It has been recently reported that former Miss Nigeria, Adenike Oshinowo is now a mother of twins (a boy and a girl) via surrogacy
The twins are Nike’s biological children but was carried and birthed by another woman. It has also been alleged that the 47-year-old entrepreneur who battles with a disease called endometriosis, bought sperm from a sperm bank in the US.
Last week, she talked about her long term association with the disease (endometriosis is a disorder that occurs when the endometrium (cells lining the uterus) grow in other areas of the body, causing excruciating pain.)
Medical experts identify endometriosis as a significant factor in unexplained female infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and other gynaecological problems.
Read what she says below:
I have lived with endometriosis since the age of 13. I was sent to boarding school in England when I was seven. I went to prep school. It was during the first few days in secondary school that I began my periods (menstrual). They called the ambulance and I was hospitalized for 10 days because the pain started and wouldn’t stop.
I thought I was going to die, the first two days, I was in the infirmary with the matron and she kept saying, ‘O Adenike! We understand that you miss home, we understand that it’s a rite of passage, we understand it is difficult for you, we understand that every girl must go through it, but just bear it’.
I’m telling this story because it happened in England and, supposedly, the white people, who knew best, yet had no idea what was wrong with me. Every female student they had dealt with had had a normal period and coped with it, so they could not understand why I was dramatizing.
They thought I just wanted attention. The pain was so intense I passed out. They called the ambulance and I was hospitalized. The challenge was now to get me to stop bleeding.
Living with endometriosis is a challenge. When you see your doctor, your doctor just tries to treat the symptoms and assumes the pain revolves around your menstrual cycle. But this is not so. This pain affects every single aspect of your life.
I, as Nike Oshinowo, have never had an examination without my period, I have never traveled without my period. There are so many things I have never done without my period.
When I am very happy my period comes. When I’m depressed, my period is there. I learned to just cope with it.
I love the quote that women wear their pain like stilettos. That is what I have been doing.
Until I turned 40, Nigerians didn’t know I suffered from endometriosis.
When I turned 40, I granted an interview and Nigerians understood why I never drank alcohol. You cannot be on medication and take alcohol. It was finally understood why I was so clean cut and into healthy living.
At last it was understood why if I come to your party, at 8pm I had to go home to bed and to take my pain killers; because when you live with endometriosis, you live with pain. I have a library in my home. It is a library about pain. I have so many books on pain cure.
It is extraordinary the effect that endometriosis has on your life especially if you are ignorant.
Ignorance is of two types – knowingly or unknowingly. My mother, unknowingly, was ignorant, because nobody had educated her about endometriosis.
She had two daughters, one didn’t suffer every month, the other did, but my mother didn’t bother about it.
She just figured the one that suffered would grow out of it, especially since the doctors just recommended pain killers.
I talk about this pain, now, so that mothers, when their young daughters are starting their periods for the first time, and it is traumatic, they will go and sit with the doctors, ask questions and have it checked out.
Mine was left so late in life in spite of the fact that I grew up in England. It was frightening. I wish I had someone to blame, I wish I could blame the doctors. I have had so many surgeries I have lost count. I remember when Michael Jackson died and they talked about a drug he had been taking and I exclaimed –’ oh yes, I have taken that drug!’ You try everything to make the pain go away, so all I know is that I would not want a child of mine to suffer endometriosis. No. The only way to make sure that does not happen is to educate as many as I can.
Everyone understands what cancer is. People know how to check for breast cancer, and are aware that, for cervical cancer, you do a pap smear. But endometriosis is not that easy. There are symptoms mothers and fathers, nurses and aunts and other caregivers can watch out for so that there would be no needless suffering like I had. I am living with endometriosis. I was born with it and there is no cure. Hopefully by the time I have menopause it will be better because once you stop menstruating, everything is over.
Have a baby
One ignorant doctor told me to try to have a baby because once you have a baby, the pain would all go away. I thought to myself that if I had a gun I would have shot that doctor, and I would have been locked away and there would be no one to give me pain killers. The reason for that relief generally is that when you are pregnant, you don’t have periods and a long gap of not menstruating actually abates the symptoms of endometriosis.