Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month


For those of you that don't know, March is Endometriosis Awareness month. Endometriosis is a medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus appear and flourish outside of the uterine cavity. It causes severe pelvic pain and numerous other symptoms ranging from cramps to urinary issues and infertility.
endometriosis-awareness-month-ribbon
 
A friend of mine has suffered with this condition most of her life and I asked her to share her story and journey in order to help bring awareness!
 
My name is Angela.
 
Angela Wise
 
 I started having hormonal symptoms at age 9-10 years old and the Endo pain started when I was 13. I was diagnosed with IBS, Complicated Migraines, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia by the age of 17 and finally Stage IV Endometriosis when I was 27 yrs old. I had gone to over 40 doctors and specialist which none of them helped. They just wanted to push me with antidepressants. I could tell where the pain was as it was everywhere all the time. The pain was so intense for me and I thought it was normal since no one else complained about theirs. I would hurt during ovulation as well as random parts of the months so I never put two and two together. I would vomit from the intensity of the pain and my legs would go completely numb from the pain. I never once took a day off school for it or work. No pain medication worked at all.

June of 2007, I had radical excision surgery for deep infiltrating Endometriosis that attacked my bowels, bladder, pelvic floor, stomach, kidney, ovaries, tubes, uterus and left ureter. A presacral neurectomy was done which severs the nerves from your uterus to your spine to help the pain. They were completely shocked I was able to conceive a child because of how extensive the disease was, that is why I know Grace is my miracle baby.

Here I am now 6 years later and the surgeon that operated on me before who is the best in Canada for this disease refused to operate on me again because I had too much nerve damage. He just told me I had "Neuropathic pain syndrome". Another label.

I am a patient at the Wasser Pain Management Clinic in Toronto now and the gynecologist there that he trained will be doing my surgery. I am having my tubes and left ovary removed however if there is complications during the surgery she will be taking everything out.

Hysterectomies are the last straw for most women with Endometriosis and there are so many side effects of surgical menopause but when you get to a point of fighting this disease for so long, all you want is for the pain to be gone.

I don't think even a hysterectomy would help in my case since the Endo seems to attack every area of my pelvic area not just the tubes and ovary. I have so sensation to pee so sometimes it just comes out and the pain is so intense. I am not sure if that is because of the nerve damage or because I have Endo on my bladder or if there is scar tissue that is involving the ureter but there is something wrong. The bowels are another story, I have been constipated for 3 yrs and can only go using enemas so I am thinking there is scar tissue wrapped around my bowels on the right side.

Tomorrow I will find out but I will also be afraid of what I wake up to and if the damage is worse for having the surgery.

There are no options for women that have such extensive disease only loss of quality of life. I try to stay positive but at times it is hard to put a smile on my face but I know I have to raise awareness so that there is a cure or early detection so that other women and children don't suffer.

I am an Endo Warrior for my daughter who already shows bowel and hormone symptoms at 10 yrs old. I don't want her to go through what I have and even though she has never had microwavable foods, limited processed foods and all natural foods she has the genetic code for inheriting this debilitating disease.

My only wish is that I could go into work and people would know what this disease is. I have male bosses and as soon as you mention anything Gynecological they turn away. It really is hard living with am invisible disease you have to hide.

Thanks Angela for sharing your story with my readers!
 
For more information on Endometriosis please check out some of the link below:
 

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