“Women Troubles” Is NOT Women Causing Trouble

, , , , , | Healthy | May 11, 2019

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(From my first period at age 12, I have been having horrible pain with each menstruation. Several months later, the pain is so bad that I can’t stand. My mother is alarmed and takes me to the ED. They suspect appendicitis and operate, only to find a healthy appendix. I am referred to a gynaecologist.)

Gynaecologist #1: “So, I hear you’ve had a bit of a sore tummy, huh?”

Me: “Yes, it really hurts, and I—“

Gynaecologist #1: “Now, [My Name]. You’re grown up now. This is part of being a woman; you just have to put up with it, all right? Take some paracetamol when the pain starts and get on with it, all right?”

(I’m embarrassed to have caused such a fuss and take what he says to heart. For the next 12 years, I put up with horrendous, increasing pain, assuming all women go through it. Every cycle, without fail, I spend a minimum of 12 hours in such pain I am vomiting. It gets so that I am in pain all the time, even when I’m not menstruating. Finally, at 25, I have an epic period of 17 days of vomit-worthy pain. My parents convince me to go to the ED in my new city where I live.

The ED doctors give me a high dose of morphine and check for acute problems, then refer me to a gynaecologist. I am already convinced that this one will think I am wasting his time, too, and begin rehearsing apologies. Finally, I meet the new gynaecologist.)

Gynaecologist #2: “So, I hear you’ve been sore?”

Me: “Yes…” *describes situation*

Gynaecologist #2: “Can I feel your stomach? Hmm. Okay, I’m not going to, but if I pressed hard, would it hurt?”

Me: “Yes.”

Gynaecologist #2: *taking his hand away* “Does it hurt now?

Me: “Yes.”

(The gynaecologist went a little grim and told me that I needed an operation immediately. He fit me in the following week and ended up excising a LOT of tissue. It turned out that I had a condition that caused infertility if it was untreated, and the main symptom was immense pain. Luckily, the disease hadn’t yet damaged my tubes so I can still conceive naturally. With medication to manage ovulation and possibly more operations should the tissue regrow, I should be completely healthy. Most importantly, I’m not in constant pain. How lucky that I found a doctor who knew that “women troubles” was no longer a proper medical diagnosis!)

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