Bindi Irwin is opening up about a whole decade of health struggles. In a March 7 Instagram post, the mother of one posted a photo of herself in the hospital and shared her journey with endometriosis in the caption, saying she hoped her story would reach anyone else who needed the help. “For 10yrs I’ve struggled with insurmountable fatigue, pain & nausea. Trying to remain a positive person & hide the pain has been a very long road. These last 10yrs have included many tests, doctors visits, scans, etc.,” she wrote.
One of the biggest hurdles in figuring out how to treat her endometriosis was finding someone to validate her concerns. “A doctor told me it was simply something you deal with as a woman & I gave up entirely, trying to function through the pain,” Irwin said, thanking the friend who finally pointed her in the right direction.
“Every part of my life was getting torn apart because of the pain.”
Endometriosis, a condition in which tissue called the endometrium begins growing outside of the uterus, can cause excruciating pain. However, as previously explained to POPSUGAR by Hugh Taylor, MD, professor and chair of obstetrics at Yale University School of Medicine, “Because it’s often mistaken for normal period-related pain, endometriosis is frequently misdiagnosed and left untreated for years, which causes unnecessary suffering and can lead to a number of additional health problems.” In fact, patients may even dismiss their own symptoms, writing them off as bad cramps instead of seeking the medical attention they deserve.
Such was the case for Irwin, until she was finally diagnosed and subsequently chose to undergo surgery. “Going in for surgery was scary but I knew I couldn’t live like I was,” she shared with her Instagram followers. “Every part of my life was getting torn apart because of the pain. To cut a long story short, they found 37 lesions, some very deep & difficult to remove, & a chocolate cyst.”
Irwin recalled how doctors at the Seckin Endometriosis Center asked, “How did you live with this much pain?” following the procedure, which finally offered affirmation that the pain wasn’t just in her head. “Validation for years of pain is indescribable,” she continued.
Irwin also expressed gratitude toward the friends and family who supported her along the way. “THANK YOU, for encouraging me to find answers when I thought I’d never climb out. Thank you to the doctors & nurses who believed my pain. I’m on the road to recovery & the gratitude I feel is overwhelming,” she said, apologizing for canceled plans and unanswered texts.
She concluded by reminding her followers not to make snap judgements based off appearances. “Things may look fine on the outside looking in through the window of someone’s life, however, that is not always the case,” she wrote. “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.”
For anyone who may resonate with Irwin’s story, she encouraged them not to give up and continue searching for answers. “There’s stigma around this awful disease. I’m sharing my story for anyone who reads this & is quietly dealing with pain & no answers,” she said. “Let this be your validation that your pain is real & you deserve help.”