At 15, I Was Diagnosed With Severe Endometriosis

At 15, I Was Diagnosed With Severe Endometriosis And It Changed My Life — Part 1

Your illness does not define you; your strength and courage does.

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Growing up and even now I have always been the petite girl that is smaller than most but has rocking muscles. Growing up as an athlete, I knew I would never experience anything crazy in the womanhood department till later down the road compared to my friends who all began their journey early on. What I didn't know is that I would have to endure worse symptoms for life.

From the age of 12, I constantly was in and out of the doctors trying to find out why I was enduring painful cramps, throwing up, never being able to feel good after eating food, and dizziness. During that specific time of the month, I would end up every day curled in a ball not being to complete all I wanted to. I would end every doctor visit in the arms of my mom, just in tears of frustration. I didn't understand why I was facing this medical mystery that nobody could figure out until one night changed my life. As a normal night took place, I did not feel right and was taken to the hospital; test after test... an anonymous doctor approached me with the news that he believes I am a candidate for endometriosis.

Endometriosis is an auto-immune disease that is caused by the tissue that normally grows on the inside uterus, but grows on the outside the uterus and can spread to other parts of the body, including organs. After hearing this news, I was immediately scheduled for an exploratory surgery with a doctor that specializes in endo. Going into my first surgery of many, I was overwhelmed with emotions knowing that I could find my answer, but I had to face my biggest fear which was surgery.

Photo By Faith Marie Ramsdell

After the surgery, all I remember asking my mom is if I was OK and if they found it. Well, sure enough, they did, but I was a rare case where my tissue not only grew on the outside, but it grew under my ovaries where my nerves are that control all the pain. This was causing all my pain, but it wasn't this simple. Endometriosis is a lifelong disease. Hearing news like this was so scary, but knowing that I had supporters by my side was exactly what got me through.

As the years have gone on, I have tried multiple birth controls, surgeries to remove tissue and many different methods, but all have failed. I am now on a new journey with new methods that have better outcomes. Battling this disease has not only shown me that my body is capable of so much more physically than I ever thought it could be. What you input into your body can determine how you feel overall, and can be a huge effect on you not only physically but mentally. And finally you might be hit with trials that you never predicted, but you were put into your situation because YOU are strong enough to live it.

To all the girls that feel that they are alone for their painful periods not only during that time of the month but consistently. Please do your body a favor, and see a certified doctor. You never know what the signs of your symptoms could be telling you. You know your body the best, and if you feel off; there is a reason! March is the month of awareness for endometriosis. Your pain has a purpose and so do you.

Stay tuned for the second part of this series on endometriosis information, methods that helped me and bringing awareness to this disease.

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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I Stopped Taking My ADHD Medication And It Made Me 10 Times Happier

Many people with ADHD choose to medicate to manage their symptoms, but that choice is not without any negative side effects.

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When I was 7 years old, I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

I was in the third grade and falling behind in nearly every subject and my teachers were losing hope. I endured several weeks of testing before being diagnosed, but even more weeks of medication testing after I was diagnosed. Once it had been determined that I responded positively to medication, I began taking Concerta.

I took Concerta every day from fourth grade on to my freshman year of college.

About every three years, I would start taking a stronger dosage and every time my dosage increased, I experienced more and more negative side effects of the drug.

Common side effects people experience when they take ADHD medications are altered personalities. The meds make you feel more reserved and uncomfortable. You are constantly on alert and this makes one feel very self-conscious. Another side effect of ADHD meds is suppression of identifying personality traits and strong emotions. Many people, including myself, report feeling robot or zombie-like. All of these side effects disappeared when I stopped taking Concerta.

Around the beginning of my first year of college, I considered stopping medicating.

College is a fresh start and I was beginning to wonder what not medicating would feel like. I had become so used to the way Concerta made me feel, I did not know what it felt like to truly be myself. So, after being medicated from 2008-2017, I stopped taking my ADHD pills.

At first, I didn't feel much of a difference, but as time went on I began feeling happier. I found myself to be more outgoing and social. I have always been considered a warm, approachable person, but this was different. People began commenting on how often I was smiling, my friend group was expanding, I began feeling more confident in myself and speaking in public.

During the fall semester of my sophomore year, I began experiencing the symptoms of my ADHD on a whole new level. I was having extreme difficulty paying attention in class, trouble completing all my assignments in a timely fashion, forgetting simple things, and more.

I felt like my grades were suffering and I was worried not medicating was compromising the quality of my education because I no longer had pills to help me manage my symptoms, so I started medicating once again.

At the start of my sophomore winter semester, I began taking Concerta again in hopes my educational experience would improve. While school was easier to manage, I could not stand the way the meds were making me feel. I experienced intense migraines, loss of interest in any/all activities I once enjoyed, I stopped eating, and my friends often commented on how dull I seemed. Due to all the negative side-effects of starting my medication again, I got rid of them for good.

Over a year has gone by since I first made the choice to give up my medication.

School is a lot harder and paying attention takes significantly more energy, but I would not trade any of my ADHD struggles for the feeling of finally being free from the methylphenidate based drug used to treat my disorder. For the first time since third grade, I feel like myself and I am proud of who I am and who I am becoming.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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