We all have a story to tell, don’t we? My name is Teni, I am 31 years old and I want to share my story with you.
My story began at age 13, when my menstrual periods began. I remember feeling so excited, so grown up, so mature, like a real woman the first time I looked and saw blood on my panties. But a few periods down the line, and they become more and more painful.
As we all know, almost everyone experiences varying degrees of cramps, discomfort and PMS during their menstrual periods, so the pain I felt was never taken seriously.
As I grew older, I went through secondary school. university and work life, this pain continued to intensify. There were times I would be unable to attend classes, then work. there were times I would throw up and feel so weak on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd days of my periods. I began to dread my period coming. But no one thought this was more than periods, everyone just expected me to suck it up since it was just a few days a month.
I went on for my Masters degree in 2010 and after this, got a job as a data analyst. The pain continued to grow. By this time, I was 25 years old. I went to the GP a few times. One time he diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and prescribed me medication. This didn’t help, of course. After a few more excruciatingly painful periods, I went back to the GP who sent me for a scan. This time, they diagnosed poly-cystic ovaries. I was devastated. I cried and cried but was told it sometimes came and went and I shouldn’t worry.
The pain continued and I went back for a scan, this time there was nothing. I was told there was nothing abnormal in my uterus. So I had no other choice but to carry on with life and the monthly pain. Deep down, I was grateful that they didn’t find anything sinister even though part of me felt there had to be a reason why my period pains were incredibly worse than most women around me.
In 2017, I began to feel pain outside of my periods. I felt pain when I used the toilet. I felt pressure when I peed. I felt heaviness in my stomach. I felt bloated most of the time. During my periods, I would be so sick, throwing up and laying on the bathroom floor unable to move. My day 1 was usually manageable but days 2 and 3 were hell. It would feel like my abdomen was on fire. Like a hot knife was searing through my womb. The pain then spread to my upper abdomen. Two to three weeks out of a month were spent in pain and misery. I missed work 1 to 2 days every month. I ended up in the A & E almost every month as the pain became too unbearable. At A & E, I would receive painkillers intravenously and blood tests continued to show inflammation, low hemoglobin counts and anemia. This was because of the heavy blood loss and inability to eat almost throughout my period.
I hated having to send that text to my boss, “Hi Boss, I can’t commute in today as I am in excruciating pain. I will try to connect from home once I feel better. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience”. I felt so embarrassed every time I sent this text.
In January 2018, I was fed up of this pain, and decided to go into A & E. This led to me being booked into a Walk-In clinic to see a gynecologist. The doctor decided to perform an ultra-sound scan. This scan was the lengthiest one I ever did. It took about 30 minutes and the diagnosis turned out to be a double-whammy. A small fibroid was discovered, along with endometriosis. Also I had pelvic adhesions as a result of endometriosis so severe that my uterus was deviated towards the left. I wept! One, because I was sad that I had endometriosis. Two, because I was happy that a proper diagnosis had finally been made.
I haven’t yet begun any treatments but instead have been for more scans, CT scan, lots of blood tests, and long waiting times to see a doctor for treatment. So the waiting game is still currently on.
I created this website because of everything I have been through, what I am still going through and because I refuse to sit idly by and watch other girls and women go through what I have gone through and still going through, feeling alone and like no one understands or cares. I want anyone either diagnosed with or just suspecting endometriosis to know that they are not alone, I understand and I want to connect, support and help them feel better. I have been doing a lot of research on how to thrive despite endometriosis and I want to share this with everyone.
I am still on a journey myself, I do not pretend to have all the answers. But what I choose to do is remain positive, connect with fellow endo-kickers and take steps to improve the quality of my life, regardless of endometriosis, along with other beautiful and amazing women.
Come with me on this journey! I can’t wait to make lifetime friends.