Susan Pierce-Richards is a nurse practitioner, mom, wife, animal lover, passionate plant-based eater, and exercise enthusiast. She enjoys running, skiing, swimming, and yoga. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice. She is a career uniformed service member and currently an active duty US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officer.
Like many, her early symptoms were normalized and as a result, her diagnosis came more than 30 years later when she was diagnosed at 44 with widespread deep disease. She underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy by a non-specialist who was unable to remove the extensive endometriosis found during surgery. The following year she had life-transforming excision surgery that included a segmental bowel resection. She has had follow-on procedures that include pelvic floor muscle injections and physical therapy. Most recently, she underwent a surgery to address symptomatic adhesions. Over 9 years after her extensive excision surgery, there was only a single tiny spot of disease found. She manages the fallout from years of untreated disease – interstitial cystitis, pelvic floor dysfunction, low anterior resection syndrome (bowel frequency, clustering of movements, urgency) with meticulous diet, self-administered bladder instillations, physical therapy and a heavy dose of humor.
Her goal in the Nook is to educate, encourage, equip, and connect those with endometriosis with effective care. But because the systems of care are broken, the path to better care requires patience, persistence, knowledge, and the skills to advocate for yourself. For Susan, advocates who came before her – like Nancy Petersen, Sallie Sarrel, and Heather Guidone – were instrumental in helping her to find effective treatment and empowering her to advocate for better care.
Susan’s passion now is to pay that kindness, wisdom, and support forward. Most of all she wants to restore hope. “No one should have to travel the road I did. There is a better way.”
Susan Pierce-Richards, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, RN-BC