Monday, July 4, 2011

I guess the best place to start is the begining...

My name is Stephanie, I am 26 years old and for 2 years have been unsuccessful in my attempt to get pregnant, but already I'm getting ahead of myself.....
All the medical problems I have today began 12 years ago when I was 14 years old. When I began getting a period, it was never regular. We, meaning my mom and I, figured it was just because of how young I was, my body hadn't found it's "groove" yet. It wasn't until the next year when I was 15, and symptoms became more severe. I was bleeding for weeks straight, and the cramping became so bad I nearly passed out from the pain. When I became this bad, my parents took me to the ER, thus beginning the series of tests and opinions. My first OBGYN was a large practice with many doctors, I recall seeing three of them, all with different opinions. My first encounter with Dr #1 was at the ER that night. After blood work and an ultra sound it was determined that I had a cyst on my ovary that had ruptured. I was given no explanation for the length and heavy bleeding I had as well, the answer was simply birth control to help control it, and I was sent on my way. At my yearly, I met Dr #2. There had been no improvement with the birth control, and the cramping had been just as severe, so much so that I missed school regularly because of it. Dr #2 thought maybe I had endometriosis, but decided to change the type of birth control I was on to see if it would help. After more than half a year, it made no change, so I went back and was introduced to Dr #3. At this point I was on my 3rd week of my period, and since my original trip to the ER, no other testing had been done when Dr #3 gave me his opinion. He said it was "Psychosomatic", that I was thinking so hard that something was wrong with me that I experienced these symptoms. At this point, I'm 16 years old and being told that I'm thinking myself in to a 3 week long period with cramps that felt like my insides were being ripped apart, I gave up on doctors. I just dealt with it. I couldn't handle seeing another one and getting another "opinion". I stayed on the birth control for, well birth control, went for my yearly’s and never talked to the doctors about how bad it was.
It wasn't until my early 20's when I had a pregnancy scare, that I began to actively want to find out what was going on with my body. At this point it had been a few years since I had seen any OB, when my mom recommended her doctor. So after years of long painful menstrual cycles and suddenly nothing at all except unexplained lactaiding, and numerous negative home pregnancy tests, I went to see my mom's doctor, Dr #4.
During my first visit, we went over all the theories I was given in my teens, and started tests. He did more in the first visit than all of the previous doctors combined. An ultra sound showed some small cysts on my ovaries, I had a normal PAP, and lots of blood work. Although my hormone levels were not exactly where they should have been, there was nothing overly alarming about them.
At this point I was ready to hear the same thing I had years ago when he surprised me, he said he wanted to do exploratory surgery to see what was really going on. This option was mentioned years ago, but the previous doctors decided against it. So, a couple of weeks later I was back at the hospital being prepped for surgery.
The surgery confirmed the endometriosis and the cists. So we began treating these problems with lupron cycles. I had been with my boyfriend, Billy since I was 20, and at 23 I had finished another cycle of lupron when Billy and I decided we were not going to try to get pregnant, but we were going to stop trying not to. After a few months off the Lupron, I still had not gotten a period, so, my doctor began a light dose of hormones to get things moving again, and it worked, I began getting a period, and we began trying a little harder to "avoid" pregnancy.(The longer I kept from saying we were "trying" to get pregnant, the longer I could deny a much larger problem than uncomfortable periods) This is when we added Clomid to the mix, and after 2 cycles I was not pregnant and I was cramping all the time, period or not. So I had another ultrasound and it showed a cist the size of my ovary on my ovary. The next day I was back in the hospital getting ready to have the cist removed, and it was a good thing I did. The cist turned out to be much larger than the ultra sound showed, and was hiding behind my uterus. It turned out to be the size of my fist, besides that he removed another that was on the other ovary that was unable to be seen on the ultrasound. That one was much smaller, but large enough to affect me ovulating. Knowing then that I had PCOS and endometriosis, we went from not avoiding pregnancy, to trying to get pregnant. After healing from the surgery, we went back to Clomid and I became Psychotic about tracking my monthly cycle. I began cramping all the time again, but assumed it was the hormones. Then it happened, I was late, not just a couple days, but a couple of weeks, so I took a test. I had taken a test every month and got used to the negative, but I got my hopes up this time. I was more than a couple days, I was fairly regular at this point, so after waiting the 3 minutes I looked at the test to get a BFN. A week later, and still no period, I was back at the doctor, less than a year since my surgery getting another ultra sound, and there they were, more cists. He did not want to do another surgery, instead he wanted us to see a fertility doctor. At this point I left denial and met depression.
We met with the doctor my OB recommended and went over all the scenarios. The decision was made for me to go on a break from the hormones hoping the cists shrink and that we can avoid another surgery that would only harm more of my eggs. That appointment was in January if this year. I'm now 26, Billy is 30, and I am on a hormone break.
I want to wait until the end of the year to go back to the doctor, we have been working on becoming healthy, better diets and just taking better care of ourselves which can only help. So here we are, quickly approaching January, in the coming months, he will be tested, and we will dive in. I'm giving myself this time to breathe before the madness begins.


  1. Even though I knew all of this, it was good to hear it all in one piece. I really hope Dr. L can make things happen. As you know, I have friends who love her to death. She is a good egg :-) Which is good, cuz that's what you need!!! Love you sweetie.

  2. I found you via Genevieve. you should hop on over to SIF over at she has been battling endo for years and writes about it. You should also look into Dr. Cook for deals with endo and is a mircal worker when it comes endo. I hope you are able conceive.

  3. Here from Genevieve's blog...welcome to the blogosphere and I hope your current doc can help you.

  4. Hi Stephanie - Welcome to this wonderful world of blogging. I've found so much support and love from others who are on similar journey's - it is overwhelming.

    I am sitting her IN SHOCK that a doctor told a 16 year old that your symptoms were psychosomatic - unbelievable. Seriously that Dr should have lost his license right there. unreal.

    When I first started having black out panic attacks the dr I saw told me it was just pms. I'd never felt scared and alone and hopeless as I did in that moment. Luckily my mom took over and got me a real diagnosis and treatment rather quickly.

    Genevieve is so awesome - I adore that woman! You are lucky to have her as an in person friend. Someday I do hope that I can meet her and give her the biggest hug.

    I wish you the very best, encourage you to check out Mel's blogroll for others who are struggling with similar challenges, and participate in an ICLW comment fest to meet some other bloggy friends.

    take care and good luck!

  5. Here from Genevieve's blog.

    Glad to meet you, Stephanie. I hope that all the effort you and your hubby are putting into getting healthy is a good thing.

    Some of the doctors you have had to see are so crass. Psychosomatic? Really?

    Good Luck!