ENDSTRONG patient of the week Cristiana: It’s like a poison has come out of me.

ENDSTRONG patient of the week Cristiana: It’s like a poison has come out of me.

Cristiana was 9-years-old, living in Brazil, when she first got her period. It was then she felt her life was gone. From the start of her period she felt like she was sick with the flu. By the ages 10-11, her cramps were so bad that she could not go to school during her period. Her mom knew something was wrong and took Cristiana to the gynecologist. Her gynecologist told her that her cramps were normal and that she would grow out of it.

Cristiana did NOT grow out of it and at age 14, she had to go to the emergency room because her pain was so excruciating. The doctors there saw a cyst and told her that she had PCOS. They told her parents that she was a hypochondriac and that she was “just nervous.” As psychologists, Cristiana’s parents knew better than to believe these accusations. They knew her pain wasn’t normal. Cristiana’s aunt had endometriosis but told her she was too young to have it.

Coming to the US

Cristiana continued to struggle to get good care when she moved to the US, 15 years ago. She and her first husband had two children, but also suffered three devastating miscarriages. After her marriage ended, life as a single mom was really hard. Her kids would bring her heating pad and when she would ask the youngest what he wanted to be when he grew up he would say, "A doctor, so I can find a cure for my mom."

Moving Forward

Cristiana found love again with a compassionate man who was committed to her and concerned with her health. She continued to suffer debilitating pain. Her cousin, an OB/GYN in Brazil, told her that she almost certainly had endometriosis and needed to seek treatment. Cristiana was going to gynecologists all over Florida, but no one could help her. She sought out the help of a reproductive gynecologist even though she had no desire to become pregnant. The doctor was surprised and confused to hear in the consultation appointment that she had no intentions of having any more children. Cristiana looked the doctor in the eyes and said, “Please help me.”  The doctor put her on Depo-Provera, but it did not help the pain. Months later this doctor did a laparoscopy to confirm the endometriosis. The doctor felt the surgery was quite risky and couldn’t remove the cyst on Cristiana’s left ovary because it was attached to her bowels. The doctor removed some implants, but could not remove them all. Cristiana was in pain months after her surgery.

Effect on Being a Mother

Things were getting much worse for Cristiana. She could no longer bring her children to school on days when her period was bad. Her husband often traveled for work and she was afraid to drive her children while in so much pain and while taking prescription pain killers. Her children would tell their teachers the next day that their mom had a boo-boo in her belly and couldn’t take them to school. The teachers alerted the principal and told him that Cristiana’s children were missing school once a month. Cristiana suspected they thought she had a substance abuse issue. 

Cristiana couldn’t take the pain anymore and its impact on her life. She could feel her body getting worse and worse. She would not accept this pain as normal. She found Dr. Seckin while doing research online. She traveled all the way from Florida to see him and decided to have surgery with him. Dr. Seckin found that she had deep infiltrating endometriosis, adenomyosis and her rectum was adhered to her ovary. From the moment she woke up from surgery, she felt amazing, “It felt like a poison came out of me,” she said. She is so grateful to have her quality of life back and not be stuck in bed anymore. Cristiana is a wedding photographer and she has not been able to work for years. She just recently had her first wedding shoot, months after surgery, and it was a success.  She has never felt so healthy in her life.

Cristiana is now interested in becoming an advocate for endometriosis and bringing awareness to this disease. It took her 20 years of fighting to get diagnosed and she feels that is unacceptable. She urges women to stick with their gut and to not believe doctors when they tell you it’s all in your head. Her faith is also very important to her and keeps her going. She feels, "God did not make us to lie in bed in pain every month."

If you are a patient of Dr. Seckin’s and would like to share your story, please contact Casey, Casey@drseckin.com.

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Patient Reviews

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  • Grace Larsen

    After years of excessively painful periods, a serious loss of quality of life, and a series of uninformed and uninterested doctors, Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein turned my life around. I was told I woke up from my surgery almost a year ago with a smile on my face, and I haven't stopped since. Before I heard of Dr. Seckin,…

  • Nicole Novakowski

  • Jacqueline Galindo

    Dr Seckin and his team gave me back my life! Tomorrow will be 1 month since my surgery and I feel great. Dr. Seckin, Dr Liu, and Dr Goldstein are not only beyond words talented and amazing Doctors, but they are also genuinely wonderful and caring people. I cannot say enough great things about Holly, Asiye and Kim as well.…

  • Anna Lu

    Dr. Seckin and his staff spared me from years and years of heavy periods and unbearable endometriosis pain. After having surgery with him (my first) I can now function like a regular human. No more eating NSAIDs like candy and calling out sick from work. Thank you, Dr. Seckin!

  • Sheena Wright

    I underwent surgery with Dr. Seckin in 2017 and have felt like a new woman ever since. If you have, or suspect you have endometriosis, Dr. Seckin and his compassionate team of surgeons and staff are a must-see.

  • Angela Aro

    I have struggled with endometriosis and adenomyosis since first starting my period at 13. I was diagnosed at 21 and what followed was a series of unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. My case was very aggressive and involved my urinary tract system and my intestines. After exhausting all of my local doctors I was lucky enough to find Dr. Seckin. We…

  • Emi O

    Seckin and Dr. Goldstein changed my life!

  • Kristin Sands

    Like so many women who have tirelessly sought a correct diagnosis and proper, thorough medical treatment for endometriosis, I found myself 26 years into this unwanted journey without clear answers or help from four previous gynecological doctors and two emergency laparoscopic surgeries. I desperately wanted to avoid the ER again; a CT scan for appendicitis also revealed a likely endometrioma…