Shine Now! Magazine September/October Issue Issue 4 Volume 1 - Page 25

According to the Endometriosis Foundation, “Endometriosis is found in the pelvic cavity. It can attach to any of the female reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries), the uterosacral ligaments, the peritoneum, or any of the spaces between the bladder, uterus/vagina, and rectum.” In the U.S. on average, it takes 10 years from symptom onset to receive an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis. Some of the top symptoms include: 1. Severe bleeding during your period (like hemorrhaging) 2. Lower back and abdominal pain 3. Vomiting, nausea, and headaches 4. Prevents you from getting out of bed or doing daily activities Michelle was sick for 2 ½ weeks with flu-like symptoms. Once she finally went to the hospital they diagnosed her with appendicitis. Michelle required emergency surgery. Once she was in the operating room they realized it was not a ruptured appendix. She was in the hospital for 4 days before her diagnosis. After many tests, MRI and finally an ultrasound she received the answer she did not expect. Michelle had stage 4 endometriosis that destroyed half of her reproductive system. She states, “I did not know what endometriosis was. I felt lost and not sure what my next steps should be.” ”Fighting Fiercely was born out of a need to educate. There was a lot I did not know after my diagnosis. It helps shine a light on what women go through.” 25