Bindi Irwin Details ‘Insurmountable Fatigue, Pain & Nausea’ That Led to Endometriosis Surgery
Steve Irwin's daughter, Bindi Irwin, is opening up about a 10-year health struggle that has been severely impacting her quality of life. Now, she's doing something to stop the pain, despite doctors who have brushed off her concerns as something that's "simply something you deal with as a woman."
On Tuesday (March 7), Irwin revealed to her Instagram followers that she struggles with endometriosis — an often painful condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic tissue or elsewhere, according to the Mayo Clinic. Irwin says she's been living with the painful symptoms of the disease for many years.
"I battled for a long time wondering if I should share this journey with you in such a public space," Irwin admits in her post. "It came down to the responsibility I feel to share my story for other women who need help."
She goes on to say that, over the course of the past decade, she's dealt with "insurmountable fatigue, pain & nausea," Irwin says. "Trying to remain a positive person & hide the pain has been a very long road. These last 10 years have included many tests, doctors visits, scans, etc."
And after a doctor told her her symptoms were nothing more than the byproduct of having a female reproductive system, she nearly abandoned the idea of seeking treatment altogether.
"I gave up entirely, trying to function through the pain," she continues. "I didn't find answers until a friend [Leslie Mosier] helped set me on a path of regaining my life."
Fans may recognize Mosier as the owner of Doug the Pug, a Nashville-based Internet phenom who has over 3.5 million followers on Instagram. Mosier has been open about her journey with endometriosis and the surgery she underwent in order to correct some of the problem, and, inspired by that journey, Irwin found renewed energy to seek help.
"I decided to undergo surgery for endometriosis. Going in for surgery was scary but I knew I couldn't live like I was," Irwin continues. "Every part of my life was getting torn apart because of the pain."
Alongside a photograph of herself smiling from her hospital bed, Irwin describes the aftermath of surgery, explaining that doctors found "37 lesions, some very deep & difficult to remove, & a chocolate cyst." In fact, after the procedure, her doctor wondered how she had been living with such an excruciating health condition.
"Validation for years of pain is indescribable," the star adds. "My family & friends who have been on this journey with me for 10+ years — 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."
Endometriosis can complicate fertility, and Irwin concluded by sharing the gratitude she has for her young daughter, Grace Warrior Irwin Powell, as well as the importance of being tactful when speaking to strangers about their family planning.
"Things may look fine on the outside looking in through the window of someone's life, however, that is not always the case," Irwin reminded her followers. "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."