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Nancy Randall

Nancy Randall:
What I now have learned were probably my first symptoms of endometriosis happened when I was 16, and I had my period for two months straight, where I was just bleeding nonstop. I was born in Brazil, and my mom is Brazilian, my dad is American. When I was eight, we moved to New Orleans, and that summer was the first time that I was back in Brazil after a long time. I remember it was kind of this intense experience because I was back in Brazil, and I was there for the whole summer, and I was just bleeding nonstop. My mom was taking me to doctors there who were like, "Well, we don't know what it is, but it's normal. It'll be fine." Then we got back to the US, and my mom took me to doctors in New Orleans who were like, "Well, we don't know what it is, but here, just take some birth control." So that was my first time taking birth control when I was 16 because of my period.

Nancy Randall:
It didn't make my ongoing nonstop menses stop, and then I was on birth control for a number of years. I don't remember having painful periods during those years when I was a teenager and in college, but I do remember just feeling unwell for a few years. So I decided when I was, I think around 20 in college, I decided to stop taking birth control. I stayed off it until I was 23 when I went back to Brazil, and I was getting a master's degree in Brazil. There I had a doctor prescribe me a different type of birth control called Diane 35, which is no longer even on the market because it was considered really bad, and I had horrible side effects. I mean, horrible is too strong a word, but I mean, I had mood swings, I gained 15 pounds, I was crying every day nonstop. I was, I think, probably in a state of depression, and so I got off it after just a few months.

Nancy Randall:
So then in my twenties, the experience that I had of endometriosis symptoms was that I wouldn't have my period for three months straight, and then I would have a very strong period with a lot of pain. I took a leave every time I had my period in my twenties, and I would have to take a several Aleve in a day. I remember I would be like in a shower just on the floor of the shower for an hour.

Nancy Randall:
In August, I ended up doubled over in severe pain, a pain that I never had. I had two natural childbirths. I'd gone through labor. Labor was not painful at all compared to this pain that I had, and that was the wake+up call that I finally needed to actually figure out, "Okay, what is going on?"

Nancy Randall:
He said, "If you were my daughter, I would operate on you tomorrow," and I was like, "Wow, okay." So for me, it was really just the gravity of my condition sinking in and sinking in. He's got this great technological whiteboard in his office, and so he drew for me basically what the endometriosis looks like inside my body. He explained to me what surgery would mean. The consultation was really him giving me his viewpoint and opinion on what my condition was, and giving me his opinion as to what I needed to do or should do moving forward. But he also said, "I want you to think this through, if you want to come back." I went by myself, and he said, "If you want to come back with a friend and talk more about the surgery and what that would entail and so forth." But I left his office that day with the belief that I need surgery. I mean, I fully understood that day.

Nancy Randall:
What I found out after the surgery was that Dr. Seckin believed that the surgery would be about two and a half to three hours and, in fact, it was more like four and a half, five hours. That's because my endometriosis was so much more advanced than he had thought it was based off the MRI. I mean, Dr. Seckin excise the cyst that was inside my right ovary. So after he took out this cyst, then he sewed my ovary back up. Then he put suspensions on both of my ovaries so that I had to keep those suspensions in place for a full about 24 to 30 hours after the surgery. Then what they found was I had extensive kind of old tissue endometriosis between my uterus and my colon, so that my uterus and my colon were stuck together. My uterus and, I guess, my rectum were stuck together.

Nancy Randall:
In about the last week and a half was really when I kind of turned a corner and I've been like, "Wow, I feel much better." I mean, I still feel the incision points a little bit. I certainly am not picking up heavy things. I'm still taking it easy in some ways, but I'm able to get back to life. So that, for me, was really great to just be like, "Okay, I'm feeling pretty good."

 

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