Hola! I’m a 26 years old Colombian recently diagnosed with endometriosis. My history started in July of 2013 when I was studying in Australia, building my life with a lot of plans for my future. One day my stomach started to become really painful and this pain never really stopped, it just continued to get worse and worse with passing time. Every time I went to emergency they treated me with regular pain killers that relieved me for a while but never ended the problem. The doctors thought I was suffering from gastritis, or helicobacter pylori, or this kind of stomach issue, but they never did more exams to see why I had this continuous pain.
With the time this pain had gotten worse. My life started to crash in every aspect, I wasn’t able to go to school, or work, or even have social life. My stomach started to be so so swollen that I was looking literally as a pregnant women about to give birth. I would vomit most of the food I ate, I felt that I was going to explode anytime, that my skin was about to rip off, and the noise of my stomach was amazing. The last symptom I got was this unbelievable pain in my lower back that made me stay in bed many for days, it was so strong that if I were walking or doing something on my feet I had to stop, lay down, and roll right to left to try to feel some relief. Basically, my life was go to emergency or a GP pretty much once per week and at some point of the day cry and scream from the pain.
I stayed three months living in extreme pain. I did everything I could with the insurance I had as an international student but it wasn’t enough. I was deteriorating day by day physically and emotionally. My family was here in Colombia and they suffered more than me seeing me so sick and with no chance to help me, just giving me support and unconditional love from the distance. I was trying to stick to my dream and trying my best to recover but one day I decided it was time to come home.
This decision was so hard to make because I did so many things to be able to go back to Australia (as this was the second time I was able to go) it was my dream, and I still had so many things to do being there, so many people I didn’t want to leave, but finally I realized it was time to come back home because I wasn’t getting the attention I needed, it and my health didn’t improve at all.
As soon as we decided my dad bought me a ticket to come home. I was really scared about this 40 hour flight crossing the world because I didn’t want to get this really bad pain attack on the plane, but thank God I didn’t have it. I arrived home one Friday night and Saturday midday I was already hospitalized, as soon as the doctors saw me they thought I may have cancer because of my symptoms and because I also lost 10 kilos in those three months I was in Australia. They did a lot of tests and scans and it wasn’t cancer, we felt really relieved but we still didn’t know what was happening.
After some wait the doctor decided to take me to surgery, open me up, look for the problem, and try to fix it. When I woke up I heard for the first time about endometriosis. They found that I had many adherence’s caused by endometriosis that block my intestines to the point that I wasn’t able to pass any food or even air. I had endo phase 2 in my intestine and appendix. They also found that a cyst that had broke, and I had some of that liquid inside my pelvis area. Because of this intestinal obstruction they had to cut 70 cm of my intestine and my appendix. They also had to leave an ileostomy because my intestine was extremely swollen so they couldn’t put it together. I woke up from my first surgery and was shocked to see that I had a little part of my intestine outside my stomach but I was so relieved because I didn’t have pain anymore. After a week I had a second surgery, the idea was to reverse my ileostomy but when they open they realized that my intestine was still really swollen and I also had an infection in my pelvis area. They cleaned up everything really well and left my ileostomy longer.
While I was learning how to live with my ileostomy I learned about endometriosis. I started my treatment with pills and everything is going really well. I got surgery to take down my ileostomy about two months ago, which means my intestine is together again and in its place.
This experience changed my life in so many ways, if I wouldn’t have come home I provably wouldn’t be telling you my history now. I am nothing but be grateful with God for giving me this new opportunity to live, although there’s no cure for endometriosis and it can be so painful I try to take it with the best attitude, turning this bad situation into a good one, trying to teach people around me about it so maybe they can prevent it. My fight has just started.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.