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1/05/2009

WARNING To The Endometriosis Community Regarding: "Dr. Gregory Smith" {UPDATED}

Melissa has posted this update to her blog. I believe it sums up the importance of staying vigilant...

"Update: As many individuals have reminded me that this individual might be either "borrowing" or faking a name, I am editing the post to reflect that no one knows for sure what this person's "real" name might be. It is important to take caution in all of your interactions with others, and don't be afraid to ask the tough questions when you have them. As always, the law says that we are innocent until proven guilty. However it is important to alert others to the potential dangers that are out there within the endo community".

-- Melissa Ralston (Leader of "Goddesses of Endometriosis" Yahoo Online Support Group)


Please see Melissa Ralston's post about "Dr. Gregory Smith":

"WARNING to the Endo community: Dr. Gregory Smith"

Warnings have been posted on Facebook and Yahoo online endometriosis support groups

There are individuals who prey on people who are ill. Let's protect ourselves from such individuals as best we can!

See Melissa's blog post above for more details, please.


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UPDATE FOR STAYING SAFE:

PLEASE SEE RELATED STORY ON ENDOCHICK'S BLOG.
IT CONTAINS GREAT INFORMATION FOR PROTECTING YOURSELF ONLINE!

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This article was posted by Jeanne via "Jeanne's Endo Blog" at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.

20 comments:

Yaya said...

Just wrong that ppl are doing this.

Jeanne said...

Alicia,

Yes, it is terribly unfortunate when people exploit the sick! This violation of patients' trust is totally appalling. The harder we work to get the word out about this individual, the sooner we can stop women from being victimized. This is truly sad!

Jeanne

Mckay K said...

My heart is aching. I am so upset about this.

Thank you for acting on this information so quickly. Hopefully if anyone else has been victimized by Gregory Smith, they will all come forward.

Jeanne, I liked the graphic you used on this post as well. Excelent.

Be well and be attentive.

endochick said...

I've written and linked back to you and Melissa. Hopefully this man gets the message - and all like him.

Jeanne said...

Mckay k,

I am sorry you are so upset but I can certainly understand why you are!

Melissa Ralston and I spent several nauseating hours online last night notifying others about this issue, posting about it, etc.

It is really a shame that there are people who prey on those who are ill and/or vulnerable!

Like you, I hope that anyone who has been taken advantage of by the individual known as "Dr. Gregory Smith" will speak up... for themselves and to protect others. The more information the better.

Suffering in silence is not healthy in general.

In this situation, speaking up can help prevent others from being victimized.

Endochick,

Thank you for posting about this. I really like the way you worded your post!

--->
Readers, see Endochick's post:
--->

http://endochick.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/bloggers-protect-yourself/

You listed some great, specific tips for staying safe online!!

Jeanne

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

I am new here! What a great blog! ♥ Shauna

Jeanne said...

Dear Shauna,

1) I love your "Trying To Stay Calm" screen name!

2) I love your Tigger!

3) WELCOME!!

I'm really glad you stopped by and that you like the blog!!



Jeanne

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jannie said...

Boy, some nut-jobs in the world, eh! Thanks for the heads-up.

Jeanne said...

Jannie,

It is terribly unfortunate. This person has hurt many people.

It saddens me and appalls me.

The more people who blog this warning, the better we can warn others about this situation.

Please see posts by Melissa & Endochick about this.

We are all cross-referenced in our blog posts.

The more bloggers band together with issuing this warning, the higher the Google ranking for this important story.

The more visibility we get, the more people can avoid being victimized by this person or others that prey on patients and other vulnerable people!

Jeanne

Melissa Ralston said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeanne said...

Melissa,

I just found your update here. Thank you for all of the energy you have poured into this!! I know how utterly exhausting it has been for me.

Like you, I am totally drained by this whole experience!

I'm ***VERY*** happy to hear that ERC is investigating this matter!! This is great news!! :)

Please don't apologize for linking to your blog post about this... I certainly understand wanting to use the least draining method possible to update people!

I know what it's like to copy/paste and/or write the same info on site after site! I can barely see straight at this point.

You are very right that a matter such as this is best handled by organizations with the resources and ability to address matters appropriately!!!

Your "beyond exhausted" description is something I can relate to very much. There are just no words to capture how tired I am.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Yes, it is far better for the ERC to check out these allegations than for patients like us to try to do so on our own!!!

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

I'm so sorry you are in so much pain. My thoughts are with you heading into this next infertility appointment!

Melissa, please get some rest!! I know that's what I need to do!! (I did some unwinding today with my Tori post. Tori is one of the best tools I have for calming down when I'm as upset as I have been in the last couple of days).

I have not been able to rest properly because I have been too agitated.

Now that I know you've been in contact with ERC and that they are taking action, I can RELAX over all this and let them follow up on all of the info that has inundated us in the last 24 hours or so.

Thank you so much for working so hard on this.

Rest, rest, rest!

Jeanne

Jeanne said...

Dear Readers,

I've deleted some of the comments in regards to connections between "Dr. Gregory Smith" and a large endometriosis organization.

Melissa Ralston has been in direct contact with this organization and the matter is under active investigation.

They have informed Melissa that they are looking into this with their resources.

If you have specific concerns in regards to an individual's activity, I would urge you to contact whatever applicable organization is involved with situation.

If you believe a crime has been committed, please contact your local police authorities for assistance in how to proceed.

The individual known as "Dr. Gregory Smith" who allegedly has had inappropriate communications with patients is one of a great many individuals accessing the Internet!

Please bear in mind that there are many other individuals who may be dangerous. Please remain vigilant.

Guard your personal inormation and personal information of your loved ones. Do not give out personal information to people you do not know.

Trust your instincts. If someone asks you personal questions you feel are intrusive or inappropriate, listen to your instincts.

Please keep in mind that it is easy on the Internet to use fake names, aliases, screen names, etc.

It is entirely possible that someone could drop out of sight only to re-surface under a different name later.

It does not matter if someone has the term "Dr." before their name. If someone does have "Dr." before their name, it does not matter if they have a MD or a PhD...

A medical degree or PhD does not make someone automatically safe. Also, anyone could claim to be a "Dr".

So please do NOT let your guard down with someone who claims to be a doctor, psychologist, social worker, marriage & family therapist, etc.

True healthcare professionals would never ask for personal health information via an online support group setting. Such a request is a red flag.

Again, even if the person does have an MD or PhD, that does not automatically mean that they are trustworthy.

It does not matter what gender someone claims to be. Anyone asking inappropriate questions or making unacceptable comments should be viewed with caution.

If you have any doubts or uncomfortable feelings, consider ending your email communications, instant messaging, etc. with the person who is causing you concern.

It doesn't matter what the person's picture looks like. (After all, the picture may not be the person you think it is at all).

We have all benefitted from the positive support and education provided by online support. Online support can be fantastically helpful!

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to online support. It is impossible (or nearly so) to know who to trust.

If someone "befriends" you and you let your guard down, you may share more information than you intended to.

If someone expresses common interests, you may be tempted to volunteer info that you wouldn't have shared if you had stopped to really think about it more clearly.

If someone asks you lots of questions while providing relatively minimal info about himself or herself, that is a possible red flag.

If you ask someone a direct question and do not receive an answer, it may possibly be a form of evasion on their part because they do not want to offer any more info than necessary.

If you feel like you are getting grilled by someone and are getting little information back, the person could be "taking" information from you rather than trying to support you.

The individual known as "Dr. Gregory Smith" may have aliases or screen names.

Frankly, ANYONE you interact with online could be this person using a different name and still be "Dr. Gregory Smith"... or they could be another person who has no business participating in online support for endometriosis patients!

Sadly, this will likely not be an isolated incident. At some point, there will likely be someone else who engages in inappropriate behavior towards endometriosis patients.

Endometriosis has a profund personal impact on patients. This fact can be used against patients by individuals who portray themselves as supportive when in actuality they are dangerous.

To quote Melissa Ralston of
"Endometriosis: Facing the Battle Head-On" at http://endobattle.blogspot.com/:

"Exercise caution when you feel the need arise from your instincts".

In closing, I would like to remind readers that Endochick posted an outstanding blog post about Internet security.

Please check it out if you have not already done so! It is very well-done and has helpful tips for staying safe online!

Here is her post on safety...

-------> Endochick's post:

http://endochick.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/bloggers-protect-yourself/

-------> See article above!!

I urge you to read Endochick's wonderful post.

Stay safe!

Jeanne

Squidgeaboo said...

http://endosquidge.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/warning-to-the-endo-community-dr-gregory-smith/

Posted the alert to my blog, FYI. Let's out this perv, keep ourselves safe and move along with our lives.

Thanks for the heads' up!

Jeanne said...

Squidgeaboo,

Thank you for posting on your blog about this issue to protect patients!

Jeanne

Menchita said...

Hello

I am writing here because I just dont know where else to write, I am frustated, scared, mad and uterly worried about endo. Apologize my English but Is not my first language.

I had pain during intercourse for about 2.5 years now, constant visits to the doctor, a couple of cryotheraphies, more visits, pain during my period in my lower belly, pain in the middle of my cycle as well. I changed doctor a couple of times and everyone kept sending me home. Saying you pap shows nothing, your eco shows nothing, just go home (I seriuosly though i was just crazy)

It got to the point where I avoided sex with my partner because I was scared of the pain that i would have for whole following week and during the act.

At last, my Ginecologist has comed up with the diagnostic: "hmmmm nothing seems to work, you must have endometriosis" wow I should have thought of that before....." !!!!!!!

I am scheduled to have a laparoscopic surgery in a couple of weeks, but reading the experiences of other women in this blog really brings me down...

I have a couple of questions:

1.- If I get the surgery, and endo is confirmed and dealed with, will I be able to live withouth pain and have a normal sex life?

2.- What about the scares of the surgery are they big? noticeable on a bikini (I KNOW it sounds so superficial but I am young, I want to live, go to the beach, have sex, be happy like everybody else....) I AM TIRED OF LIVING WITH PAIN.

Jeanne said...

Menchita,

I'm glad you found my blog and I hope it can help you at this challenging time!

Let me start by saying that I'm sorry you're frustrated, scared, mad, and worried about endo!!

As far as feeling down after reading my blog, please know that this particular post is probably one of the darkest ones ever. So please don't let the 'warning' posted regarding this fake doctor upset you.

It was posted to warn patients what was happening so that they could ignore this man's scams. Better safe than sorry and he was getting into a whole pile of endo sites and online support groups for endo.

Trust me that not all posts on my blog are this way so please don't let it "bring you down".

There is no need to apologize for English not being your first language. Your English is very good! If reading English is harder than writing, feel free to check out my Yahoo Babel Fish language translation software, available in my blog's sidebar.

If your written English is any indication, however, you're doing great! Many moons ago I took French, Spanish, and Italian in school... but I'm afraid I remember almost none of it. As my French teacher used to warn us, "use it or lose it". He was right.

Menchita, there are many things that can cause painful intercourse. Endometriosis is certainly one of them but there are other possible explanations.

I have a question for you about something you wrote about. You mentioned having had cryosurgeries. Cryosurgeries have nothing to do with endo and I was just wondering if your doctor(s) told you the purpose for having cryosurgery?

Clearly I cannot diagnose you and nothing I write here is meant to diagnose or treat you in any way.

That said, I can tell you that anyone I have ever known/heard of who had cryosurgery had it done because they had cervical dysplasia.

I just Googled cervical dysplasia for you since it can define “co” better than I can. Just see the link.

http://www.womenshealthchannel.com/cervicaldysplasia/index.shtml

I'm sorry about your constant visits to the doctor. It can be incredibly frustrating and overwhelming. I know firsthand.

So again, I'm not sure what their intention was with a couple of cryotheraphies. It sounds like the doctor may not have communicated the reason(s) to you

Skipping ahead to your doctor(s) telling you the pap showed nothing, a pap smear wouldn't have any bearing whatsoever on determining whether you have endo or not. Only a laparoscopy can diagnose endo. If your pap smears were OK, I'm really confused about why you had multiple cryosurgeries?

Before we get to the topic of laparoscopy, let me just cover some of the other things you mentioned...

Having lots of visits to doctor(s), pain during your period in your lower belly, & pain in the middle of your cycle are all possible signs of endo. Again, only a lap can tell you for sure but those are symptoms many endo patients have.

Women with endo often have to change doctors numerous times before finding a doctor who is:

1) highly skilled at recognizing and treating endo

2) very experienced in performing laparoscopies to diagnose and treat endo

3) empathetic and good at listening to the patient and believing her rather than making her feel like she is perceived as crazy

Sadly, it is VERY common for endo patients to see a few of these unskilled, non-empathetic doctors before they find a doctor who is competent and treats women with respect.

The fact that doctors sent you home without answers when you are suffering so sounds, to me, like they are not the right doctors for you.

Again, the pap showing nothing has nothing to do with whether you do or don't have endo.

I don't know what you meant by "eco shows nothing". I have had endo since I was 13 years old. I'm now 40. So I have had endo for 27 years. I'm afraid I don't know what you meant by "eco".

Sadly, women with endo typically do have doctors at some point their lives who treat them as if they are crazy.

I'm so sorry for all of your suffering. Clearly something is going on to cause you such severe pain.

There are many possible causes of painful intercourse. Endo is one of them. Many other conditions can cause this symptom. Many illnesses that are related to endo can cause this pain too.

Now, on to your gynecologist's comment, "hmmmm nothing seems to work, you must have endometriosis"... I'm a bit concerned at this wording. The reason for my concern is that a laparoscopy is the only way to diagnose endo.

To "try everything else first" and then do a laparoscopy because the other stuff mentioned above (some of which was completely unrelated to endo in any way!) didn't yield a diagnosis seems an unusual approach.

As I stated earlier, I'm not advising you what you should or shouldn't do but here's my impression. I actually checked with another endo blogger for ideas on how to address your comments/questions because I don't want to steer you wrong.

Based on what you've described, it sounds like a laparoscopy is in order. It is the only way to determine whether you do or do not have endo.

Here is what a fellow endo blogger, Melissa Ralston, had to say about your situation:


"Yeah, lap is necessary. I usually approach it from two standpoints:

(1) You want to know what’s going on with you, to be able to firmly put a name to describe your “hell” and then you are best prepared to make your treatment decisions based on all the medical facts.

2) Surgery is often one of the few ways that a woman gains relief, prior to starting any type of therapy. It’s important not to have therapies that you may not need without first knowing why you need them. You wouldn’t give a non-cancer patient chemo, so why would you treat this illness any differently? Plus, it will save money in the end, since if you don’t need a certain treatment then you won’t be wasting your money. I usually talk about the importance of finding an endo specialist even for that very first surgery, since it optimizes the chances of having greater relief...."

Melissa made an excellent point above that I would like to reinforce.

It is crucial to find a skilled surgeon to perform the laparoscopic surgery! Not all surgeons are created equal. This seems to be especially true with gynecology.

Many doctors' skills are sadly lacking for recognizing misplaced endometrial tissue and removing it completely.

My first surgery was a "regular gynecologist" who was not very well-versed about endo. He did my first lap and did find and remove endo.

The problem was that he missed a bunch of it.

So I had terrible pain and other symptoms and finally got referred to an "endometriosis specialist". (I'll try to define this in a minute).

The 1st doc (the GYN who did my 1st lap) insisted that my symptoms were not endo (even though my symptoms were classic endo symptoms).

Just ten months after my 1st lap, the "endo specialist" did my 2nd lap. Sure enough, he found endo in multiple places.

I think having a lap is an excellent idea for you to do in your situation. The question in my mind is, who should you have do it?

It's natural to feel down when reading about problems and pain. I assure you that is you take a look aroung my blog, you'll se stories of hope and articles that uplift you.

This particular post (the Dr Greg warning) is one of the most draining I have ever written. Please don't let it get you down.

Regarding your questions:

I have a couple of questions...

1. If you get the surgery, and endo is confirmed and dealt with, you may experience relief from the pain with intercourse. No one can promise that that anything will guarantee this pain will go away... but if you have endo and you get diagnosed with it and treated for it, you may have improvement of various symptoms, including this.

2. The scars associated with laparoscopy are typically very small. Different doctors do different numbers of incisions. Typically the belly button incision is the only one that is slightly visible. The other incisions are so low that no bikini would show them. I have had 7 surgeries: 6 laparoscopies and 1 laparotomy (major surgery). In my personal experience with laparoscopies, it's best to find a doctor who uses at least 3 incisions including the belly button one. Some doctors try to get by with 2 but having that extra incision improves the doctor's visibility inside the abdomen. This enables him/her to better find the endo and get it out effectively.

Honestly, a typical laparoscopy patient would not have noticeable scars. The belly button might be slightly visible but it's honestly not bad.

Typically you could wear your bikini to your heart's content after you heal from surgery and you might be the only one who notices your scars at all (the other scars being covered up.

I understand you're not trying to sound superficial and that you are just trying to mentally prepare for the laparoscopy... which is TOTALLY understandable.

Now, you may be wondering what defines an “endo specialist”. That’s a good question. Any gynecologist who feels like calling himself/herself an “endo specialist” can do so. There’s no special training that a Dr. takes to be deemed am endo specialist. It’s not when like a patient goes to a cardiologist for the heart or neurologist for neuropathy. No. Not with endo. There are gynecologists who are, sadly, pretty clueless about endo.

I have a pelvic pain specialist treat me for endo plus I have regular GYN. However, there are gynecologists out there who are skilled at endo! The trick is finding the doctor who is right for you.

Through my local endo support group, I have had the opportunity to talk with many women in my area -- to get their feedback on various healthcare practitioners from gynecologists to pelvic pain specialist to acupuncturists.

If you have a local endometriosis support group, I highly recommend attending their meetings and asking around which doctors the support group members like!

Also, if you have a doctor you trust… you can try asking him/her for a referral to a highly skilled gynecologic laparoscopist. Perhaps your primary care physician might have a name for you.

Here are some more tips for finding a doctor who will be most likely to perform a successful laparoscopy from Melissa’s Ralston’s blog:

http://endobattle.blogspot.com/2009/02/finding-endometriosis-specialist.html

I know your surgery is already scheduled for a couple of weeks away. However, if you decide you’re not comfortable having that doctor perform your laparoscopy… it is your perfect right to cancel that surgery in order to buy yourself some time to find another surgeon… if you feel that you may be able to find a more experienced endo surgeon in your area.

I don’t mention the topic of surgeon selection to scare you in any way. I have met many women whose first laparoscopy was not particularly helpful for removing endo. Like me, they had laparoscopies performed by doctors who were not highly skilled at endo. Unfortunately, many gynecologists will “puff up their credentials” by billing themselves as “endometriosis specialists”... even if they have no special training on which to make such an assertion.

Having had endo hit me at the age of 13, I have lived with it for my entire adult life. So I totally understand your desire to live and have fun!

As far as being tired of living with pain, no one can blame you for that!!

To echo what Melissa says above, it's important to get a proper diagnosis for whatever it is that you have... endo or not.

Without a diagnosis, you end up being a "guinea pig" for the doctor to simply "try things on you". (Please forgive that term "guinea pig" but based on what you wrote, it sounds like that could happen).

I KNOW YOU ARE TIRED OF LIVING WITH PAIN.

I can't diagnose you. All I can do is try to steer you towards info that may assist you in getting the best treatment possible for whatever condition you may have.

There are other illnesses with similar symptoms to endo. One of my endo blogger buddies wrote the following excellent post. It highlights the importance of getting the correct diagnosis. I highly recommend reading this post:

http://endendoat.blogspot.com/2008/11/endometriosis-blog-endochick-is-todays.html (Endochick’s post)

It’s crucial to get the correct diagnosis for whatever is causing your symptoms. Without a proper diagnosis, getting on the right treatment plan for your symptoms will be difficult if not impossible.

Here is a link that explains laparoscopy. It might ease your mind a bit to read about it. Fear of the unknown is never a good thing. :)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002916.htm

Menchita, I know you have this laparoscopy hanging over your head in just a couple of weeks. That’s a lot of pressure to have on you. I know you may have many more questions. Please feel free to post any more questions you have! I will do my best to answer you and I will try to help you find any answers that I don’t have personally.

You’re under a lot of stress. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you have more questions or comments.

Suspecting you have endo and not having the official diagnosis yet is a tricky time indeed! Endo and other illnesses can masquerade as each other.

The key to figuring out if you do/don’t have endo is to have a surgeon skilled in endo perform your lap. Once you know whether you have endo or not, you’ll be able to pursue appropriate medical care for your condition (whatever it might be).

I know you’re stressed out. Let me know if you have any more questions. I know you’re in one of the hardest times... Knowing something’s wrong with your body and not knowing what to do.

Hang in there!

Jeanne

Melissa Ralston said...

Wow, what a helpful response Jeanne! I'm glad that my 6am words could be of use :) Most of the time I'm nowhere near that intelligent and understandable at that time of day!

After going 10+ years of going undiagnosed with the disease, or any of the multitude that I've been diagnosed with, I was seriously beginning to doubt whether the doctors weren't right after all in telling me all along: "Your pain is not based on there being anything wrong with your body". The confirmed diagnosis, while a scary thing on its own, gave truth to my feelings and told me that I could trust the signals that my body was sending out.

While my first surgery, done by a regular GYN, did not help to relieve my symptoms, the 2 other laps that I have had, both my endo specialists, provided with quite a bit a relief.

You can only see my scars if you are up close and looking for them :) But then again, I think of scars as proof of my inner strength to get through this journey.

Take care,
Melissa

Jeanne said...

Melissa,

Thank you! I did appreciate tapping your brain for my response to Menchita. When I hear women who are (understandably) scared to have surgery to determine what's happening, it breaks my heart because I know that laparoscopy is necessary to rule endometriosis in or out and is the procedure that allows doctors to remove the misplaced tissue. In this case, I tapped your brain because it sounds like Menchita is going through a tough time right now and I wanted to find the right words to help her. Hopefully, she is seeing our comments back about her situation and finding them helpful.

I too went undiagnosed for 10 years... from 1982 through 1992. Like you, many of my other chronic illnesses weren't exactly diagnosed promptly despite me bending over backwards trying to find the right medical care.

For example, 3 urologists told me I did not have interstitial cystitis. Then my pelvic pain specialist (who I see currently) did a 4th cystoscopy and determined that I do, in fact, have IC. I went undiagnosed with IC for 12 years.

Like you and so many dozens upon dozens of other women I've encountered, I had doctors say things to me that left me thinking that they thought I was crazy. In my case, I never doubted that I was sick. No matter how many doctors couldn't help me, I just kept searching until I found the doctors that could do so.

Part of why I never doubted myself was that I found a local endo support group after I was diagnosed in 1992 (in the city I used to live in) and I heard one woman after another telling tales of the same thing: doctors acting like they were imagining symptoms or exaggerating.

Once I heard that so many other women were, essentially, not believed by their doctors, I began to realize that it was the medical community that had the problem... rather than that the patients were all imagining/exaggerating.

As upsetting as it was (and still is) to wrap my brain around the fact that many doctors just don't "get" endometriosis, I felt relief that it was not me imagining things and that the problems I was experiencing were not psychosomatic!

Then the task became... finding the right doctors to meet my needs.

Like you, I felt relief when I was diagnosed with endometriosis because the diagnosis validated my pain and other symptoms. I had proof I wasn't imagining! The biopsy said so!

Certainly part of me was scared to find that I had endometriosis... especially once I began to understand the chronic nature of the illness. However, I finally knew what the heck was making me so sick for all those years and the diagnosis gave me treatment options.

Like you, I felt comfort that I could trust my body when it told me, "something's wrong!"

My first surgery was done by a regular GYN who wasn't well-versed on endo. The scary thing with this doctor is that he THINKS he is well-versed on endo.

Back in 1992, there wasn't much info readily available to patients. My local library at the time had NOTHING on it. I looked and looked and finally asked the librarian for help finding endo info. There was a good reason I was having trouble finding endo info in the library. There wasn't any! Once the librarian couldn't find any either, I knew I was in for an interesting ride.

I didn't have the luxury back then of hopping on the Internet and getting info on endo that way.

One day, I spent several hours in a Barnes & Noble bookstore combing through the health and self-help books. In the resource section in back of one of the books, I found the phone number for the Endometriosis Association.

Calling the EA was tthe first step I needed to get me on the path for finding info about endo. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on about endo!!

Soon I started to wonder just how much my doctor knew about it. After all, I had many classic endo symptoms flaring up after the surgery that he inisisted couldn't be endo-related because he had "cleaned me out".

Well, my symptoms were persistent and quite severe. To make a long story short, he blew me off for quite awhile and then one day did a 180 degree turn and sent me to the ER with the intention of having me admitted. (That's how sick I was).

I found another doctor (one that I'll call an "endo specialist" even though there techincally is no such thing). I was so sick that he rushed me in for another laparoscopy 7 days after my initial consultation with him.

This 2nd lap was just 10 months after the first one. Sure enough, the 2nd doctor found endometriosis! This is when I started to understand that picking a surgeon who is highly skilled at recognizing and treating endo is crucial!

Melissa, I love your outlook about the scars.

Not only are you right about them being very small and hard to see unless you're basically looking for them, but they are... as you said... proof of the fortitude needed to make this journey. :)

Jeanne

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