Full Circle

Endometriosis Awareness RibbonsHi! My name is Meghan, and I was diagnosed with endometriosis 8 years ago. Thinking back to my earliest symptoms and worst days, it is hard to believe so much time has passed since I started my road to wellness (and that I haven’t had a period since)! If you are reading this, you are likely on your own endometriosis journey, and I understand the challenges that exist both when we are feeling well and when our symptoms persist.

My symptoms were typical, with extreme pain during menstruation and very irregular periods. These warning signs rapidly got worse during the course of a year until it was obvious something had to be done. I remember that sitting for any significant amount of time was nearly impossible and made my pain so much worse. I dreaded sitting in class, and I often had to lay down in the nurse’s office. Being 15 years old made it awkward at school as I didn’t want people to know that my period was bothering me.

Fortunately for me, a family history led to a quick diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed with endometriosis as an adult and she had missed a significant amount of high school because of “bad cramps.” We saw a pattern repeating itself with my symptoms and went straight to Dr. Laufer at Boston Children’s Hospital. One laparoscopy and countless trials of different hormonal pills later to stop my period, I’m fortunately feeling great. After my diagnosis there were new challenges for me to face, though they have gotten easier over the years. When I was young I’d hide my birth control pills at sleepovers and I’d try to keep tampons in my bag just in case someone asked for one, not wanting people to know I didn’t need them. Now that I’m 23, these aren’t issues for me anymore, and I consider not getting a period my endometriosis perk!

My endometriosis diagnosis was a turning point in my life. I’d always been interested in medicine, but this experience sparked my passion for healthcare and gave me the freedom from pain to pursue it. I’m currently pursuing a Masters degree in Biomedical Science with hopes to eventually go to medical school. Having an illness like endometriosis absolutely gives another dimension to how I relate to the material I study and the passion that motivates me. This semester I got to study infertility and endometriosis, which was a full circle experience.

Wherever you are in your endometriosis journey, know that you are not alone and that it can get better!