Monday, May 2, 2011

One woman's stuggle=help for other's

Today we have a guest blogger who will speak on a very important subject affecting some women. Vanessa Richardson is an author and playwrite and her message is a very inspirational one.

If someone asked me to describe Endometriosis in one word it would be: Pain! Consistent white hot piercing pain.  Endometriosis is a consistent, life interrupting, hard to manage pain. And is often treated with hormone therapy, such as birth control pills, Lupron, Zoladex and Depo Provera. Some of the side effects of these treatments are: weight gain, constantly fatigue, irritable mood swings and depressed.

My case was a little different as I was also diagnosed with Catamenial Pneumothorax. This is when a woman has her menstrual cycle and with in  24-48 hours her lung collapses.  Catamenial Pnuemothorax or CT affects 1% of women here in America. Catamenial Pneumothorax is a rare condition characterized by a recurrence of air in the pleural space coinciding with the onset of menses. CPT was first described in medical books in 1958. It is almost always right-sided, and generally affects women in their thirties and forties.

I was in my early twenties, when I started feeling a tightness in my chest and shortness of breath. I could hardly breathe or talk. A visit to the hospital ER; would reveal that my right lung had collapsed covering my heart completely. Treatment was a chest tube, and a week stay in the hospital. This would go on for seven years. Finally, I was diagnosed with Catamenial Pnuemothorax. A biopsy proved that I had Endometriosis and it had spread to the lung. So is my current battle; but I shall prevail.

Catamenial Pnuemothorax symptoms are: experiencing monthly chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness and fatigue. Some women have experienced multiple lung collapses over a period of several years. Many of these women have also been diagnosed with pelvic Endometriosis. I am one of those women. Endometriosis can spread to several parts of body organs, such as the bladder, bowel, intestines, colon, appendix, and rectum. In my case it was the lung and my pelvic cavity.   It is estimated that 30-40% of women with Endometriosis may not be able to have children.

In the end I had to have an emergency hysterectomy at 28 years of age. Dealing with infertility would be the trying of my faith. I have no kids at an early age; I vowed to God, that I'd wait until I was married; to have a child. But that is another story of victory and triumph to be shared at a later date.

Living with Endometriosis has definitely placed me on a soul and spiritual searching journey. The continual experimental medicine taking; and still not seeing any changes in my condition  It is hard to find the right treatment for we Endo patients. Sadly it can be difficult for Doctors to believe that this pain actually exists- and trust for me, it did and does. It is almost like a mind game. Medical science says one thing and your body is saying another.

I always tell people/patients this and will stick by it: You know your body and if it's telling you something, listen to it. If you don’t know your body; then get to know it!  With a diagnosed you don't have to settle for one Doctor's opinion, get a second.  Don’t be ashamed nor care what people think about you. The ultimate goal is to get better. It’s the squeakiest wheel gets the oil.

In the end I am seeing the true woman that I am. I am God's chosen. I am not giving up and I am not yielding to defeat. In this I choose to still be happy and remain focus on what God has destined me to be.  In the end, God will honor His name as Jehovah Rapha: The God that HEALS.  

If you or someone you know are suffering from Endometriosis and/or Catamenial pneumotorax please visit:

Author and playwright Vanessa Richardson
Aspiring to inspire!


  1. What an inspirational woman, and I assume an inspirational book as well! Nice to see it here!

  2. Austin, I appreciate your taking the time to read my post. Best to you!

  3. Great story. Thanks for sharing it with us. Wishing you continued success.