We wanted to share Jenna’s inspirational story as part of the #MyEndoStory awareness campaign, which was started by @endoconnect and @endo_girl on Instagram. Jenna’s experience is also illustrative of how those with less well-known symptoms, such as back pain, can be particularly susceptible to misdiagnosis.
To all of the women who think they’re going crazy and no one will listen…..
To all of the women who thing they’re going crazy and no one will listen, you are not crazy, you’re just sick, in pain and exhausted. Some of you may know my story, for those who don’t, here it is.
About two months ago I was experiencing terrible back pain. I thought I just had a weak lower back and needed to strengthen and stretch more. Then the pain started moving up into my neck and down into my butt and hamstrings.
I decided to go see a chiropractor and as much as I felt it was helping, I was only getting worse. I started to then have lower pelvic pain. The pain was worsening everyday. I was extremely bloated on top of everything else. My mood changed, I was miserable, I was exhausted from dealing with the pain everyday. I even went to the emergency room a few weeks ago because the pain was just so bad.
The E.R. doctor said they did everything they could and found nothing wrong. So he then suggested a pelvic laparoscopy to rule out endometriosis. My mother had this procedure done before I was born because she was having troubles getting pregnant and was having terrible cycles. So I contacted my gynecologist and we scheduled a pelvic laparoscopy.
I had my surgery done in the morning and by that evening, all of the pain I was feeling was completely gone. I am now two weeks post surgery and I feel better than ever. I started to work out again (once I was cleared by my doctor one week post surgery). My mood is so much better, I have no lower back and pelvic pain.
This surgery was the best thing that ever happened to me, other than me meeting my boyfriend, Michael Evan. He was there for me every step of the way, didn’t matter how nasty I was towards him, he never left my side. He pushed me to keep going, to not throw in the towel. He and I were talking this morning and we said we wished we took pictures of my “endo belly” prior to surgery. When you have endometriosis, you’re bloated, you’re constipated, you’re totally uncomfortable. I didn’t take any pictures prior too because I didn’t know then at the time that it was in fact endometriosis and a cyst as well. I was ashamed to take pictures as well.
Now looking back, it’s crazy to think how much I’ve changed in two weeks. I found a picture similar to how I looked prior to surgery. This woman is showing how you can go from feeling normal to getting the “endo belly” in a matter of minutes.
￼The top picture is not me but it is similar to how I looked, sometimes I was even worse than that. The bottom picture is the one I took today, two weeks post surgery.
So to all of the women out there that think you are going crazy, you are not. You know your body better than anyone else. Listen to yourself and DO NOT STOP FIGHTING! Fight for your health and your sanity. I say your sanity because endometriosis can cause depression and as well as psychological disorders. So please, please, please, do not give up on yourself. It will be worth it, I promise you. Love, Jenna Mazzella
#endometriosis #endometriosisawareness #worldwideendomarch