Sunday, 28 May 2017

Health; My journey to referral

Being female isn't an easy job sometimes. While my husband seems to bumble through life with minimal worries regarding looks and health, I'm usually stocking up on skin care to keep my skin looking nice, putting on my newest make up to give my face a new lease of life and showcase a brand new look I've been waiting to try out, or I'm lay in bed in crippling pain crying to myself because nothing I can do will ease it. Welcome to my monthly struggle. 


Periods are a really gross, embarrassing topic that most teenagers will avoid talking about like the plague. I know, even now at 23, I struggle to talk openly about my periods with people. It took me a month to even tell my friends what I was being investigated for and that I needed surgery when I found out. Its only natural, but I still think its a topic people don't really want to hear about. So I am writing about it on the internet for everyone and anyone to read! I think, not having to tell you all face to face definitely makes it easier, and I want to stress, that it shouldn't be embarrassing! 

I can't remember where it all began or pin it down to a specific date but I remember my periods were never pain free, we all get mild cramping and have issues with stomach aches and maybe some back pain, but one of my most distinct and vivid memories was a year after my now husband and I got together (around 2010). I was at his parents house and was using my arms to prop my body up off the chair in the living room because I couldn't bare the physical pain of my abdominal/back/bum touching any part of the sofa because I was in unbearable pain. Most people would have gone to A&E and if I hadn't of been able to say 'Oh yeah its just period pain' in a way that says, this is how it always is, I think I would have rung 999 myself. That has been my normal for at least the past 7 years. 


I've lived for years like this, believing that there was nothing to be done and that's just what my month entailed, I worked it down to a fine art. Using the pill I could control the days I would be on and worked out an exact science so as not to be on my period, or at least not having my worst days when I was at work or at college/uni lectures. Working it to an exact science meant I could have my worst days on a weekend and be able to be at home comfortable with as minimal people seeing me as possible. Once I realised you could take packets of the pill back to back (pleased speak to your doctor if you intend to do this) I began reducing the number of periods I had to have, meaning I only had one every 2 months, much easier to manage on the wider scale. I was eventually offered to only have a period every 3 months, but I couldn't get my body to agree to this and so I don't do that, but please, please seek medical advice if you intend to do this!

In 2016 I was finally sick of being home-bound and barely able to do anything on the worst days, and having to take as many pain killers as possible within the box guidelines to even look like a functioning human when I had the other days at work, I went to the doctors. I was advised to change my pill and go back in three months and see how it was. I changed pills, and then went on to experience period pain symptoms throughout the weeks I wasn't on my period, not what I hoped. Going back I explained it was worse and I wanted to go back to what I had that was 'working' for me, and I wanted to continue to get to the bottom of it. I have to say I was basically fobbed off. I was prescribed what I had before and almost told to just have the implant or coil and it would stop my periods. I didn't necessarily want them stopped I wanted an answer as to why they were so bad.

I went back again months later and saw a third GP, yet again relayed my symptoms, and crossed my fingers. We finally got somewhere when I was offered swabs to check for infections, and I hesitantly went for what is basically like a smear test, but they just swab for infection. I came back all clear as I presumed I would as I didn't have any symptoms of any infections, and was told they didn't know what the issue could be and I was sent on my way. As I stood up and took my prescription for my pill, I made a comment that I only use my pill for period regulation to know I wont be at work when I have my worst days, and nit for the intended contraceptive form, did the GP decided I needed a referral. I honestly don't know how long I would have waited to be referred had I not made the comment I did, and be asked more questions.

I will talk more about the hospital appointment in the coming post next weekend as I think this one is long, and probably a bit TMI already, so lets leave you all to recover and have a nice cup of tea! Its not a pretty topic and I don't think I can make it more pleasant, but if I can encourage just one person
to go to the doctors if they have a similar problem I want them too, or anything that you feel is a little more on the embarrassing side, I promise you will feel 100 times better when you have seen someone who know, and believe me, they have seen WAY worse, and its there job to look at these things!


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