The Pain Was So Bad I Dropped To My Knees

From: Helen Dynda (
Fri Mar 2 10:45:23 2001

[] The Pain Was So Bad I Dropped To My Knees

[] The Pain Was So Bad I Dropped To My Knees

Mademoiselle , August 1999


The article presents a first person account of endometriosis. It also presents background medical information on the causes, diagnosis and treatment options for endometriosis. The author is a 29 year old journalist who led a very active life until the pain and other symptoms of endometriosis became disabling. The author then goes on to describe the diagnosis, treatment process and its impact on her work and relationships.

Endometriosis is a disease characterized by cramps, agonizing heavy periods and diarrhea. It can occur in women as early as the beginning of puberty until menopause. Studies show that it takes an average of nine years for the disease to be fully diagnosed.

The author, Laura Hutchison, explains that since 1996 she experienced periods that were agonizing and involved nearly two weeks of heavy bleeding and cramps. On one weekend car trip to the mountains, the pain was so bad she rode with her feet on the dashboard and her knees pressed to her chest. Every bump felt like a knife in her stomach and kick to her lower back. By 1998, fatigue accompanied the pain. Her job performance and relationships began to suffer. Friends stopped inviting her out and sex with her boyfriend was out of the question.

Consultations with a number of physicians resulted in erroneous diagnoses. An internist and gynecologist told Hutchison she had irritable bowel syndrome and should add fiber to her diet. A physician at an urgent care center advised there was a bladder infection. An emergency room physician told her she had a ruptured ovarian cyst. Finally, a gynecologist performed a diagnostic laparoscopy and diagnosed endometriosis. The author underwent laser surgery to cut away the endometrial tissue and is now feeling better. Though she is aware that the relief may be temporary and that further treatment including a hysterectomy may be required to control the disease.

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