Share Your Story: Melissa Turner

Woman sitting on couch outside

Melissa is from New Zealand and was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. She shares her story with us today. As well as tips that have helped her cope and overcome.

Melissa’s Journey: It all began with a dreadful case of a bladder infection. I remember the pain like it was yesterday. Intense swelling and no amount of going to the toilet alleviated the pain.

Worst part about it was that I was on holiday and there was no way I could get treatment without the long drive home. I had never experienced such intense pain while driving over a road bump in my life. I knew something else was going on.

I remember lying in the tub. Looking down at my body and asking it what was going on. Why do you still have pain, even though the bladder infection is all cleared up? What is going on in there? A little soft voice told me to visit a gynaecologist.

The experience of visiting the gynaecologist left me with more questions and yet a version of a diagnosis I had never heard before… endometriosis. I couldn’t even say the word, never mind understand what it actually meant in terms of my pain levels. It was just a confusing mess and the only way I could know for sure was to have surgery. I dreaded the idea of it but I also wanted an answer. Something to help me move forward.

That began a long journey with endometriosis and one that took me through 15 years of struggling. I had 7 surgeries and tried every hormone treatment and pain-killer that was offered to me. I didn’t feel any relief during that time and it felt like I was literally on a surgery merry-go-round with a new surgery booked every year and a half away from the last.

I remember waking up after the last surgery and having nobody there to hold my hand and talk me through it. It had become normal that I was in surgery again. It was nothing special. I felt a deep sadness in that moment. A sadness for all the things I had put aside because of endometriosis. A sadness for all the hours and days I had wasted in pain.

A deep yearning began that day and it shifted my whole approach to endometriosis.

It began a journey of discovering and learning more about endometriosis. To know what my personal body was needing and actually providing for it. Giving it what it needed and really honouring and taking care of myself for the first time in years.

Over the last 12 years I have transformed my experience with endometriosis. It is no longer a feature in my life. I live pain and symptom free and want more women to know that it is possible.

The key things I changed were:

  • How I fed my body. I didn’t just avoid some key culprits recommended but also focused on truly replenishing the nutrients my body was lacking.
  • I move my body daily. It can be in any form I like but it must bring me joy and feel good. No pushing through!
  • Lowering my anxiety and stress was fundamental. I looked at everything that was triggering this in my life and shifted it. If that meant someone was causing me anxiety I either shifted how I viewed them or decided to spend less time with them. I also looked at beliefs I held about myself and my body. I needed to believe healing was possible and so much of my transformation began when I found proof of this.
  • I cleaned out my body from imbalances and toxins. Not just gut dysfunction but right down to heavy metals and parasites. These things had impacted my health and I needed them out!
  • I found support and guidance from others who could show me what was possible. It had to be positive and it needed to show me a way out and not just be a self pity party.

Words of Advice for Us:  I want women to know that it is possible. We just need to provide the environment for healing.

If you wish to contact Melissa, you may email her or visit her webpage.

I want to send a special Thank You out to Melissa for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today.  And thank you for all that you do for the Endo community.  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.

Yours, Lisa.

Share Your Story: Leidy

A woman standing in front of a grassy lawn wearing a pink sweater, gray hat, and sunglasses

Leidy lives in Germany and was 35 years old when she was told she had Endometriosis. Now 42, she would like to share her story with everyone cares to read it. A battle which literally spans the globe in search of answers, a series of numerous misdiagnoses, and Leidy is one hell of a Warrior.

Leidy’s Journey:   I am now 42 years old but since my first period, I have had problems. 

My main problem is in my bowels. Which misled my specialists to find the correct diagnosis. The only issue I had, related to my period, was irregular bleeding. 

Each month I bled during my ovulation. My period lasts sometimes more than a week. And I bled during sexual intercourse. The pain during the period was not severe and Ibuprofen usually was enough to alleviate the pain.

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Share Your Story: Jazz

text that reads: "don't be afraid to ask for help. Always trust your gut. Don't be afraid to ask stupid questions."

Diagnosed in 2017, Jazz shares her Endometriosis story with us today.

Jazz’s Journey:   I am 23 and was born in Northampton, UK where I continue to live with Cerebral Palsy and Stage 1 Endometriosis. I was born with my disability and I was diagnosed with Endo in November 2017. At 16 I started the pill, Femodette, because my periods were really heavy and really painful. I was given Mefanamic Acid to help relieve the pain and it did nothing. I was taking Paracetamol and Ibruprofen and was even told to stop crying in school because “it sounded like I was giving birth.” I was given another pill to take after Femodette failed to work called Regevidon.

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Share Your Story: L. George

Text that reads "I am not sure what to do next."

L. George was diagnosed when they were 25 years old. Today, at 52, they share their arduous journey with us.

L.’s Journey:   This is really tough to tell, as I have suffered with this awful disease for so long. I barely used to notice my periods in high school. Then, around age 21, the pain became so unbearable, but I just thought it was normal period pain. I never believed in going to doctors or taking any kind of pharmaceutical medication for pain. My mom raised me to never take aspirin or go to the hospital, no antibiotics for the frequent ear infections and bronchial infections I seemed to get a lot growing up. It was not uncommon for me to have a high fever (over 105F) as a child and ‘sweat’ it out, after dealing with it for at least a week wrapped in thick blankets to make me sweat. I never took any aspirin, or other OTC for the pain I felt at age 21.

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Share Your Story: Melissa

Man and woman standing side by side

A year ago, Melissa was diagnosed with Endometriosis (at 37 years old), but her symptoms became noticeable in her 20s. It took a decade to get answers…

Melissa’s Journey:   I first noticed that something was wrong when I was in my mid 20’s. I would have extreme pain in my lower back, lots of gas, and lots of pain when going to the bathroom. I noticed that a week before my periods it would burn when I peed and that would last until a week after my period (total of 3 weeks). I also dealt with bouts of constipation and diarrhea.

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Share Your Story: Holly

Text that reads "I have stayed strong. And that's exactly what I'm going to keep doing."

Holly was clinically diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 15 years old,and received surgical confirmation two years later. Now 33 years old (and nine excision surgeries later), she shares her Endometriosis story with us today:

Holly’s Journey: Some would say I was lucky. I was 15 the first time I heard the word “endometriosis”. I had no idea what that meant for me or for my or exactly how unlucky I would be. I was a sophomore in high school and my mom had taken me to my pediatrician because I was missing time from school and complaining of pain and severe nausea surrounding my period. My pediatrician immediately said “That sounds like endometriosis.” and referred me to a gynecologist. I went to the gynecologist and he stated my symptoms were likely endometriosis and decided to put me on a birth control pill to try and help with my pain.

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Endometriosis Excision Surgery No. 6!

Pre-surgery photo with myself, Dr. Mel Kurtulus and Dr. Matthew Schultzel

On October 21, 2020, I went in for my tag-team surgery with my fellas: Dr. Mel Kurtulus and Dr. Matthew Schultzel. Each had their own specific tasks while they worked together to make sure I was happy, healthy, and well:

  1. Dr. Matthew Schultzel was going to inspect and remove a portion of my sigmoid colon which had deep-infiltrating Endometriosis (discovered during my May 2020 surgery);
  2. Dr. Mel Kurtulus was going to peek around inside to see if I had any new Endometriosis growths since May or any scarring or other things that may need to be cleaned up.

If this sounds familiar, we did a similar tag-team effort with these two amazing surgeons back in November of 2018, but for the opposite side of my colon.

The best part? I have had ZERO, zilch, nada, no pre-op pains! The only pain I’ve had since October 21st has been healing from surgery! My November pain journal screamed of the difference in my symptoms and Endometriosis pain!

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Endometriosis & the Diaphragm

Courtesy of Wikimedia

If you’ve been a long-time follower of the blog, you may remember in 2014 when my surgeon found Endometriosis on my diaphragm. Several years later, it had completely disappeared (yay!). And it hasn’t been found in any of my subsequent surgeries. This research has been a lot of fun because of my own personal journey.

We’ve previously shared Endo Lady UK‘s experience with her own diaphragmatic Endometriosis, as well as a surgery to remove diaphragmatic Endo. We’ve even had a few brave readers, Lyndsay and Tabitha, share their own stories about endo on their diaphragm.

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Share Your Story: Kimberli

Smiling woman dressed in yellow

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!

Kimberli’S JOURNEY:  

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.

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