After a long battle for answers, Kimberli was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis at 27 years old. Four years later, she’s forging ahead with the disease, spreading awareness, raising hopes and spirits, and supporting EndoWarriors everywhere!
I remember getting my period at age 11, one of the first out of my group of friends. Besides heavy bleeding, I didn’t think too much about anything being ‘wrong’. I was athletic, I played all sorts of sports, ate fairly healthy for a kid and was always playing outside or doing things with my friends. My immune system was pretty crappy though, I got sick a lot. Just your typical strep throat and flu type sicknesses. It wasn’t until high school, where I really started to notice some more symptoms. Bowel issues, severe headaches, horrible cramps.
If you’re in the Southern California area and need a colonscopy, may I recommend The Endoscopy Center in Encinitas with Dr. Seeger? Everyone there was incredible and super friendly! What I was afraid would be a painful experience wasn’t painful at all. And it was sooo easy. Truly the hardest thing is drinkin’ the bowel prep and enduring a few hours on the toilet.
Why did I need a colonoscopy at 40 years old? My colo-rectal surgeon sprung it on me: one is needed a year after a bowel resection; just to make sure everything is okay inside.
Okay, on with the findings: a small polyp was discovered inside my sigmoid colon and removed for biopsy. The rest of my guts looked great! Wanna see?
In the past, I’ve researched how Endometriosis can affect the renal system, specifically the bladder or ureters, and how that could even cause blockages that cause kidney issues and severe problems.
Today, I’m going to talk about Endometriosis and the actual kidney.
A study published in October of 2018 discussed a 45-year-old woman who had flank pain and blood in her urine. Imaging studies found a mass on her left kidney. A surgery was performed to remove the suspected renal mass and a portion of her kidney, and pathology confirmed it was an Endometriosis lesion. It was removed from her “renal parenchyma,” which is the solid part of the kidney that filters blood and makes urine.
Here I go again, once more intrigued by Endometriosis growing in odd places inside the body. Today I’m going to focus on the appendix. I’ve read that many women have their appendix removed because physicians may confuse Endometriosis pain for the symptoms of appendicitis. But on Tuesday an article hit my email about Endometriosis growing on the appendix…and I became obsessed.
Please remember: I don’t write this to scare you, or freak you out, or say that all of your right-sided abdominal pain is from Appendix Endo. Take a deep breath – I like to document these things in case anyone would like to discuss it further with their healthcare providers so they may be aware during surgery. Appendiceal Endometriosis is considered extremely rare and it is suspected that only 1-3% of all cases of Endometriosis involve the appendix. But…knowledge is power.
New to San Diego, Sarah was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 38 years old, after seeking help for over 20 years. Today, a year later, she shares her long and difficult Journey with us.
Sarah’s Journey: I’m home from this year’s Endo March. I met some lovely people, reconnected with new friends (I’m new to San Diego), and learned a lot. One of those lessons was hard. It’s not as simple as saying Endometriosis changed my life or changed me.
It’s that it, along with other health problems, shaped me and, as all of this runs its course, my identity is changing. Parts of what I value about myself have shifted and this time the change is so deep that it may be irrevocable. I don’t know if I can get those pieces of me back. I used to be strong. I used to be fast. I could paint a painting in a day, code a website so that your head spun, learn a skill and build a 16 hour class around it and teach it inside a week.
One of our local EndoSisters has recently been diagnosed with endometrial polyps, something I know absolutely nothing about. So what happens when I know nothing? I research!
What is a polyp?
A polyp is an abnormal overgrowth of tissue, usually a lump, bump, or stalky growth (hence the mushrooms above). They’re most commonly found in the colon, but can be found in the uterus (known as uterine or endometrial polyps), cervix, stomach, throat, nose, and ear canal. There can be just one polyp…or there can be lots.
D.M. was 37-years-old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Nearly three decades later, she tells us her story.
D.M.’s Journey: Ovarian cysts removed on both ovaries in my mid twenties. By 37 I had Exploratory surgery to discover why I was infertile, and they discovered endometriosis and the ovaries had adhered to the bowel. The surgeon cleared out the area and wrapped the ovaries this time. Since then I have had colonoscopies and polyps removed. This last time, I’m 64 now, they biopsies the polyps and discovered endometriosis tissue inside the bowel.
I want to send a special Thank You out to D.M. for being brave enough to share her personal story with us today. You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman. Thank you!!! We are sorry they’ve found it within your bowel, but hope that you are no longer in pain or suffering from your symptoms.
And if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here. The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.
As you may know, Endometriosis is not limited to just your reproductive bits & pieces. It can implant, grow, and fester in many places; the bowel included. But what does that mean? How do you know if it’s on your bowel? Today’s blog will go into that…Read on, dear Reader…read on. Word of warning : I will be using words like fart and poop! Why dance around the subject with flowery words when I feel like I’m a giggly 12-year-old girl?
It is estimated that between 5-15% (and some even doctors guess it’s actually between 3-34%) of women with Endometriosis suffer from Endo on their bowels. Bowel Endometriosis may affect the colon, the rectum, the large intestine, the small intestine, the colon, or the sigmoid colon. The implants may be physically located on the bowels, or even just located adjacent to them in areas like the Pouch of Douglas, uterosacral ligaments, or rectovaginal septum. The close proximity of the inflamed and irritated lesions may be enough to induce bowel Endometriosis symptoms. And these symptoms may also be caused by adhesions pulling or twisting the bowels.