Let's see. I started having my period when I was in 4th grade, I think and have just never had a good time. My family always told me that, “periods are just hard in this family and you just have to suffer to be a woman.”
I had menstrual pain. My sisters all did. We all grew up saying, "Well, that's just what it is to be a woman. It just hurts." That isn't necessarily true. There is something that can be done.
Q: What was life like prior to surgery with Dr. Seckin?
I started getting so sick that I would be taken out of commission for a week every month. To the point where I couldn't walk across my house for two days straight because I was so bloated and so sick and was in so much agonizing pain. I would sleep on the ground in front of the toilet, just wishing for any pain reliever at all.
For years we've watched her, with all the youth and vitality that she possesses, just not able to do things: Having to back off from yoga and even social encounters. When you watch someone you love go through pain, you're helpless and it is depressing. I know for her husband it's been a difficult time because you always want so much for the person you care for. We just didn't know there was just this much hope available.
So, I went and started looking at what endometriosis was, and it was the total light bulb moment of, "Holy crap, this is what I've been suffering from my entire life. I haven't even heard the word endometriosis before."
Q: You had surgery prior to finding Dr. Seckin. Can you describe the experience?
I was in so much pain. I was so bruised everywhere. I could barely walk for two weeks and all she did was the tiniest bit of work. She burned off a couple of little things. She released fluids from my ovaries. She didn't do anything because she was overwhelmed when she saw how bad I was.
I finally found Dr. Seckin. I talked to his office. Everybody on his office staff was so warm and so knowledgeable. They were clearly really busy whenever I talked to them, but they never made it feel like they were trying to rush me off the phone. They were so willing to answer any of my questions and talk with me about various insurance options that could cover costs. When we calculated everything out, it made so much more sense to come to New York City all the way from California for the surgery.
He did everything. I had frozen pelvis. I had an obliterated cul-de-sac. All these terrifying words that you're told when you're diagnosed. I had all of that. I had it on my diaphragm, over my liver, in my chest. Everywhere, everything had endometriosis and he did so much, he operated in 39 different locations. The before and after pictures, which are gross but are highly important. He cleared up all of my organs. I have individual organs now like you're supposed to. Not just a mass of tissue.
Q: What is life like after surgery?
I can't believe how much better I feel. I have no bruising at all. Whereas last time I was all purple and green everywhere. I'm only on day five and I feel full of life again.
Five days ago she received surgery, which in my opinion was as close to life saving as you can get without that actual stamp on it. The quality of her life ... Even just in the past the five days, there was color back in her face immediately and just a lightness about her spirit.
I think just being able to immediately spread joy and love within a day after surgery. I just feel full of life again. I haven't felt that in years.
It's been a journey that has brought me all the way from California to New York City and it was so worth it and I feel so much better than I have with my previous surgery that I had exactly a year ago today.