An interview with Antonia about her life with endometriosis
How did you notice that something is wrong?
It all started with taking the birth control pill. When I was 16 I repeatedly had for several weeks increased pain and nausea. After organic aspects have been excluded by the doctors, I even thought sometimes that something is wrong.
An appointment with another gynecologist and a surgery when I was 17 provided the medical confirmation that I have endometriosis.
Endometriosis is not only the pain in the first two days of your period but can already lead to problems before and after the cycle, it can be a painful ovulation – and there are many other secondary symptoms.
I would like to mention that no one should be afraid to seek a second or third opinion if you think you may be affected.
How did you feel when you got the diagnosis ‘endometriosis?
I was very young when I learned about it and I thought it would be done after the surgery. It was a shock for me when I had to undergo surgery again.
‘I will have to deal with it all my life’ was something I finally realized in rehab: Because there, I was the youngest patient and I got to know many women who had to fight much longer with the disease.
How did you deal with it?
My energy was clearly focused on the future. I wanted to do something to help others affected by endometriosis. Because unfortunately often enough you’ll get rejected and you have to justify yourself.
That’s exactly what I wanted to spare others from that, so I chose to lead my career in a medical direction.
I would also like to say thank you to my family who have always shown understanding for me and my disease – if you know that you are not alone it’s easier to deal with it.
What has changed in your life?
Unfortunately, it has changed for the worse. Since the last endometriosis surgery I also still suffer from a consequence of the surgery through which I can no longer walk properly because I’m in pain.
And unfortunately, I ‘m not alone with this…
This is also a part of endometriosis, many operations mean to take many risks again and again.
How are you doing today with endometriosis?
I really tried every hormonal therapy (birth control pill, spiral etc.) and had to find out that I just can’t handle it . I feel better since I live without hormones.
Nevertheless, I have a weekly “treatment plan”. It’s a lot of perseverance and self-discipline, physically and mentally.
I rely on Traditional Chinese Medicine, physiotherapy and osteopathy, sports and various applications such as Kinesiology Taping.
Unfortunately it’s not possible without painkillers.
Are there still days/situations in which it is difficult for you?
Currently, each day of my life is a struggle because of the double pain symptoms. It’s especially hard to notice that you have to stand up for your rights instead of getting support.
You find yourself in an odyssey of experts, offices and doctors.
And I don’t speak only for myself. It’s something that additionally burdens a lot rather than helps.
Has your view on life changed?
You get excited about little things and you quickly learn it’s better to have a handful of very good friends as many superficial friends. My initial optimism about defeating the disease has become realism.
I always have to deal with that life goes a different way than you had planned it for yourself.
What is the goal of your blog?
Clearly help for self-help!
The preferred treatment for endometriosis is still a hormone therapy. But I do not tolerate any hormones and I also don’t take them anymore. So I always look for other ways to deal with the problems and pain.
Moreover, I have learned through my physiotherapy training that many applications can be transferred to the endometriosis effects.
I wanted to pass on these positive experiences that I made myself. Because often you feel very helpless but I think this doesn’t have to be like that!
What feedback do you get for your blog?
To date, only positive feedback! Most of all I am always happy when I get personal questions by mail asking me to help. Here I notice whatsoever that I am still far from reaching the end of my blog because the disease has so many faces.
So I would like to emphasize that you should not hesitate to send an email to me!