What does the Pacific Crest Trail and a horse have to do with endometriosis? They are both part of a dream that endometriosis almost stole!
Before being diagnosed with endometriosis, I suffered in silence for years. The pain became debilitating in 2016. At that point I pursued medical care with no relief for almost a year. Radiographs, MRIs, PT, steroids, opiods… still no answers. One night, I collapsed on the floor unable to stand. I was overcome by crippling back pain. I was referred to a spinal specialist. The specialist was convinced my back pathology did not completely explain the extent of my pain. When I didn’t improve with his suggestions I was told I needed to stop riding horses, change careers, and take anxiety medications.
That conversation took me to one of the lowest points in my life. I was 22 years old. I was being told my best option was to give up on my dreams. I was lead to believe the pain was in my head. I started to spiral out of control. I battled my own thoughts. I was over come with the reality that I was alive but unable to live. I sought out any sign that the pain was real. I don’t remember how I figured out that painful periods and back pain could both be caused by endometriosis but I did. I decided to find a gynecologist. I got lucky. I went to a nurse practitioner who knew her information. She referred me on to a surgeon who, I believe, saved my life. He saved my life in a physical manner. The damage endometriosis had caused to my internal organs was life threatening. However, the psychological damage caused by blaming myself for unexplained physical pain would have killed my spirit long before my body. No one should have to face giving up their future because of a medical condition they have never even heard of. My entire life has been spent focused on advancing my skills in the equine (horse) industry. I have many dreams both as a rider and professional in veterinary medicine. Endometriosis almost stole that from me. Had I not found the right professional to diagnose me it would have.
The psychological damage caused by blaming my mind for unexplained physical pain would have killed my spirit long before my body. No one should have to face giving up their future because of a medical condition they have never even heard of.