I’ve struggled with bad periods for as long as I can remember. When I say “bad,” I mean bedridden for days, fainting every month, excruciating pain, and hemorrhaging kind of “bad.” I used to ruin a pair of pants almost every month, going through super-plus tampons every 30 minutes. Growing up, I was known as the girl with the worst possible periods imaginable. This stigma followed me from elementary school, to high school and even through college. But, I was told by 6 different OBGYN’s throughout the years that this was “normal” and “probably just hereditary.”
The first time I remember rupturing a cyst was when I was 15 years old at an Irish dance competition in Delaware. I passed out and fractured my skull on the marble floor. Of course, everyone including myself, was more concerned about the hairline fracture on my right eyebrow than the actual cause of the fainting. Shortly after, I developed other serious health issues and discovered I had HHV-6 viral encephalitis on the left side of my brain. Just before I found out what was wrong, my body was slowly shutting down. My colon gradually stopped working, fainting became the norm, I lost a ton of weight, barely went to school, and I didn’t get a period for 18 months. I pretty much forgot what periods felt like… until a few months after my 16th birthday. I was healing very well, on a good streak with school attendance, my period started to gradually come back, and I was feeling great. But one early April morning, I told my mom something was wrong and that there was no way I was going to school that day. I got out of bed to use the bathroom and the only thing I remember was trying to wake up on the tile floor. This time, I absolutely could NOT regain consciousness, no matter what I did. My mom thought it had something to do with my past brain issues, until she noticed the blood on the floor and heard me screaming about the pain in my lower left side. When the ambulance came to my house and took me to the hospital, they automatically knew I ruptured at least 1 cyst, and this wouldn’t be the last time this happened.
Each year, I would go to a different OBGYN for my annual appointment because I knew in my heart something wasn’t right with my female system. I was sick of being told, “you just have bad periods” and to “just take the pill.” Birth control pills never worked for me. In fact, they completely altered my body and my personality. I didn’t like myself when I was on them. In the last year, I noticed the bloating, painful bowel movements, pelvic pain, depression, and abdominal fullness become CONSTANT, not just during menstruation. I’d ruptured more cysts in 1 year than the last 10 years. Something was wrong and I was going to make it right. I was determined to get to the bottom of my situation, even if it meant going to 100 different doctors.
In April 2015, my aunt referred me to her doctor, Dr. Nolte at the Gianna Center in Manhattan. Dr. Nolte was very thorough with me. She suspected I had endometriosis, and told me I should heavily consider laparoscopic surgery for an official diagnosis. I felt nervous, happy, sad, and relieved all at the same time because it took SEVEN doctors to tell me this! The following Sunday, we ran into a friend at church who recently had surgery with Dr. Seckin and highly recommended doing my procedure with him. I truly believe this was divine intervention, so I made a consultation with him the next day.
As soon as I met Dr. Seckin, I automatically knew that he had to be the one to operate on me. I wasn’t going to trust anyone else but him and his expertise. Six weeks later, there I was, in the Lenox Hill Hospital pre-op waiting room, discussing what was about to happen with him and his surgical team. You could see the excitement in his eyes. Dr. Seckin truly LOVES what he does, and cares about his patients from the bottom of his heart.
Four hours later, I woke up from surgery, feeling completely different (in a good way). Dr. Seckin and his team visited me in the recovery room, enthusiastic about how the procedure went. I had over 20 excisions of endometriosis, multiple endometrial polyps, fibrosis, and an appendectomy. The endo spread from my uterus and ovaries to my rectum, bladder and appendix. I was so overcome with emotion that I cried, knowing this was the cause of my pain and suffering for so many years.
Dr. Seckin is obsessed with destroying endometriosis and improving the quality of life for the women who have it. He's frequently traveling the world educating doctors on identifying and properly treating endometriosis. He's the top person on the planet in his field.
I am 3 weeks post-op and I feel amazing. I am freed from the chains of endometriosis. My constant excruciating pain is gone. My periods now are a walk in the park. I am so happy. 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 encounter with similar problems to the ones I had. From Dr. Seckin, to his office team and his surgical team, everyone has been absolutely AMAZING. I thank God for each of you every single day. Thank you so much.