Every Girl Needs To Read This: What It's Like Living With Endo
Ellie Angel-Mobbs shares her story.
Hi. I’m Ellie Angel-Mobbs. Nice to meet you. I’m the bubbly, bright spark, full of fun and laughs hosting afternoons on 2DayFM.
But some days, I cannot get out of bed.
In four years I’ve had three surgeries, four visits to the emergency department, hundreds of doctor visits and 10,000 tears! I’m 29 and have endometriosis and adenomyosis.
It’s a condition that affects 1 in 10 women, creates extreme pain and can lead to infertility. In doc speak - endometriosis is present when the tissue that is normally present in the lining of the uterus occurs outside this layer and causes pain and/or infertility. There is no cure. In normal speak – it hurts. Please help us find a cure.
When I was 15 I got my first period. I vividly remember getting it and thinking ‘oh shit, Mrs Martin taught us about this in sex ed, noooooo, does this mean I have to grow up now? I don’t want it!!" I was so embarrassed that I didn’t want to tell my mum. But she knew something was wrong.
I was acting unusually quiet and kept asking for Panadol. She eventually said “Ellie, have you got your period?”.
I burst into tears. My mum’s a nurse and at the time a midwife, so she knew everything when it came to lady issues. She told me that she had this thing called endometriosis and that it made her very sick when she was young. It eventually led her to have a hysterectomy in her early 30s which is ridiculously young to be going through menopause.
It can be hereditary and that there is a high chance I would have it (JOY!!!!!) I went onto have painful periods through my teens and the doctor put me on the pill when I was 17. It brought me no relief.
When I was 26 one morning I woke up feeling a bit off. I felt this sharp stabbing pain in my lower stomach. I just thought my dodgy cooking skills made me feel a bit sick, but the pain got worse. I lay on the bed in the foetal position to ease it, and 2 minutes later I couldn’t move. The pain was so intense.
My husband raced home and took me to the emergency doctor. 15 minutes later I was on standby for surgery. They thought my appendix was about to blow, so they rushed me in for a CT Scan.
What they found was a surprise. Chocolate cysts on my ovaries and all signs pointing to endometriosis. Now the only way they can diagnose you is with surgery.
Within weeks I was seeing one of Sydney’s best gynaecologists and having a laproscopy. It’s key hole surgery where they look around your abdomen and fossick to see what jewels they could find.
My body was a gold mine: stage 4 endometriosis, the worst you can have. It was growing everywhere – uterus, bowel, ovaries, kidney, it even suffocated my poor little appendix. They also discovered I have a condition called adenomyosis, where the endo tissue grows into the wall of my uterus.
This little sucker HURTS! My surgeon described it as a badly bruised apple that will never heal and told me I'd have to have a hysterectomy soon. They also said "have a baby ASAP".
Sure, because making a baby is as easy as cooking 2 minute noodles...
The recovery from the surgery took about a week, however taking in all of the info and everything that was going on, but hormones being thrown around from getting cut open, really messed with my mind. The old black dog payed me a visit and I kept having anxiety attacks. The doc put me onto medication to help settle this, but it still played with my mind.
There’d be days when I couldn’t work due to pain and I’d have anxiety attacks whenever I had to tell my boss I couldn’t come in. I’d then think ‘f*** I’m going to get fired, they will think I’m hopeless, I am letting my team down, I don’t deserve to work at 2DayFM anymore’ f***ing endo was ruining it all. I’d stay in bed hugging my hot water bottle in tears just wanting it all to stop.
Despite surgery, the pain continued and I had surgery in May 2014. The endo had grown back and showed no signs of stopping. Urgh. Here I go again, but the surgery didn’t help! Pain continues to this very moment, I feel like something is stabbing my guts with a pitchfork.
There is every chance I will struggle to conceive and am looking down the barrel of IVF, or I just cannot have kids and will have to become a crazy dog lady. There is a new drug that has just landed in Australia called Visanne. It won’t cure it, but for some patients it brings relief. I am looking at giving it a whirl, but as with any drug, there are side effects and it may not work for me. At present to help I keep a close eye on my diet, exercise, do acupuncture and have a best friend ‘Hottie’ the hot water bottle.
If you would like to know more information about Endometriosis please visit: http://www.endometriosisaustralia.org
If you suffer from endo, please feel free to get in touch with me @EllieAngel, us Endo Sisters stick together xxx