Even though the world of medicine makes spectacular improvements each and every decade, there are still a lot of things about the human body that we still don’t know about, and not every disease or illness out there is curable.
Of the most annoying things that can happen, is suffering from a disease and not even knowing what it is.
That’s exactly what happened to Emma Maxwell, a young woman who has been suffering from a mysterious illness for over seven years without a correct diagnosis.
Sometimes, healing the human body is just not as simple as getting diagnosed and treated. Emma was never diagnosed with her complicated illness in the first place, meaning she couldn’t recover either. She needed help, yet almost everyone thought that she was a “drama queen” and was faking her illness for attention.
Even countless doctors told Emma that she was overreacting and she simply had a low pain threshold- but her situation was actually very serious.
It all started when Emma was still very young and hit puberty. Her lower back started to hurt immensely, as well as her pelvis and rectum area. Constipation, bloating, very heavy periods, and feeling nauseous all the time – this would be Emma’s daily life for the next seven years, and no one believed her when she claimed she was sick.
Things were very difficult on her in her teens, mentally too.
Emma felt misunderstood and actually thought that she was going crazy.
People in her environment started acting negatively to her condition as well, even in places where she should be protected the most, such as in school. Emma had to spend a lot of time at the nurse’s office in high school, simply because she couldn’t handle the pain of her heavy periods.
Her teachers responded by punishing her because they thought that she was only faking the pain to be able to skip lessons.
Luckily, even though her life was very difficult, she kept on dreaming about the future and hoped that everything would be okay one day.
The thing she dreamt of the most, was having a family of her own when she got older, but that dream started to come into peril when she realized that her condition was only worsening.
By the time she was fifteen years old, the pain and the complaints started getting more severe.
This time, she had to spend days in bed and didn’t have the energy to get out of the house anymore.
After yet another visit to the doctor, she was given birth control pills to help with the periods. It’s common that birth control medication alleviates the pain a bit.
However, it had zero effect on her, so the doctor made her switch pills. Again, and again, and again.
There was nothing out there that would help, and she ended up experimenting with over 10 different kinds of birth control pills. Even then, doctors told her she was overreacting, but her condition didn’t improve in the slightest – on the contrary.
“I lost an unhealthy amount of weight, I was severely constipated, I always looked six months pregnant, I was unable to eat or drink without pain, my anxiety and depression spiked, and my period pain seemed to never subside,” Emma shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page.
Two years later, Emma identified a condition that had symptoms quite similar to hers: endometriosis.
She had to play Dr. Google, and this time, Dr. Google was right. Even then, her physician told her she was just overreacting, and that she shouldn’t trust an online source.
In 2018, things finally changed. One of Emma’s colleagues helped her get to the bottom of it, and Emma went to a gastroenterologist shortly afterward. This doctor then told her that she was suffering from IBS, but things didn’t add up. It couldn’t be responsible for vaginal pain or extreme fatigue.
Nonetheless, the doctor set her up with IBS medication, which actually ended up hospitalizing her.
Clearly, things weren’t working out with the gastroenterologist, so she consulted the advice of another doctor: her ob-gyn.
Getting diagnosed with endometriosis, something her ob-gyn suspected was the case as well, would require surgery.
Two weeks later, Emma’s condition was confirmed, and apparently, her endometriosis was very severe.
“I learned I had adhesions attached from my bowels to my ovaries, to my uterus and to the sidewalls of my belly. This meant my organs weren’t able to function the way they’re supposed to. It explained why I had such severe constipation—my bowels were kinked and twisted due to the endo. It explained the unbearable cramping and my bladder issues,” the young woman recalls.
Unfortunately, Emma hasn’t been cured, but she’s relieved now that she finally knows what’s going on.
The young woman has been advocating for endometriosis awareness ever since, and she hopes that other young women won’t have to go through the same things she did, a life full of doubt and nobody who understands her.
You can follow Emma’s brave and empowering journey on her Instagram account, @endometriosisem.
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