Endometriosis is an enigma

Endometriosis is an enigma. The disease and its manifestations vary from person to person. Its effects and associated pain can pervade into many aspects of one’s life. My first introduction to the disease was over a year ago, when I suddenly experienced onset of unfamiliar abdominal pain which rendered me immobile. This pain became a constant presence in my life – appearing at odd times and always unwelcome. The feelings of helplessness and confusion I experienced as side effects of my somatic symptoms were more invasive than the actual pain itself. What was happening to my body? Why have I lost control of it? Who can I talk to about this? These questions remained unanswered for a long time despite my efforts to address them by consulting OB/GYNS, surgeons, female friends and colleagues, and of course, the internet. As a result, I felt lonely and became increasingly withdrawn.

The information I was able to gather indicated that this pain would never leave me. It would continuously interfer with my relationship with my body, and with my spouse, for the rest of my adult life. This was a reality that I was not fully prepared to accept. How can a disease which affects so many women have such limited options for treatment? Hormone therapy only exacerbated my psychosocial decline, and options for surgery outlined to me by a respected Cornell surgeon seemed to have bleak or meager outcomes. It was at this point in my search that I came across the Endometriosis Foundation of America, founded by Dr. Seckin. The lectures presented in their latest conference validated my concerns – that much is not understood about this disease, and there is a need for more research investigating effective treatment options.

Dr. Seckin’s introductory lecture portrayed him as a compassionate and knowledgeable practitioner who sincerely cares about the well-being of women suffering from this disease – and sometimes needlessy so. I was glad to find, in my first consult with Dr. Seckin, that this portrayal was accurate. It is inspiring to find a practitioner who has dedicated his practice of medicine towards helping women alleviate pain. This is one of many altruistic qualities which Dr. Seckin possesses. Under his care and attention, I find myself invigorated with a sense of hope that didn’t exist before. Although I understand that the surgical procedure which I plan to undergo is far from a “cure-all,” I am optimistic about my future, having found a partner in my treatment and medical care who I trust and respect. I hope that the women who read this endorsement recognize that they are understood, both by myself and by this compassionate and capable doctor. To those women, trust that yor health is in good hands.

Heidi W.

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