What are your endometriosis symptoms like? 

I would describe endo as feeling like my insides have been glued together, almost like cobwebs collecting in my pelvic region. The pain can be dull, sharp, or nauseating. For me, the pain is always there but for two weeks out of each month I am in debilitating pain.

What was your journey to diagnosis like? 

I have suffered from severely painful periods since age 12, however I wasn’t officially diagnosed with endo until the age of 25. My endo metastasized as ovarian cysts (also known as endometriomas) and so I was diagnosed sooner than many others with this disease. Had the endo not been in the form of a cyst, it may have taken me much longer to receive a proper diagnoses. It was confirmed that I have endo after a grueling abdominal surgery to remove the cysts from my ovaries.

What has your experience with treatment for endometriosis been? 

The only form of treatment I have been presented with by Doctors is hormonal birth control. This is particularly concerning for me as I do not respond well to this treatment and so I have been left to try and deal with this illness holistically. I rely on pain medication.

How does endometriosis affect your day-to-day life? 

Not only has this disease taken my fertility, it has also forced me to leave the film industry that I had spent years working in. It is now very difficult for me to work a full time job whilst managing this disease.

How does endometriosis affect your emotional well-being? 

This disease has exasperated my depressive symptoms and often leaves me feeling hopeless. The physical pain I experience has left me with very few positive thoughts about my future.

How has endometriosis shaped turning points in your life up until now and looking toward the future? 

I am now forced to change professional fields now that I am unable to physically perform in my current job. My life path has completely shifted due to endo and I am now left feeling like I have no purpose or direction.

How have you found hope and support in your endometriosis journey? 

I have found much support in online communities and also with my care team in Hamilton.

What do you think healthcare for endometriosis in Canada should look like? 

I think Doctors in Canada need to be more educated on women’s health issues in general. There needs to be more funding for research on this disease and its wider impact on our population. I also see a need to not only focus on preserving fertility but also on the physical wellbeing of endo patients.

What do you think it is important for people to know about the experience of having endometriosis in Canada? 

I think it’s important that people understand the scale of impact this has on endo sufferers. Everyone knows at least someone who suffers from this illness. I think it’s important that people recognize that in this country we are capable of making things better for those who experience chronic pain such as endo.