I believe I've had endometriosis for years now and have been misdiagnosed as having IBS and pain from collapsed functional ovarian cysts. The earliest episode of intense pain I've had dates back to as early as 2000. I began menstruating at age11 and, I've always had lengthy, painful, passing larger than normal bloodclots, heavy-flow cycles (with periodic cycle irregularity ranging from 21-28 days or more), constantly cycle transitioning or having no menstruation at all. Over the past two years, my symptoms have worsened: frequent / urgent urination, shooting pain in my leg, severe lower abdominal pain, swelling of lower abdomen, night sweats, hotflashes, swelling of legs and ankles, poor circulation in limbs, severe exhaustion (due to lack of sleep from night episodes of intense pain), nausea, pain w/ flatulence, constipation, bloating, periodic pain w/ defecation, etc. I have an upcoming appt. with my obgyn to get a referral to see a reproductive endocrinologist so that I can confirm whether or not this is actually endometriosis or something else. For years, many of the physicians I have seen have made it seem as though I was exaggerating about my symptoms just because they couldn't conclude what the problem was. I have agonized over this because, I am not a physician but, I know my body and the symptoms I have are very real. I have lived with these symptoms for years now and, they seem to be getting worse. I have a very stressful job. I am an urban educator. I have missed work more than I ever have and am trying to decide on whether I should take a leave of absence (with the possibility of no pay or benefits), quit my job (I've entertained this thought a number of times--for me, it would be a bitter sweet choice), continue trying to find another job (little success so far), or wait to be fired in order to be able to receive unemployment for income until I can find another job. I am really stressed out! The only things that have sustained me are my relationship with God, my husband, believing in and loving myself, our family and my drive to reach higher and do better :)
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