April was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 30, but suffered with the pain for over 18 years before she knew what it was. Like so many of us…Now 37, she lives in Ardmore, Canada and shares her story with us today.
April’s Journey: I was born in Georgetown Ontario in 1979, my parents and I moved to Alberta when I was 2 years old. I was a shy quiet kid growing up so and I still am quiet and somewhat shy at times lol, so it amazes me I am standing here today telling you my story.
Some of you may have read my previous blog about Cesarean scars and Endometriosis. In the studies referenced in that blog entry, all of the women complained of bumps or lumps or pain in their c-section scars. Turns out they had developed Endometriosis in their scar tissue; likely the cells were transferred during the surgical procedure.
Tara Langdale-Schmidt lives in Florida, and was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 11 years old! She also suffers from Vulvodynia. Now 32, Tara invented a treatment that is helping women who suffer from pelvic pain all over the world. Today she shares her story and struggles, but also shares her victories.
Tara’s Journey: It started when I was 11 with my first surgery. Doctors did not know what was causing my abdomen pain so they the scheduled exploratory surgery. They found a huge cyst which had cut off the blood supply to ovary which killed it. They removed that ovary and tube. This was the first of many surgeries for cysts and endometriosis over the next 20 years.
Melinda lives in Guyana in South America and was 35-years-old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Now 40, she has started an Endometriosis Support Group in her country. May she bring the government, the women, and the medical professionals together to raise Endo awareness and improve healthcare for the Guyanese citizens!
Let me begin by thanking Lisa Drayton from Bloomin’ Uterus for giving me that little nudge I needed to start this Endo conversation in Guyana. My journey with Endometriosis has been a long and very painful one.
During the latter half of my teens I started having severe pains, heavy bleeding, bloating, lower back pain and constipation during my menstrual cycle. The pain was so intense I would sometimes faint.
**Updated 10/29/16: If you live in Guyana and have (or think you have) Endometriosis, there IS an online support group created by a woman living in Georgetown: **
Guyana is a small English-speaking country located on the northeastern coast of South America, next to Venezuela and Brazil. For a size-comparison, it’s slightly smaller than the state of Idaho. It’s estimated that 736,000 people live in Guyana, most of whom reside in or near the capital, Georgetown, . The majority of the country is covered in dense tropical forests. The rest is grasslands, marshes, and cultivated urban areas. Guyana has an 11% unemployment rate, and 35% of the population lives below the poverty line. Unfortunately, nearly 155,000 residents live without electricity.
Well, here I am, alive and doing well! Surgery was on September 21, 2016, and today is my 3-week surgiversary.
In a nutshell : my Endometriosis had returned, bringing with it a leaking cyst and a bunch of adhesions. Endo had also decided to now grow on my bowel (the outer layer of my sigmoid colon) and my ureter (the tube that carries stuff from kidneys to bladder – he had to detach my ureter, clean it up, and reattach it). AND it disappeared from my liver (doc couldn’t find any there this time). He was able to cut out all of my Endometriosis, except for a lesion that is on my diaphragm. He cut away all of my adhesions and put my organs back where they belong. I’ve still got both my ovaries and fallopian tubes. My uterus was stuck to my bowel, my ovaries and tubes were a rat’s nest, and my uterus was also stuck to the right side of my pelvic wall. It just sounds like such a mess…But, he did confirm that my bladder’s exterior AND interior were completely healthy and Endo-free.
So, we recently wrote about Endometriosis being found in two mandrillus sphinx. Last year we learned about Endo being found in a German Shephard. Well, today we read about it being found in monkeys: cynomolgus monkeys. This is not the first time Endometriosis has been found in this breed of monkey, but we’re going to focus on just this new study today.
So we’ve previously read about a German Shepherd being diagnosed with Endometriosis. Today we’re going to talk about Mandrills (a form of primate that used to be considered a Baboon) who had been diagnosed with Endo. I’ve read a lot of previous studies where Endometriosis was purposely implanted into critters for study and dissection, but these primates weren’t for study.
There was a study from 2012 about a Mandrill that had died after showing signs of weakness and peritoneal bleeding. Upon autopsy they found her uterus was covered in blood clots and it was stuck to her ovaries and pelvic wall. The biopsy confirmed she had Endometriosis. This is considered the first confirmed case of Endo in a Mandrill.