Warning Raw & Graphic images... Especially Towards The End
Hi, I’m Sammi Fulton-Kennedy 28 years old, co-owner of Paris & I Activewear and I have Endometriosis (endo) and suspected Adenomyosis.
I am not writing this blog for sympathy but instead to help anyone out there who may have endo or know someone with endo. Furthermore, this blog might even push you to look further into your health if you are experiencing endo like symptoms.
WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue similar to that which normally lines the uterus grows in other parts of the body, usually in the pelvic cavity. With each period, as the lining is shed, this tissue, which is outside the uterus also bleeds. This bleeding causes inflammation and from this; scar tissue, cysts and adhesions are formed. Endometriosis is not a sexually transmitted disease, it is not life-threatening or contagious. Some people can experience very severe pain, while others may not experience pain at all. Everyone's endo experience is different.
WHAT IS ADENOMYOSIS?
Adenomyosis is a disease where the endometrium grows into the muscle of the uterus. A person experiencing this condition suffers numerous microscopic bleeds in the muscle, during the menstrual phase of their cycle. The symptoms of adenomyosis are often very similar to endometriosis, with heavy, painful periods being the most common. Added symptoms include referred pain to the back and down the legs, with generally associated feelings of fatigue. The pain can be at least as bad as endometriosis, sometimes worse because the patient doesn’t yet have a diagnosis.
Can only be 100% diagnosed through a hysterectomy.
MY FIRST PERIOD
My period started at age 13 and OMG was it heavy/ painful, I was at boarding school and was too embarrassed to tell anyone I had gotten my period (apparently it was shamed upon to have your period). So I tried to use toilet paper as a pad. The toilet paper was not the best solution for someone who had a heavy period... Anyway, I soon got over this and started using tampons which I always leaked through. I didn’t ever want to get the SUPER tampons because at school you were seen as having a “Loose Vagina”. Silly, I know, but that was school back then. My periods would get so heavy and the pain that came with it was like no other, when I'd have an ‘endo episode’ I would go into panic mode and hide in the toilets as I didn’t know what was going on. No one I knew was experiencing anything like it and there was nothing on endometriosis like there are these days.
MY FIRST GYNO
I finally saw my school doctor about the issues and he recommended that I should see a specialist (Gynecologist). I had my first appointment and had the ultrasound where they insert it into your vagina ( transvaginal ultrasound). From here he suspected that I most likely have endometriosis and adenomyosis, but this can't be confirmed unless I have laparoscopic surgery.
MY FIRST SURGERY & SECOND SURGERY WAS A DISASTER
I learned the hard way...It is so important to go to a gyno who specializes in endo, this gyno had a reputation of being the best in QLD, but for fertility.
Age of first surgery: 16-17.
My results: My gyno told me I had endometriosis, suspected adenomyosis and an institutional hernia (recently found out I never had a hernia). He didn’t show me any operation pictures, didn't explain where the endo was found, didn’t tell me if he cut or burnt the endo out and didn’t tell me how to manage it. I had NO information, the only solution he had at the time was to have children as this will cure me (which for one is a myth and two I was 16 and not ready for a baby).
My second surgery was even worse, I was complaining that the pain was extremely bad especially during intercourse with my boyfriend (I was 18-19 at the time). He gave me two solutions: have a baby or have surgery where he pulls my uterus up. I chose the surgery as I didn't want to have kids. Recently, my new gyno told me that pulling my uterus up would have done nothing and the procedure is so outdated that she couldn't even explain to me how it was done. Might I add this was the most painful surgery I ever had. So please girls do your research.
MY NEW GYNO YAY!
Since having uterus surgery when I was 18-19, I have been in the worst pain ever. In 2019 I finally found a gyno who specialises in endo! I had my 3rd endo surgery on the 5th of December 2019 and this surgery was the most successful one I've had.
Surgery Name: Hysteroscopy D&C, laparoscopy & Excision of Endometriosis
Surgeon: Dr Tania Widmer from Grace Private For Women Gold Coast
MY RESULTS 2019
The right fallopian tube doesn’t work
A lot of scar tissue and damage on my right side
I have included some of my personal surgery pictures below
-Spasms during sex
-Long periods sometimes 10 or more days
WHAT DO I DO TO MANAGE MY ENDO & ADENOMYOSIS?
TWO big key components for me are
Exercise and diet are not a cure for endo but they certainly help with some of the pain and mood changes that are associated with it. Regular exercise can help manage the pain by increasing the body’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant makers. Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition so anything you can do to help decrease whole-body inflammation is helpful.
When it comes to food, it is important to take note of what sets you off. If you have no idea, you can start by doing the FODMAP diet. The FODMAP diet was recommended to me by a dietitian who works with women and endo.
My food triggers are junk food and or alcohol. However, I still enjoy these things and am aware of the consequences they sometimes have. Just remember everyone is different, so it's important to be in touch with your own body.
WHY PARIS & I WAS DESIGNED THE WAY IT WAS?
There is nothing worse than being bloated and having something restricting your stomach putting you in more pain. I have always lived in activewear as I love sport. However, I could never wear anything tight for a long period of time as I'd end up with terrible tummy cramps.
When you have endo the flare-ups are not planned or scheduled so comfortable activewear is a MUST. We have designed all our waistbands to be friendly on the tummy yet still giving you that support you need. Paris & I waistbands are made from a special blend of fabric that has years of research and testing put into it. Our waistbands don’t cut in, there is no uncomfortable elastic and they shape and contour you in all the right places BUT you are still in complete comfort. Endo or no endo Paris & I bottoms are designed to be loved by everyone.
Whenever we design something at Paris & I, A LOT of thought is put into it. Everything has a purpose and everything is designed for the everyday woman who wants to feel comfortable yet confident.
Please send me a DM on Instagram if you have any questions or simply want someone to chat to
Love Sammi ❤️
Click Here if you want to browse our collection, you will never be so comfortable once you try Paris & I.
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