As some of you know, I have endometriosis, which is a painful chronic disease which causes endometrial tissue grows on your ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining your pelvis. It also causes a painful type of bloating known as “endo belly,” which you can see in the photo I’ve posted. My pain became severe in January 2020 and began to impact my ability to function daily. I am in high levels of pain daily, which has taken a huge toll on my mental health and I have been unable to work since March. I am currently on JobSeeker.
Currently, I need a laparoscopic surgery to remove the endometriosis adhesions from my reproductive system, as well removing a large cyst from my right ovary. This will reduce my pain to a level that I am able to have a quality of life again and return to work. Prior to COVID-19, I was scheduled to have my surgery on the 21st of July through the public system with a private gynaecologist. Due to COVID-19, my surgery has been cancelled and I am not able to access a surgery through the public system for the foreseeable future. I now need to access a surgery through the private system, having my procedure on the 30th of July at the Ballarat Day Procedure centre. However, I am still in my waiting period for my private health insurance and will have to pay entirely out of pocket for this surgery. I have only found out I need to pay for my procedure privately in the last few days, leaving me with only 10 days to come up with the cost.
I am looking at out of pocket fees for my theatre costs at around $2600, surgeon fees of $2,306, assistant fee $590, anaesthetist fees $691 with a total cost of roughly $6,200 for my procedure. As well, I will be looking at post operative physiotherapy for months, follow up appointments with my pain specialist and surgeon, as well as medication costs. I have already paid thousands and thousands of dollars over the years through testing, appointment fees, medications, scans, private health insurance, physiotherapy costs, ambulance trips, unpaid time off work, etc.. Any move raised above the total cost of my surgery will be used for the ongoing costs of my endometriosis treatment.
I have been let down countless times by the public system, having a terrible experience with my first laparoscopy in 2015 when my laparoscopy report was lost for four years, and while the report indicates endometriosis tissue was found – there is still no answer as to whether it was removed. I have been waiting to see a gynaecologist publicly through the Royal Women’s Hospital for over 18 months.
This procedure is key for me to be able to function again. I spend every day on the couch in pain. Some days I can’t move. Can’t get out of bed. I'm kept up at night with the pain. I can’t live like this and I need my surgery as soon as possible. I’m not expecting this to get much, but every dollar counts and can make a difference and help me to access the surgery I so desperately need.