As a teenager, Liza's doctor recommended she have a radical hysterectomy to ease her pain. But Liza didn't let a diagnosis of endometriosis define her life. Find out what she did.
My name's Liza. I'm 45 years-old and I'm here today to talk about my history with endometriosis.
I remember babysitting up the road and having to ring mum, in tears, saying, "You have to come up. I'm bent over doubled. I can't move. I'm in absolute agony." For me, to make that call, I was in real pain. I'd gone from having really erratic periods, and sometimes very long periods. I think my worst, from memory, was I'd gotten to day 21 or something and I'd literally been bleeding on and off for 21 days. That was after I'd been on the pill and doing things and sort of trying to stabilize my cycle. It was then we just went back to the doctor and said, "The pill's not working. We need to see somebody that has more authority on this." That was when I first saw a gynecologist.
He then said, "I think there are a couple of options for you." He said, "It's very bad, obviously, what you're going through." And the first option he presented to me was that the one solution for this kind of symptoms and situations was what my mother had had done, which was a radical hysterectomy. And I was 17 and I just remember sitting there thinking, "Is this person crazy?"
I went and saw a different gynecologist and that's when that gynecologist said, "Well, before we do anything, we need to do a laparoscopy and have a look inside and see what it is. I suspect you've got chronic endometriosis." I guess I felt positive because we had a diagnosis. It's nice to be able to name what you've got. Then, you do start talking about it. It is no longer the elephant in the room. There's, potentially, a treatment for it, moving forward. And also, visually, we had pictures. I could see the scar tissue already, at 18. My ovaries were covered in endometriosis.
I was a young girl who had big dreams. This stupid condition was controlling my life. I was being ruled by this condition. It was affecting my personal life. It was affecting my sex life. It was affecting my professional life. You didn't wanna go to work and be buckled over. But, I would go to work and live through it. It was really a struggle.
So, I then sort of went, "Well, there has to be a solution. What is it?" And, take the reins, I think, with it. Just turn it around for myself. To me, that was the only option was, "You know what? Mind over matter, I'm gonna beat this." Diet. Exercise. Naturopathy. I have a very healthy balanced diet of lots of vegetables. Home cooked meals. I cook every meal, basically. Very little processed food. I don't drink a lot anymore and I'm very happy not to drink. I'm happy to go without it, completely. I do yoga meditation.
That was a big turning point for me. It was an opportunity to, like I said, take the reins and tell a different story. The pain is real. The condition's real. It's not necessarily going to go away, but it's not gonna rule me. I'm not gonna let it impact on everything I do and every decision I make. I'm gonna be the powerful one in this situation. That's sort of how I've lived with it ever since. Today, I have a son who's the joy of my life. So, yeah, it's a happy story.