. “Diagnosing PCOS is important because it is a leading cause of female infertility and women with PCOS may need fertility treatments to help them conceive,” Georgia Witkin Ph.D. describes. When I got diagnosed with it, the doctor gave me a prescription that was supposed to take away all the discomforts I have as well as treat it. But then, it didn’t do anything. With that, I continued enduring other years of pain and suffering until I decided to get an ultrasound for my ovaries. Fortunately, everything on the result was okay. I was relieved to know that there’s entirely nothing to worry about my condition. But, I don’t think I’m happy with the result because I know there’s still something wrong.
Until I reached my 27th, the immense pain became frequent. Sometimes, it suddenly came up even when I am not in my period. I was confused and scared already. Until finally, a gynecologist gave me the answer I was looking for at that moment. That’s where I found out that I had endometriosis – an abnormal lining that grows outside the uterus. Its symptoms are heavy menstrual flow, irregular period, infertility, severe cramps, bloating, pelvic and rectal pain, UTI, and fatigue. I also learned that most cases of endometriosis are not visible in ultrasound which is why nothing showed up on my test way back years ago.
“Psychological health is related to the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and is an essential component of self-efficacy and enjoying a healthy lifestyle,” Ashraf Kazemi, Ph.D. and co-authors wrote.
What pains me to know is that there’s no cure for the chronic disease. Though there are treatments available to eradicate the pain, it does not support a permanent relief. There are cases that women get pregnant even though they have the condition, but it terrifies me to know that there is also a higher risk of miscarriage with endometriosis. Aside from that, every woman gets affected with it differently which somehow makes it impossible to figure it out generally. Some treatments work better for others, but most times it makes the situation worst. Not all women can share and have the same approach and feel okay. I have been battling with the chronic disease for more than ten years now, and some treatment and prescription seems working fine and allows me to function. But I know it is only a temporary solution to the problem. Rick Nauert PhD cites a study where, “They found that lifestyle changes combined with taking metformin is associated with more weight loss, with a lower body mass index BMI, and improved menstruation in women.” Chronic diseases often appear misunderstood. That’s the reason why we should raise awareness.