“Women’s Troubles” – The phrase that nearly killed me…
I had been cluelessly in pain for 2 years. These two years were spent in and out of the doctors surgery with complaints of severe stomach cramps, toilet troubles and discomfort. Of course, I was a teenage girl and each doctor I saw put it down to “women’s troubles” and told me it was all a part of the changes my body was making as I turned into a young woman.
For two years I was put on a variety of contraceptive pills, the doctors vastly handing out prescriptions, telling me to visit back in 3 months to see if the stomach cramps had disappeared. Repeating themselves each time, the cramps never left, they merely took a break from my body every few days. With these cramps came frequent constipation, flare ups of diarrhea and blood in my stools. Funnily enough, when I complained to the doctors about this, I was told the blood would probably again be “women’s troubles”. I was given laxatives for the constipation, and told to eat a good amount of fibre to settle my stomach.
At a later date, I was booked in for an emergency appointment, as after yet another visit to the toilet, I was left bewildered by a trail of blood sliding down the back of my legs. I knew this was not “women’s troubles”. I explained to the doctor that the blood had come from my rear, but I was not taken seriously. But, I had finally been referred to have my cervix checked. This caused me to panic, I was only 19, what could possibly be wrong with my cervix? Of course, once checked out, my cervix was fine. So I decided to just get on and try and forget about the pain I was in. I continued taking laxatives and the pills I’d been prescribed. I felt at a complete loss. It seemed every time I went back for help they were far too quick to blame the female anatomy because of my age.
It was only a month ago that I was crouched over my bed in excruciating pain. After 3 more hospital visits, I was told I was experiencing gastroenteritis. I didn’t believe anything they said anymore. I knew my body and I knew there was something wrong. Something serious. After one more visit to the doctors surgery, I was sent into hospital with suspected appendicitis. I was then admitted, and one week later.. I was coming around from emergency Ileostomy Surgery. No gastroenteritis, no appendicitis, but Ulcerative Colitis. I had no choice in the surgery. My colon was so badly damaged that it was just a few days away from rupturing. I now have to live with an Ileostomy Bag, at the tender age of 19. The lack of care and medical attention because of my age and my gender took away my choice, my freedom and my trust in the NHS. If found earlier, I could’ve been saved from the surgery. They could’ve medicated my pain. Now, going on 20 years old, I’m having to re-learn how to go to the toilet and what foods I can handle.
At such a young, vulnerable age, we as women need the right care and the thorough medical attention. We are the future mothers of the next generation, but the lack of medical care could be ruining that.