New to San Diego, Sarah was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 38 years old, after seeking help for over 20 years. Today, a year later, she shares her long and difficult Journey with us.
Sarah’s Journey: I’m home from this year’s Endo March. I met some lovely people, reconnected with new friends (I’m new to San Diego), and learned a lot. One of those lessons was hard. It’s not as simple as saying Endometriosis changed my life or changed me.
It’s that it, along with other health problems, shaped me and, as all of this runs its course, my identity is changing. Parts of what I value about myself have shifted and this time the change is so deep that it may be irrevocable. I don’t know if I can get those pieces of me back. I used to be strong. I used to be fast. I could paint a painting in a day, code a website so that your head spun, learn a skill and build a 16 hour class around it and teach it inside a week.
Patti was diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis when she was 21 years old. Today she is 52 years young and lives in Ontario, Canada. She continues to suffer, but holds tightly onto Hope and has a wonderful network of supportive and understanding friends and family. Fight on, Patti. Fight. On. ❤
Patti’s Journey: My Endometriosis Journey, By: Patricia Anne Young
One day after school, my friend invited me back to her place for a swim. We got changed, and I told her I’d meet her outside, as I had to use the washroom… little did I know I was about to become a “Woman”. I was 12…
Lakia was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 29 years old, after suffering with symptoms since the Sixth Grade. Now she’s 30, living in San Diego, and she’s found our little support group. I met Lakia just a few weeks after her diagnositic surgery and she’s recently undergone a difficult decision for her second surgery! Lakia has proven to be an amazing and incredibly strong woman, and someone I am proud to call friend. Her story follows…
Lakia’s Journey: I always thought in my mind that my reality was normal. But what is normal? My first period was in sixth grade. I remember being so excited because I finally felt like a woman! I stuffed my bra everyday, secretly shaved my legs, and wore tinted lipgloss. But that first period felt like a rite of passage. All of the boys will like me now! Little did I know what was ahead…
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.
Congratulations, Debbie of New Jersey, for winning our October Coloring Contest! You’re automatically entered to win our Grand Prize: having your design printed on a t-shirt next year! All profits of the t-shirt sales will go to the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
If you’d like to enter our contest, a winner will be picked every month until April 1, 2017. And the best part? Spreading Endo awareness and having fun at the same time! Who doesn’t like coloring?!?
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.
One of our local EndoSisters has recently been diagnosed with endometrial polyps, something I know absolutely nothing about. So what happens when I know nothing? I research!
What is a polyp?
A polyp is an abnormal overgrowth of tissue, usually a lump, bump, or stalky growth (hence the mushrooms above). They’re most commonly found in the colon, but can be found in the uterus (known as uterine or endometrial polyps), cervix, stomach, throat, nose, and ear canal. There can be just one polyp…or there can be lots.
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.