My name is Jean. I am a single mother with 4 amazing kids. I have .been a Paramedic for the past 16 years. I spent the majority of 2017 out of work due to illness. My entire adult life has been spent in service to my community and my children. I have battled and struggled with endometriosis for many years. I have had 2 surgeries to combat lesions. I had a partial hysterectomy in 2012 and had severe adhesions to the back of my bladder. I had another surgery on January 3rd 2017. I had been struggling with sudden unexpected weight gain, severe abdominal and lower back pain. Severe issues with my gastrointestinal tract and increasing fatigue as well as hormonal changes. I was at work one evening and suddenly began to have excruciating pain in my left side and lower abdomen. I assumed that I was having more terrible gastro issues, the difference with that night was that I felt faint and was unable to move. I had to call my teenage son to pick me up from work at midnight due to weakness and inability to drive. I spent the next two days in bed with severe pain and nausea/vomiting and fever. I had also passed a large amount of blood. I did not seek medical attention because...I figured that I was a Paramedic, I could get myself through it. This incident occured in November of 2016. I went to see a doctor (several doctors) who found the 6cm cyst on my left ovary but refused to perform the surgery. I eventually found a doctor who was an hour and a half from my home that would perform the surgery. I couldn't get it in before the end of the year but I was just glad to have it scheduled. The cyst had several sign that could potentially return a malignant pathology report. The day of my surgery came, I checked in and was fully prepared to be going home that afternoon with a few small incisions. That was not the case, i had a large incision across my lower abdomen, in the same place as my two previous c-sections and the previous partial hysterectomy. The lesions were so extensive and the damage to my colon so great that during the surgery, a small hole was cut in the back of my bladder. I woke up with a foley and with the most excruciating pain I had ever experienced in my life. I spent the next 4 days in the hospital in tears. I came home with my foley and kept if rot 10 days. The cyst measured 6.5 cm and had several sections. It was filled with a dark thick fluid and was called a "chocolate cyst". It was twisted in my colon and adhered to my pelvic wall, my pelvic floor, started covering the opening of my vagina and caused some nerve damage. I spent 8 weeks out of work and finally returned in March of 2017. I felt great for a few months. Then my symptoms returned plus some. I began to feel short of breathe, dizzy, weak, and felt pressure on my left side. I became unable to work due to these symptoms. I sought help from my doctor and explained the similarities from this time and from when I was seeking help with my previous cyst. I was advised by doctor after doctor that the stage 4 endometriosis couldn't be the problem, Yet, I couldn't file for my disability simply because, I had no official diagnosis. I was sent for test after test, to specialist after specialist. I did research on my own and tried to keep track of my symptoms as well as how I felt daily. If anything made me feel better or worse and what. I was finally referred to a gastroenterologist and scheduled an appointment for an upper and lower endoscopy. After the procedure, I was advised to follow up with my gynecologist due to severe endometrial lesions on my colon. This was all almost 5 months without pay. I had no sick time, no vacation time, nothing. It was all gone from my previous surgery. I was flat broke, my credit score was wrecked, I had lost my car to reposession, I had a judgement from a loan and my only choice was to wait and try to save for the surgery and build up sick time. I was so devastated and angry. I knew that I shouldn't put off the surgery but I had no choice. I felt somewhat better after the procedure since some polyps were removed. I finally got clearance to go back to work in November of 2017 and a week before Christmas, I along with my best friend and partner, were terminated without any warning. We both had impeccable service records and had no disciplinary actions. I take full blame for the actions since I was the person who actually posted a video of myself and my partner singing a Christmas carol. i was the passenger in the truck and we were both wearing seat belts. It took 3 months for my grievance to be heard. More time without pay...I was falling into a deep depression and so was my son. I tried going back to working those same hours but I was losing my kid. I had no choice but to leave that job. I'm making candles and other items now and trying to start my own business. I am now unemployed and trying to make ends meet. I live off of the small amount of child support I can get and from selling personal items. My mother has helped so much and she is also broke. Please, anything that you can give, is so much appreciated. Thank you so much in advance.