Share Your Story : Charlie

woman with curly brown hair wearing a sweater and beanie

Charlie lives in the UK, and was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 16.  Now 19, and two surgeries later, her pain is already returning.  This is her story.

Charlie’s Journey: 

So, I guess we should start at the beginning.

This post will feature words that usually have a stigma behind them or make some people feel uncomfortable such as ‘periods’ so look out.

So when I was around twelve and mother nature came and gave me the ‘gift’ of periods like she does to many girls around that age I accepted it quickly and got on with being ‘grown up’. But unfortunately, what I didn’t know then was the hell I was going to have to go through.

Most days I would be lying on the bathroom floor, curled over in pain to the point where I was being physically sick, where painkillers wouldn’t bring me any form of comfort whatsoever. I was led to believe this was normal as I knew no different and everyone told me that this is what was supposed to happen. But they didn’t understand the level of pain I was in. I clearly remember one day when I was around thirteen my family and I were off to a park for a picnic and a walk and I remember begging them to get me a wheelchair to go around in because I was in so much pain I physically couldn’t walk. But this still didn’t ring alarm bells so I carried on my life as normal, dreading each time my period would come round.

I began getting sharp pains in my sides most days and I’d get so bad I’d go to the hospital only for them to pass it off as an infection, to take antibiotics or just to wait for it to go away. Some days I’d go and they would simply tell me ‘We don’t know what’s wrong with you’. Eventually one day I’d had enough so I went to the doctors with my mum where she demanded I be seen by a specialist. To my surprise they actually agreed and I was booked in to see someone at the hospital.

Walking up to the hospital I didn’t get my hopes up and expected I would get sent away without any answers yet again.  But after a consultation with a specialist and being examined they explained that they expected that I had endometriosis and would book me in for a laparoscopy to confirm this. I’d never had any surgery before and all the information for this was overwhelming. I didn’t say anything the whole way home and ended up crying into a chocolate muffin when I got into my bedroom (not the worst way to cry I know) I had a hard time accepting I have this condition and to be honest I still do struggle with it. I have days where I’m fine and get on with it and others where I get angry about it and hate my own body for betraying me.

But I digress…I went for my first laparoscopy a few years ago full of nerves not knowing what to expect, with my mum telling me to ‘be good’ when I was wheeled down to theater which we still laugh about now. The surgery went well and I was diagnosed with Endometriosis with my ovaries stuck to the lining of my sides which had to be cut away.

The recovery went well and 2 weeks later I was back and in good health. This lasted for around 6 months before symptoms slowly started emerging again. I went back to the hospital around 5 times before a second laparoscopy was booked in and I was absolutely dreading it because I knew what to expect and it wasn’t very nice.

So the second laparoscopy found the same as the first my ovaries stuck to my sides and this time, despite being given anti-sickness medicine for the anesthetic, I was severely sick and had to stay in overnight again. During this surgery a coil was fitted to stop me having periods and to improve my symptoms. This coil took around six months to settle then eventually started working well. Up until now where my symptoms are beginning to come back again…

Words of Advice for Us: Surround yourself with good people who will be there for you and bring out the best in you. Alongside focusing on your health and well being and putting those as a priority within your life.

I want to send a special Thank You out to Charlie for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today.  We are so sorry to hear your symptoms are already returning and hope for the best…You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman.  You can do this.

And if YOU would like to share your story, please let me know.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoWarriors, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

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