What are your endometriosis symptoms like?
Severe abdominal pain before and after monthly period; Severe dysmenorrhea during monthly period to the point that I faint; Heavy bleeding for the duration (usually 4-5 days) of my period;
What was your journey to diagnosis like?
It’s been years I had been experiencing the symptoms, went in/out ER when the pain is intolerable. During my ER visits and series of ultrasounds, there’s a visible big cyst in my right ovary, doctors including my old family doctor told me the cyst will eventually rupture but it never did until I begged my previous OB to perform a surgery and have it removed because it’s been so long and it never ruptured. My OB finally agreed to perform surgery in 2020. It was only then after the surgery when the doctor told me that I had severe endometrioma (Stage IV – and this means there’s a lot of adhesions to the pelvis, cervix, and to the colon) and that I have to live with it until menopause. The doctor prescribed hormones to help with the pain but all those prescriptions never helped ease my pain, it even got worst. Since the over-the-counter pain medications didn’t help, I had to ask my doctor prescription pain meds. I am very thankful that I was referred to a very caring team at BC Women’s Hospital. They took care of me from the first day I was in there for consultation and already had me listed right away for a surgery (2021). Before surgery, the team from BC Women’s Hospital, VGH and UBC hospital had been very helpful and I was given advices (i.e. pros and cons of a total hysterectomy). To sum it all up, the team never left me unprepared. I’m very fortunate that the surgery, though long, had been successful. I can’t say I’m fully recovered now as I am still experiencing some pain probably caused by the trauma that my pelvic floor had suffered from an untreated endometriosis. Until now, the team at the Pelvic Pain Clinic is helping me.
What has your experience with treatment for endometriosis been?
Early diagnosis is the key to a successful treatment. If hormones, those that helps slow down or even stop your period, don’t help, ask advices from experts. Tylenol III – helped me manage the pain somehow
How does endometriosis affect your day-to-day life?
Endometriosis can affect your day-to-day life big time if untreated. Missing work, sleepless nights, missing family events, and a lot of stress caused by the pain.
How does endometriosis affect your emotional well-being?
I hate to admit that endometriosis had a big impact in my mental health. I was depressed and had been irritable. I wasn’t the same person I used to be. It came to a point when I didn’t even want to talk and go out with friends, my mood swings were incontrollable that I easily get mad at work. I am just very fortunate that my husband was very patient with me during those trying days.
How has endometriosis shaped turning points in your life up until now and looking toward the future?
I consider myself lucky that I had a very healthy son. I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 43 y/o. Maybe I had this for a very long time but it was never diagnosed.
How have you found hope and support in your endometriosis journey?
Having a very understanding husband, employer and friends (i.e. those who stood by me even when I was dealing with my worst nightmare – depression, anxiety, mood swings).
What do you think healthcare for endometriosis in Canada should look like?
The healthcare for endometriosis in Canada should be well provided for. They should be fully funded to support their researches to further assist women and young ladies who suffers from endometriosis. Endometriosis has a very big impact on women who wants to have family/kids of their own. It’s even harder to deal with it when one is depressed.