My Endometriosis Journey
Updated: Feb 19, 2019
'Endometriosis is where the tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus, grows outside of it instead'.
For years I have experienced severe pain, bloating, anxiety and depression. This pain would become so extreme, it would cause me to curl up in a ball in my bed and refuse to leave the house for the entire day. This all began when I spent days throwing up in pain and was admitted to hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Once the surgery was complete and the surgeon had removed my appendix I was informed that my appendix was perfectly healthy. Eventually my pain subsided and I was sent home with no explanation.
From the age of fifteen I began fainting regularly and the pain in my stomach soon intensified. This was when I visited a gynaecologist for the first time. After telling the specialist about my debilitating symptoms I was then told that the pain was 'all in my head' and that I was 'perfectly fine' (those diagnosed with endometriosis have most likely been through a similar situation at least once- no one believing you makes you feel hopeless). This was also when my hormonal acne began. Doctors prescribed me with antibiotics and Roaccutane however neither provided me with clear skin. At nineteen my pain had become unbearable, and I started experiencing bloating for the first time. My stomach could become the size of a woman that was six months pregnant! The pain began to feel like fireworks exploding in my stomach. I visited a Nutritionist who told me she believed I was intolerant to certain foods (later proven incorrect).
When I had turned twenty, I started discussing my symptoms with my partners mother. If it weren't for her, I would still be searching for a diagnosis. She told me that she was diagnosed with a disease known as 'Endometriosis' that had the same symptoms that I was experiencing. I soon visited another Gynaecologist that had to perform a laparoscopy surgery to identify if I had Endometriosis as there was no other way to diagnose this disease. During this surgery, if any Endometriosis was found the surgeon would burn them and this would remove my pain for at least two years. Of course I jumped on this opportunity as I wanted to feel better! Once the surgery was over I was diagnosed with stage one of Endometriosis (there are four stages).
The pain had subsided and I was back to living a happy and healthy life again! Unfortunately this only lasted for three months. This did not make much sense to me or my specialist. The pain and the bloating became so bad that it affected my model career. I would turn jobs down as I was terrified of waking up with a belly the size of the moon. Once I turned twenty two I discovered that there were 'Endometriosis specialists' and I immediately called my local doctor to book in. I met with an Endometriosis specialist who didn't waste any time to get me into another surgery as he believed my Endometriosis was quite severe. He mentioned that burning the Endometriosis means it has a 70% chance of growing back, whereas cutting the Endometriosis out has a 10% chance. Once my excision surgery was complete, my specialist had told me I had stage three of this horrible disease (stage three is when your organs start sticking together). My stomach and bowels had been glued together by Endometriosis and he had separated them during the procedure. He also decided to change the pill I was on to help clear my skin and prevent the Endometriosis from growing back further. My skin has never been clearer!
Although I am happy to finally have a diagnosis, there is no cure for Endometriosis. I have since become a spokesperson for the Endometriosis Australia Organisation. If you would like to understand more of my story, I have created a YouTube Video that goes into more depth that you can play below. If you or a friend are experiencing any of these symptoms you can visit the Endometriosis Australia organisation's website for more information www.endometriosisaustralia.org (If you are not from Australia, your country should have an Endometriosis organisation).
Watch my YouTube video here-