Blossom Ball 2009 - Padma Lakshmi

Blossom Ball 2009 - Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi

Good evening and thank you so much for being here on this rainy night.  Thanks for coming out, thanks for helping us sell out and thanks for joining us in our maiden effort.  We have no sponsors as you probably noticed on the invite.  We did it all on our own steam and both Tamer and I and all the many people you guys don’t know about who put their time and their money and their effort and their energy and their belief behind this just on our word and our song.  I really, thank you very, very much.  I look around here and I see a lot of old friends and a lots of new friends and lot of people I have never seen before and I, from the bottom of my heart really, really thank you.  I know you’re all busy, and I know we’re all concerned about our families and it’s a Monday night and we’ve got a lot of things to do and I really appreciate you by seeing here.

I never really knew that there was anything that I could do about three days a month that I was bedridden with pain so strong that only serious pain killers could make it bearable or that it wasn’t normal that I was having lower back pain mid month or that any of the other discomfort or symptoms including the swings, and fatigue, and digestive trouble weren’t just sort of my luck in life.  At times I said something was wrong and I am here to tell all the young women and all the women and everybody here that pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and it really is.  People don’t tell you that.  It is hereditary, my mother suffered from it and I wasn’t surprised when I had really bad cramps and I just thought, okay, this is what I have to do and as women we are often told that we just have to bear things that we have to muddle through and then when the women next to you takes an Advil and she feels fine then you think well, shit maybe it’s me that’s a ninny, maybe I am just being a baby about it.  But then after I was misdiagnosed and I had two surgeries, one for ovarian cyst, and another for gastrointestinal trouble both by excellent doctors who really wanted to do right by me, both at excellent, state-of-the-art outstanding hospitals.  I finally found Dr. Seckin through my internist Dr. Primas, who is also here.  Dr. Seckin told me for the first time that I had endometriosis.  Now you have to remember like five years or six years ago now I had a very routine operation for ovarian cyst and I went to a specialist and never was the word endometriosis uttered to me and it’s just amazing that I had never heard this word before and suddenly all those years when I was told I was by people very close to me that I was exaggerating my pain or that it was all in my head or that I was just being a little too sensitive.  All these years and all that stuff finally made sense and it actually turned out that I have a really high threshold for pain and not just the kind that comes from wearing high heels for a long time.  And now after the treatment with Dr. Seckin, I lead a completely normal life, well normal for me.  I just started thinking about all these young women, all these young women in their 20s, all these women in their teens that maybe wouldn’t have to go through what I went through.  If only they were checked by somebody like Dr. Seckin who knew how to look for it because this disease is really treatable, it really, really is and I had my first surgery well into my 30s.  I’m 38, I really am and I had it, I just was diagnosed three years ago and I never knew that the thing existed.  I never knew that this is maybe the cause of what I had and imagine if I were a college student and imagine if I had this surgery at 20, at 20, that would have meant 15 years month after month of not having to suffer this pain, not having to be irritable, not having to be bedridden with a heating pad and Vicodin and Anaprox or Naprosyn all the – I know all the pain medicines in Italy, in France, in America because I lived in all those countries and I went to all those doctors and it’s a pain in the ass, it really is and now I have this normal life, and it’s like thorn, it’s like when you take that thorn out of your foot, it almost hurts more than when you had it in your foot and it’s only after the wound heals that you realize how much you were limping with pain all along and that’s kind of what happened to me.  So, I thought if I could speak about it and other people, other young women who would find out what I did find a decade too late that they could be prevented from all this and they wouldn’t have to suffer through all the years of discomfort and pain and I think I just wanted to say that’s why Dr. Seckin was…