Tatiana (38) and Sofia (16 months)
Endometriosis diagnose: 2018
One laparoscopy (2018)
Endometriosis for more than 15 years
Extreme abdominal pain during periods
Abdominal, lower back and pelvic pain
Pain during ovulation
Irritable bowel syndrome
Day job: Finance Leader
Hobbies: yoga, hiking, passionate about healthy lifestyle & wellness, spending time with my family, reading, traveling
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela
I was first diagnosed with endometriosis recently, during a laparoscopy surgery in the summer of 2018. I was 36 years old.
My story of endometriosis has started much earlier ... I don’t know exactly when; I suspect I have lived with it for most of my life once my period had started when I was 14 years old.
Looking back, I experienced my first alarming symptoms when I fainted of abdominal pain and cramping during my period in high school. They had to call an ambulance to attend to me. At the time the intense menstrual pain was attributed to being too young, I was told that my period will stabilize and with time the pain will become ‘normal’. That time never came, and as years have passed my menstrual pain became even worse to the point of unbearable, including nausea and vomiting, not being able to walk from the pain. All throughout my twenties, I have been hunted by the menstrual days every month. I would always count ahead the day when my next menstrual cycle should start to make sure it falls in the weekend so I can avoid any social events, be home to conserve my energy and ensure I can lay in bed with a warm bottle; or if not - to ensure I can take days off from work to do the same.
I lost count of how many gynaecologists I have changed throughout the years (in Moldova, in the US, in the Netherlands). I’ve had numerous doctor’s appointments and medical consultations in an attempt to convince doctors how severe my pain was. Unfortunately, the answer has always been the same … “It is normal for women to have bad pain during their periods. It will get better once you become pregnant and give birth.” The only solutions I have ever been offered were either pain killers or the pill. Endometriosis has never been mentioned as a potential diagnosis. For these reasons, I rarely shared the extent of my symptoms and struggles with my family and close friends, thinking pain is normal I dealt with it in silence.
Later in my thirties, continuing looking for answers for abdominal pain and constant bloating, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). That constituted the turning point for me to start making proper lifestyle and nutrition changes, following an anti-inflammatory diet, taking steps to reduce stress, and fasting. In time, luckily this has helped take the edge of my pain.
In 2018, after failed attempts of trying to conceive naturally, my doctor started to suspect endometriosis. This is when proper investigations have started, and as a result I had to undergo a surgical laparoscopy when endometriosis has finally been diagnosed. Five months later, I became pregnant and in October 2019 I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. She is our dream come true.
I share my story with the hope to bring some light how the experience of endometriosis affects many aspects of a woman’s life. Women’s pain needs to be taken seriously, nobody’s pain should be normalized and trivialized. In addition, I hope to bring awareness about this disease so that young women hear about it, read about it, and are educated to know the symptoms, and ask for help early enough to be diagnosed. Finally, I hope those affected are inspired to find the strength, hope and courage to keep fighting and not give up on their dreams.