Trust Your Gut - Alicia's Endo Story
By Alicia Evans, The Endo Athlete
I am 28 years old, living on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, where I was lucky to grow up. I am married to my wonderful husband Elias. I am so proud to be a QENDO ambassador and am so appreciative of the opportunity it provides to be able to reach out and support women in the community around me. I am a keen athlete and love spending my time competing in an array of different sports. From touch football to triathlon and long distance running. I love challenging my body and my mind in the sports I choose. You can find me at the beach in my spare time soaking up the sunshine and showing off my 4 endometriosis surgery scars. I love learning and reading information and research about health, wellness and mindfulness, in particular books about women’s health and of course, women’s health issues like endometriosis. I hope my story inspires you!
Girl, trust your gut.
For 3 years, I knew something was up. I had developed adult acne along my jawline and neck, I was fatigued and exhausted despite getting 8-10 solid hours of sleep each night and the first day of my period each cycle had started getting heavier and a little more painful then they it was in the past.
I saw GPs and was told adult acne just happens sometimes and there is not necessarily a reason why. I was training for long course triathlon so was told by a GP that my fatigue and exhaustion was simply because I was training for endurance events. As for the pain, i was lucky and personally didn’t experience terrible pain, unlike many women who suffer from Endometriosis. So, I didn't mention it to the dr. I guess I just figured that growing up I had heard that the first day of your period was painful and that's just the way it was. Little did I know the pain was being caused by stage 3 endometriosis. Despite my attempts to describe symptoms and concerns to my doctors, for 3 years my symptoms were ignored.
Eventually I was granted an ultrasound referral. This involved an external and internal ultrasound. Results showed what looked like a tumor on my left ovary. Long story short, I asked for a referral to a specialist gynecologist who then referred me to have surgery. In the end, there was no tumor on my left ovary. But surgeons did find stage 3 endometriosis. I had slightly different symptoms to many women, but I knew all along that something wasn't right.
I trusted my gut. I listened to my body. She was talking and I was listening. I stayed strong in my request for referrals for ultrasounds and to see specialists.
If i can give any beautiful women advice, it would be to start researching. If you think something is going on in that beautiful body of yours, do some personal research. Make an appointment with your dr or a specialist.
There is still a lot to learn about Endometriosis and continued research is needed. However, as women we can start to learn more about this Chronic Inflammatory Disease and it's symptoms. If not to recognise the symptoms for ourselves, but to be aware and recognise the symptoms in the women around us.
You can read more from Alicia here
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