Wellness is not only the food you eat, how you exercise, or whether or not you practice meditation. Sometimes wellness is spreading awareness that about the issues we go through, discussing our experiences, and creating awareness around our bodies. For Kiera Rumble, sharing her struggle with endometriosis is just as important as the other ideas of wellness we may have. As the founder of Krumbled, a food and wellness brand that is dedicated to educating and healthy living into your household, endometriosis awareness, and sharing her story is also the advocation of health. Kiera Rumble spoke with us about her diagnosis, the treatment process, and how she important it is to educate the public about endometriosis. Keep reading for more on Kiera Rumble.
Kiera Rumble Talks Lack of Endometriosis Education and Her Experience With Endo
1) Tell us about your experience with discovering you had endometriosis.
I had an ectopic pregnancy in January 2019 resulting in my fallopian tube rupturing and tubal removal surgery. After this surgery, over the course of a few months, began to rapidly deteriorate. I was then diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain due to adhesions (basically, my left ovary was stuck to my uterus). Adhesions are something that can happy after surgery and can be extremely painful. I went and saw two specialists, who recommended surgery to try and “unstick” the ovary. During this surgery a few weeks ago, I found out that I had (on top of the adhesions), endometriosis throughout my abdomen. It was on both right and left pelvic wall, my bladder, my bowel, the nerves going to my back, both ovaries and my right tube.
2) Did you have any signs or symptoms before your diagnosis?
Severe chronic pelvic pain every day out of my cycle, worse during ovulation and menstruation, severe bloating and inflammation, crampy lower back pain, pain shooting down my legs, hormonal breakouts.
3) What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common disease where tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it in other parts of the body. Endometriosis can be chronic and the pain can be debilitating. It affects one’s reproductive organs. However, it is frequently found in the bowel, bladder, and has even been found in muscles, joints, the lungs, and the brain.
4) What are the usual signs or symptoms?
Painful periods, pain during intercourse, sore lower back, leg pain, pelvic pain, fatigue, infertility. The list is endless, everyone experiences endometriosis in a different way. In some cases, women can go through life never experiencing any symptoms and can have endometriosis.
5) What is the treatment process like?
A bit of a tricky answer! My number one recommendation is to listen to your body. Periods aren’t meant to be painful. Speak to your doctor, and if your gut feeling says you have endometriosis, find yourself a specialist in endometriosis and get their opinion. I hear that if you have to miss out on life events or schedule things around your period, this can be a big alarm bell. On average it takes 10 years for a woman to be diagnosed with endo, I am so thankful (in a horrible way) that I had a “physical trauma” from the previous surgery, so I was escalated pretty quickly into action (approx. 18 months from my tubal removal to my second surgery). I have spoken to some women who are ignored or their pain is dismissed by their doctors and can go years without a proper diagnosis.
The only real way to diagnose is through surgery (I had multiple scans prior to surgery and endometriosis was never found), if found surgically during a laparoscopy, the endometriosis is normally removed. Treatment can vary from then and it is best to get guidance from your specialist doctor about your own personal treatment plan. There is no cure for endometriosis. Sadly, women can have multiple surgeries to remove the endometriosis growth that keeps on recurring. Studies have shown that working with a women’s physio, an anti-inflammatory diet and certain types of exercise can assist with your management of endometriosis, but again, we are all extremely different.
I know for me personally, I am still recovering from my surgery. My pain and symptoms have reduced significantly, but I still require heavy pain killers during my period. My surgeon told me the first 3 are normally pretty painful and over time the pain will alleviate. As part of my recovery, I have chosen to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Personally, for me, corn seems to be a huge trigger in my body. I do weekly acupuncture and have heat packs that I use regularly. I also do 3-4 sessions of Pilates a week and have regular check-ins with my specialist.
7) What do you want people to know about endometriosis?
There is currently no cure for endometriosis. It is a chronic illness that 1 in 10 women experience, the pain can be life-changing both physically and mentally. It can be so debilitating that some days women are bedridden. The toll endo can have on someone’s mental health can be exponential. Also, the acknowledgment of pain by your medical team, friends, and family can go a long way. This can help with your mental health when living with endometriosis.
8) How important is it to educate the public about endometriosis?
I think the shocking stat of on average it can take 10 years for someone to be diagnosed. It is really heartbreaking. There is a huge lack of awareness due to a normalization of symptoms. This also leads to a significant delay of diagnosis.