Bindi Irwin says she never thought she’d be over the extreme pain she experienced from age 14.
This past March, Irwin — whose father is the late conservationist Steve Irwin — shared that she’d undergone surgery for endometriosis with her followers on Instagram. At the time, Irwin revealed that she’d had 37 endometriosis lesions and a chocolate cyst removed.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women’s Health, endometriosis occurs when tissue that resembles the lining of the uterus grows outside of it and forms lesions. The symptoms of the disease include pain, infertility, digestive issues, and bleeding or spotting. Chocolate cysts are cystic lesions filled with dark brown endometrial fluid or menstrual blood.
On May 5, the 24-year-old spoke about the path leading to her surgery and recovery with a follow-up post for curious fans.
“It has been a very long journey and a lot of challenges,” she said at the start of the video. “To get to this point, I’m very thankful to be on the other side of excision surgery. And I can officially say that I’m finally feeling better, which is really extraordinary and something that I actually never thought that I would say.”
“Enormous gratitude to my incredible mum and brother for being there with me every step of the way, including my treatment and surgery,” she captioned the video post, in part. “It was because of them that I have a second chance at life. I will never be able to thank them enough for all that they have done for me and our family. To my husband and his parents for being with Grace while Mum, Robert and I dealt with my operation and recovery together.”
In 2021, Irwin welcomed her daughter, Grace Warrior Irwin Powell, with her husband Chandler Powell, to whom she has been married to since 2020.
Touching on her symptoms in the video, Irwin explained that she often felt drained and in pain.
“I was getting extreme fatigue, nausea, pain. Many people think with endometriosis, you only get symptoms during your period that time of the month,” she remarked. “I had pain every single day of my life, and it really started when I was 14 years old. Suddenly no matter where we went or what we were doing, I would just be falling asleep wherever we were.”
Irwin said she had “every blood test you can possibly imagine for tropical diseases,” and was given CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds.
“I was a really active kid, and all of a sudden, I was getting so tired so easily and was always in pain. We tried and tried and tried for years and years and years. And finally, a doctor said to me, ‘This is just part of being a woman,’” she recalled. “And that’s when I gave up, and I stopped looking for answers. I stopped trying to find help. It wasn’t until after I had my beautiful daughter Grace that I picked back up again and trying to figure out what was wrong with me.”
Irwin said she made the decision to find a solution last year in August.
“I decided I needed to figure out what was happening to me because I was carrying Grace up this tiny Hill, and suddenly the pain hit me out of nowhere,” she recalled. “I had to hand Grace to my mom and just curl up in the fetal position on the ground because the stabbing pain in my sight was insurmountable. I had obtained in my pelvis pains in my belly every day, but every now and then, the pain would get so much that it would quite literally just knock me over.”
Irwin said though she was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the pain consisted. Then she learned that a friend of hers who shared that she had endometriosis had symptoms that matched hers.
“She gave me ideas for minimizing the pain but said, really, the only way to diagnose this for sure is through exploratory surgery,” Irwin recalled.
Ultimately, the surgery led Irwin down the path where she is now. She’s no longer experiencing the pain she had before all of her lesions and the cyst were removed. Now, she says it’s become essential to her to spread the word about the disease so that they can get help.
“It is really hard to get up every day and forge ahead,” she added. “I feel for you there’s heaps of people searching for those answers. Don’t give up. Because you are so strong, I love you guys so much. Thank you.”
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