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It's Not Always Quite What It Seems

I arrived at the Women's Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis Clinic in Vancouver and was raring to get started. Before arriving to my appointment, I had to fill out pages upon pages of different evaluations and questionnaires, as well as the usual intake form. My name was called and a nurse weighed me, took my blood pressure and asked a few questions. I couldn't hold in my excitement any longer and so I excitedly asked her, "How does this all work? Once I'm in the program how often do I come? I'm from the island and will make it work and do whatever I have to, but could you tell me a bit more about the process?" She looked at me and said, "Let's just wait and see what the gynecologist has to say and you'll know more then." I sat in another waiting room area and anxiously waited for my name to get called again.

When my name was called, I was brought into an examination room and had to go through my whole story. It is a teaching hospital and so I had an intern doctor that went through this whole process with me. I again, asked her the same questions that I had just asked the nurse and she replied with the same response as the nurse.

The gynecologist entered the room and the intern did a quick overview of what I had just told her. The gynecologist turned to me and said, "I'm just not sure why you were referred to me." My excitement went from an all time high to complete discouragement and disappointment. I told her the name of my gynecologist from my hometown and she pepped up and said, "Oh, yes, I know him and he's a very good doctor and I have worked with him before. Hmmm, okay." She asked me a few more questions and then turned to her intern. "There are some rare cases that I have seen that have caused complications with the uterus from car accidents. Let's make sure to get an ultrasound and check for that in our internal exam." I asked again, about the program and she said, "We'll get to that but first let's see what's going on internally."

The exam was painful and uncomfortable. They pushed hard on certain parts of my stomach as they checked my uterus and other internal parts and did the ultrasound as well. They thankfully said that my uterus looked fine. She then said, "Alright, put your clothes back on and we'll be back to have a chat about some things."

When they came back in the room, she had some forms and said, "Sweetie, you need surgery." I said, "But what about the program?" "You either get in the program or get surgery, and you need the surgery." "But the program....what about the specialists, and the team, and the physio?" "I'm not sure what you've been told but the program consists of a handful of group mindfulness sessions to help women that are struggling with depression with this condition and three physio sessions. I looked at your evaluation sheet and your scores just put you into the depression portion, but you must be doing something right since you've been able to deal with all of this and just barely make the chart. If you'd like, you are more than welcome to do some sessions but you really need this surgery." I again felt duped and deflated. I should have known by now that things weren't always what they seemed or what were promised to be, but I had put so much weight and trust in my hometown gynecologist‘s words that I couldn't help but feel the deep weight of disappointment and defeat.

In order to get a true diagnosis of Endometriosis you have to have a laparoscopy procedure done and biopsies taken, to confirm and determine it. I was handed all of the waiver papers and had to go through and know the risks to the procedure and then I was out the door. I had been told that I would be put on a waitlist and it could take about six months to get in and get the procedure done.

When I got home, I had an appointment with my nurse practitioner and caught her up to speed on what was to come next with the Endometriosis situation. She looked at me and said, "You can have this procedure and the biopsies done and they can come out clean, but that doesn't mean you don't have Endometriosis. That's what happened to me and you just have to live with it." It was a debbie downer conversation that didn't help me feel positive or lighter about the situation. She tried to push another type of medication on me and even printed out the prescription for me to get it. I told her that I would look into it, but that I wasn't sure that was an avenue of medication that I'd like to go down. This medication had been brought up to me before in the past and I had done some research about it and it's effects. From what I had found, this drug caused a lot more harm than good and doctors try and use it for nerve pain relief but it's also geared towards people with depression. In the past, I had talked to a few specialists that I had seen and got their views and opinion on it, and they had all advised against it. I went over the information online and found different online groups of people that were on it and see their experiences as well. I just wasn't comfortable with taking it and didn't have peace about it and so I decided not to.


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