By Olivia Jane Gaskell
My name is Olivia-Jane Gaskell.
I am a 41 year-old mum of two daughters, a wife to an amazing and very supportive husband and I am 6 months post-op from having a hysterectomy due to my recent diagnosis of Adenomyosis in September 2020.
I have always suffered from painful and very heavy periods which progressively became worse over time. After giving birth to my youngest daughter my periods became twice as heavy. As a result, I was prescribed birth control to ease the flow, but that only masked the trouble within that was getting worse each month.
It took 20 years and two pregnancies later, not to mention countless GP visits and hospital stays where their only answer to my problem was to go on a pain management plan, to eventually finding a doctor that took the time to listen to me and gave me the help I needed.
I found it disappointing that it took so long for me to be diagnosed, all because of a lack of knowledge and understanding of the condition among the medical department.
This is also true for so many others out there. They suffer in silence and worry because they can’t find any answers as to why they are in constant chronic pain every day, why they are so fatigued that they spend most of the day in bed or on the couch, feeling deflated because every blood test and ultrasound result that they receive comes back clear and the doctor saying “There is nothing wrong with you”.
So far, to date, the only known cure for Adenomyosis is a hysterectomy. My heart goes out to those who are diagnosed at an early age, who want to have children and raise a family, but are now faced with the very real reality of a hysterectomy or multiple treatments to manage the symptoms.
Since my surgery, I have taken on a management role of an Adenomyosis support page on Facebook for Australians who are looking for help and encouragement from others who are also living with the same symptoms.
I have noticed that when these people realise that they are not alone and that others are suffering with the same symptoms, their anxiety appears to reduce, they don’t feel so alone and they finally have a name for their condition.
I find it disheartening that a Facebook support group has more awareness about Adenomyosis than our local GP.
So, it’s because of this, that I have an unwavering desire to see Adenomyosis research conducted in Australia to help find more information and better treatments for this disease. I am driven to raise funds to see my dream become a reality.
We have set a goal to raise $20,000.00 for our first adenomysosis research grant to become a reality, so if you have the ability to help us achieve this target please join here or if you are in the position to make a donation please do so here.
I would love to see those who are suffering with Adenomyosis receive an early diagnosis, the best care and medical treatment that they need, and most importantly, to have the quality of life that they deserve.
To be able to have more treatment options and a cure that does not involve the removal of the uterus, so people with adenomyosis can still make their dreams of starting a family a reality... that would be the ultimate result.
Written by Olivia Jane Gaskell
Olivia has joined the Endometriosis Australia Adenomyosis Research Fundraiser fundraising team, helping us raise funding for adenomyosis research.
Please consider supporting her fundraiser by clicking here.