Share Your Story: Mummy

"I would lay on the bathroom floor just to get relief" quote and a toilet with toilet paper

“Mummy” was 29 when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Now 32, she shares her journey with us.  Mummy lives on the island of Antigua, and faces the struggles of limited options when it comes to healthcare.

Mummy’s Journey: I started getting horrible pains when I was around 25 years old and I did not realize what it was because I always took Advil painkillers.  They did help but I realize after my period was finished I was still feeling pain and my legs, I couldn’t walk, and just feel too tired.

You can say I visited all the Doctors mentioned in your blog. Dr. Roberts was the one who told me I might have endo. I did not know anything about the disease she said to do some research; I did. I felt like she was not helping me just putting me on contraceptives and I have to spend a lot of money every time I visited her. She would perform ultrasounds every time I visit which was pretty often and said she had not seen any cyst or fibroid at the time. I decided to stop seeing her because I felt that she was not understanding to my pain and so I traveled overseas to another Caribbean island where I saw a Doc.

He examined me and I did a few tests. I had a cyst on my left ovary. I could not stay on the island as I lived and work in Antigua. The Doc told me they had to monitor it (cyst) for three months.  Of course, I couldn’t stay so I came back to Antigua.

I saw Dr. Wynter and Dr. Mansoor I felt that they could not help me.

One day a friend of mine told me that Dr. Dean Martin was on ABS talking about the Endo.  I decided I was going to make an appointment to see him, in which I did and he told me after examining me with the pains I had, a laparoscopy was the best option to see what’s happening.

I did the surgery (four hours) of course he told me I have stage four endometriosis and a cyst that had ruptured.

I was placed on sick leave after recovery the pain definitely did not go away I had longer periods and worst pain the only good the surgery did for me is that I could have sex without feeling so much pain during or after sex. I felt like I paid a lot of money and was still in so much pain.  My job wrote me a letter to say I am always sick and they would reconsider my employment with them because I would always call sick. I was working with this prominent Security Firm and even though I worked there for 8 years and informed my boss personally about my condition it did not matter to him.

I would overdose on the painkillers so that I would not have to deal with the pain by falling asleep. My doctor told me I should not wait to have children because of the endo, I just felt so lost and I would just stay in my house and I did not want to come out to socialize with people or anyone. I would lay on my bathroom cold floor just to get relief. Somedays I feel like ending my life until I met this wonderful herbal doctor, Dr. Elra, right here in Antigua. I was feeling so much pain I end up at ER and my friend told me about him and I went and visited him he is amazing.  God is truly awesome.  Diet, plus colon cleanse and medicine healed me less than a month. I do not feel the pain, I am totally pain-free. It’s expensive, but Dr. Elra is the best.

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I want to send a special Thank You out to Mummy for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today.  And I am so grateful you were able to find Dr. Elra and relief!  We hope it continues for you! ❤ And your quote, “I had to lay on the bathroom floor just to get relief,” struck me so hard – I think each one of us reading your story today have been there. Thank you for sharing.

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And if YOU would like to share your story, please submit it.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

Antigua & Barbuda : Endometriosis Care and Support

Map of Antigua & Barbuda

As you may already know, I like to research Endo care around the world.  Today, we’re traveling to Antigua & Barbuda (I’ve had a few blog views from that location…). Who doesn’t like an island destination?

Antigua and Barbuda are a set of islands in the Caribbean and is a very popular tourist destination  They’re 15 minutes apart from each other (by air) or 90 minutes (by ferry).

Antigua is 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, and is where most of the populace live.  Cute town names, such as “Old Road,” “Jolly Harbour,” and “Free Town.”  Barbuda is undeveloped and even smaller, boasting a whopping 68 square miles, and one town, Codrington.  Together, the islands house 92,500 residents, not including the tourists.   For comparison, the islands, combined, are a little over twice the size of Washington, D.C.

Antigua has 26 community health clinics and 1 public hospital.  Some of these clinics look like nothing more than houses in small towns, but they are healthcare clinics, nonetheless.  I’ve reached out to some of those facilities for more information on how they may treat Endometriosis (keep in mind there’s no bonefide “excision specialists” on the island)…but that doesn’t mean that a great surgeon/OBGYN isn’t available.

Hannah Thomas Hospital on Barbuda has 1 8-bed medical facility.  It’s the only medical facility on Barbuda.  They handle mild to moderate surgeries, and ship any major medical emergencies off to Antigua.

Mount St. John’s Medical Centre in the capital is a 185 bed teaching hospital.  I’ve emailed them for more information and if they treat Endometriosis, but have not yet heard back.

Adelin Medical Centre in St. John’s is a non-profit, 18-bed clinic.  They offer surgical and gynecological care. In 2010, the clinic hit financial difficulties and had to terminate many staff members and was unable to pay salaries.  In 2013, the building was up for auction.  I cannot confirm if this Medical Centre is, or isn’t, still in practice.

Dr. Dane Abbott is an OB/GYN at the The Women’s Clinic in St. John’s.  I’ve emailed them for more information and if they treat Endometriosis, but have not yet heard back.

Free Clinic of English Harbor in English Harbour is run by the medical and nursing students of the University of Health Sciences Antigua.  It’s open twice a week and they roughly see 10 patients a day; however, they do not have the staff or equipment for Endometriosis excision surgery and have referred me to speak with Dr. Mansoor or Dr. Martin.  I emailed them both (here’s to hoping they respond).

Dr. Richard Salter is a Dallas, TX OB/GYN who used to take mission trips with his wife to A&B to care for the women.  I’ve emailed him for more details on their visits to the islands, but have not yet heard back.

Dr. Raymond Mansoor is an OB/GYN at the Mansoor Medical for Women’s Health in St. John’s.  He seems to specialize in infertility and IVF treatments, but is also a resident physician at St. John’s Medical Centre and the Adelin Medical Center. I’ve emailed them for more information and if they treat Endometriosis, but have not yet heard back.  One EndoSister from Antigua wrote me; Dr. Mansoor referred her to Jamaica for her excision surgery.  Options are limited to those on the islands, and you do what you must.  That being said, she absolutely LOVES Dr. Mansoor and speaks very highly of him, and he is still her doctor.

Dr. Gwendolyn Fevrier-Roberts is an OB/GYN at Rovier Medical in St. John’s has been practicing since 1989.  She also practices at the Adelin Medical Center for any gynecological surgeries.  I’ve emailed them for more information and if they treat Endometriosis, but have not yet heard back.

Dr. Andre Winter an OB/GYN of Winter’s Medical Centre in St. John’s was interviewed in the September 2008 edition of Business Focus Antigua Barbuda magazine.  The clinic boasts of an outpatient surgical center, Dr. Winter’s gynecological expertise, as well as a urologist, general surgeon, and internist.  The email address for Winters Medical Centre was bounced back as bad…

On September 22, 2014, Good Morning Antigua & Barbuda interviewed Dr. Dean Martin, a gynecologist who is intimately familiar with treating the disease, as well as fibroids and chronic pelvic pain.  It was a great awareness campaign for the women of the islands.  I attempted to email Dr. Martin, but the only addresses I could find (or were given) came back as bad.  Hoping he’s still in practice and helping women abroad.

If you have a doctor you love and trust that treats Endometriosis, please let me know who they are so I may update this blog.  I would love to hear from you!

( Updated March 27, 2019)

Resources:

ABS TV Radio Antigua & Barbuda – GMAB Interviews Dr. Dean Martin Obstetrician and Gynecologist about Endometriosis

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda Buzz

Antigua Nice LTD

Business Focus Antigua Barbuda

Commonwealth Health Online

Mansoor Medical

Mount St. John’s Medical Centre

Rovier Medical 

The Daily Observer

The Embassy of the United States

The World Factbook

University of Health Sciences Antigua

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa