Hi. I’m Tiffani, an endometriosis survivor, an organized, goofy, creative, social introvert that loves fashion, animals and helping others. I sell handcrafted heating pads that button onto your seatbelt. . . but also feel it’s my calling to raise awareness about endometriosis.
Take a minute to watch my video. Titled “Her-Story”…
Since I can remember I have had pain. I thought it was normal to feel this way once a month, but then it progressively got worse. The pain went from once a month to constant, to the point that it compromised all my day to day activities; like tending to my 11 year old daughter, to date night with my husband, all the way up to my professional duties at work. It felt like my womb was contracting around a pack of restless sea urchins. When I thought it couldn’t get any worse it did, I was basically bed ridden. I firmly believe in leading by example and that’s hard to do when you cannot even hold attendance so I had to make the decision to step down into a lesser position at my office and thankfully I was allowed to work from home. My social life became non-existent, I felt like a burden to my husband and all my daughter wanted to do was play. I couldn’t. I had guilt, this led to anxiety which led to depression, and then I just became a person I didn’t even want to be around and felt ashamed.
I was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis after a diagnostic laparoscopy in September of 2017. It was a long gruesome shuffle between multiple doctors, specialists, and ER visits that resulted in NORMAL bloodwork and near perfect scans. At one point I was eventually diagnosed with IBS, then doctors pointed to anxiety or just simply stated that it was “all in my head”. I was so tired of the bad days dwarfing the good days and even though endometrioisis is a chronic debilitating disease I was happy to finally have an answer, it legitimized everything I had been feeling. It was real.
On May 3rd of this year, 2019, after much research, a million doctors visits, and joining literally every FB Group about Endometriosis. I FINALLY had my excision surgery in Tampa, Florida on May 3rd of this year, 2019. Surgery was 4 ½ hours long with an excision specialist accompanied by a colorectal surgeon. They were happy to report that most of the endometriosis had been removed, however they had found Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis on my diaphragm. The doctors were unsure if this has made it’s way to my lungs. If any of you have read Bartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Suess, I immediately associate endo with oobleck, it can spread just about anywhere. Another surgery is most likely, with my specialist assisted by a cardiothoracic surgeon.
I am happy to report; with much gratitude to my surgeons, fellow endowarriors, friends and family who continue to support and encourage me, that each day is progress. During my cycle I barely have any pain whatsoever and the bowel issues are minimal. I don’t have much symptoms of the Diaphragmatic Endo other than some shortness of breath and occasionally a sharp pain in my collarbone. The fatigue is still very real and am looking forward to getting my life back after the second surgery.
Considering how long it took for me to acquire a diagnosis and actually be able to act on it with a specialist I urge you to familiarize yourself with the disease Endometriosis, especially if you have abnormal pain during your period. Just reaching one person to have this diagnosed and prevent it from spreading IS WORTH IT. Something that affects 10% of the worlds women should not be a secret. For my fellow EndoWarriors, as EndoSister Elle Rose says, “please STAY STRONG even when it’s breaking you down we’re in this together and even if I don’t know you personally my heart is with you in solidarity