Living with Endo

Mar 24, 2021

Did you know March is endometriosis awareness month? Sure thing. This begs the question, do you know what endometriosis is?

Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to the endometrial tissue inside of the uterus, grow on the outside the uterus. Usually, this just affects organs in the pelvic cavity, but in rare cases, it can extend beyond and into other parts of the body. These cells function just like the cells inside of the uterus, thickening, breaking down, and bleeding in sync with your cycle. Since these cells grow in places they don’t belong, there’s no way for the body to release the excess cells. The body treats them as foreign, and scar tissue is created from the body’s response. That scar tissue and adhesions can lead to quite painful experiences and side effects, such as increased cramping, pelvic pain, infertility, pain with sex, constipation, or bladder issues, heavy bleeding, and/or anemia. There is not one defined cause and there is still much research that needs to be completed, so much is not understood about this disorder. There are many different treatment plans and options, but not yet a cure. It is believed that 1 in 10 women live with this disorder. 

I am 1 in 10. 

I was first diagnosed in 2010 after laparoscopic surgery and ablation. I was in my junior year of nursing school and had been suffering from frequent pelvic pain, irregular periods, and anemia. When I began college I had to establish care with a local NP for my annual checkups, etc. As I was explaining these things to her she looked at me and said, I think you have endo. I was clueless and began doing my own research while awaiting an appointment with an OB/GYN. By the time I got to her, I knew my options. Birth control, surgery, pregnancy, or hysterectomy. I was 19 at the time and choose the least invasive and life disruptive option: birth control. I tried multiple different pills, regular cycling, and extended cycling (skipping the sugar pills that bring on a “period” leading to no bleed for 3 months at a time). None of these things made a difference in my pain and other symptoms, in fact, I felt like it was getting worse. So I went back to the doctor and reviewed my options again. She suggested pregnancy, but I was still not in a place to have a baby and the idea of surrogacy didn’t seem appropriate as I was living the very stressed life of a full-time nursing student who was working 32 hours a week. We completed an ultrasound and found nothing. So an exploratory laparoscopy was ordered, and sure enough, she found endo. I underwent the ablation and started yet another birth control pill with extended cycling. 


A year later I was back in her office requesting surgery again. The pain had intensified and I was unable to work out, I was unable to concentrate in class, I struggled to get through my 8 or 16-hour workdays, shoot I couldn’t even sleep without pain. So, she put me on a narcotic pain pill and scheduled the surgery. No less than 6 months later, I was experiencing the start of my symptoms again. I was in my senior year of nursing school and had too much going on to schedule another surgery and be out of clinicals or taking time off from my first job. So, I began researching alternative options. That lead me to all the things I’m doing now, not just in my own health but in how I show up for you. I started with just taking evening primrose oil, vitex, and turmeric. Next, I began receiving acupuncture. I was referred to a physical therapist who specialized in pelvic pain. She referred me to an energy healer who helped me find balance in my life and heal from old traumas. That healer referred me to a naturopath and she helped me to reduce the inflammation in my body and encouraged me to live gluten-free and come off the pill. It took a couple of years to get my body straightened out, but I never have had that third surgery and I have been off of any artificial hormones for almost 10 years. Do I call myself cured? No. Do I think the approach that I took would work to manage symptoms for everyone? No. Because we are all different, unique individuals. That idea is how Purely You was born. Purely You Healing is about helping you find your purest self, including which practitioners you need in your life during every season. 


This journey has taught me so much, but the most important lesson I have learned is how important it is to have a multi-faceted approach to your wellness and how there is not one end-all-be-all to being well. That is why I show up here for you. To help connect you with a multi-faceted wellness team; the one that works for you. As my husband and I begin making plans to grow our family, this diagnosis is something I think about more and more. I continue to trust and adjust my wellness team to help us achieve a successful pregnancy and in the meantime, I will continue to serve you!


If you or someone you know lives with endometriosis, I have created THIS ENDO GUIDE that includes the changes I made in my life to avoid surgery and control my pain. If you’d like further guidance, appointments are available HERE


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