Growing up an athlete I've never been a stranger to pain. In my time as a figure skater I've experienced serious falls that led to concussions, permanent back problems, sprains, and strains galore. To continue training and keep up with competition I have learned to get up and never stop.
I remember when my cramps first began to worsen. There were days where I couldn't get out of bed. One of the most alarming instances was when I lost consciousness as I sat down on the bench to take a break. When my next cycle came, I was alarmed that my pain resumed even when I didn't have my period. As a result, my parents decided to take me to the ER in fear that the cause of my pain was Appendicitis. Soon I found out that I have ovarian cysts, a condition that affects several stages of ovulation and may impact my ability to have healthy children. I was most upset that the crippling pain that often leaves me bedridden can follow me for the rest of my life.
I now take frequent breaks from the ice and stay home to rest as well as spend more time coaching from the bench than competing. I am the first in my family to be affected by this issue and I am fortunate to have so many people to support me and do their best to keep me healthy. Had I continued to ignore my symptoms and pushed past, I would be continuously putting myself in dangerous situations. I hope that my experiences can help someone drift their focus onto their personal health.
All the best,
17 year old, Philadelphia