What are your endometriosis symptoms like? My symptoms were unbearable at times. It felt like period pains x 100. No amount of Advil or prescription medication could help. I lived with my heating blanket attached to me at all times. 

What was your journey to diagnosis like? I’ve always had long and painful period cramps. However in 2013, I started having severe pains outside of my period. This started early in the year and by June, it was unbearable. I went to the ER and they did various tests on me and after I had an internal ultrasound the ER doctor suspected I had endometriosis. That was the start of my journey.

What was your experience with treatment for endometriosis been? After my ER visit I went to see my family doctor. She sent me for another ultrasound then referred me to an endo specialist. After many more tests I was scheduled for a laparotomy in February 2014, I was very lucky to have been diagnosed and undergone surgery in less than a year. During the surgery the doctor referred to my internal situation as a “war zone.” She had to also remove my appendix since it was covered in endo cysts. I was off work for 6 weeks, it was a long recovery but I felt like a million bucks compared to how I was feeling pre-surgery.

How does endometriosis affect your day-to-day life? During the time before I was diagnosed – my quality of life was poor. I was worried to go anywhere for fear that I would have a painful attack. Post surgery – I felt so much better but my husband and I have been trying to conceive for about 4 years and it’s been very difficult.

How does endometriosis affect your emotional well-being? I was already diagnosed with OCD and anxiety so before my diagnosis I thought I had so many different illnesses. After my surgery that feeling has somewhat calmed down.

How has endometriosis shaped turning points in your life up until now and looking toward the future? I was already working full time when I was diagnosed after 8 years of post secondary. As mentioned previously my husband and I are trying to conceive and after multiple IUI’s and a few IVF attempts we have not been successful.

How have you found hope and support in your endometriosis journey? I have the best family and husband! They have been so supportive the entire time. I’m also on social media and advocate for endo and taking your health in your own hands!

What do you think healthcare for endometriosis in Canada should look like? We need more research done! All doctors need to know more about it – you can have pain without being on your period. There’s so much that needs to be researched and it’s so important to talk about this disease in schools!

What do you think it is important for people to know about the experience of having endometriosis in Canada? You need to not be discouraged. Your pain is chronic and even though it can’t be seen on the surface it’s a real pain.