My name is Orla, I suffer from endometriosis. What people may not know is how badly endometriosis can affect daily life.
The first time I was hospitalised with pain (what I now know was due to endometriosis) I was 14. I couldn't stand, I was doubled in two in pain and I was told that I was stressed and that the pain was probably in my head.
I had numerous trips to doctors, hospital, constant pain, confusion and frustration as to why I was feeling like this when I was being told according to tests I was fine. Endometriosis does not show up on ultrasounds, the only way to diagnose it is through surgery.
I'm now 25, Two years ago after 3 surgeries and 9 years I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis. I had ablation (laser removal) to remove some of the endometriosis but at the time I did not realise there is a 90% recurrence rate within the first year. There is no cure for endometriosis but a small number of surgeons can excise ( cut out) endometriosis which only has a 5% chance of recurrence. I have been on numerous treatments, hormone therapies, medication used to treat prostate cancer, physical therapy and had the menopause induced twice, all before I turned 23. All of these medications greatly affected me but I tried anything to be pain-free, unfortunately nothing has worked.
Within 6 months of my surgery in 2017 I was experiencing crippling pain again. This pain means I haven't been able to complete my final year in college, haven't been able to work, haven't been able to go out and do things that normal 25 year-olds do. I have cancelled holidays, quit jobs all because I have been in pain daily, for the last 3 years especially. I’ve now had 5 surgeries and the pain is relentless, all I want is a chance of a pain free life.
My dream is to travel to America and have excision surgery with one of the best surgeons in the world at the Centre for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta Georgia, travelling to America is my best shot at improving my quality of life. Unfortunately this will cost approximately €45,000. I'm asking for anything you can spare even a euro so I can get my life back and travel to Atlanta for surgery.
All I want is to be a primary school teacher, and I am so close to finishing my postgrad but at the moment I can't even work a few hours, can't even keep a part-time job due to the pain and chronic fatigue. This is my chance, It would mean the world to me.