My search for answers began 10 years ago. Growing up, like so many women, I thought the painful periods I experienced every month were “normal”. So, on the days that I stayed home from school or work, laying in a ball crying, clenching my abdomen in pain I thought that was the norm. Those episodes soon began to change.
For ten years I spent countless days and nights in the hospital receiving all sorts of abdominal tests and work-ups. Through the course of this time I had relatively minor diagnoses of Peptic Ulcers, Gastritis, Acid Reflux to the more serious Gastroparesis. And with all of these diagnoses, the various treatments and meds the pain persisted.
I had my first surgery for endometriosis in December 2012. My GI doctor had sent me to an OBGYN she worked with to rule it out but they had found adhesions during the procedure. The procedure was short and sweet and for a short time I felt better.
The trips back to the hospital began once again and after several rounds of GI tests I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I was admitted to the hospital for a week in December 2016. I found my voice and asked my doctor if it could be my endometriosis since it is right around the time of my period. That suggestion was dismissed and I was urged to see a Biliary Specialist. That was when I took matters into my own hands. The day after I was released from the hospital I took control and found my answer.
In January 2017 I had my first appointment with Dr. Seckin at the Seckin Endometriosis Center. Dr. Seckin took the time to review my medical history, the various reports, work-ups and records from my earlier surgery and beyond. At one point he looked at me and said, “I don’t think you have Crohn’s”. Music to my ears! We had planned for my surgery to occur in the beginning of March, the time of month when all of the pain and tears were at its peak. After 2.5 hours of surgery, 10 years painfully searching for answers, Dr. Seckin confirmed I didn’t have Crohn’s. It was Endometriosis. Adhesions were found on my intestines (misdiagnosed as Crohn’s) and traveled to my upper abdomen affixed to my gallbladder (the various diagnoses early on). Dr. Seckin figured it out and in two months time. My life has tremendously changed since then. The hospital visits have stopped. The incredible pain month over month has ceased. It had been a long journey in a search for answers and Dr. Seckin was it all along.
As long and winding as this story is, mine isn’t as complex and harrowing as the millions of other women who suffer from Endometriosis. “An estimated 200 million women worldwide are impacted by this disease, and an estimated 1 out of 10 women suffer in the United States, however many remain undiagnosed. Endometriosis affects women equally all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.” (www.endofound.org).
So, when I saw Dr. Seckin Co-Founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America and they were fundraising through the NYC Marathon to provide further treatment for women suffering from Endometriosis, further educational efforts to increase early awareness and detection of this disease and fund additional research to treat, diagnose and hopefully prevent the occurrence of Endometriosis I knew this was the best way to 1. Do my part to help other women suffering from Endometriosis and 2. Thank Dr. Seckin. Without him, his work and his foundation I wouldn’t have the strength to run this marathon and lead a functional life with Endo. I, like so many women, may have continued on my journey looking for answers. In Dr. Seckin I finally found mine.