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Meet Our #COTW Sam Rodrigo – ‘If You Are in Pain, and the Doctors Dismiss It, Keep Pushing’

Meet Our #COTW Sam Rodrigo – ‘If You Are in Pain, and the Doctors Dismiss It, Keep Pushing’

Sam Rodrigo

#WCW Sam Rodrigo has been fighting Endometriosis for nearly half of her life. Her symptoms began at age 12 – at age 15, she realized her period wasn’t like the other girls’.

“My symptoms were mainly just extreme pain and bloating throughout most of the month, even when I wasn’t on my period,” Rodrigo explained. “My pain starts in my mid-pelvis and radiates up my back and down my legs.”

She began seeing her OBGYN soon after. Sometimes she would meet with him two-to-three times per month. After a pap smear that came back normal, and hearing that her severe pain was “just cramps,” Rodrigo began struggling with depression and other mental illnesses.

She attempted to take her own life.

“I lost many friendships and past relationships, not exactly because of my pain, but because when I’m in pain, I don’t want to deal with any unnecessary bullshit or drama.”

While she feels living with Endometriosis has had a negative influence on her, she said she’s grateful for the fact that it has “helped me cut a lot of dead weight from negative people that were in my life.”

For years, Rodrigo abstained from dating, as her pain leaves her with a less than ravenous libido.

“I felt like I would not find someone who would be okay with my having this condition, because I’m in pain all the time, which means sex will be very rare if any,” Rodrigo said. “At one point, I even came to terms with the fact that I might be single forever because no one would love me enough to deal with this.”

It turns out that she would find someone who not only loves her but doesn’t see her any differently because of her Endo.

“He treats me like a queen.”

Finally, in 2016, after spending years in pain, Rodrigo got a lucky break. She went in to see her OBGYN for her pain, but she was told he wasn’t there, and a female doctor would be filling in for him. Less than 10 minutes into explaining her medical history, this doctor cut her off.

“She said: ‘Honey, I think you have Endometriosis,’ Rodrigo said.”

No one in her family had it, in fact, before this doctor, Rodrigo had never even heard the word. But the day before her 22nd birthday, she had a laparoscopy and was diagnosed with Endo.

Since then, she’s treated her condition with a six-month round of Lupron Depot and birth control. This year, she had her second laparoscopy. It’s been a long, hard road for her, but Endo has given Rodrigo a few gifts.

“It has helped me grow in many ways. I’ve learned that I am truly way stronger than I give myself credit for,” she said.

And as for advice for her fellow #EndoSisters?

“Listen to your body because you know your body best. If you are in pain, and the doctors dismiss it, keep pushing,” she said. “Keep looking for answers. You are your own advocate. Your pain is valid.”

You can follow Rodrigo on Instagram: @samrodrigo.

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