I was diagnosed with endometriosis, or Endo, when I was 21 years old. To say I was surprised is an understatement. I thought my experience as a woman was normal.
During this time, I was entering the Army, wasn’t sure what to do, so my doctor put me on birth control and that was that. I never questioned him or gave it a second thought. The years flew by and other life issues became more important than dealing with my Endo.
By my early 40s though, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. My body, skin, and allergies were changing. I knew, somehow, it was all connected.
I spoke with my doctor about my options. There was hormone therapy (low-dose birth control), all natural remedies, and surgery. Of course, I wanted to avoid surgery if at all possible. Unfortunately, I am allergic to various spices and natural plants, so I made the decision to go on a low-dose birth control pill. I wasn’t a smoker, so I thought this might be the best option for me. It did work for awhile, about a year, but then more drastic action needed to be taken. I had come to terms that my uterus needed to be extracted. I had given birth to one child at the age of 25. It was a difficult pregnancy. I wasn’t having any more and was ready to be done with my female issues. Imagine my shock, though, when I woke from sedation and found they had taken my ovaries too. The Endo had been much worse then they thought, wrapped around my ovaries, uterus, bladder, and bowel. I went on hormone therapy, which I didn’t want to do, and joined an online support group.
Three years later, I am not on hormone therapy. I had an allergic reaction to the patch and refuse to take estrogen pills due to their side affects. I try to get enough rest, exercise, manage my stress, and take an over-the-counter supplement and herbal remedy that I haven’t had any allergic reactions too. So far, so good.
- Write down questions for your doctor, then follow through and ask them
- Don’t ignore pain, fatigue, or your diagnosis. It usually doesn’t go away.
- Exercise regularly
- Manage your allergies
- Get a second opinion
- Join a support group
- Conduct your own research