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.
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.
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…
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.
D.M. was 37-years-old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Nearly three decades later, she tells us her story.
D.M.’s Journey: Ovarian cysts removed on both ovaries in my mid twenties. By 37 I had Exploratory surgery to discover why I was infertile, and they discovered endometriosis and the ovaries had adhered to the bowel. The surgeon cleared out the area and wrapped the ovaries this time. Since then I have had colonoscopies and polyps removed. This last time, I’m 64 now, they biopsies the polyps and discovered endometriosis tissue inside the bowel.
I want to send a special Thank You out to D.M. for being brave enough to share her personal story with us today. You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman. Thank you!!! We are sorry they’ve found it within your bowel, but hope that you are no longer in pain or suffering from your symptoms.
And if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here. The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.
Kelly was 23 years old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Two years later and living in England, she’s started her own blog to help spread awareness about this illness. But today Kelly tells us her story…
Kelly’s Journey: My name is Kelly and I’m a 25 year old woman who has been living with endometriosis since roughly 2003. I was diagnosed in January 2015 after laparoscopic surgery at the age of 23, fifteen days before I turned 24 years old. I have endo on my bladder, bowels and peritoneum (as far as I know – it has been over a year since I had a laparoscopy).