From robbing her of precious time with loved ones to hindering professional growth, endometriosis can affect all aspects of a woman’s life. “Endometriosis has taken a lot of things from me,” says Philippa, a former Clear Passage patient. Below, she discusses her endometriosis journey – including finding relief – and offers her advice for other women with endo.
Q: When did you get diagnosed with endometriosis? How has the condition impacted your life?
A: I was diagnosed when I was 34 years old, after having painful periods and bowel issues since I was 13. I had 7 miscarriages due to endometriosis and I was finally diagnosed during investigation of the causes of my miscarriages. Once I started getting pregnant the idea that I had endometriosis was dismissed because of the mistaken belief that women with endometriosis cannot get pregnant (in fact, infertility affects about 35 percent of endo patients).
My pain and symptoms gradually worsened over time. I was able to participate in school, sports and social activities as a teenager but it grew increasingly difficult in my twenties, and even worse in my thirties to the point where I could not work full time any more because of severe pain at least half of the month. In addition to the seven miscarriages I have had because of endo, I have had four endometriosis-related surgeries.
Endometriosis has taken a lot of things from me. It has taken time that I should have been enjoying with my husband and my three children, time that I should have been advancing my career, and time that I should have been enjoying hobbies or spending time with my friends, and instead I have been lying in bed on multiple medications, unable to participate in anything.
Q: Why did you decide to receive treatment at Clear Passage?
A: After my last surgery, some of my pain improved, but other types of pain got a lot worse. Over time I developed severe left-sided pelvic pain to the point where it was difficult to walk or climb up stairs, severe pain, nausea and vomiting when I ate, partial bowel obstructions, debilitating bladder pain, and stabbing pain with sexual activity. After seeing four different doctors to try to determine the cause of the pain, they all agreed that it was likely to be caused by adhesions.
The only options they gave me were more surgery, which they said had a 50 percent chance of making me worse, or more medications to try to control the symptoms (narcotic painkillers, anti-nausea drugs, antidepressants, and sedatives). I did not want to take the chance of more surgery, and I did not think my quality of life would be very good with the medications, which already weren’t working. I had heard about Clear Passage when Larry Wurn gave a talk at an endometriosis symposium. I looked into it by reading the research studies posted on the Clear Passage website, I had a phone consultation with a therapist, and I decided to try it.
Q: What were the results of your therapy?
A: The results have been excellent. All of my pain that I originally sought treatment for has improved a lot, and my chronic pericarditis (chest pain due to inflammation around the heart) has also improved significantly. I feel like I got my life back. I can walk several miles every day with my dogs, do yoga, and eat without pain! I can enjoy my family and friends, and I am working again, and even considering starting a new career! None of that would be possible without the Clear Passage therapy.
Q: Do you have any advice for other women suffering with endometriosis?
A: Although it is difficult, it is important to keep persevering and maintain the hope that you can have a better quality of life. Do a lot of research, and seek out second and even third opinions if you are not satisfied with the care you are receiving.