I am now 33.
As a teenager I had slight period pain but nothing that stopped me living my life normally. My partner and I started trying for a baby when I was 23 and I miscarried three times before investigations were done.
It turned out I had a genetic condition that affected my chromosomes when I produced eggs. I was told I needed IVF so they could test the genetic make up of our embryos and I’d have a better chance of carrying a child full term.
After two full IVF cycles I became pregnant with my daughter and gave birth to her naturally. When she was around 4 months old I started having terrible stabbing pains and shocking period pain and heavy bleeding. I let it go for a while and didn’t do anything about it until I went back to my ob/gyn to try for a second baby.
This time IVF didn’t work so my specialist suggested a laparoscopy to check things out. I was diagnosed with moderate endometriosis that day and had quite a bit removed. I went on to have a few months without pain.
Watch Mia Freedman talk at the 2015 EndoActive Conference (post continues after video).
Unfortunately soon afterwards my marriage broke down. My husband complained that I was always unwell and not wanting to do anything. He told me I was a moody bitch and off he went.
My daughter and I moved in with my parents and as I had no plans to have more kids, or any more relationships for that matter. I went on the pill – Yasmin – and didn’t have any pain at all. A few months later I met a great bloke and we decided we would just be mates. Three years later that mate is now my husband. (Oops!)
During this time my endo has been out of control. I’ve had a laparoscopy again with a new ob/gyn who removed every single trace of it from my bowel, bladder and ovaries. They were all stuck together and it took me nearly four weeks to recover. I started taking Chinese herbs and actually felt quite well for a few months. That’s when I fell pregnant naturally with my second daughter. We were delighted but also absolutely stunned.
My ob/gyn said breastfeeding for as long as possible would help prevent endo returning. Unfortunately she was wrong. When the baby was six-weeks-old my period returned and with each cycle the pain increased. I ended up on the floor not being able to move and being rushed to emergency. They said I had a severe bladder infection but didn’t think it was related to endo.
I was put on Endone for pain and the mini pill – neither of which worked. The Endone made me feel out of it, sad, teary and angry, and the mini pill didn’t stop the pain or the bleeding. My ob/gyn said they would rather not do another lap until I’d stopped feeding my baby and was ready for more kids.
So I’ve suffered from then until now. I have horrible hip pain – on some days I can’t even walk. But never had I been told that any of these symptoms could be related to endometriosis.
Then I found out about EndoActive’s DVD about Endometriosis and it changed everything. I kid you not: my amazing, blokey husband sat with me and watched every minute of that DVD and took notes. I cried all the way through it. I felt sad that so many of us have to go through this, especially sad for younger girls.
But I was also relieved that I’m not alone and that my symptoms are real and I’m not a loony.
That DVD is incredible, inspiring and life changing.
Yesterday I was in terrible pain. Usually I would call in sick for work, lie on the couch and take pain relief. Instead I went to work, remained active and kept positive and honestly, it made a difference. I’m writing a diary to track my mood, symptoms and pain levels. I’ve started lots of different natural remedies and I’m easing into gentle exercise in hope all this will make a difference and these are all things I’ve learned from watching one DVD.
Writing this I’m in tears because I don’t feel alone and I’m going to ask all my family watch it too. It has seriously changed my life.
For more on Endoactive, visit their website here.
Do you suffer with endometriosis? What has been your greatest source of support?