Go and see your doctor

A personal note from me today.  My message to anyone who tells me about some symptoms is go and see your doctor.  Go and talk to a professional.  Get a check up.

I’d far rather my doctor told me I was a hypochondriac rather than say to me “I wish you’d come to see me earlier”.  Like I heard recently!

If something was wrong with your car, you wouldn’t hesitate to go and get it checked.  You’d be worried about it breaking down somewhere and leaving you in a dangerous position.

Yet we don’t always think the same thing about our own health. Ask yourself honestly.  Do you always put yourself first?  Seriously?

Kimba-Likes-Daily-Treats-Logo

Kimba Likes Daily Treats is a teensy tiny project I set up a couple of years ago.  It’s to remind us to stop and take a moment of Me Time every day.  As little as a cup of tea drunk whilst it is still hot.  As fancypants as new sparkly pair of impractical heels!

With that in mind, I’m asking you to expand on that concept a little bit.  I’m going to ask you to read this post, have a think about your health, and go and see your doctor.

I’ve just been diagnosed with endometriosis and my polycystic ovary syndrome has kicked into overdrive again.  Throw in enlarged ovaries, a massive ovarian cyst and some other technical terms I had to Google and then wished I hadn’t, and I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I’ve had ongoing symptoms for a while.  The excruciatingly heavy periods that have me trapped in the house for a few days.  Weight gain and abdominal bloating.  Loss of appetite and frequent weeing.  Pimples and hair growth.  Pain, cramps and loo changes.  Lethargy and mood changes, including my old foe, anxiety.

Many of these symptoms can be assigned to other illnesses that affect my daily life.  Like the bloating and loo issues? Must be my food allergy.  Back and joint pain? Ongoing lower back pain or perhaps my autoimmune disease joint pain.  More frequent urination? I get chronic oedema. Heavier periods? Well, I’m in my 40s.  Maybe I’m experiencing perimenopause?

Do you track your cycles? I use an app on my phone to help remind me of when Hell Week is due, or when TCM Week follows.  That’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, by the way.  ’nuff said.  I started noting the other changes on my cycles app.  Like the additional pain, the bloating, loo changes etc.

Kimba Likes talking about health. Go and see your doctor!

One or two of these symptoms could be easily attributed to something else.  But when I sat down and looked through my phone app notes, I realised that each and every symptom together made a pattern.  What else did it mean? I should go and see my doctor.  Stat.

I made an appointment, got a referral for a nasty Lady Scan, and procrastifluffed for a few weeks.  OK, six weeks.  Then I made the appointment, went through with the appointment, cried in pain from the appointment, and then got over myself.  There is no way I could go on living a life when I am unable to leave the house for a week or so every month.  That way leads madness.  I’d be fired if I had a job outside of the home, I reckon.

The only way to get it fixed? Deal with it.  After my results came back, with the main diagnosis of deep infiltrating endometriosis, I received a referral letter from my GP and have made an appointment with a specialist gynaecologist, one specifically experienced with endometriosis.

I am not quite sure of what’s ahead for me.  I’m looking forward to meeting with the gynaecologist and making an action plan.  I’m pretty sure there’s surgery in my near future.  OK, yes.  There is almost definitely going to be surgery.  A laparoscopy at the minimum.

My birthday is five days after my appointment, although they’ve put me on the cancellation list.  The fact they haven’t put me on the emergency list is giving me some succour!

So, I want you to sit down and have a little think.  Have you had any changes in your health recently? Do they occur cyclically?  Have you just been putting it down to having a bad period, or perhaps just getting older?  Regular upset tummy that you makes you think maybe you just ate something a wee bit off?  Persistent sore back, but you can’t remember pulling a muscle?

I don’t want to scare you … because I freaked myself out enough already.  I remember from when I was trying to get pregnant how frustratingly similar early pregnancy symptoms are to PMS symptoms.

The symptoms of endometriosis are alarmingly similar to late stage ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer for a reason.  By the time you get symptoms, it’s often too late.  So many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer seem like something else.  A little back pain, a bit of pain when doing a poo, a bloated tummy, feeling a little bit more tired than usual.

So, please, if you feel something is Not Quite Right, go and see your doctor.  Put yourself first.

Because this was a little bit bossy, not to mention waaaaaay TMI, I’m going to cheer you up with some cutesy baby pictures of my Boyo.  Such a little monkey!

Kimba Likes talking about health. Got issues? Go and see your doctor!

Kimba Likes

Kimba Likes // a style blog with a fun family twist! @kimbalikes

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  • Tamsin Howse - 2 August 2015 - 6.27 pm

    Late to the game but sorry to hear this. I’ve been going through some nasty health issues lately too and it’s not pleasant. It’s not as bad as yours, though, and I really feel for you. XxxReplyCancel

  • Michele Mcertl - 15 July 2015 - 8.22 am

    Kimba,

    If nothing else, my thoughts and good wishes are with/for you!! As well as lots of love, hugs and kisses (from a total stranger. I hope everything works out well. Good luck

    MicheleReplyCancel

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle - 14 July 2015 - 10.03 am

    So sorry to hear you haven’t been well. I can totally sympathize as I’ve been travelling a similar path. I think we’ve touched base before on the fact that we both have auto immune issues. I’ve recently been unwell too (with shocking weight gain) and have had numerous deficiencies diagnosed as well as Adenomyosis (a close relative to Endometriosis). After returning from a trip to Tasmania I went to the doctor with a LONG list of symptoms. I had many, many tests. It’s a very good message to send to others – don’t let the symptoms keep accumulating. Go to the doctor and if you’re not happy with what they say or do then go see another. Trust your own instinct! 😉ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 14 July 2015 - 7.05 pm

      Oh bugger. This is not something cool to twin on!

      I’ve got adenomyosis as well as the deep infiltrating endometriosis, and other assorted fun things!

      In a way, having the autoimmune issues actually delayed me seeking help, because some of the symptoms could be put down to my existing health issues and allergies.

      Also, my GP was a little dismissive of me complaining of weight gains and regular periods. I think after getting me through the depths of the medical hell I’d been in with the autoimmune, he didn’t take it seriously. Got there in the end!

      Good luck – I’d love to stay in touch and be each other’s sounding boards xxReplyCancel

  • Bronwyn Louise - 14 July 2015 - 8.30 am

    Such a great post Kimba. Thank you for reminding me to take care of number one. I have been putting myself way, way, way down the list lately. I hope your next appointment puts you on a path to relief. Bron xReplyCancel

  • Sarah @She Writes - 13 July 2015 - 11.27 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that you have been feeling so crappy lovely. At least now you have some answers and can start moving in the right direction.
    I too ignored health signs for far too long, thinking I was just tired from being a mum, not eating well and not exercising. It ended up being something far worse in my Thyroid Cancer. But I was lucky that it was so growing and had a good prognosis.ReplyCancel

    • Kimba from Kimba Likes - 25 July 2015 - 8.14 pm

      Oh my goodness! It is easy just to assume that it is normal to feel tired and sore, isn’t it. I’m so glad you listened to yourself in the end.ReplyCancel

  • Kim Abbate - 13 July 2015 - 10.33 pm

    This is SUCH an important message and one that we all need to really listen to. It’s so true that if our car ‘health’ is a little off we race to the mechanic but the same can’t be said for our own health. Hope you get some relief now that you have answers xxReplyCancel

  • Denyse - 13 July 2015 - 4.42 pm

    Oh dear.. How horrid this has been for you & I completely understand the anxieties associated with the range of physical stuff you’re currently battling. If you are possibly having hysterectomy do some personal research because it is NOTHING like it was for me waaaaay back in 1988. my DD aged 43 in 2014 had hers after so many years of bleeding which never let up & migraines & she’s a single mum of 3 teens & a pre schooler. Her recovery was about 1/4 time of mine as its no longer an abdominal surgery of major proportions. She needed rest (ha, hard with the family) but I can say she’s never regretted the move & her doctor would have done it a lot earlier but she is a procrastinator & had minor things done first etc… My recommendation is “go for it” when/if it’s suggested .. Love D xReplyCancel

    • Kimba from Kimba Likes - 25 July 2015 - 8.15 pm

      Thank you, Denyse. It really helps to read experiences like this. I would rather have one big operation than lots of little ones and need the big one in the end anyway!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Mckenzie - 13 July 2015 - 2.43 pm

    Kimba my hysterectomy was the best thing I ever had done,I had problems all my life and had terrible bleeding issues and had a form of endometriosis it was called adenmyosis ,I had a hysterectomy when I was 35 ,no it wasn’t fun but after I had gotten over it it was great.
    I feel for you my daughter suffers from poly cystic ovaries and has fertility issues.
    Listen to your Dr Kimba and the best of luck to you XxReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 13 July 2015 - 3.37 pm

      Hi Lisa

      Yes, I have adenomyosis – as well as the deep infiltrating endometriosis. As well as ovarian cysts and PCOS. I also have the PMDD issues as well. I think I’m likely to wind up having a hysterectomy.

      Not looking forward to it but it’s definitely got upsides!ReplyCancel

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid - 13 July 2015 - 10.22 am

    Oh love, sorry to hear that you’ve been feeling so lousy, but I’m so pleased you went to the doctor because now you know what you’re dealing with and knowledge is power. There’s an old saying “your health is your wealth” and that’s why we should always put our bodies and our health first. I think Luc has an ace point about taking someone with you to doctors appointments (especially the big ones) and as tempting as it is, try not to spend too much time consulting with Dr Google. He can be an inaccurate scaremonger… According to Dr Google I should be dead by now! And in other news, how cute was Baby Boyo?!ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 13 July 2015 - 3.40 pm

      Oh thanks Sammie! Yep, he was a little smooshy sweetheart!

      I’ve been doing a bit of Dr Google. I just really wanted to understand what some of the terms were so my appointment makes more sense to me.

      I think I might take the Welshman with me – fingers crossed he can take a couple of hours off.

      Thank you! PS – super duper glad Dr Google was wrong in your case xxxReplyCancel

  • Luc - 13 July 2015 - 9.03 am

    Kimba, oh, dear. I really feel for you and thank you for sharing your story.
    I was diagnosed with endo in my mid 20s, and I too had many years when I couldn’t leave the house for 2-3 days at that time of the month. So I know it is not pleasant at all.It is good to seek medical help, some of the drugs are much improved now, and the surgeries too. I ended up having a hysterectomy in my early 30s as the endo was joined by adenmyosis, which is endo in the uterus itself. Luckily I managed to have one gorgeous boy in the midst of all this, it is so sad to hear of women struggling with fertility on top of the rest of it.
    Three things that did help me.
    1. Going on the pill and skipping the sugar pills so I only had my period every 4 months. it was still the week of hell, but easier to deal with physically and emotionally when it is only happening a few times a year!
    2. I’ve never heard of anyone else saying this, but it did help me and so I pass it along in case it helps someone else. I cut down the carbs on the week of my period, and ate a lot of soup and smoothies. This somehow helped with pain, it was like my body didn’t want extra stuff down there! I have another friend who tried this and she said it helped a lot too with her endo.
    3. Take someone with you to your appointments. Doctors give you a lot of info all at once, and it can be overwhelming if you are already emotional. Taking someone to remember the “facts” was really helpful to me.
    Best of luck with your appts, and I will be thinking of you.ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 13 July 2015 - 3.47 pm

      Thank you so much Luc. It helps so much to hear stories from the other side. I hope you’re all good now and I’m glad you got your gorgeous boy too. I know that feeling – we had IVF to get our own gorgeous boy many years ago.

      I also have adenomyosis, as well as the beach ball ovaries, cysts and the deep infiltrating endo. The more I read about this, and the more I hear stories similar to mine, the more I’m thinking a hysterectomy sounds more and more likely. Oh well, at least I’ll get rid of the PMDD!

      Unfortunately, due to other conditions, I’m not allowed to go on the pill.

      Funnily enough, I’ve been eating more liquid meals of soup and smoothies because I just get so bloated and painful that I can’t eat – yet I’m starving!

      Thanks for the tip – I’m hoping the Welshman can smuggle a few hours to help me out with a pair of spare ears!ReplyCancel

  • Sonia Styling - 13 July 2015 - 6.44 am

    I’m so very proud of you for seeing the doctor, making that specialist appointment and taking charge of your health. You deserve to have a happy, healthy life that doesn’t see you housebound for a week every month. I’m also very proud of you for sharing your story. I have no doubt it will help other women going through similar issues. Much love and strength to you. xReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Rowse - 13 July 2015 - 3.09 am

    Good on you for getting the help you need and encouraging others to do the same. I’m sure there are phonecalls being made right now. xReplyCancel

  • Saraid Dammerel - 12 July 2015 - 10.20 pm

    Rather apt timing of this post, I have been having some hormone-y issues and some other stuff and knew something wasn’t up, a couple of doctors were dismissive, but one I just saw on the weekend suspects endometriosis. So I will be off to the gyno myself soon enough! I think the additional message here is that if your instinct tells you something isn’t right, get a 2nd opinion.ReplyCancel

  • Louisa Claire - 12 July 2015 - 9.39 pm

    Great post Kimba and thank you for sharing it. I’ve had issues with my foot for months now and I hobble around like an old lady…I know I need to go and get it sorted but have a million reasons for putting it off. Thanks for the butt kick. I am very glad you got yourself sorted and that it’s all treatable – take care lovely lady xxReplyCancel

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