Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 10th 2015 Contents WESLEY GIBBINGS
Every month for at least two days, 34-
year-old Sangre Grande school teacher Abee-
sha Toussaint lies in bed, mostly in a foetal
position, to ease a pain "the strongest
painkiller cannot quell."
Sales representative Kathleen Sinanan, who
lives in Princes Town, tells a similar story: "It
is a daily struggle. Even getting off my bed is
extremely hard at times, but I push myself
(and) there are days that I am confined to my
"Each day is different but there are days
when it s extremely bad where I would have
to go to the medical centre to receive drips
and strong pain meds like morphine."
Two different women. Two different social
and professional backgrounds. Same problem.
It s called endometriosis, or "endo" to those
familiar with the debilitating ailment which
affects an estimated 35,000 girls and women
throughout T&T and more than 176 million
The medicos would describe the condition
as one in which tissue similar to the inner
lining of the uterus inexplicably forms and
grows on the outside, forming lesions on organs
such as the ovaries, bowel and bladder. There
are several treatment methods including sur-
gery, but there is no known permanent cure.
Those affected by Endo would speak about
a variety of symptoms including excruciatingly
painful menstrual periods, lower back and
pelvic pain, painful sexual intercourse, bowel
disorders and chronic fatigue.
The World Endometriosis Research Foundation
(WERF) has been leading global investigations
Dame Helen Mirren has received warm
reviews for her portrayal of Queen Eliza-
beth II in the Broadway transfer of The Au-
Peter Morgan's play imagines private
meetings between the monarch and her
prime ministers over her 60-year reign.
Variety critic Marilyn Stasio wrote:
"Maybe she'll add a Tony to her collection
for her triumphant return to Buckingham
Palace in The Audience."
Ben Brantley of the New York Times de-
scribed Dame Helen as "smashing".
Dame Helen won the best actress prize
at both the Olivier and Evening Standard
awards when she first played the role in
London two years ago.
The play, directed by Stephen Daldry and
written by Peter Morgan, also features po-
litical figures such as Winston Churchill,
Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron.
It also sees the Queen transform from a
young, inexperienced monarch to steely fig-
The Huffington Post's theatre critic,
Michael Glitz, wrote: "None of it would mat-
ter without Mirren... It's hard to imagine
anyone doing it better. (BBC)
Helen Mirren rules Broadway as Queen Elizabeth II
The primary symptom of endometriosis
is pelvic pain, often associated with your
Although many women experience
cramping during their menstrual period,
women with endometriosis typically
describe menstrual pain that's far worse
than usual. They also tend to report that
the pain has increased over time.
Common signs and symptoms of
endometriosis may include:
• Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic
pain and cramping may begin before and
extend several days into your period and
may include lower back and abdominal
• Pain with intercourse. Pain during or
after sex is common with endometriosis.
• Pain with bowel movements or
urination. You're most likely to experience
these symptoms during your period.
• Excessive bleeding. You may experience
occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or
bleeding between periods
• Infertility. Endometriosis is first
diagnosed in some women who are seeking
treatment for infertility.
• Other symptoms. You may also
experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation,
bloating or nausea, especially during
The severity of your pain isn't necessarily
a reliable indicator of the extent of the
condition. Some women with mild
endometriosis have extensive pain, while
others with advanced endometriosis may
have little pain or even no pain at all.
Endometriosis is sometimes mistaken
for other conditions that can cause pelvic
pain, such as pelvic inflammatory disease
(PID) or ovarian cysts. It may be confused
with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a
condition that causes bouts of diarrhea,
constipation and abdominal cramping. IBS
can accompany endometriosis, which can
complicate the diagnosis.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you have signs and
symptoms that may indicate
endometriosis. The cause of chronic or
severe pelvic pain may be difficult to
pinpoint. But discovering the problem early
may help you avoid unnecessary
complications and pain.
Source: Mayo Clinic
a life of
SYMPTOMS OF ENDOMETRIOSIS
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Continues on Page A28
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