Dear Endometriosis Australia,
I'm sure you get thousands of emails everyday and they all start like this. I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing. Being a woman is hard enough we don't need the added pressures of endo. In 2009 when I was 18 years of age, just finished school and was ready for the world, I underwent some "routine" surgery to help my endo. I was 13 when I was diagnosed and after years of taking different medications to ease the pain, surgery was going to provide me with some relief for the short term.
The surgery seemed to go fine however I didn't know I was going to be plunged into a living hell. I was kept over night with a few minor issues, but a month later when I was laying on the bathroom floor screaming in pain I knew something was wrong. My gynecologist had put a hole in my ureter and urine was filling my stomach cavity. After days of not knowing what was wrong I was finally operated on. To cut a very long story short, after 4 surgeries countless doctors and an huge despise for my original surgeon, who was not around for what followed, admitted a year later that she had been negligent and something had gone wrong.
I now have a whopping great big scar from my belly button well into my underwear line as well as dozens of little scars all over my belly from cameras, drains and staples. As well as the emotional scars from the depression that followed.
BUT, I am me. And it took me years to love it but it's never going to change. Why fight what you have? As I complained that I would never have a boyfriend, no one would ever love me. My mum gave me the best advice; you have to love yourself before someone else can love you.
In November 2012 I was over it all and decided to start loving myself I wore a bikini on the beach, showing off my scars and my imperfect body. It was that week I met the love of my life, he said he looked at me and thought; wow this girl is so happy and so content. She is the one.
Without the ongoing love and support of my family, I would have never have made it to this place. I am still surrounded by the most important people who continue to support me in my journey living with Endo.
I know I don't have the saddest, the hardest or have the most mutilated body. But I wanted to share with you, because you are doing what I have dreamed of doing. Being the woman who changes women, who give them the courage to step out and to be whom they want to be despite of any disease.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for promoting awareness for all of us.