I want to share my journey to diagnosis from the beginning, so I’m going way back to 2005. It all began at 16, I was so envious of all my friends having their periods. I was the last one to get it and it felt like they were all in a secret club that I desperately wanted in on. Oh how naive I was! At that age having your period was a right of passage towards being an adult! I however was in a limbo, and Britney Spears ‘I’m not a girl, not yet a woman’ was my theme song. I hadn’t blossomed in any other womanly features yet in terms of boobs or hips so I felt at least if I got my period it would start the ball rolling! My older sister had gotten her period in primary school, while here I was well into secondary school with no use for the pads and tampons I had stashed from our starter pack we got in our very first sex ed class. I felt like my genetics were failing me, how was it fair that she got her period AND boobs way before me? It felt like a true injustice until I finally joined the club.

As soon as aunt flow did arrive, I wanted her to leave again. This wasn’t what I signed up for! What I was expecting to be nothing more than a great excuse to skip PE, left me in pain and totally drained for eight whole days. And so began my first long term relationship; me and my hot water bottle. Now as context I never really thought there was anything wrong with what I was experiencing. My older sister complained of cramps too and we both went through mountains of sanitary products each month. It must be those poxy genetics making us alike after all I thought. I have had long and heavy periods ever since then and apart from them becoming more regular, going on the Pill at 18 didn’t provide any relief. The one bonus of being on the Pill was that I knew in advance when my period would arrive so could avoid plans. For me the first two days have always been the worst. That’s when my cramps are crippling and I feel really nauseated. I intentionally scheduled my period to arrive over the weekend so at least I could wallow in self pity at home in front of the tv or in bed.

Having resigned myself to just being an unlucky person when it came to periods I never thought to ask my GP any questions. I was actually prescribed the Pill (Dianette to be more specific) by my dermatologist as I had terrible skin during my teens. My family GP was a lovely older gentleman who has treated me since I was born. I was quite frankly delighted that I was able to dodge the embarrassment of having to talk to him about anything period or sex related.

Fast forward until my early twenties. I had moved to London and registered with a doctor’s surgery locally. I needed to get prescribed the Pill over here so I went in and they asked me lots of questions about my sexual history and my menstrual cycle. This was the first time I really told the doctors that my periods were actually really bothersome. Now I was modelling, my periods were getting in the way. Fear of a last minute lingerie shoot or of leaking in my nude thongs I have to wear to jobs had become a problem. Long days on set aren’t easy when your sucking in a bloated tummy and trying not to double over from shooting cramps, I can tell you. Unlike in school or university where my period planning worked quite well, modelling jobs would come in last minute on any day of the week or weekend. The GP changed me to another pill (Yasmin) and said it should reduce my cramps and shorten the period. Nothing changed.

I kept going back to my GP when my prescriptions needed to be refilled and letting them know my periods were still over a week long and very heavy. They changed my pill another two times over the next two years and for the first time Endometriosis was mentioned when I had no improvement. I wasn’t given an explanation of what Endo was but it was thrown out there as a vague possibility.  I went home and googled it. I know, I know! You should never google your symptoms! Once I started reading I was thinking ‘Woah that actually does sound like what I am experiencing’…

 

Until next time…

 

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1 Comment

  1. August 16, 2017 / 12:42 PM

    Oh, girl, I felt like a total outcast growing up! I only got my periods when I turned 14 and I always had small boobs, but only developed later and I felt old! But the good thing is now even though I might not have big knockers, then at least there is always a great push up bra for that 😛 I remember knowing people who were my age that time and younger who got their periods, but I never did. Looking back, then I am actually glad I got my periods when a teenager and not younger. That would have ruined my childhood 😛 I remember before the time I got it then I was highly emotional more than I had ever been before and I had no clue why. The awkward moment when my dad mentioned to my mom about when would I start to get it, then I got it 😛 Lol.

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