Shannon Cohn (Director and Producer) has been following my work for a few years now and when I found out about her ENDO WHAT documentary being released, I just had to share it with you! It is an exciting documentary and will really highlight Endometriosis around the world!
Here is the trailer:
** Please pledge a donation to help Shannon achieve her mission of spreading the word about Endometriosis and getting this documentary out to the world.
Want to know more about the documentary?
Like you, I wanted to find out a little more about the documentary and Shannon has offered to answer some questions for us.
What is ENDO WHAT about?
Why did you create ENDO WHAT? What inspired you?
What has your personal experience with Endometriosis been?
In my early 30s, I was working in a Liberian refugee camp in West Africa when my symptoms worsened considerably. It was literally overnight, like a switch flipped. I felt an explosion of pain that wouldn’t go away and a whole new set of gastrointestinal symptoms. I flew back to the US and doctors were dumbfounded. They ordered countless tests: parasites, malaria, TB, HIV, pregnancy, CAT scans, MRIs, scopes. They drew 21 vials of blood in one day alone. All of the tests came back normal. I was relieved everything was normal, but it didn’t change the fact that I felt like a walking inflammation. I could actually see something was wrong. My stomach was distended and incredibly sensitive, I was completely exhausted and the constant pelvic and lower back pain was absolutely debilitating. Yet, no answers.
I had a surgery to remove an ovarian cyst and, as an afterthought in surgical recovery, the gynecologist said that she saw Endometriosis. This was the first time I had heard the word. I searched online and found a definition of “a condition when uterine tissue grows on other organs and causes pain and infertility.” I thought it could be causing my symptoms. My doctor was skeptical, but agreed to operate and burned off the endometrial growths inside my pelvis. This resulted in even more pain. I began to explore alternative treatments, modifying my diet, exercising as much as the pain would allow and taking painkillers when absolutely necessary.
After a miscarriage, I visited a gynecologist for a checkup. By complete coincidence, the doctor was one of the world’s top Endometriosis experts, Dr. Iris Orbuch. When we put two and two together, Dr. Orbuch scheduled me for laparoscopic surgery immediately. An anticipated one-hour outpatient surgery turned into eight hours and a five-day hospital stay. I had Stage 4 Endometriosis. My bowel was fused to my left ovary and uterus and my pelvis was full of Endometriosis lesions, adhesions and scar tissue. Almost immediately, I felt a difference. I subsequently became pregnant and with a careful diet and other management, I’m keeping the pain and other symptoms at bay.
You have been a follower of mine for a few years. What has made you want to follow the Endo Empowered approach?
Which methods or ideas have you used for yourself that have benefited you?
Are you going to be sharing holistic approaches in the documentary at all?
When is it launching?
How are you going to be sharing it? (background on marketing of it)
We’ve just recently launched a global outreach campaign (link: bit.ly/endowhat) to educate and empower women worldwide. Part of that plan is to donate copies to school nurses, libraries, doctors and hospitals and hold special screenings at schools, medical conferences and for lawmakers. The film will be used as a tool to affect real change by giving women a base of knowledge so that they can take control of their health. With this film, women will know within one hour more than they could learn otherwise by countless hours of research, continual doctor visits and procedures. It represents a real turning point in the narrative of this disease.
Support Shannon here: bit.ly/endowhat
How awesome is this, ladies? I am excited to see the actual documentary when it comes out and attend the screening here in Auckland, New Zealand! Please support Shannon in making this documentary and getting the message out there about Endometriosis and how it truly affects us all!
Got more questions for Shannon? Please feel free to share your comments and questions below…