She shocked fans when she revealed in March that she had undergone surgery for endometriosis and now Bindi Irwin has spoken more about the difficulty she experienced trying to get a diagnosis.
The 24-year-old opened up in an interview with People magazine about the years she spent in pain, saying she was 'tested for everything'.
“Every tropical disease, Lyme disease, cancer, you name it. I had every blood test and scan imaginable," she said.
“You don’t know what’s wrong with you, and then when people tell you ‘It’s all in your head’ or ‘you’re hormonal’ or ‘just have a cup of tea, lay down,’ you end up feeling so desperately alone because there’s no answers.”
Finally in 2022, after ending up on the floor in the fetal position from the pain, Bindi was given a laparoscopy and doctors confirmed she had endometriosis.
They found 37 lesions and chocolate cysts on her ovaries. which were then removed in a life-changing surgery.
In March, Bindi appeared in a video message for the Endometriosis Foundation of America's Blossom Ball, where she gave an update on her condition to those in attendance.
"Just two weeks ago I underwent a massive surgery. They found 37 lesions and now for the first time in over ten years, I feel like I have a second chance at life," she said in the video shared by Good Morning America.
"Like my world is opening up again. I am grateful beyond description. I'm going to start crying."
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of your uterus grows elsewhere. Australia's Department of Health and Aged Care states that it can cause 'debilitating pain', and notes that it "affects at least one in nine girls and women and those assigned female at birth".
According to John Hopkins Medicine, endometriosis tissue is usually found in the pelvic area but can appear in other parts of the body such as the intestines and bladder.
Alongside a snap of herself lying in a hospital bed after surgery, Bindi opened up about the entire process in the caption.
“Dear Friends, I battled for a long time wondering if I should share this journey with you in such a public space. It came down to the responsibility I feel to share my story for other women who need help,” she began.
“For 10 years I’ve struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain and nausea. Trying to remain a positive person and hide the pain has been a very long road…a doctor told me it was simply something you deal with as a woman and I gave up entirely, trying to function through the pain.”
The mum of one added that she was urged to seek help by close friend Leslie Mosier, the influencer behind Doug The Pug, who has also been open about her own journey with the chronic condition. Bindi said that she chose to undergo surgery as she couldn’t continue living with such intense pain.
“To cut a long story short, they found 37 lesions, some very deep and difficult to remove, and a chocolate [endometriotic] cyst. [The doctor’s] first words to me when I was in recovery were, ‘How did you live with this much pain?’ Validation for years of pain is indescribable.” she wrote.
"I’m on the road to recovery & the gratitude I feel is overwhelming. To those questioning the cancelled plans, unanswered messages & absence - I had been pouring every ounce of the energy I had left into our daughter & family.
"Things may look fine on the outside looking in through the window of someone’s life, however, that is not always the case. Please be gentle & pause before asking me (or any woman) when we’ll be having more children. After all that my body has gone through, I feel tremendously grateful that we have our gorgeous daughter. She feels like our family’s miracle."
In her interview with People magazine, Bindi said her life has changed dramatically since the surgery.
"Now I wake up in the morning, and I don’t have to take anti-nausea medicine or have my heat pack. Being able to go for a walk with my daughter and not feeling like I have to throw up in the bushes is just wild to me," she said.
“I feel like I have a second chance at life. I feel brand new.”
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