Janelle’s Story

Shared October 22, 2016

Hi my name is Janelle Mellowes. I’m 27, I’m a bajan and I have endometriosis. I had my first surgery on 20th August 2009 on the island of Nevis. I was very nervous but I asked God to remove all my fears and that he did. The surgery was successful. The surgeon, Dr. Bardales-Essien (from Peru) that performed the laparotomy said inside of me was a mess, that the fallopian tubes were blocked, there were a lot of lesions and a few cysts.

Then she said, “mama, you have endometriosis.” She explained that this is what had caused my very painful periods. My period first started at the age of 8 but the pain only started at age 11. My teenage years were the absolute worst. I vomited a lot and the unbearable pain just riddled my body. I was completely useless the first 2 days. I couldn’t eat or drink anything, otherwise it would all just come back up. At one point in time I used to go to the hospital once a month on drips but that never stopped the pain, all it did was to cause me to sleep longer so I wouldn’t feel the pain. My periods have ruined my clothes as well as my day to day activities. I even did my P.O.B CXC in the sick bay because of said period.

There were times I felt depressed and wanted to question God, why is this happening to me. Somehow I had convinced myself that because God knew I wanted children, he was preparing me for morning sickness and labour pains. Few of the doctors here told me I was just having bad periods but it was Dr. Jagaroo who realized it had to be more than that. However, before she could diagnose me I had already moved to St. Kitts. After my surgery in Nevis I was taking Zoladex for 6 months but when my period returned it was just as bad as before. I did as much reading as I could about endometriosis. On 3rd November 2014 I had my 2nd surgery, a laparoscopy, at QEH to remove more cysts and lesions. I was also prescribed Norcolut, a man made form of progesterone, to stop my periods. The progesterone tricks my body into thinking it’s preparing for a baby. While on the medication, I’ve gained weight and I still PMS but on a smaller scale. In all of this I have been sentenced to a low ovarian reserve because the cysts that were removed were on my ovaries.

I had my egg count checked at the Barbados Fertility Center and was told the average person my age has 5 nano ml, mine is 0.63 nano ml. When I was told this, tears just flowed from my eyes, my heart felt heavy. It was also suggested that I try to get pregnant soon or freeze my eggs but if I want to get pregnant the ICSI procedure would be best suited. As much as I love and want children, I never thought I would have to plan having them this way.Endometriosis did this to me. Having endometriosis has caused me to have a renewed trust in God, to have unexplainable emotions and it has caused me to be more understanding, caring and empathizing. Through a few posts about endometriosis I met Julia Mandeville. I felt so relieved to meet someone here with the same illness, someone who would understand what I’m going through and I, her. Someone who can be called on for support at any given time. I finally didn’t feel alone. Through her I met a few others who also have endometriosis. I imagine this is how Columbus must have felt. These other women have also been added to the support system. My friends and family have been very supportive but it doesn’t compare to someone who is going through the same thing.

Having endometriosis doesn’t mean life comes to an end, I just means we do things a bit different, I may take us a little longer but we’ll get there.