Geef endometriose een stem – Kathryn

I experienced typical IBS symptoms such as frequent stomach aches and diarrhoea starting at the age of 8. My small-town doctor in the Midwestern US sent me to the hospital for various tests which all came out negative. Meanwhile, I was told that what I was experiencing was largely due to having a “high-strung” personality. For decades, I would be left with the terminal prospect of dealing with these problems for life. 

At 13, I got my period. While I experienced abdominal pain and heavy bleeding, I didn’t think anything of them. Similar to what I experienced five years before, it was something I needed to face until menopause. 

During my mid to late 20s, I came face-to-face with my IBS symptoms again. After graduating with my degree in Professional Communications and working in journalism, it was time to get to the heart of my problems. After all, I did not want them ruining a promising career or relationship. I called for help in both the alternative and conventional fields of medicine. I tried to rid my pain through diets such as the Paleo diet as well as cutting out gluten and dairy. I injected myself with coffee enemas and underwent parasite cleanses. Each treatment was met with limited success, as they did not fully address my symptoms. Despite the disappointment, I still carried on with my dream of living and working abroad in Poland. It wasn’t until October 2022 that I became educated on endometriosis. 

After experiencing bouts of near-constant nausea and weight loss, I ordered some blood tests. One of them was an ovarian cancer marker test- CA-125, which came out elevated. I worried that it was ovarian cancer. For peace of mind, I visited a gynaecologist, and that was when she detected signs of endometriosis on the transvaginal ultrasound. All of this happened a month before moving to the Netherlands. 

After months of settling in a new country, I was able to be seen at the newly opened Nederlandse Endometriose Kliniek (NEK). My specialist there ordered an MRI and found signs of deep endometriosis. It was outside of my uterus and on my rectal wall. It had also led to a scarred and fully blocked fallopian tube. After going through a laparoscopy in October 2023, my specialist confirmed that I had stage 4 endometriosis. After years of suffering, I had a diagnosis and a reason for why I couldn’t conceive. 

Here I am. It’s been four months since my laparoscopy, and I’m now going through my first round of IVF. My digestive symptoms have improved, and my last menstrual cycle felt nearly painless.  I give all the credit to God for getting me through each month, day, and year in this long journey.  

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(Behind) Endo Stories

Endo Stories – Kiki

Mijn Strijd met endometriose: een verhaal van kracht en doorzettingsvermogen Graag deel ik mijn persoonlijke verhaal over mijn endometriosetraject met jullie. Mijn naam is Kiki

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