Hi everyone, this is the concluding part of yesterday’s story.
I missed several lectures and deadlines due to this pain. I eventually went to see my GP and was sent for another scan. This time, they found out l actually had two cysts on my right ovary which were attached to each other. My GP then prescribed a painkiller for me (Nurofen) and said we should watch them over the next few months to see if the cysts decreased in size. The cysts were 6cm and 4cm, not 3cm as they previously said. I was back home with constant pain and nothing but a pain reliever although the Nurofen did help me. This meant l had to always carry the drug with me wherever l went because l wouldn’t know when the pain would start. It just comes out from nowhere especially in the mornings. Even with this, l was still having my severe menstrual pain every month and still taking my drugs during that period. I always lamented on how l could never go a month without pain; l was having pains either due to ovarian cysts, my menstrual period or migraines which comes once in a while.
Life just didn’t seem fair to me and l was angry at the NHS who didn’t care about the pain l was having and for not making any attempt to remove it. It just felt like everything was against me and l wasn’t ever going to be pain-free in life. After 5 months of taking the drug, l had to go see my GP again because the pain had got worse. It was no longer a sharp pain but dull and still very painful. It felt like l was walking around with a heavy stone on my right side. I was sent for another scan and this time, it was invasive. They found out then that the cysts had grown bigger still and they were formed from endometriosis( endometrial cysts). I was then put on a contraceptive pill to stop me from menstruating which the GP said would stop the cysts from growing. I have been placed on a waiting queue to see the gynaecologist who would then determine the course of treatment for me. I am currently on the pill and still waiting for my appointment with the gynaecologist (the NHS has a very slow system) and l pray he opts for surgery because l can’t wait to have these cysts removed and look forward to having children. Since l started taking the pill, l have been happier. I haven’t felt any pain either from the cysts or my menses and it feels like bliss. So this is what normal life feels like?
I felt l should share this story because l know there would be several women passing through the same thing in Nigeria and are oblivious to it, passing it off as just normal menstrual pain. I am aware that some people do have severe menstrual pain and it has no underlying cause but at the same time, there are women who would be going through hell and not even know what is causing it. Nigerians should be more aware of this situation as it is more common than we think and does affect black women a lot. It is not a “white people disease” as we mostly brush off most diseases to be. Please do go for a scan if you suspect anything wrong. Heavy menses and severe pains could be warning signs and you should not overlook it. I have always wondered if l had this right from the start( with my heavy periods and excruciating menstrual pain) and l pray to God everyday that if l have, they haven’t damaged or twisted my fallopian tubes. If l had been diagnosed earlier, l probably wouldn’t be going through this now. I still have a long way ahead and look forward to having kids. I know the stigma associated with women who can’t have kids in Nigeria and l dread it. Worse off would be if l don’t even have an understanding husband. I’m not married yet and don’t have a clue of who l’d marry. I just pray he’d be as understanding as your husband( you are very lucky and blessed). I now pray that if l do have surgery to remove the cysts, they wouldn’t reoccur because l doubt l would have the strength like yours to face having them persistently. Please include me in your prayers. Thanks a lot.
Please remember this young sister in your prayers. Chronic pain and fear of infertility are the daily companions of an endo sufferer and these burdens can be alleviated by greater awareness, understanding and support. Thanks for reading