An Endometriosis Story - Part 1

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Many have never heard of this condition, but Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women in the UK and takes on average 7.5 years to be diagnosed. In this two-part series, we'll share an account of one women's journey, following 14 years of misdiagnosis. 

 

ENDOMETRIOSIS MY STORY – PART 1 –

OVER A DECADE OF QUESTIONS

In Part 1 of my Endometriosis story, I share with you some of the symptoms and my experiences visiting doctors and trying to get to the root cause of my pain.  

PAINFUL PERIODS

The pain started in my teens, I thought it was normal to have pain in my belly button during my period, it was noticeable but a mild pain, sometimes relieved by loosening my jeans.

One month the pain was so bad, I went to my doctors, they had no idea what it could be and gave me antibiotics. This was over 15 years ago, I knew something wasn’t right, but admit I wasn’t as savvy to demand a second opinion, I just accepted that this was something that came with having periods.

Simultaneously I was learning about holistic foods and the impact that toxic foods could have on the body, but I didn’t make the link, I just carried on, suffering month after month. This was a time when we had the internet, but it wasn’t being used in the same way, so the thought of researching the symptoms then never crossed my mind, but I probably wouldn’t have found anything as this particular condition is so rare that it affects less than 3% of sufferers.

BELLY BUTTON

5 years ago, I noticed that my belly button was more sensitive than usual, then after a gym session, my belly button appeared to pop out. I took myself to the doctors (a new one) who referred me to a local skin specialist.

I couldn’t understand why, but they were adamant that I had a skin condition, they told me I had a Keloid scar and I was told that these can appear if after a cut, but I hadn’t cut myself. I explained that the lump inflated in relation to my menstrual cycle, the doctor wrote down her diagnosis and told me I could Google it myself, she advised that if I have it cut off it could grow back bigger (it was already massive to my eyes) When I asked why would this inflate during my period, she said she didn’t know and that these things can happen.

I wasn’t happy with the response from two healthcare professionals. There must be a reason for my discomfort, I googled everything about Keloid scars, periods but found nothing! I found no link.

That year,  I went to the book launch of Llaila Afrika – author of African Holistic Health and Nutricide, I had seen a few of his videos about living a holistic lifestyle (by now I was Vegetarian). I’d watched him for months on Youtube, and I was looking forward to hearing his talk and meeting him.  

Towards the end of his talk, he asked if anyone had any health questions, I was reluctant to put my hand up and share with everyone what I was going through, I opted to send him an email. He kindly shared some natural options for my Keloid scar (two natural products to help rebuild the skin) asked him if he knew the link between my menstrual cycle and the scar. He said I could book a private call with him to discuss, I didn’t book the call, I have a feeling he would have known what I learned years later, but I know everything happens for a reason, and in my journey to understanding, I have learned so much about myself and about managing the condition through a  Vegan  and Gluten-free diet (and still learning)

My biggest lesson is to keep asking questions, get second opinions and be as proactive as you can be about your health, by this point 2012, I had seen 4 different doctors, all who were oblivious to the real cause. If something doesn’t feel right, keep asking questions – we know our bodies better than anyone.

ENDOMETRIOSIS AWARENESS WEEK 

 

photo from Endometriosis UK

I’m sharing my story to help raise awareness of Endometriosis, it affects around 1.5 million women in the UK, ‘currently, it takes a shocking 7.5 years on average to get a diagnosis of endometriosis in the UK.’  – Women’s Health http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/health/female-health/7523/endometriosis/

Help improve the speed of diagnosis by completing this 15-minute survey from Endometriosis UK

In part 2 I share what led to my operation and diagnosis (14 years later)

Originally posted on Vegan Woo