My name is Danielle, I’m 26 years old, and I am a tax accountant currently working for a corporate firm in Syosset. Like almost every woman who is forced to deal with this horrific disease, I’ve had my concerns dismissed for years. My symptoms started when I was 13, 2 years after my first cycle, and got progressively worse and much more severe as I got older. No one in my family was ever diagnosed with endometriosis or had ever experienced what I was going through. I’ve seen several doctors over the years and not a single one was able to offer any long-term help. I was told by countless doctors that my pain wasn’t real, that these are only “mild cramps,” and that I would never be able to have children. I was miserable and I felt as though this nightmare would never end. That all changed when I met Dr. Seckin.
An old friend of mine, Leanne, had shared a post about endometriosis on Facebook that came from the page “Dr. Seckin’s Endo Sisters,” a resource I still cherish to this day. I reached out to her to for any advice or information on this disease, and that is when she told me about Dr. Seckin. I had laparoscopic ablation surgery scheduled with my regular OBGYN at the time. She urged me to cancel the procedure and to meet with Dr. Seckin. She had gone down this road before and knew that procedure would not offer any help to me at all. I wish I had listened to her then. I felt desperate, seeing that I’ve had no relief with any other option, and felt I couldn’t deal with the pain any longer; so I went through with the procedure with my regular doctor, only to face more pain and discomfort than I did before. He ignored all of my concerns, he didn’t believe that I was still in pain, accused me of misusing pain medication, and he dismissed me as a patient only 4 weeks post-operatively. At this point, I lost all hope in medicine. I became very ill, ridden with anxiety, and felt I could no longer rely on the advice of medical professionals. In my last attempt to find some help, I called Dr. Seckin, and I cannot put into words how thankful I am for doing so.
I met with Dr. Seckin for the first time this past April. I was extremely nervous and hesitant at first, considering what I had gone through with my previous doctor. He took the time to answer all of my questions, and did all he could to help put me at ease. After a pelvic MRI and an ultrasound, he was able to tell me exactly what needed to be done. He told me I had a bicornuate (heart shaped) uterus with a septum diving my uterus almost completely in two. He explained that this could be the cause of my endometriosis, and that he would be able to fix that through laparoscopic surgery. He also went into detail about the difference between the laparoscopic ablation I’ve had previously and the laparoscopic excision surgery he would perform, and how this procedure would have a much longer lasting effect. It was clear that he was the surgeon I’ve needed all along. He asked me when I wanted to have the surgery, to which I replied, “as soon as possible.” He got me in the following week.
I scheduled my laparoscopic excision surgery with Dr. Seckin for May 14th, and it was the best decision I have ever made. When I had the first laparoscopic ablation surgery in January, that doctor told me I had 4 endometriomas located only on my uterus. Dr. Seckin found over 16 endometriomas located all throughout my pelvic region. Not only was he able to remove all of the endometriosis, he removed the septum in the middle of my uterus and a mass of adenomyosis. Although I was in a decent amount of pain after the procedure, it was nothing compared to what I had felt on my worst days battling this disease. The staff at Lenox Hill were fantastic, and Lucy & Kim were the best support system I could have asked for.
Dealing with endometriosis is devastating. There were days where the pain was so severe, I couldn’t get out of bed. I missed class, lost certain jobs, and passed on weddings & other events because this disease had completely taken over my life. My father explained it best when he came with me to one of my appointments. “All you have to do is look at these women who are living with endometriosis. You just can’t hide the distress and devastation. It doesn’t matter if you’re the patient, the spouse or the parent, you can just see it on everyone’s faces.” When you have to face a disease like endometriosis every single day, it’s so hard to have a positive outlook on life because it is just so difficult to enjoy.