I get so sick of people telling me that every woman goes through period pain. They don’t. Terrible cramps aren’t normal. The pain I feel when I’m intimate with my boyfriend? Definitely not normal. I’ve had pelvic pain that’s kept me stranded in bed all day. Know what my doctor said when I told him that? “Toughen up!” (I decided he was no longer my doctor after that comment.)
Over the years, my friends and family would just call me a drama queen and move on. They started getting annoyed when I had to cancel plans because of my pain. My parents tried to help. They’ve taken me to what seems like so many doctor visits. I’d always get a diagnosis, but it never seemed like the correct diagnosis. The words my doctors used to describe my condition didn’t cover everything I felt.
The irony is that it was a nurse who recently gave me an answer to what I might be feeling. She told me her sister suffered from the same symptoms. Within the week, I was on a gynecologist’s exam table. Within a month, I was scheduled for a laparoscopic surgery. After that, I finally had a name for my pain: endometriosis.
If you take anything away from my story, I hope it’s to never settle if you don’t feel like you’re getting the right help. Don’t let anyone (even family and doctors) tell you that this pain is normal. Only you know your body. Only you can speak up!
This story was submitted by a real woman and reflects her personal experience. It does not reflect AbbVie’s thoughts, opinions, or beliefs. Before making any changes to your treatment or lifestyle, consult with a physician.