23 Mar Jayde’s resilience as an Endo Warrior | EndoMarch
Port Campbell’s Jayde Alexander first started experiencing symptoms of pain and discomfort following the birth of her first child in 2014. At the time Jayde put the feelings of nausea down to changes in her body following pregnancy and childbirth, including the expected hormonal changes.
“I was really nauseous,” Jayde said. “Sometimes I was so sick that I couldn’t get out of bed. I assumed it was a food intolerance,” Jayde added.
After the birth of her second child in 2016, Jayde sought assistance from a naturopath. The use of herbs and a restricted diet relieved some symptoms; however, Jayde was still experiencing fatigue, severe migraines, and an irritable bladder. “The nausea was the worst part,” Jayde said.
In late 2018, Jayde went to see a doctor. By this stage Jayde’s symptoms included pelvic pain. “I finally went to a doctor, by this stage I was always bloated, and it was painful. The doctor did lots of tests and then I had a laparoscopy early in 2019,” Jayde said. This keyhole surgery found that she had stage 1 endometriosis as well as adenomyosis. Both conditions involve cells from the uterus acting abnormally. Endometriosis occurs when the uterine lining (endometrium) tissue grows outside the uterus in other parts of the body. Adenomyosis, on the other hand, occurs when the endometrial tissue grows into the muscle wall of the uterus.
Before anything further could be done in terms of Jayde’s diagnosis, she was pregnant for a third time. Jayde credits this pregnancy with saving her. “Knowing that the problems were endometriosis and not a food intolerance I was able to reintroduce lots of foods I had been restricting and gave my body a reset and the nutrition it needed,” Jayde said.
The symptoms of endometriosis became more apparent after her third child was born, so about two months later Jayde had another laparoscopy where they removed as much of the affected endometrial tissue as possible. Following this Jayde was still experiencing severe symptoms. “I was still having bad migraines, nausea, my bowels weren’t working, and the period pain was too much,” Jayde said.
After much research and discussion with her gynaecologist Dr Liz Uren, Jayde realised that a hysterectomy was the best option for her, which she had in March 2020. The decision to have a hysterectomy is not an easy one, and it can be emotionally challenging for women who want to have children. “We had completed our family, so it wasn’t a large decision for us,” Jayde said.
However, when Jayde’s results from the hysterectomy came through it was found she had some abnormal cells indicating the presence of cervical cancer. Jayde had a cone biopsy to have abnormal tissue removed from her cervix.
Around 8 weeks later Jayde started experiencing phantom periods. “I was having all the signs and symptoms, including migraines, nausea and bloating,” Jayde said. “I then underwent a colonoscopy and endoscopy to ensure it wasn’t gut related,” Jayde added. The results indicated that the problem was not with her digestive system.
Jayde is now on a combination of hormones including a daily progesterone pill, and estrogen delivered via a skin patch, which have relieved some of the symptoms including the nausea and headaches.
While Jayde is relieved some of the symptoms have gone away, she still feels like she has her monthly cycle and experiences premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well as symptoms of perimenopause including insomnia. Jayde, now 37, is kept busy with 3 young children and running her business, Port Campbell Holiday Rentals, which takes care of about 20 properties.
March is EndoMarch, raising awareness for Endometriosis. www.endometriosisaustralia.org provides educational blogs, “Living with Endo” podcasts and other Endo Warrior stories.
You can also book an appointment with our Community Health Nurse Amanda or with one of our General Practitioners at Timboon Clinic by calling 5558 6088.