Father supporting daughter through endometriosis

To gain insight into what it’s like for a father, we spoke to one of our supporters from Adelphi Insurance, Chris Boon, about his experience with his daughter Katelyn’s journey.

How did your daughter discover she had endometriosis- What was her journey to diagnosis like for herself and your family? 

Katelyn initially had painful periods at around 14 years of age. She was referred to a gynaecologist and had a laparoscopy, but no endo was found, and the surgeon wrongly thought it was because of an inflamed appendix which was removed. The histology later showed the appendix was fine. Then 4 years on after suffering continual pain, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Endometriosis. A fantastic Endo Specialist performed the procedure to remove it. Because of the previous procedure, which showed no Endo, it wasn’t picked up by the GP for 4 years. By this time it was now Stage 3 and was attached to an ovary and had wrapped around her bowel causing significant pain and discomfort.

How has your daughter’s endometriosis affected you and your family?

It’s hard for a parent to watch a fit, active, healthy young woman lose weight, not want to be active or wanting to socialise, and become almost disabled by this horrible condition. As a father you just want to ‘fix it’ but it’s not that simple. We tried every avenue we could before it was finally diagnosed.

Why is it important for fathers to support their children with endometriosis?

Its critical fathers understand this condition because their daughter could be in a lot of pain, which isn’t outwardly visible. Often a sufferer ‘just wants to be believed’. I believe a lot of psychological damage can be done to a young woman if her parents don’t understand or believe the pain their daughter is going through. It’s bad enough suffering the pain without thinking those around them think you’re making it up.

Is there any advice you wish to share with fellow fathers with children suffering with endo?

In times of distress, a daughter needs to know her father is there for her. Learn about the condition and even attend appointments, if your daughter is comfortable with that. The more a parent knows, the more they can support. Also, push through the medical system to get answers for your daughter. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

Strength through support - mā te tautoko, ka whai kaha, ka ora

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