Voices Across America

Gaslighting and a Long Journey to Endometriosis Diagnosis

letysha montgomery


State: Kansas
Congressional District: KS03


Chronic Pain, Migraine, Reproductive Disease

Issues and Challenges

LeTysha has encountered: Access to Expert Providers, Copay Issues, Insurance Issues, Surprise Billing, Discrimination (nonmedical), Financial Assistance, Gaslighting, Invisible Illness, Medical Discrimination, Prior Authorization, Transparency in Health Care

My Story

I am an endometriosis warrior who just officially got diagnosed in August 2019.

The journey to being officially diagnosed is long, frustrating, costly and most of all time consuming. I feel like we all need to know what is wrong with us. Not just be given medication like birth control to be used as a band aid to get us by. I feel like I have had endometriosis for close to 20 years or so before I got diagnosed. I have always had what I know now are endometriosis symptoms. I was told that I had a bad period and painful cramps are normal.

I accepted that answer when I was younger because I didn’t know better. I have dealt with painful periods since 12 and a half. It was normal to me to be in severe pain every month. But it is really normal for everyone? As I got older and started asking more questions I wasn’t so sure. I just regret not asking questions sooner.

I hit my breaking point in June 2019 when I had to go to ER for severe ovary pain. First off, I was on birth control only because my periods were bad. So if that’s the case I shouldn’t be feeling all this pain. I was told that I had a cyst on my ovary. Cyst are very painful for me personally. Then I was told that you can’t get cysts on the pill. Well that’s a lie. I stopped talking my birth control pills that month and learned to advocate for myself. That whole ER visit and everything that followed changed me in a big way.

It changed who I was and my outlook on healthcare. It taught me that when you have female problems you are brushed off even by female gynecologists. It made me realize that you have to advocate for yourself and your health! No one is looking out for you but you.

This whole journey has made me an endometriosis advocate. My mission is to spread awareness and educate about endometriosis.

I carry out my mission through being an author, empowerment speaker and having my own podcast. I don’t want another women to have to go through what I have for the last 20 years.

My Motivation and Inspiration

My motivation is to help other women not suffer like I did for over 20 years. Basically silently with no real help just given medication that didn’t work. I want to help other women not go through that struggle of not knowing what’s going on with them.

Being told all types of things, going to various specialist, having lots of tests but never being tested for endometriosis. I also have fibroids and have for years wanted them removed but the doctors keep wanting to wait.

I want every woman to have access to an endometriosis specialist and fibroid specialist in their area. I currently have to drive 4 each way hours just to see those specialist because my state doesn’t have them. So it takes a lot of planning, days off, money, time, sacrifice and sometimes it includes an overnight trip just to see the doctor’s I need.

My motivation is to not only advocate for myself and my health but to help other women to as well.

Endometriosis is a disease that makes you feel very alone and I want to let others know that they are not alone!

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