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Woman Illustrates The Reality Of Women Who Suffer From Endometriosis
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Comics, Social Issues2 years ago

Woman Illustrates The Reality Of Women Who Suffer From Endometriosis

Lily Williams was 12 when she got her period. It took her another 14 years to learn what’s wrong with it.

Williams belonged to 10% of women of reproductive age who suffer from Endometriosis. Despite being one of the most common gynecological conditions, this gruesome illness still takes a shocking average of 7.5 years to get diagnosed.

Eventually, Lily got the medical attention that her condition required. But not without going through years and years of living hell. Hoping that more women like her gain access to the resources they need to get better, she created a comic about the struggles she went through.

More info: lilywilliamsart.com | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Williams said endometriosis completely took over her. “It did its best to ruin my life over the course of those 14 years that I went undiagnosed,” she told Bored Panda. “I developed many symptoms that would stick around daily, not just when I was menstruating. I had chronic fatigue, developed new food allergies, chest pain, extreme nausea, sciatica, pelvic pain, bloating, pain with exercise, leg aches and more. My daily life got so bad it hurt me to do the most basic things like walk, sit, and eat.”

The woman had the more intensive LAPEX excision surgery (versus the more common laparoscopic ablation) and she took a full month off of work. “I spent a lot of time laying down and taking tiny walks every day. Taking this much time off of work was difficult because I am self-employed and in the middle of the deadline on my graphic novel Go With The Flow (no paid sick leave for me!). There is no cure for endometriosis and even being a year out of LAPEX excision surgery with an endometriosis expert, I am and still dealing with doctors and physical therapists to treat the side effects that all those endometriosis symptoms have had on my body from going undiagnosed for so long. Endometriosis will always be a part of my life.”

Williams’ new graphic novel is called Go With The Flow. She illustrated and co-wrote it with Karen Schneemann, and it’s about their friends in high school creating a menstrual revolution. There’s also a teenage girl named Brit who’s trying to figure out if she has endometriosis. “It has resources in the back for those who think their periods might not be ‘normal’. My hope is that it helps someone figure out that their pain isn’t normal far earlier than I did. Also, I got diagnosed and had my surgery in the middle of making this book! If anyone reads my comic and thinks they have endometriosis, I would recommend joining the Facebook group called Nancy’s Nook Endometriosis Education.

Here’s what people said after reading Lily’s story

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Laugh Fan
Community Member
2 years ago

Yeah, I got told it was IBS... funny how it only ever happened around my period. Even had an exploratory laparoscopy and they missed it. Unless you see a gynae who is an endometriosis expert they usually miss it. Desperately wanted a hysterectomy but I was told no... in case I changed my mind about the children I did not want.

littlesaresare
Community Member
2 years ago

I spent seven years fighting for my right to a hysterectomy due to extreme period pain. I finally won and got the surgery last month. Turns out I was riddled with endometriosis. No doctor had ever taken me seriously so no one had ever considered it. The surgeons introduced me to a researcher afterward who was studying how poorly treated women with endometriosis are by doctors - it is a serious and widespread issue. But the hysterectomy was definitely worth the fight - no more pain, and my 'IBS' also magically disappeared.

Load More Replies...
Alusair Alustriel
Community Member
2 years ago

I was diagnosed with endometriosis when my ovary cyst broke apart, filled my abdomen with blood and nearly killed me. They performed a fast surgery removing the cyst and sucking out the blood and released me home. No meds, no further instructions, no nothing. My husbands ex told be about one type of pills and my ob gyn approved and ever since that I live a normal life. Been 5 years. Oh yeah, and I can't have kids, case stepping from the pills causes the cyst to form immediately endangering to break again and land me on the surgery table. So yeah. And no, endo awarness in my country is somewhere in the medieval ages, so I can dream of the surgery described here. Life sucks :)

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 years ago

OMG. That's so similar to my story! The cyst broke; they diagnosed endo after months ofa gony on my part; then I was told, "Wait for menopause." That was.... uh... yeah, let's not think of it. I was told ZERO and then was told (after I did my own work on it) that I didn't "qualify for a hysterectomy". Uh... WHAT? Welcome to the USA. Evrey pain since then, btw, I've been told must be my uterus. ARGH.

Load More Replies...
Isabella
Community Member
2 years ago

I had endo from my first period. I was 13. Now I am 34. I had several excision surgieries. I cannot go under another one, since I would probably not survive it. It was better after surgery for 1-2 years at best. And then it was worst than before because of postoperative adhesions. It is NOT curable at this state of medicine. We only mask symptoms sadly :( And most people will say "it cannot be that bad"

Always Devine
Community Member
2 years ago

Do you mind if I ask why another excision would likely kill you? My story isn't much different than yours. I've had 9 excisions myself but I haven't received any warnings about having another one. Also, the one I hate more than "it cannot be that bad" is "I have endometriosis too. If I can push through the pain so could you."

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Laugh Fan
Community Member
2 years ago

Yeah, I got told it was IBS... funny how it only ever happened around my period. Even had an exploratory laparoscopy and they missed it. Unless you see a gynae who is an endometriosis expert they usually miss it. Desperately wanted a hysterectomy but I was told no... in case I changed my mind about the children I did not want.

littlesaresare
Community Member
2 years ago

I spent seven years fighting for my right to a hysterectomy due to extreme period pain. I finally won and got the surgery last month. Turns out I was riddled with endometriosis. No doctor had ever taken me seriously so no one had ever considered it. The surgeons introduced me to a researcher afterward who was studying how poorly treated women with endometriosis are by doctors - it is a serious and widespread issue. But the hysterectomy was definitely worth the fight - no more pain, and my 'IBS' also magically disappeared.

Load More Replies...
Alusair Alustriel
Community Member
2 years ago

I was diagnosed with endometriosis when my ovary cyst broke apart, filled my abdomen with blood and nearly killed me. They performed a fast surgery removing the cyst and sucking out the blood and released me home. No meds, no further instructions, no nothing. My husbands ex told be about one type of pills and my ob gyn approved and ever since that I live a normal life. Been 5 years. Oh yeah, and I can't have kids, case stepping from the pills causes the cyst to form immediately endangering to break again and land me on the surgery table. So yeah. And no, endo awarness in my country is somewhere in the medieval ages, so I can dream of the surgery described here. Life sucks :)

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 years ago

OMG. That's so similar to my story! The cyst broke; they diagnosed endo after months ofa gony on my part; then I was told, "Wait for menopause." That was.... uh... yeah, let's not think of it. I was told ZERO and then was told (after I did my own work on it) that I didn't "qualify for a hysterectomy". Uh... WHAT? Welcome to the USA. Evrey pain since then, btw, I've been told must be my uterus. ARGH.

Load More Replies...
Isabella
Community Member
2 years ago

I had endo from my first period. I was 13. Now I am 34. I had several excision surgieries. I cannot go under another one, since I would probably not survive it. It was better after surgery for 1-2 years at best. And then it was worst than before because of postoperative adhesions. It is NOT curable at this state of medicine. We only mask symptoms sadly :( And most people will say "it cannot be that bad"

Always Devine
Community Member
2 years ago

Do you mind if I ask why another excision would likely kill you? My story isn't much different than yours. I've had 9 excisions myself but I haven't received any warnings about having another one. Also, the one I hate more than "it cannot be that bad" is "I have endometriosis too. If I can push through the pain so could you."

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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