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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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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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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Share Your Story: N.

A quote that reads I was happy that finally I have my answers, but I was lost

Living in Germany, N. (who shall remain anonymous) shares her Endo journey with the world today to try to help others feel not alone as well as normalize the symptoms. She was diagnosed when she was 23 years old and shares her story with us four years later.

N.’s Journey:  

Hi, I’m from India. I started having painful cramps when I was 18 years old. It was so painful that I had to take pain killers. Then after few years, I used to get cramps before and after periods too. I used to have irritable bowel syndrome during periods too.

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My 5th Endometriosis Excision Surgery

A drawing of a uterus, ovaries, and intestines.
Commissioned artwork by Sarah Soward

What an incredible Journey leading up to my fifth surgery!  Covid-19 postponed my surgery date by a week but, just in the nick of time, California’s governor lifted some lockdown restrictions that allowed for my surgery to move back to it’s original date of May 13, 2020. Today, June 10, 2020, marks one month since my surgery! Already! I am overjoyed with the results and the skilled hands of my surgeons.

A medical folder with "Surgery # 5" written on it
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Share Your Story: Heather

Heahter’s biggest support through all of this: her husband

Heather was diagnosed when she was 24 years old. Now 41, she shares her Journey and what steps she’s taken to spread awareness about this disease.

Heather’s Journey:  My name is Heather Marie Kobza. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 24. I’m 41 years old and live in Kentucky with my husband and two chihuahuas.

I’ve suffered with Endometriosis half of my life. I’ve had 5 surgeries and all were unsuccessful. I did 2 Lupron injections 8 years ago for the Endometriosis in my bowels. After the Lupron treatments my stomach completely stopped emptying and I now have a gastric pacemaker. I’m 1 in 4,000 people in the United States with a gastric pacemaker.

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Share Your Story: MariaElisa

Woman standing in underwear with baby's breath taped along her surgery scars

MariaElisa am was diagnosed with Endometriosis this year at the age of 25 after a 10-year struggle for answers.

MariaElisa’s Journey:  I got my first 10cm cyst at age 12, delayed removing it because I was “too young”. Once they decided to do emergency laparoscopy it ruptured and had a torsion which damaged my right ovary and Fallopian tube.

Got my first period at 14, all seemed normal until I turned 16. Severe, heavy painful periods. They started to become more irregular and i was left in debilitating pain on my legs and lower back. Doctor after doctor kept telling me being a girl with these pains isn’t anything to be worried about because my sonograms and paps were “normal” except my enlarged left ovary which I’ve known about for years.

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Inguinal Hernia & Endometriosis

Inguinal canal in female courtesy of https://www.slideshare.net/vernonpashi/surgical-anatomy-of-the-inguinal-canal

Recently, a study hit my inbox about Endometriosis mimicking an inguinal hernia. So, of course, my interest was piqued and research had to take place! Be warned, though, it’s considered VERY rare. In all the literature I’ve read, only 42 cases have been referenced as being documented inguinal Endo. But when has rarity stopped me from sharing something about Endometriosis? Yeah. Never. Here we go!

What is AN inguinal hernia?

An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia (about 70% of hernias are inguinal) and usually manifests as a small lump in the groin area. Both men and women can get inguinal hernias, but it’s apparently more common in men. It occurs if there’s a small hole in your abdominal cavity which allows fat or intestines to seep through, which can a lump or swelling to occur.

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