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ENDOSTRONG Patient of the Week:Evelyn's Story

horrific cramps, terrible pain, birth control pills, nausea, bloating

Evelyn’s period was horrible from the first time she had it. From the ages of 12-17, Evelyn experienced horrific cramps that were so bad, they once caused her to pass out at school. Her gynecologists kept telling her that this terrible pain she was experiencing was just a part of being a woman. At the age of 18, she was put on the birth control pill to try and alleviate her cramps. The pill did alleviate her cramps, but created a host of other problems for her, including mood swings, nausea and bloating. Despite these effects, she stayed on the pill for almost 10 years.

When Evelyn was 27, she came off the pill to try to alleviate the nausea and indigestion that she was constantly feeling.  Shortly after coming off the pill, she woke up one night with excruciating lower back pain. Her painful symptoms were just getting worse.  A friend of hers asked if she ever considered endometriosis as the cause of her symptoms. Her friend’s sister had endometriosis and she was familiar with the disease. Evelyn went to her new gynecologist with this potential diagnosis. The gynecologist agreed it could be endometriosis, and wanted to put Evelyn back on the pill. Evelyn did not want to go back on the pill and decided to go see another doctor.

Evelyn found a doctor who agreed with the endometriosis diagnosis and wanted to go in laparoscopically to confirm the diagnosis.  Evelyn was 27 at the time of her first surgery. The doctor told Evelyn she had a very mild case, “a touch of endometriosis.”  The doctor then wanted to put Evelyn on Danzanol—a progesterone based drug that was mainly used in the early 1970s to treat endometriosis.  After doing extensive research on the drug, Evelyn decided not to take it, but instead try a low dose birth control pill. Unfortunately, these pills still left her feeling miserable due to the side effects.

Evelyn found Dr. Seckin through the recommendation of a family friend who was a medical typist. Evelyn went to see Dr. Seckin and brought all of her pictures from her recent surgery. He immediately saw endometriosis in the pictures that was left in her pelvic cavity. Even though she had surgery two months prior, Evelyn was in more pain than ever, now experiencing painful bowel movements and pain with intercourse. Dr. Seckin decided to operate and found significant endometriosis in Evelyn. Endometriosis was around her bowels and coiled around her appendix. Her symptoms improved tremendously after her surgery with Dr. Seckin.

Evelyn had surgery with Dr. Seckin again around the age of 30, three years after her first one. She had more endometriosis removed from the right side of her pelvis and around her bowels.  Evelyn is now 44, and although Evelyn has experienced some pain over the years related to her endometriosis, she has never experienced the level of pain she had before having her first surgery with Dr. Seckin. She is grateful for all of the research he does concerning the disease and how supportive he is of all of his patients.

Evelyn has looked through her family history and has recognized that some women who had to have early hysterectomies, or suffered miscarriages, may have likely had endometriosis that went undiagnosed. To ease some of her remaining symptoms over the past few years, Evelyn has reached out to nutritionists and practitioners that are knowledgeable in natural remedies to ease her pain and her bowel symptoms. She encourages women who are struggling with endometriosis, that have aversions to synthetic hormones and medicines, to try these alternative therapies to ease symptoms.

As Evelyn moves forward, she is welcoming menopause. She whole heartedly exclaims, “Bring on the hot flashes!” as she hopes to say goodbye to any remaining endometriosis symptoms forever.

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