Celebrating our QENDO Mums - Helen's Story

This Mother's Day we take a moment to celebrate all of our QENDO Mums, in every form!  Whether you're a Mum with endometriosis, a Mum whose daughter has endo, or the child of a Mum with endo - we honour you. We also honour the Mums who have lost children, those with fertility struggles, and those who have lost their Mum - today is your day too. At QENDO we love our Mums, take a moment to show some love to the Mums in your life on this special day. Helen Timandi, Mum of QENDO volunteer Chelsea, shares her story, one that is sure to resonate with many of our QENDO Mums. #QENDOMumma 

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 My beautiful daughter Chelsea was diagnosed with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis in 2017 at the age of 15. This is when our life as a carefree family changed! But at least we had a diagnosis, a reason for all the pain, a reason for missing copious amounts of school, a reason for the unexpected unexplained never ending periods.

My daughter was only 10 years old when she first got her period, and pretty much quite soon after I knew she was going to have a hard time with this portion of her life. Not only was she young but also the intensity of the bleeding and the pain made it so hard for her to deal with it emotionally and mentally as a young girl. I was hoping that her periods would stabilise with time, but how wrong I was.

When Chelsea was 12 we had gone on an amazing family holiday to Europe and Dubai, this is when we were wondering if we should be taking her to hospitals in foreign countries? The thought of this was terrifying though, we actually thought that she may have been suffering appendicitis due to the incredible amount of pain she was in, we were counting down the days to our return due to the fear and worry of what could be wrong. We had some antibiotics with us as a stand by, which I put Chelsea on as we thought if she is fighting some sort of infection in her abdomen area this might help. In the meantime she continued to have her period for over 6 weeks straight! This has been her greatest struggle this far, never ending periods!

The day after we returned home, our regular GP was away on holiday so I made an appointment with a women’s health doctor. I knew something wasn’t right, no one should be having their period for months on end. This appointment we will both never forget, for all the wrong reasons. She started off by asking Chelsea if she is sexually active, Chelsea didn’t even fully understand what that meant, the doctor then said would you like your mum to leave the room, which Chelsea responded with a NO, she then again asked like she wasn’t satisfied with the answer, have you had sex? Which Chelsea again responded with NO. She then said I think I know what’s going on, you have Endometriosis and need to go on the Pill, take Ralovera and wanted to put the Implanon in her arm, all this without a diagnosis. Once my doctor returned she referred us on to a Gynecologist and sent a referral letter to the Public Hospital, thank god she had more sense to further investigate.

Over the coming months I had taken Chelsea to have blood tests, ultrasounds and had taken her to three Gynecologists on the Gold Coast. Then finally we found the incredible Dr Graham Tronc in Brisbane, who straight away said she would need a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy to get a proper confirmation. This is when we had her results and confirmed Adenomyosis through MRI.

It has been a struggle as a mum, to watch my beautiful innocent young daughter going through and dealing with so much at such a tender age. I would do anything in my power to take this all away from her, which I sadly can’t do. But I will do everything in my power to help her by seeing the best Gynecologist, Pain Specialist, Physio’s, Psychologists, Acupuncturist, everything in my power to help her. To do all this though comes at a cost, and not only financially but which is crippling. My husband and I work two jobs each to try and keep up with all the medical costs. I am so lucky to have an understanding boss who always says yes when I need to take a day off work for an appointment, or I need to leave work early if she isn’t well at school, or have to take her to hospital. These conditions not only affect the person suffering with it, they affect their family, their bosses and work colleagues and this then effects the greater community. More needs to be done for these wonderful girls and women, more research, more support and more understanding.

All I know is that as a mum I will forever be there for my daughter, her fight is and always will be my fight! I will protect her and help her in every way that I possibly can, it breaks my heart that she has to go through this, but as her mum I will always be there for her.

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