Danielle Bell
Danielle Bell signed

I suffered through symptoms of endometriosis from my very first period at age 12. I was told I had IBS, "bad periods", anxiety, and even PMDD when the pain was most intolerable and affected my mood. My symptoms were not taken seriously until age 33, at which time I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis, severe pelvic adhesive disease (leading to an obliterated cut-de-sac) and adenomyosis. I had multiple unsuccessful ablation surgeries in rapid succession, each time with various organs stuck together and moved out of place. Just before my 34th birthday I had a complete hysterectomy with bilateral oopharectomy. This still was not a cure and the endometriosis symptoms recurred worse than ever before, without any days of relief and with consistently worsening and debilitating pain, causing me to be unable to work or care for my home and family. At that time I was told it was impossible, told they were phantom pains, and told to "gear up for a life of pain management". I was left to do my own research and travel to 3 states to find the best specialized endometriosis care because there are no excision specialists practicing in my state. I traveled nearly 600 miles away from my home and family to have excision surgery, appendectomy, and bowel resection (due to invasive bowel endo not previously diagnosed even though symptoms were clearly indicative) performed and endured a 5 day post operative hospital stay. I now struggle with pelvic floor dysfunction and many life altering complications due to early medical menopause that I now know to be completely unnecessary. Had my OB/GYN had proper training and had the honesty to refer me to a specialist upon the initial diagnostic laparoscopy, the endo could have been excised appropriately and left me as a more typical 35 year old woman with hormone function and less risk for further complications and disease.

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