Like yours, mine has been a long journey. It began more than two years ago, when we started trying to conceive, but it feels much longer than that. I have seen a small army of doctors and was amazed that they weren’t interested in finding an overarching diagnose for my list of symptoms: painful, heavy menstruation most months; discomfort during sex; an early miscarriage; recurrent ovarian cysts; bloating and constipation; and gluten intolerance, among others. Instead, they tried to alleviate individual symptoms and hurry me along a rapidly accelerating path of fertility treatments, all the while seeming skeptical about my reports of pain.
The first doctor who suggested I might have endometriosis acted as if it was no big deal and was a tad overzealous about getting me into an operating room. I didn’t trust him, so I told him no and set out to find the right treatment for me. I followed my instincts, educated myself, and consulted with friends and family. At first, it was a bit awkward, but you would be surprised how many other women are willing to talk frankly, and that a disease whose name you didn’t know how to pronounce when you first read about it is affecting the lives of many more people than you realize.
This process led me, rather serendipitously, to Dr. Seckin and his incredible team. As soon as I walked into his office, I understood on a deep level that I had found the right doctor. He listened. He asked great questions. He believed me when I told him about my experiences. He explained the disease to me in a respectful, intellectual manner rather than assuming I wouldn’t be able to comprehend its complexity, as other doctors had done. He developed a serious treatment plan, but I never felt rushed or coerced; instead, he let me set the pace.
I was, and still am, so impressed by how thorough Dr. Seckin is, how well his extended medical team works together, and how compassionate and responsive his office staff is. Family members of mine with other serious, chronic diseases received nothing close to the level of care that Dr. Seckin provided for me. I will always be grateful to him and his team.
It is now eight weeks after my surgery. I was diagnosed with stage one endometriosis, and my appendix was removed. It is hard to express how relieved I am that I did not allow the other doctor to perform surgery on me. I have no doubt it would have worsened my situation. Now, I am almost entirely pain free, just a twinge here or there as my body heals. To be honest, I am surprised by how quickly the healing process is happening.
We are going to start trying again soon, and I get a little choked up as I realize that for the first time in years, I feel genuine hope about it. And peace. I am in a very good place because I listened to my instincts and worked with Dr. Seckin.
Even though you are likely (and understandably) overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired, don’t give up. Believe in yourself. Insist on your right to be well — and to work with a doctor you trust.