Shine Now! Magazine September/October Issue Issue 4 Volume 1 - Page 24

Fighting through Pain to Live on Purpose By: Angeline Lawrence We fight for everything from equal pay to health care. Fighting goes along with the territory when you are a woman. Over 176 million women are fighting a silent war that is upending their lives. It crosses ethnicity/race, age and socio-economic levels. Endometriosis is hard to detect and often misdiagnosed. The physical pain and emotional strain are ever present in the lives of women who suffer from it. It hits women in the prime of their reproductive lives and impacts women and girls from age 12 to age 60. The symptoms mimic other conditions. Getting the correct diagnosis is vital to early detection. Endometriosis occurs when tissue like the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is outside the uterus and found on other parts of the body. Michelle Johnson, Founder of Fighting Fiercely Endometriosis Awareness Expo Michelle Johnson, is a licensed massage therapist, author and endometriosis advocate. She fights for others who have the same disease that robbed her of the left side of her uterus. She states, "I had heavy menstrual cycles since I was a teenager. I accepted the pain and heavy flows as normal. But, the pain intensified and I started to bleed through my clothes. When the time between my periods decreased I knew something was wrong." 24