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.
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…
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.
Alexandra is a fellow blogger out of Brisbane, Australia. Today she share’s her Endometriosis journey with us. She was diagnosed when she was 20, and now five years later here she goes, starting us out with a *bang*:
Alexandra’s Journey: “Uterus.” There, I said it! Uterus! Periods. Ovaries. Fallopian Tubes. Bleeding. Tampon. Rectum. Hormones. Bladder. Cervix. Menstruation. Vagina. Discharge. Pelvis. Pads. Endometriosis. Awkward.
As you may know, Endometriosis is not limited to just your reproductive bits & pieces. It can implant, grow, and fester in many places; the bowel included. But what does that mean? How do you know if it’s on your bowel? Today’s blog will go into that…Read on, dear Reader…read on. Word of warning : I will be using words like fart and poop! Why dance around the subject with flowery words when I feel like I’m a giggly 12-year-old girl?
It is estimated that between 5-15% (and some even doctors guess it’s actually between 3-34%) of women with Endometriosis suffer from Endo on their bowels. Bowel Endometriosis may affect the colon, the rectum, the large intestine, the small intestine, the colon, or the sigmoid colon. The implants may be physically located on the bowels, or even just located adjacent to them in areas like the Pouch of Douglas, uterosacral ligaments, or rectovaginal septum. The close proximity of the inflamed and irritated lesions may be enough to induce bowel Endometriosis symptoms. And these symptoms may also be caused by adhesions pulling or twisting the bowels.
You’ve likely heard that Endometriosis can grow in all sorts of places inside the body. Well, the bladder and urinary tract are no exception. Endometriosis implants can grow on or inside the walls of the bladder or along the urethra.
Common symptoms patients may complain about with bladder Endo are frequently needing to pee, pain when the bladder is full, painful urination, and an urgent need to pee. Some also suffer from blood in their urine when they’re on their cycles (may be hard to distinguish…given the natural course of what a period does…). This urine-blood may not be perceptible to the naked eye and require a lab test. And as usual, many EndoWarriors only have these symptoms during their periods; others have them 24/7. It should also be noted that many with bladder Endo don’t present any symptoms.
I realized that I’ve asked you to share your story, but haven’t actually put mine out there in one place (maybe a snippet here or there)….time to get everything out on paper so it leaves my head and heart (sorry it’s so loooooong…I couldn’t stop!). I was diagnosed when I was 35 years old in 2014.
My Journey: I started my period when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember them hurting (but not as devastating as they have in my adult years), but figured it was normal. I grew up hearing we were cursed because of Eve’s decision to sin, punished into pain and childbirth. I also heard that some of my family members had really painful periods. So again, it was normal. Classmates said they had cramps, too…so I figured mine were just normal. I became that girl in Junior High and High School that would walk around with a hoodie tied around her waist every month because I’d almost always overflow. I had classmates come up to me during the really hard cramps, ask if I was okay, that I was white as a ghost and sweating…and I’d spend time curled up in the Nurse’s office after taking an Ibuprofen. But it was normal. Every girl went through this. Right? My family physician had wanted me to go on birth control, but just to prevent “baby accidents” from happening, which I quickly dismissed since I had no intention of having sex. Little did I know BCP may have helped with the pain…
Tara was 24 when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Now 32 years old, she shares her experience with us…
Tara’s Journey: I am sick. I am chronic illness. I am not curable. I am angry. I am scared. I am pain. I am draining. I am sad. I am a fighter. I am strong. I am weak. I believe. I hope. I dream. I wish. I love. I suffer. I struggle. I laugh. I cry. I scream. I am mad. I am endometriosis.
Endometriosis has changed my life in more ways than I could ever possibly explain. It has ripped away part of me and has destroyed many of my hopes and dreams. I feel like an alien is living inside my body. I am no longer in control of my future. Endometriosis owns me. It holds ownership to one of the biggest dreams I have ever held. It has taken away my right as a woman to bare a child. It has left me hopeless, resentful, angry, confused, and scared, scared to death that one day it may take my life. No endometriosis cannot kill me, I understand that but it can cause things that can.
Many people born with a uterus have Endometriosis and don’t even know it. They may be cis-gender, transgender, non-binary, or others. And there have been rare instances of men developing Endometriosis, too. I sure didn’t know what it was until I received my diagnosis. I’d never even heard of it. Endo-what?
So what are the red flags of Endometriosis? If I only knew about this list prior to my diagnosis, I would have gone to my doctor years ago! I met every single one of these symptoms!! Every. Single. One.
You may have Endometriosis if you have any of the following issues: