One night last summer, I went to the emergency room at the local University's teaching hospital. I had a combination of minor symptoms - constipation, abdominal discomfort, bloating, fever, and my period. None of these was particularly alarming by itself, but taken together, along with my intuition that something was really wrong, led me to the emergency room. Nine hours later, I was on the operating table.
The doctors ruled out appendicitis through CAT scans and an ultrasound, which showed a deformity on my left ovary. I had a laparascopy to remove an endometrioma - a unique manifestation of Endometriosis wherein the "wild" endometrial tissue forms a discrete mass somewhere within the abdomen. That mass is a particular problem once it has become filled with blood, because it often ruptures. That is what happened to me. The endometrioma had ruptured at some point, and old blood had spread through my abdomen. This blood had begun to irritate my bowels, causing the constipation, and a mild infection had set in, causing the fever. The bloating and discomfort were obvious side effects.
My case is particularly unusual because I don't suffer from the severe pain that afflicts most women with Endometriosis. Therefore I had no warning that anything was wrong, and there is no way to tell how long I have had Endometriosis. I am happy that I don't have to deal with the agony that this disease can cause, but I do to deal with the fact that this is a chronic problem, and if my case worsens, I will have little or no warning before another crisis arises. I may also face the infertility risk that comes with this disease.
My ongoing treatment is suppression of ovulation through a constant course of birth control pills. I continue to research the disease so that I may better know if or when I need to seek further intervention.