Laura Kay Halcom from Rockledge, Florida is 1 of 10 who struggle with endometriosis, a painful disorder in which the tissue that grows on the lining of your uterus spreads to other organs like the fallopian tubes and ovaries. With no way to exit the body like normal menstruation, the tissue becomes trapped and causes pain, scaring, adhesions and fertility problems.
Endometriosis is difficult to diagnose without an invasive procedure, a laparoscopy. Often times it will be misdiagnosed with IBS or deemed psychological. Symptoms can range based on severity but can cause nausea, low grade fevers, heavy bleeding, lower back pain, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, painful bowel movements and fatigue.
Treatment usually starts with birth control hormones to try to regulate your cycle but unfortunately, some women are very sensitive to the hormones and don’t always respond to that treatment. Another option is an endometrial ablation, but it is not always suggested if you plan to have children. A hysterectomy is a final option but there are studies that it still is no cure and it is a rough surgery. If your endometrial tissue grows onto other organs, removing the uterus is not going to help. There are studies that nutrition can play a big role. An anti-inflammatory diet can help minimize symptoms.
Avoiding gluten, red meat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol can help alleviate symptoms and inflammation. Having a well-balanced diet full of nutrients, antioxidants, fatty acids and iron rich foods is important. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory compound that you can take as capsules or sprinkle on your food. Having plenty of rest, staying hydrated and support will be your best friend for this diagnosis.
What is your invisible illness?
Endometriosis, Depression, Anxiety
When and how were you diagnosed?
Endo: June 2017 by laparoscopic surgery. It took 12 years and dozens of tests for me to be diagnosed. I have had anxiety & depression since I was 16.
What were your struggles and fear after diagnosis?
There is no known cause, and no cure. Now, the treatments of birth control and antidepressants are just making things worse. I also fear infertility.
What advice do you have for anyone going through a new diagnosis?
Be patient with yourself. Keep records of everything. Find your community of people struggling with what you are fighting. Talk about it. Educate yourself so that you can educate others.
What are your goals and dreams in life?
My goal is to finish my business degree. I want to be an educator and an entertainer. I dream of my own business, where I can express myself through art, music, and nature. I dream of adventure in far away places.
Three things you cannot live without: Sunshine, hugs, and my heating pad!
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”