Patti was diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis when she was 21 years old. Today she is 52 years young and lives in Ontario, Canada. She continues to suffer, but holds tightly onto Hope and has a wonderful network of supportive and understanding friends and family. Fight on, Patti. Fight. On. ❤
Patti’s Journey: My Endometriosis Journey, By: Patricia Anne Young
One day after school, my friend invited me back to her place for a swim. We got changed, and I told her I’d meet her outside, as I had to use the washroom… little did I know I was about to become a “Woman”. I was 12…
By the time I was 16, my periods were horrendous, painful, & very heavy, like having Montezuma’s Revenge! My family doctor kept telling me that “all girls (your age) have painful periods…” and then one day I read about Endometriosis in Chatelaine Magazine, so off I went to the library to do some research. When I brought it to the attention of my doctor, he told me to “stop spending so much time in the library and go out and have fun…” But that’s just it, I wasn’t having any fun, I was always in too much pain, or bleeding too heavily to do anything.
One day, in Grade 9, my pain/bleeding was horrible, so I signed out and walked to the bus stop to catch a ride home. While waiting, I became faint…just then the bus arrived, the driver recognized me & he got off the bus to help me on. He asked the person in the first seat to move so that I could sit there, and he could keep an eye on me. He remembered my stop and helped me off the bus. I walked home from there, which seemed like an eternity, but actually, it’s only a 5min. walk.
My mom took me to the family doctor, to find out if there was anything he could do for me. He advised putting me on birth control would alleviate the pain and length of time my period lasted. Mum wasn’t too keen on that idea, being a very strict Catholic; however, she filled the prescription for me.
While I still had quite a bit of pain, it did work for the most part. I had to keep changing prescriptions because I’d start to spot. At age 21 I became pregnant. At 10 weeks’ gestation, my boyfriend of 3 years became physically abusive and I hemorrhaged. Following the termination of my pregnancy, the pain in my uterus felt like Edward Scissorhands was living there! A few months later my appendix burst and while in the OR, the surgeon noted a lot of old blood in my abdomen and asked a gynecologist to have a look. He said: “this poor young lady has Stage 4 Endometriosis” And my journey began…
Between the years of 1987 and 2016, I have had a total of 16 surgeries, met with a number of specialists and have had numerous procedures, including ultrasounds, mri’s, ct scans, colonoscopies, x-rays, not to mention different therapies such as massage, physio, osteo, pelvic therapy, as well as Lupron, acupuncture and botox injections. I have also been on a gamut of medications from Tylenol 3’s to Oxycodone – Fentanyl Patch to Methadone. I am currently trying Cannabis Oil, with fingers crossed that it brings my pain level below 5/10.
Following a hysterectomy and lysis of massive bowel adhesions in 2007, I was pain free for 1 year. Then one day while doing the dishes I had an intense pain on my left side. I made an appointment to see my gynecologist, she did some blood work, and sure enough, because an ovarian remnant was left behind, adhered to the Sigmoid Colon, my endometriosis remained active. I had 3 injections, over 3 months, of Lupron, which was supposed to suppress the endo activity, but it did not. Further surgery to remove the ovarian remnant was not advised as it would have been too risky and a positive outcome couldn’t be guaranteed. I was referred to a pain clinic in Toronto for Pain Management.
In 2010 I had to stop working due to the severe daily pain, which affected not only my ability to have a career, but my relationships with family and friends, always having to cancel engagements due to pain, and I could no longer compete in equestrian events, which had been my very much loved passion from the young age of 8. Exercising is difficult to say the least, even Yoga! Along with the chronic abdominal pain, I have chronic issues with my digestive tract (hiatus hernia), bowel and bladder issues (IBD, LS, and Chronic Bladder infections).
This disease has greatly impaired the quality of all aspects of my life; however, having a supportive husband, sister & a few close friends has been invaluable when trying to cope with Endometriosis.
Words of Advice for Us: Early diagnosis is key and your first surgery should be with a specialist that knows about Endometriosis, Excision and Lysis of Adhesions. Advocate! Do your own research and speak up, don’t be shy, after all this is your body and future at stake. Having an understanding support system in place makes this journey a lot easier to get through too.
If you wish to contact Patti, you may email her.
I want to send a special Thank You out to Patti for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today. You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman. Thank you!!!
And if YOU would like to share your story, please let me know. The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoWarriors, and our friends and family, too.