Ending the silence. Waging the war on Endometriosis.

Month: April 2017

Endo Warrior: Krysta Johnson

Endo Warrior: Krysta Johnson

   Endo Warrior: Krysta Johnson Age: 32 Location: VA, Owner: Endo Store LLC   So, I’ve never actually put my story to paper. My relationship with pain and ultimately Endo is so personal… I’m sure you can relate but it’s Endo Tribe’s Fearless Friday, so […]

Part 2: Symptom Management: Diet

Part 2: Symptom Management: Diet

Before we dive into the ins and outs of changing your diet it has to be said that, CHANGING YOUR DIET WILL NOT CURE OR TREAT ENDOMETRIOSIS. Diet changes have only been found to manage symptoms and decrease the amount of flare-ups a warrior may […]

Endo Warrior: Gabby Merriweather

Endo Warrior: Gabby Merriweather

Endo Warrior Gabby Merriweather

Age: 25 Location: PA

Endometriosis. Something that is all-too-familiar for me, yet is so obscure to many. How can something that affects millions of women each day be so unclear? Doctors, family, friends…it seems like no one ever has a true understanding of the disease…even me.

10 years of miserable pain, pain I can’t describe, and even if I did you wouldn’t fully understand. And that’s the worst part of the disease. It attacks everyone differently. I know girls who have endo and are able to function normally through daily activities, with occasional cramping. I also know some who can’t even make it through a morning routine without buckling over and crawling back to bed.

Then there was me, somewhere in between. Somedays were better than others. On Monday I could be running three miles, hitting the gym and feeling fabulous, but on Tuesday I could be on bed rest with fear of fainting due to severe pain. One day I would feel phenomenal, all my dedicated work at the gym was paying off and I could see my hard-earned abs! Three days later I looked 8 months pregnant and my ovaries felt like they were about to burst. I could go into vivid detail about how severe my pain was, but chances are if you’re reading this you already know those agonizing side effects. However, during my years of endo, I never really knew why I was in so much pain. Or even what endometriosis was. All I could tell you was- it hurt!

Some things triggered these flare ups. And of course, they were the best things in life- coffee, wine, and SEX! Whyyyy??!!!! Why did the things most women get to enjoy with no regrets have to hurt me so bad?! Coffee in the morning? Endo flare at night! Wine with dinner? Endo flare for breakfast! Making love- HA! If on my best day, I could enjoy that for five minutes it was a godsend!

For ten years, I struggled with this! Upon misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis I finally got my answer- endometriosis. Finally, an actual word, a reason, to attribute to my pain. I was no longer contemplating if I was going crazy and hallucinating. There WAS something wrong with my body!

So me being ignorant to the disease I was relieved to know I had it. Crazy, right? But knowing you have a real diagnosed disease is better than going years of people thinking it’s “just cramps” and “you’re exaggerating”. And plus, knowing this is a medical condition means a cure! Right? HA! Again let me reiterate that I was totally ignorant to this disease. Just because I was battling it, didn’t mean I knew what I was taking on.

There I was, uneducated Gabby, pleased to know I wasn’t a total nutcase, but in disbelief that there was no cure. 3 laparoscopies, 4 different birth control pills, and a handful of painkillers later…no relief. How can so many women struggle with this, and yet it was so unheard of! Not only was I uneducated on endometriosis but it seemed like everyone around me was too! My doctor’s response to treating my disease “we can keep you on the pain meds (fully aware I couldn’t function on them) or we can remove your ovaries.” Just what every 20year old wants to hear! Needless to say, I didn’t continue to see that doctor anymore.

Fast forward to my 23rd birthday. After years of battling and educating myself on my chronic illness, I received a call that would change my life. As soon as I saw “ATL, GA” pop up on my phone, tears filled my eyes. I had been on a waiting list for months at the Center of Endometrial Care and I would finally receive my answer. Doctor Sinvero was on the other end of that phone call, the voice of my angel. A twenty-minute conversation filled with hope led to my surgery date.

May 2015 my life would forever change. A long 14 hour drive from Pennsylvania to Georgia brought me, my mom, and longtime boyfriend so much closer. Once arriving in Atlanta I knew great things were going to happen. Our first day was spent sightseeing, and to my disbelief, my boyfriend got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! That was the starting point to knowing I wouldn’t be the same once leaving this trip.

  

The next day I met the man who would save me from years of pain and confusion, Doctor Ken Sinervo. After going over my symptoms and doing an exam he knew I was in the right place for treatment. I was then diagnosed with stage four endometriosis that was spreading around my bowels. But after having my surgical procedure and recovery, I felt brand-new.

Since my surgery two years ago I have been practically pain free. No more excruciating pain or severe bloating. I can now enjoy everyday life activities without regrets!

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone suffering from this disease it would be to stay educated. If you don’t feel that you have been given the best options by a doctor, get a second opinion. Get a third even. It is your life and it is unfair to let a disease control your every move. You are never alone in this battle.

XOXO,

Gabby

 

Treatment: Part 1

Treatment: Part 1

Treatment: Part 1 Have a baby! OH, I know a better one…get a hysterectomy!  For fuck sake, these are not treatment methods, nor should they ever be suggested, but I am sure you have heard it before. If only there could be straight forward, written […]

What is Endometriosis?

What is Endometriosis?

The answer is not so simple. So let’s start with the short version… Endometriosis is a chronic disease where tissue resembling that of the lining of the uterus grows on other organs and areas in the body. This tissue will frequently become inflamed and cause […]

Endo Tribe Stories

Endo Tribe Stories

Hello Endo Tribe Sisters!

It is time to be fearless! We want you, yes you to feature on our blog! Once a week we will be posting one incredible lady’s story and sharing it on our blog for all to see! We believe that you are not alone and the best way to spread the awareness is hearing each other’s stories and showing lots of love and support. Submissions will be sent to our emails and be read in a time mannerly! (We work full time, so please take that into consideration)

How to be featured:

♥ Write up your story! (Any length is acceptable)

♥ Story should include: Name, Age and diagnosis *Picture is not required, but encouraged! It’s your shining moment, so why not?!

♥ Submit your story to our email: cb.endotribe@gmail.com

♥ Title the email with your first and last name then followed by story (ex. Chelsea Kern’s Story)

Meet Chelsea

Meet Chelsea

Name: Chelsea Kern Age: 25 Location: PA Diagnosis: Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Hello! My name is Chelsea Kern and I am 1 out of 10 females who suffer Endometriosis. At first, being part of this statistic made me sick to my stomach from the […]