Brenda Cridland of Boise, Idaho, was finding life difficult to cope with after hitting menopause. She was unable to eat normally, and she didn’t feel or look anything like she used to.
Little did she know that what she had attributed to menopause was actually a very unusual condition, a result of endometriosis that had somehow gone undetected for over a decade.
“I would take one bite of something and it would make me feel nauseous and like it was stuck in my chest. In February, I was at my granddaughter’s birthday and everyone was looking at me, like, ‘that’s not just menopause.'”
The doctors confirmed their suspicions, and a CAT scan revealed a 50-pound tumor that had been displacing her organs and causing all of her problems. No wonder she had a hard time keeping food down — her intestines were literally being pushed out of the way.
“It pushed my stomach up into my chest, he said my intestines were over on my side,” she confirmed.
“He showed me the tumor on the CAT scan and it was very scary because it was cutting off the blood supply to my brain. He said probably another two weeks it would have been life or death.”
The surgery to remove the mass took 2.5 hours and revealed that the tumor was benign. Afterward, Cridland was a new person with a new lease on life. Her husband was shocked when he saw her.
“It was like, his jaw hit the floor. He’s like, ‘where did my wife go,’ because it was like I lost more than 50 pounds,” she said. “I lost 65 pounds by the time I got done.”
Her doctor was shocked that no one had discovered her condition before and that the tumor had gone untreated for so long. Since her surgery, Cridland has realized just how many women suffer from similar conditions.
“It’s becoming more common than I realize after I had it removed,” she said. “I started reading all these stories about it and it was caused from endometriosis.”
Cridland also admitted there had been signs along the way pointing to endometriosis that she ignored. She’d always had intensely painful menstrual cramps but never really thought much of it.
Fortunately, she ended up getting to the doctors before the tumor took her life, but now she urges all women who suspect they might have endometriosis to get checked out by a doctor.
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