A Swedish friend of mind sent me an article about a Swedish gal, Emelia, who died in 2011 due to complications of Endometriosis, and (more importantly) the neglect of her physicians. Google translate gave me the gist of it.
Emelia was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 21 years old, among the usual places it was also found on her intestines. In 2010 (she was approx. 26) she had been suffering from severe constipation (sometimes for periods of up to 10 days) which we well know is a symptom of Endometriosis. Over the next nine months, Emelia saw 32 different doctors. That’s right…thirty-two. Nobody could resolve her constipation, symptoms, or her pain. She sought referrals to an Endometriosis Clinic at the Uppsala University Hospital in the hopes they could help. But her referral requests were denied.
In 2011, she was admitted to the hospital due to her severe constipation and weight loss. She couldn’t eat, couldn’t keep any food down, and and constantly vomiting. Her Body Mass Index (BMI) dropped down to a 14 (severely underweight). The hospital was unable to perform a colonoscopy because she was so backed up. Her mother says that her stomach felt rock hard, like she had “a baby inside.” Emelia underwent surgery, and the doctors removed 10 liters (2.5 gallons) of feces!
Four days later, while still in the hospital…Emelia died. Her official cause of death : blood poisoning, aka Septicemia.
Her mother told reporters, “I am fully convinced that Emilia been alive if in Gothenburg taking her complaints seriously. Although she met so many specialists so nobody noticed that she was about to fade away.” (Pardon the poor Google translation…)
It was all a downhill spiral, hastened by physician neglect. An Endometriosis diagnosis, complaints of constipation and pain, nothing done, her body couldn’t fight it any longer…the surgery she had was too late, she suffered a bacterial infection, and she passed away. I wouldn’t say Endometriosis killed Emelia. She died of medical malpractice and neglect…Poor, poor Emelia.
Which brings me to the point of today’s EndoBlog : Physicians need to truly listen to their patients. Understand their complaints and questions. And not just pass them off as a weak patient, or a prescription-chaser. I am very fortunate to have a Primary Care Physician and a Gynecologist who are both very well aware and very experienced with Endometriosis. Unfortunately, though, many women are not.
If you have Endometriosis and your physician is not either taking you seriously or is not helping you, please, please, PLEASE find another. You know your body. You know your pain. There is no way your physician can ever understand what you’re going through. Find the right doctor for you. Find them now.
In memory of Emelia.
~I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa