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    I Traveled 3,000 Miles To Treat My Endometriosis With Lasers

    As two people desperately looking for pain-free lives, we'd stop at almost nothing to find a cure.

    Hello, world! Lara here, and in case you haven't heard yet, I have endometriosis...among other things. My problems started over a decade ago and as I've gotten older, my daily pain has increased.

    Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

    If you want a laundry list of every single thing I've ever been diagnosed with, you can call my doc. But along with endometriosis, I also live with vaginismus, interstitial cystitis, and vulvodynia. Basically, my vagina and abdomen hurt all the time. I have a lot of vagina problems. And it is not fun!

    And this is Kelsey. She has Trigeminal Neuralgia along with Anesthesia Dolorosa and has been living with daily, constant facial pain for the last three years.

    Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

    Kelsey’s pain comes in the form of burning, stinging, constant zaps. Imagine if lightning traveled through your face on a constant basis — and you never knew what might trigger it. It’s nicknamed the "suicide disease" because before there were viable treatment options, 1 in 3 people with this condition would take their own lives due to the pain. While there are procedures to help with TN, Anesthesia Dolorosa currently has limited treatment options and no definitive cure. OH JOY!

    Over the last several years, we've both tried a lot of different treatments ranging from surgeries, to botox in vaginas, physical therapy, acupuncture...and even crystal healing. And while some of the stuff may have alleviated moments of pain — none of this cured us or gave us long-lasting relief from our pain.


    And because living in an almost constant state of pain is literally zero fun at all — we're always subconsciously or actively looking for that one treatment that will take our pain away and give us our lives back.

    So when an email popped into our inbox talking about Laser Therapy, we were hesitant — yet intrigued. The email talked about ComRa laser therapy, which is an infrared laser combined with magnetism, ultrasound, and “four radiant energies” in colors in red, green, indigo violet, and yellow. The laser can be applied to any body part that/s causing chronic pain, according to the clinic. All of this was mostly over our heads. But it also said, "Cure for Trigeminal Neuralgia."


    As two people who have been told by multiple doctors, and people pretending to be doctors, that they could cure us — we were very skeptical.

    But we couldn't ignore the little nagging in our brains encouraging us to dig for more info. So we did. And that's when we found a video from someone named Lee who had Trigeminal Neuralgia and now...seemingly didn't.

    Carmen Care / Via, BuzzFeed

    We decided to reach out and ask some questions. And that's how we found Leslie Carmen, of Carmen Care Advanced Laser Therapy in Boca Raton, FL. Leslie was confident, I mean really confident, that she could not only help Kelsey...but that she could help me, too. It's worth mentioning that at this point in time, this laser treatment isn’t scientifically proven to relieve pain. But, like I said, we were desperate — and we wanted to try it anyway.

    So we made our way to Boca. And for the next two weeks, we got laser treatments twice a day, every day. Along with laser therapy, we also received laser detox to rid our body of any toxins that could be contributing to our pain, and some 1:1 counseling to try and heal the emotional damage done by living every day in pain.


    At the end of two weeks, neither of us were going home pain-free. But we were going home hopeful — which is arguably as important.

    It's now been three months since the treatment, and while neither of us can call ourselves pain-free...some things have changed.

    The biggest thing I've noticed so far is the change in my period pain. I've now had three periods in a row with noticeably less pain. We're talking getting out of bed on the second day of my period stuff.

    Lara Parker

    And before lasers, I was struggling to insert vaginal dilators, wear large tampons, and felt a constant urge to urinate. I now can insert for 10 minutes with little to no pain. And I was getting up 8-10 times a night to urinate prior to the laser treatment, but it's now around 2-3 times a night. I still have pain — and I'm still having some flares! I still can't drink anything carbonated or go to a rave all night long. But I am continuing to use my laser, both vaginally and externally, every day. And I honestly feel somewhat hopeful again, for the first time in years.

    And while Kelsey was able to feel relief from some of the detox, such as more energy, her nerve damage was too extensive to treat in a three-month period. However, she continues to use the laser daily and hopes that with continued use, something might change.

    Kelsey Darragh

    You can watch the first episode of our journey now:

    View this video on YouTube

    And if you wanna see the whole thing unfold, you can watch the entire journey on As/Is now.


    And to all of our chronic illness warriors — we see you, we hear you, and we're rooting for you.

    Disclaimer: This is obviously our personal experience with a treatment at a single clinic and we can’t vouch for the treatment’s safety, or whether it actually works for everyone. Everyone's bodies are different and respond differently to treatments. It never hurts to check with your doctor if you are thinking about trying a new or "unconventional" treatment.

    BuzzFeed was given laser therapy at no cost. The average cost for laser therapy treatments as well as a detox over a two-week period would be around $2700.