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.
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.
Pam was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was in her 40s. Today Pam is 59 years old and shares her story with us
Pam’s Journey: Long story short, I have 4 grown children after years of infertility followed by 6 miscarriages. I was diagnosed with endometriosis and opted for partial hysterectomy in 1999 due to the heavy periods. I thought that was that.
Janis was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 35. Now 39, she shares her Journey with us:
Janis Oenbrink; August 1, 2018
Endometriosis changes the lives of many, and in multiple ways. Infertility, pain, fatigue, depression, and a multitude of other miserable symptoms encompass the disease of endometriosis. I have dealt with this disease for years, and along the way, been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, anxiety, depression, ruptured cysts, etc.…. as well as been called crazy, lazy, and a hypochondriac.
T.E. was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 28 years old. Now 31, she shares her story with us:
T.E.’s Journey: I was diagnosed with Endo around 28. I saw my gynecologist for painful sex and cyst rupture after sex and he recommended me seeing an infertility doctor for possible Endo. I saw the specialist and he said I did have chocolate cysts and suggested surgery to get a good look at what’s going on. I had the surgery; I did have lesions and my chocolate cysts were drained. I also had a low count of eggs at the time so I had to decide if I wanted to have kids now or never so I never started the pill after surgery.
Fast forward six months, I was back in pain and now till this day, I have had new symptoms arise. Hip pain and the bottom of my feet are new symptoms. I walk for a living so it’s been difficult. I still get leg pain, which is not even around the time of my period and mood swings. I also get lower back pain and severe cramps. My infertility doctor says he can’t do anything else for me so I have been trying other ways. I saw a holistic doctor and went that way and it did help, but the pain came back. I’m going to try acupuncture soon. Wish me luck!!
I want to send a special Thank You out to T.E. for being brave enough to share her personal story and struggle with us today. Wishing you the BEST of luck with acupuncture!! You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman. 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.
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 Warriors 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.
Heather was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 24 years old. Now 37, she lives in Florida and has started “Heather’s Hope Endo Strong”, and is also a model advocating for chronic illness.
Heather’s Journey: I‘ve suffered with Endometriosis over half of my life. I’ve had 4 surgeries and all were unsuccessful. I did 2 Lupron injections a few 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.
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.
On December 8, 2016, we had the opportunity to reach out to our local Marine Corps community and teach a workshop about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS.
A few months ago, I received an email from the Marine Corps Community Services Exceptional Family Member Program for the Marine Corps Recruitment Depot/Western Recruiting Region here in San Diego, California. They wanted to know if Bloomin’ Uterus could coordinate a PCOS Workshop for their interested enrolled members, which included staff, service members, and/or family of service members. Of course, I jumped at the chance!
I reached out to Dr. Mara Killen, a nurse practitioner at San Diego Women’s Health, my doctor’s office. The staff at San Diego Women’s Health have been so incredibly helpful in my Endometriosis diagnosis, treatment, and journey and I’m so grateful that Dr. Killen agreed to speak at the PCOS presentation.