What are your endometriosis symptoms like? Extreme abdominal and back pain, large clotting, heavy bleeding.

What was your journey to diagnosis like? Complained from the time I was thirteen. Was told it’s normal, it’ll get better after you have kids. Sent to a new gynecologist at age 36 upon my insisting and he immediately said hysterectomy (just uterus).

What was your experience with treatment for endometriosis been? It played a toll on me for half my life. Hot heating pad and pain pills was the only relief. Hysterectomy was the only solution.

How does endometriosis affect your day-to-day life? Mood swings prior to my period were crazy, and my period stopped my social life completely, no works outs, no work for two-three days a month, and vacations and sleepovers had to be carefully planned.

How does endometriosis affect your emotional well-being? I had to set my alarm every hour all night long because of the heavy bleeding and sleep on towels. Anxiety was terrible as a teenager. Nobody understood.

How has endometriosis shaped turning points in your life up until now and looking toward the future? Quit high school, started a family and got pregnant with twins at age twenty. Worked in a factory my whole life. Nothing changed after having children, still same as always been.

How have you found hope and support in your endometriosis journey? I remember being rushed to the hospital a few times and one time they did a pregnancy test on me and told me I must’ve had a miscarriage but it was negative. I knew I was not pregnant. I never got validated until I met the doctor who did my hysterectomy.

What do you think healthcare for endometriosis in Canada should look like? For one thing there should be no men deciding a woman’s fate. It’s a lack of understanding and education on part of the healthcare in Canada.

What do you think it is important for people to know about the experience of having endometriosis in Canada? It’s important for people to educate themselves and advocate for themselves otherwise nothing will ever get done for them. That goes for many medical issues, not just endometriosis.