This is the story of the delay in endometriosis diagnosis, the immediate close friends in my life,  and what I’ve learned since my oophorectomy on 19 June 2017.

First up my university friends. We all went to the same doctors in the same town who misdiagnosed, mismanaged, mistreated, and even abused us all and how many other women?

One friend was told to “stop swinging from the chandeliers, sweetheart” as though that is even remotely an acceptable response to someone in pain.

I lived on a farm while doing my masters. There were other houses on the farm filled with fellow students who happened to be my friends. My house had three women and one man. Of the three women, two have endometriosis and one has PSOS. Our then neighbour has endometriosis. Our then other neighbour (technically a neighbour even if over a cliff and past a dam) also has endometriosis.

My husband lived with his friend N who ended up being his best man at our civil ceremony at Home Affairs. I recently discovered that she has endometriosis. I’m mentioning that she is a Xhosa lesbian only to draw attention to the challenges facing disadvantaged women in South Africa. It was difficult enough as a middle class white woman to find someone to take me seriously. It is even worse for more marginalised women.

One of my best friend who I met while teaching in the Middle East is a fiery redhead in her fifties. She has endometriosis and had a cyst the size of a mandarin on her ovary when she was 35 years old.


After my cyst burst 6 months ago, I saw a doctor who told me I was stressed. If she did her job properly, I’d have both my ovaries right now.

If any of the doctors in Grahamstown had done their jobs properly, I’d probably have both my ovaries right now.

If my symptoms had been taken seriously by any of the doctors I’ve seen, I’d probably have both my ovaries right now.

What has your experience been? Have you found medical practitioners who journey with you to find the best palliative, medical, and surgical options? Or have you had a string of Dr Bozozz (extra Z’s for sleeping on the job)?


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