As the title states, I was back in hospital once again last week. Last Sunday morning at 5am, I woke up in chronic pain in my left ovary. I pushed through the pain for as long as I could but at 3pm, I went to A&E and that evening I was admitted because I have a cyst on my left ovary and wait for it… Endometriosis!
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common chronic inflammatory condition where tissue, similar to the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus, grows outside of the uterus. The most common places where endometriosis occurs are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the bowel, and the areas in front, on the back, and to the sides of the uterus. It can also be found on the bladder and bowel. In some cases, it is found outside the pelvis (lung, skin, brain, diaphragm).
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
I was diagnosed with PCOS and Endometriosis in summer 2018 but have been suffering since 2016 when I had my first operation! To date, I have had 8 operations for these conditions in 4 years. Yes you read that right: 4 years.
In case you missed it, I travelled to Birmingham in March to have an excision surgery to remove any Endometriosis and have my ovaries looked at. I was convinced this surgery would give me 1 to 2 years at least without needing any other operations. You can read my blog post here about that here.
Here we go again…
Going to A&E at any time can be a scary experience but going during a global pandemic is petrifying. I had to go into A&E on my own. My Mam watched me bent over walking into the hospital and had to go wait in the car. At around 8pm, I was sent up to Gynae where I had an ultrasound, an internal and other examinations done and all I can say is I was in so much pain that when the nurse and the doctor saw me crying, they cried. It showed up on the scan that I had a 3cm cyst on my left ovary and a ‘fluid’ that looked like Endometriosis. I broke down. I truly thought that operation in March would have given me a break. Clearly my body had other ideas.
I was admitted on Sunday night so I could have scans the next day. I had a CT Scan which confirmed I have Endometriosis and in just 24 hours, my cyst grew to 4cm. The scan also showed that the cyst and Endometriosis have affected my bowel so I had to have an enema to clear my bowel to see if the pain would ease. It did not.
Tuesday was a very difficult day for me. I was vomiting all day with how bad the pain was. The doctors were actually going to send me home until they saw me getting sick and crying with the pain I was in. The gynae team decided after much consideration to start me on Decapeptyl again. Decapeptyl will put me in a menopause state so I will stop ovulation and hopefully not develop any more cysts for the next few months.
It was so tough being in hospital during these Covid times as I was on my own the whole time. I was so grateful for the amazing nurses I had throughout the few days, especially a nurse called Alice. I connected with Alice as she has Endometriosis herself and she knew what I was going through.
They sent me home on Wednesday as I could manage my pain at home with paracetamol and tylex. I’m still in a lot of pain and discomfort. I’m hoping that the pain will ease some time soon.
Sarah Jane xx