“Endometriosis was first mentioned to me eight years ago by a GP. Unfortunately he said it was ‘just one of those things’ and ‘there wasn’t much they could do about it’. So I put up with the pain thinking that’s all it would be; painful but nothing to worry about. Over the next six years my symptoms became more and more severe. I was taking increasingly stronger medication, but the pain I was experiencing became unbearable. After a particularly distressing day, I finally decided to see (a different) GP.
I was immediately referred to the Endometriosis clinic at Royal Cornwall Hospital, where I was told that if I had endometriosis there was actually a lot they could do to help. I felt relieved to hear it. I was scheduled to have a laparoscopy, a diagnostic operation which is the only real way to diagnose endometriosis
During the wait things grew worse, the endometriosis started to take its toll on my whole body. I lost one and a half stone, I was crashing out for 3-4 hours every day, had pain in my back, limbs and joints; low mood and constant bowel problems. Because I had no diagnosis I didn’t feel I could ‘be ill’ as such, so carried on with work but was unable to do very much outside of it.
“Gilly, the endometriosis nurse has been at the end of the phone for me whenever I’ve needed talk about symptoms that have been worrying me.”
I had my laparoscopy and it was found that I had stage 4 (severe) endometriosis, the worst part being on my bowel which was fused to my uterus. I was given an injection to be put into the menopause to prepare for the next surgery to excise the adhesions and I had extensive surgery four months later. During the operation my surgeons found the endo had eaten through my bowel and had grown inside creating a mass which was partially blocking it, so I had a resection and spent several days in hospital recovering (massive thanks to Pendennis Ward for their amazing care!).
“I am currently 4 months post op now and am starting to notice the difference. My pelvic pain has greatly improved; I have more energy and am not sleeping in the day anymore. I am looking forward to enjoying the activities I do with my son (rather than just getting though them), working for myself again and starting up a social life and having hobbies again.”
I think we are very lucky to have the endometriosis clinic in Cornwall. The service they offer and the specialist skills available there are much sought after. I would love to help spread the word that this clinic is available at Royal Cornwall Hospital and that endometriosis is not just one of those things we have to just put up with”.
“Massive thanks to Pendennis Ward for their amazing care!”
For more information about Endometriosis and local support groups: www.endometriosis-uk.org