By Mackenzie Ravn
I will never forget the day a doctor finally ‘kind of’ listened to my pain. And I say ‘kind of’ because I still don’t believe he fully understood. I was 19 and following years of trying to convince doctors something was wrong, I had hit breaking point.
After a night spent sitting in the shower in agony I showed up at my GP on opening, in tears and with my hair still dripping demanding they send me to a specialist. At that point I didn’t really care who it was they referred me to, I just wanted anyone better than the people I had been seeing. My doctor reluctantly referred me to a urologist, and that was the first step in finally getting some answers for my pain.
That urologist was the first person to ever mention to me the word ‘endometriosis.’ It was a possible diagnosis he came to just five minutes after I walked in his door. And while he couldn’t help, he referred me straight on to a gynaecologist that could. A laparoscopy and two blocked fallopian tubes confirmed what my urologist had thought.
Unlike many illnesses, being diagnosed with endometriosis answered some questions, but left so many more. Questions like, ‘will it come back’, which many of my doctors just couldn’t answer.
A year later it did, but this time my new surgeon helped me make up a management plan following my operation, including a drastically restricted diet. With that in hand and still so many questions I turned to the Internet and found Endometriosis Australia.
I could hardly believe there was such a large community of women living with an illness I’d never heard of until it happened to me. The more I read, the sadder I became for all the women who struggled for years more than I did to find what was causing their pain. I am so honoured to be part of an organisation trying to change that, as an Endo Champion.
So many of us never speak up about our pain, but if more women know where to turn for help maybe we can stop that from being the case. Together we can end the silence surrounding endometriosis.
Head to our Endo Champion page to find our more about Mackenzie and other wonderful people helping us at Endometriosis Australia to raise awareness of endometriosis in the community.