Herd Member | Brooke Demeter

I always struggled with heavy periods, but so did my mom. I didn’t think anything of it because of how similar our symptoms were. Anytime I brought it up to a doctor, my symptoms were brushed aside. My first period was when I was 16 years old. The pain was something I didn’t expect. Sure I was taught about cramps and what to expect, but this felt like someone was ripping my uterus out with a spoon. When I brought it up to my doctor, she told me it's normal. Every year I had my check ups, and was told the same things. “Suck it up” “its normal” “you’re a woman, deal with it” I even had a doctor laugh at me when I described how much pain I was actually in. Laugh....

My husband and I got married in 2015. We were ready to start trying for a family. I suffered a miscarriage almost right away. We didn’t know why. I was told to start taking folic acid to help. January of 2016 I got that beautiful positive again. 6 weeks in I started bleeding... of course I called in right away and my doctor told me “its implantation bleeding... it's normal and you’re fine”. However, at my 8 week scan we noticed something, I had 2 sacs, but only one baby. I miscarried my son's twin. I ovulated twice that month and both eggs implanted. At 11 weeks, my husband rushed me to the ER in the middle of the night. I was in so much pain we were afraid I was miscarrying again. They did an ultrasound and my baby was fine, but I had an ovarian cyst rupture. The rest of the pregnancy was pretty smooth until I was 30 weeks along. I had kidney stones and needed surgery. And at 37 weeks I went into early labor that ended at 38 weeks with being induced and having my healthy baby boy. 

After the pregnancy I needed a D and C to remove the unborn twin’s remains. I also needed two more surgeries to remove the kidney stones. Postpartum depression hit me very hard. I saw a few different doctors dealing with my postpartum issues, playing with different birth controls, and different antidepressants. My periods were just as bad as before the pregnancy and we were trying to get them under control. My weight fluctuated with each birth control we tried. Nothing was helping the pain and heavy bleeding. I asked my doctor if there was a possibility it was endometriosis. She told me “Yes, but I won’t check unless you struggle to get pregnant again”. I felt lost. 

I met a specialist and described the struggles I had been through over the last 10 years, and he listened. I never thought in 1000 years a male doctor was going to be the one to actually listen to my concerns and care. He took a look at all my info, previous ultrasounds and really did his research. Within a couple months I had surgery to remove the endo. He diagnosed me with stage 4 Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. I also had a varicose vein wrapped around my uterus that could cause complications in another pregnancy. I was put on a birth control he said would work best for me, and he put me on Letrozole to prevent it from growing more. 

2 years went by, I stayed on these medications. Pain was at bay, and I didn’t get periods! It was amazing. The time came to discuss another baby, was it time? Were we ready? Was my body ready? With the known complications I already had, another pregnancy would have put me on bed rest just to support the baby. It was a very tough decision that took a lot of time to think about. 

Around that same time I started spotting and having severe pains again... a feeling too familiar. We scheduled an appointment with my specialist and he told us the endo has returned. At this point I needed surgery either way, to be able to have another baby or to just stop the pain. I was tired of the fight, the pain... so we decided a hysterectomy was the best option. He performed the surgery and removed all endometrial growth. That surgery was 10 months ago and this is the best I’ve ever felt. No more daily pain, no more periods. I do occasionally have the flare ups, but having endo taught me a lot. I learned to appreciate the good days, I have more understanding for people with invisible illnesses, and I learned to take everything day by day. Endo sucks, but I am forever a warrior and am stronger for it. Speak up and out, and wear your battle scars.