Can you imagine enduring all of the discomfort and suffering of pregnancy, without ever being pregnant?
That nightmare scenario was everyday life for Margaret Mcmahon, a 48-year-old mother from Belfast, Ireland.
She suffered from mysterious medical symptoms that made her appear pregnant, and even mimicked many of the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy.
Pregnancy, especially atypical pregnancy that might masquerade as something else, can cause all sorts of surprising symptoms, from sharp pains to frequent need to use the toilet.
Of course, even the most unusual pregnancy only lasts nine months. For Mcmahon, the discomfort and the swollen belly stayed with her for 3 long years, or, to put it another way, 4 full-term pregnancies.
She turned everywhere looking for help, but didn’t find an answer until she finally paid out of pocket for a special scan, and uncovered what was really causing her pregnancy symptoms.
Read on below to see what she discovered.
Margaret Mcmahon, of Belfast, Ireland, says that the condition, that she called her “never-ending pregnancy,” first started showing back in 2013.
She was experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, and general discomfort, and went straight to her doctor’s office to get it sorted out.
There, the doctor told her she was suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, which is a digestive condition that causes gas and bloating.
She was told she just needed to lose some weight.
However, it quickly became clear that Mcmahon’s doctors were too quick to judge her based on her appearance; her weight was never the problem.
As she continued to experience extreme bloating that resembled a full-term pregnancy, pictured above, Mcmahon knew instinctively that there was something more than IBS and a few extra pounds at work.
She wasn’t gaining weight, she was blowing up like a balloon — and she now believes that she may have gone undiagnosed for years because her doctors were ignorant about fibroids.
At some point in the prolonged process of trying to find a diagnosis, a doctor at the emergency room told Mcmahon that she had a fibroid, but never really expanded on the problem or found a solution, and brushed off her concerns.
Now, McMahon knows that it was a uterine fibroid, a common condition that affects premenopausal women, and can cause intense pain.
Fibroids are benign growths that usually develop outside of the uterus and contribute to intense periods and stomach pain.
As Mcmahon’s medical troubles continued, she received more information from various doctors.
One practitioner informed her she had a “mass,” but didn’t elaborate, and no one seemed to connect her fibroid to the intense pain, bloating, and constant need to urinate that she was experiencing.
Finally, fed up with the lack of information, she paid out-of-pocket for a private CAT scan, which showed that she had a 7-inch tumor growing on her uterus.
Thankfully, it was a non-cancerous fibroid tumor, presumably the same one that her doctor had noticed years earlier and declined to treat.
By the time she finally discovered the full scope of the fibroid, it was essentially occupying her abdominal cavity the same way a baby might; it was pushing on her internal organs, forcing her stomach into a pronounced round potbelly, and pressing on her bladder, much like a fetus kicking.
Even after finally uncovering the root of her problems, she still had to live with it for a year before she could finally get surgery.
In Mcmahon’s case, her discomfort and symptoms were so severe that she and her medical team opted for a full hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus.
Until she was able to get the surgery, she had to put her life on hold, essentially putting herself on bedrest due to the mass growing in her.
She was unable to go more than five minutes without the urge to urinate, and describes the experience to the Daily Mail as “like having a never-ending pregnancy except when you’re pregnant you’re going to get have a baby at the end.”
While it’s true that there was no baby at the end of Mcmahon’s bizarre faux pregnancy, there was a happy ending.
This past spring, she was finally able to get the hysterectomy surgery she needed to remove her womb and the massive tumor attached to it.
Just a couple of months later, she was in Spain enjoying her first vacation in years, finally free of the pain and discomfort of her three-year ordeal.
If you believe it’s important to always get a second opinion, please SHARE to help spread awareness about fibroid tumors!