I am a single 32-year old woman and have suffered from endometriosis since adolescence. As a teenager and young adult, I suffered from debilitating pain every month with my periods before I went on the pill. Indeed, the pain was so bad that my mother told me that it was no worse than “labor pains.” At times, I experienced pain so bad that I became incapable of caring for myself – at the boarding school I attended for high school, I had to call campus security one time to pick me up at my dormitory and bring me to the campus infirmary I was in so much pain.
On another occasion, when I was in law school, I started experiencing pain so bad a classmate called an ambulance for me and I spent the afternoon in the emergency room (the ER staff thought I was having a miscarriage, even though I was not sexually active at the time). Needless to say, I have missed countless school, extracurricular, and work activities as a result of my periods, though the pain lessened when I went on the pill about five years ago. However, I have also found sex to be painful, something the pill did not solve. When attempting sex in the missionary position, it would feel with deep penetration like the guy was pressing up against something very tender. Sex from behind has been less problematic, but I still have needed to be super-aroused (i.e., on the verge of an orgasm) to withstand deep penetration. Up until about two years ago, I was not aware that my painful periods and painful sex might have a common source. After discussing my symptoms and undergoing a transvaginal scan with two other gynecologists, I was told that I likely have endometriosis (though, with the exception of a cyst on my left ovary that eventually disappeared, the transvaginal scans did not reveal any evidence thereof). Notwithstanding these assumptive diagnoses, I was told that my only options with endometriosis would be to continue taking the pill (but forego the placebo week) or take Lupron injections that would send me into premature menopause. Although I was told that I could have surgery if I wanted to know for certain that I have endometriosis, the gynecologist who told me that said that there was “no point” in pursuing that option because there is no “cure” once endometriosis is confirmed. After hearing that and doing quite a bit of Internet research on my own, which revealed a number of different surgical techniques that can be used to cauterize or remove endometriosis, I elected to schedule an appointment with Dr. Seckin. Although the transvaginal scan and MRI that Dr. Seckin ordered again did not show any evidence of endometriosis, and Dr. Seckin was very frank regarding the possibility that he would not find anything “wrong” with me, I elected to go ahead with the surgery given the severity of my symptoms. I am so glad that I did. This was my first surgery, and I experienced quite a bit of trepidation about going under the knife, but I knew that I was in excellent hands.
I had my laparoscopic excision surgery with Dr. Seckin on January 8th and was told that I had endometriosis in 13 spots (8 out of the 13 locations were ultimately confirmed by laboratory testing). Using a unique “blue dye” method he uses to help view endometriosis, I believe Dr. Seckin was able to identify endometriosis in areas that other surgeons might have missed. Not only did Dr. Seckin remove all of the endometriosis he found, he removed my appendix, which was inflamed. Although I was in a decent amount of pain after the procedure, it was nothing compared to what I have experienced with this disease. During my post-op appointment with Dr. Seckin, he told me that I have an abnormally shaped uterus that could be the cause of my endometriosis. I am now a week post-surgery, and am not only relieved to finally have a diagnosis and feel validated in the pain I have experienced, but also find that I have increased energy. It is as though a weight, both mental and physical, has been lifted. Many thanks to Dr. Seckin, Lucy, Kim, and the wonderful staff at Lenox Hill Hospital for giving me what I hope is a new lease on life. My only regret is that I did not find Dr. Seckin sooner – he is an expert in the laparoscopic excision of endometriosis, which is known to have longer lasting effects than other surgical methods, and has done literally thousands of these procedures. Thanks again.
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