I am petrified at the moment. Why? I have my first general anaesthetic next month and it scares me.
I have had an operation before but it was a spinal for my emergency C-section for my son and yes it was scary because it was unexpected and like a scene out of ER minus George Clooney (sob) but I was ecstatically happy to be having my baby.
When I was 11, my periods started and unfortunately on my maternal side runs a rather unfortunate trait of having periods than resemble the first stages of labour. I have vivid memories of my mum in absolute agony, with vomiting and I was thinking, I do not like periods and I hope mine is a long way off starting! IT had other ideas and arrived, in my opinion, too young. I was in agony every month and became best friends with a hot water bottle and ibuprofen. I have memories of rolling around in pain with my mum trying to encourage me to have something very small to eat as ‘you shouldn’t take ibuprofen on an empty stomach’, so there I was, trying to down some biscuits, a banana, anything so I could take the magic pills. Problem was, the tablets would only work well for a couple of hours until the effects started to ware off and I would be writhing around in pain again until I could take the next dose.
This went on an on and like many other girls was told to get on with it and take the contraceptive pill to help with the pain. So I did and they did absolutely nothing, the only positive was I knew exactly when I would come on so could plan accurately when I would be ailing.
In my late teens, I ended up in a private consultation room at a very posh hospital covered on my step-dads insurance at the time. The consultant was very nice but wasn’t much use and nothing much happened.
Fast forward to last year, I saw a very lovely surgeon who informed me after speaking with him for no more than 5 minutes that he was sure I had Endometriosis. Now, this is where I am back to what was my GP thinking? My mum was told she had endometriosis but managed to have 2 children, it is just me that has secondary infertility. So, why wasn’t this investigated sooner? The surgeon said that no one should have very painful periods, it isn’t normal and shouldn’t be left. The clue for all Doctors is when the pill doesn’t work. He also said that if the pill hasn’t helped then neither will HRT when the menopause phase hits and I am sure that won’t be long.
So, he will be doing a Laparoscopy to diagnose what he thinks is going on so I am keeping an open mind. I am very keen to find out if he locates my right ovary, as it appears to have gone missing!!
I know that what with my MS and my thyroid now playing up even more since starting Avonex, plus my age we will never have a much wanted second child. A big part of me wants to ask the surgeon not to tell me if what he finds has prevented a pregnancy and that it could have been fixed if found earlier. I will also feel very upset as I was under investigation for secondary infertility, so the question would be, why now? This information would have been very useful 5 years ago!! As adults, me and my husband struggle sometimes, but it is our son, he has been asking for a brother or sister for years and it is heart breaking trying to explain why he is on his own. We know he will understand one day.
This is a downer post I know, but when I was young, I believed my GP had my best interests at heart and was there to help and protect my health. I was never referred to anyone about my issues and now I am sitting here with MS, possible Endometriosis and thyroid issues that were actually diagnosed by chance because my GP was away and I saw a quick thinking/acting Locum (luckily).
GPs are great don’t get me wrong but they make the huge mistake of not accepting when they have reached the end of their knowledge and refuse to refer to a consultant who can actually help. Going on for years and years, making a patient suffer just because they hope the problem will go away because they are sure it is all in the mind, is just not becoming of their intelligence or their patients.
I was in limboland for health problems for over 20 years because of me. I tried but failed rather well at not speaking up louder and more assertively. It is not healthy to blame myself but I allowed Doctors to treat me like I was invisible. Thank goodness that every consultant I have seen have been nothing short of fantastic and have taken away that feeling of ‘I am mad’ because the GP told me so.