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.
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.