Dolly Parton health: The songstress on when she ‘first got sick’ – ‘Awful… dark time’

Dolly Parton sends her support to the people of Ukraine

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“I was 35 when I first got sick,” Dolly Parton penned in her book Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton. “I went to the very bottom as far as my emotions and my health [were] concerned.” Dolly confessed: “I was getting away with murder. I wasn’t watching what I ate, I wasn’t conscious of nutrition, wasn’t taking care of myself.” The songstress may have only have been in her 30s at the time, but she began to experience “stomach problems and female problems”.

In 1984, a few years later, Dolly collapsed on stage in Indianapolis.

Later diagnosed with endometriosis, the country singer underwent a partial hysterectomy.

What’s endometriosis?

Endometriosis is when tissue, similar to the lining of womb, begins to grow elsewhere.

The NHS elaborated, adding that the tissue might begin to grow in the ovaries or Fallopian tubes.

While some women may not have any noticeable symptoms, for some, the condition can be debilitating.

Pain may develop in the lower stomach and back, which usually worsens during a period.

Furthermore, there may be pain during or after sex, or when going to the toilet when menstruating.

Other symptoms might include sickness, constipation, diarrhoea, and blood in the urine. There may also be difficulties with falling pregnant.

Treatments can involve painkillers, surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue, and removing part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis.

The latter treatment option is known as a hysterectomy, which Dolly experienced.

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the womb, meaning the opportunity to fall pregnant naturally is removed once the operation is completed.

The removal of the womb will stop menstrual periods too, and the recovery period can be a lengthy one.

Following her operation, Dolly didn’t cope well with the fact that conceiving naturally had been snatched away from her.

“It was an awful time for me,” Dolly told Closer. “Every day I thought, ‘I wish I had the nerve to kill myself.’

“Suddenly I was a middle-aged woman. I went through a dark time, until I made myself snap out of it.”

Coming to peace with her childless position, Dolly told Billboard: “Now that Carl [her husband] and I are older, we often say, ‘Aren’t you glad we didn’t have kids? Now we don’t have kids to worry about.”

If you experience any symptoms of endometriosis, do book an appointment with your doctor.

There are many health treatments now available to those who suffer from the condition.

For anybody struggling with their mental health, you can contact the Samaritans for free on 116 123.

Dolly Parton has released her latest book Run Rose Run, which is now available in all good book stores.

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