Tamara’s Story

Tamara’s Story

Tamara apologized for being a little late to our interview. She had been enjoying the nice weather and ended up taking a 7-mile walk instead of the shorter one she planned. Tamara loves to walk and be active. She spent a lot of her early life being very active in sports. But for over a decade, Tamara could not be active due to the excruciating endometriosis pain.  

Tamara got her period at the early age of 11. Her period was unreliable and she would often skip periods. Her mother brought her to the doctor who assured them both that this was normal for an active girl. By the age of 18, Tamara’s period cramping was very painful, as was intercourse. She also experienced urgency with urination. Tamara had difficulty staying awake and would sometimes even have to pull over on the side of the road to take power naps when she drove. Tamara also had frequent yeast infections. One doctor misdiagnosed her with an STD.

At the age of 19, Tamara had severe pain on her right side. An ultrasound showed that her fallopian tube was swollen. The doctor simply gave her antibiotics and sent her on her way. A few years later, she was still in incredible amounts of pain. Her mom told her, “You just have to live with it.” Tamara responded, “I refuse to live like this. This is not normal.” But doctor after doctor, test after test, Tamara came no closer to an explanation for her diminishing quality of life. Some of them even told Tamara it was in her head. She finally found a gynecologist who knew why she was in so much pain.  She told Tamara she suspected that she had endometriosis and gave her a pamphlet on endometriosis to review. Tamara cried as she read it. She had such relief that she finally found a doctor who could figure out all of her symptoms. But at the same time, she was completely overwhelmed by the diagnosis and worried about her future fertility.

Tamara put her all of her faith in this gynecologist. She scheduled surgery with her a week later, and the doctor did indeed find endometriosis. The doctor ablated what she could, but found an endometriosis-related blockage in her left ureter and endometriosis on her bladder, but wasn’t skilled enough to remove it, so she just left it in place. Instead of referring Tamara to a surgeon who could completely remove the endometriosis, she started Tamara down a 10-year path of hormonal treatment.

Tamara was put on Lupron immediately after surgery. The side effects of the medicine were ghastly and Tamara decided to end the treatment early, much to her doctor’s dismay. They tried various hormonal treatments such as the patch, the pill, the Depo-Provera shot and the NuvaRing. The combination of the hormones with Tamara’s endometriosis started making her feel very sick. Her immune system started failing. Tamara was constantly battling allergies, sinus infections and her asthma started getting worse.  She felt terribly emotional. The worst part was that despite taking all of these medications and living with their side effects, she still had pelvic pain. At the age of 26, Tamara had a second surgery with her doctor and her doctor said she saw no endometriosis.

By the time Tamara was 30, she was really overwhelmed by the effects of her disease and the medications. She had lost a significant amount of bone density from the hormones. She was taking other medications for her asthma, her sinus headaches and her allergies. She sometimes would walk with a cane she was in so much pain. She also started having thyroid-related issues. Tamara was too weak and in too much pain to be active. She came to the conclusions that not only were her medications not working; they were actually making her life worse. She was not able to fully live her life and that was unacceptable. Against her gynecologist’s advice, she stopped all hormone treatment.

Within 6 months of stopping her hormone treatments, Tamara’s asthma, allergies and sinuses felt better. She felt clearheaded again. Unfortunately, she was also in a tremendous amount of pain. She started researching endometriosis specialists and came across Dr. Seckin. She at first was dubious that a male doctor could take her pain seriously, after seeing so many doctors who had dismissed her. She went to see Dr. Seckin at the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s Patient Conference. After listening to him speak, she was convinced that he was the only one who could help her. She was in such dismay listening to the experts at the conference speak about the long term benefits of excision surgery verse the only temporary benefits from hormonal treatments. For 12 years she had trusted her doctor, as she was switched her from hormone to hormone to try and relieve her pain. She felt betrayed. She couldn’t believe that her doctor didn’t keep up with the latest and greatest ways to treat endometriosis. Tamara was angry.

On March 26, 2013, Tamara had her first appointment with Dr. Seckin. One week later she had surgery with him. During the last surgery that her gynecologist performed, she found no evidence of endometriosis. Tamara was worried that Dr. Seckin would have the same findings. He did not. Dr. Seckin found endometriosis on her appendix, which was causing her severe pain every month. He also found endometriosis on her diaphragm and throughout the rest of her pelvic cavity. Tamara went to work a week after her surgery but otherwise took it easy for the rest of the month. Since her surgery, she has stopped taking all medications and has a normal period.

Tamara is passionate about sharing her story so that no one has to suffer all of those years like she did.  She urges all women to research endometriosis and challenge their doctors. She appreciates many qualities about Dr. Seckin. She felt that he was the first doctor that didn’t just want to treat her, but he wanted to fix her and give her the best quality of life in the long term. She also appreciated his willingness to confer with other colleagues on her case and be a part of a medical team to best treat her. She is happy to be active and medication free and is passionate about helping other endometriosis patients do the same!

Casey Berna is a patient of Dr. Seckin’s and an endometriosis and infertility counselor and advocate. To learn more about her story and her practice go to www.CaseyBerna.com.  If you are a patient of Dr. Seckin’s and want to share your story please contact Casey at casey@drseckin.com.

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Patient Reviews

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  • Megan Rafael Moreno

    I was in pain for 2 years. I was getting no answers, and because dr Goldstein and dr seckins were willing to see and treat me I'm finally feeling almost back to normal. They were very down to earth and helpful in my time of need. Dr Goldstein was easy to talk to and caring, she took care of me…

  • Nancy Costa

    Dr. Seckin is one of the best endometriosis surgeon. Every time I go to the office, he really listens to me and is always concerned about my issues. Dr Seckin's office staff are a delight and they always work with me. I feel I can leave everything to them and they will take care of it. Thank you to the…

  • Rebecca Black

    Fast forward 5 years to find out incidentally I had a failing kidney. My left kidney was only functioning at 18%. During this time, I was preparing all my documents to send to Dr. Seckin to review. However, with this new information I put everything on hold and went to a urologist. After a few months, no one could figure…

  • Monique Roberts

    I'll never stop praising Dr. Seckin and his team. He literally gave me back my life.

  • Erin Brehm

    I had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Seckin and his team before, during and after my surgery. I came to Dr. Seckin having already had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 5 years prior, with a different surgeon. My symptoms and pain had returned, making my life truly challenging and my menstrual cycle unbearable. Dr. Seckin was quick to validate my…

  • Anita Schillhorn

    I came to Dr. Seckin after years of dealing with endometriosis and doctors who didn't fully understand the disease. He quickly ascertained what needed to be done, laid out the options along with his recommendation and gave me the time to make the right decision for me. My surgery went without a hitch and I'm healing very well. He and…

  • Nicholette Sadé

    Dr. Seckin brought me back to life! I am now 3 weeks into my recovery after my laparoscopy surgery, and I feel like a new and improved woman! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis, then 25yrs old in 2015, and discovering the severity of my case being stage 4, made me devastated. Dr. Seckin's vast knowledge of the disease, sincere empathy, and…

  • Jason Curry

    My wife had her laparoscopic excision surgery to remove endometriosis with Dr. Seckin on Jan 30, 2014. She doesn't write online reviews so I'm writing this on her behalf. I accompanied her with each office visit she had. The staff--Lucy and Kim, are very friendly, warm and professional. Dr. Seckin was excellent in every capacity. He spent a lot of…

  • Liz Filippelli

    He is an awesome doctor who saved my daughters life from debilitating endometriosis..she knew instantly upon awaking from surgery that she was better..that wad May and no complaints only praises for Dr. Wonderful Seckin!!

  • Karen N

    I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at 19. I saw several Endometriosis "Specialists" since then, had a few laproscopic surgeries to "remove" the endometriosis and continued to be in pain. I had a hysterectomy in 2012 and was told this would stop the pain once and for all. No such luck! Tired of spending days in bed with a heating pad,…

  • Lauren Rodriguez

    I researched and found Dr. Seckin after dealing with years of doctors who couldn't help me or refused to go the extra mile for their patients. I have to say I am truly blessed to have found such a compassionate and talented doctor. He is exquisite with everything he does, and both his team at the office and surgical team…

  • Kellya Vespa

    Dr. Seckin is a very skilled surgeon. There are not many doctors like him that truly understand the effects of endometriosis. I am lucky to have found him. The staff is wonderful too.

  • Meg Connolly

    Dr. Seckin truly LOVES what he does and cares about his patients from the bottom of his heart. My life has already changed in 3 weeks and I couldn’t be more grateful. Should I ever need another operation for endometriosis, Dr. Seckin will be the one to do it. I recommend him to anyone I come across with similar problems…

  • Elisandra O

    Dr. Seckin is an amazing Doctor he is very compassionate, caring and he will be honest with you. He's been my doctor for 19yrs and I am so grateful to have someone taking care of me that knows what he is doing and knows the best way to treat each and every situation. I would definitely recommend him and his…