Hello, hello, hello! First off, let me say sorry for being so MIA. Between my surgery and getting back into the swing of work, I have been drained. BUT I’m back gals!
A couple of posts back, I posted about why I went to the doctor. Here is my journey to surgery and afterwards! If you follow me on Insta, you know that I had my surgery to remove Endometriosis a couple of weeks ago. My, oh my, that was rough. Many of you asked questions and the below questions are the most popular ones asked!
Before we jump into the questions, I just want to address one thing that is really important to me – our access to health care. It took me two doctors until I found my current doc that diagnosed me. I also read an article where it took a woman 200 ER visits before she was diagnosed with Endo. It breaks my heart that so many of us have no access to health care, or only access to crappy doctors, and that their pain is ignored. Please make sure you are doing what you can to get yourself checked out. Planned Parenthood and your local health department can help you if you do not have access to other facilities.
What were your symptoms?
Pain. Seriously, the worst pain I have ever experienced. About a year ago, I remember waking up in such excruciating pain. I could not move because it hurt so much. I threw up from the pain. I could not get comfortable. I laid in bed and cried. If I didn’t know I wasn’t pregnant, I would have thought I was having a miscarriage. I was also on the IUD and until this day, I had no bleeding or pain since my IUD was inserted two years prior.
After this initial pain, it continued to happen. I started bleeding 29/30 days a month and cramping all the time. I could never be comfortable and not bloated. I constantly felt tired and nauseas. I stopped being able to work out because I would get constant pain. I would bloat like crazy within minutes to hours. Here is a picture of me from the AM to 4PM that afternoon:
How were you diagnosed?
After the first incident, I went to my doctor. She basically blew it off. I continued to deal with the pain until August when I went to my new doctor. Almost immediately she knew I had Endometriosis. We then did an intervaginal sonogram to look at my insides. At my next appointment, she diagnosed me with severe PCOS (both of my ovaries were 4x the size they should be and completely covered in cysts). She also suspected I have Endometriosis, but that cannot be diagnosed without the laparoscopic surgery. She put me on medication to help with the PCOS and we scheduled the surgery.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is basically tissue growing outside of the uterus. I read a description that Endo is the “not cancer, cancer.” It doesn’t kill you like cancer does, but it does spread throughout your whole body if not treated. It also CAN turn into cancer if it is not taken care of.
Picture a normal lady system. Then add blotches of brown paint all over it. That is Endometriosis. It can cause your ovaries to be stuck to your insides, grow around your fallopian tubes, and so much more.
How is Endometriosis treated?
There is a shot called the Lupron Depot shot that essentially puts your body through menopause. I am passing on that one. The other way to treat it is to have it removed through surgery.
How much Endometriosis did you have?
My Endo had spread, so I had a lot. My doctor said it was Stage 4. My appendix was removed because it had Endometriosis. It was also removed off my uterus, behind my bladder, from my ovaries, behind my intestines, and more. The doc said it wasn’t the worst she had ever seen, but it definitely wasn’t great.
How was your recovery?
Freaking rough. I came out of the surgery having a panic attack. I couldn’t get it under control so the good ol’ doctors drugged me. Thanks to the medication, I don’t remember too much of that first day. Surprisingly enough, we did get a package a few days later that I ordered the night of my surgery.
The doctors go through your belly button and pump gas into your stomach. They then make incisions to remove the Endo and anything else that needs taken out. I don’t know why my pain was so bad, but between the gas pain, the pain behind my belly button (dang appendix!) and the pain all over my stomach, it was pretty bad. I am a stomach sleeper, so without medication sleep wasn’t happening too well. Luckily, Jake stayed home to take care of me the next few days. By Monday, I was able to walk around for ten to fifteen minutes without terrible pain. Tuesday, though, I pushed it and was in horrible pain that evening. By Thursday, one week out, I was back to work and immediately regretted it. I was still healing from the surgery so I had blood and lots of cramping. Fast forward to Monday and I felt AMAZING.
Does Endometriosis come back?
It definitely can. Endo is a disease that the doctors struggle to completely treat because they can only remove what they can see during the surgery. My doctor said some patients have it back within 6 months and some never get it back. She has put me on medication to hopefully keep my Endo at bay.
Can you have kids?!
I get this question a lot. I honestly dread it and hate being asked it. This is a question I would like an answer to, but unfortunately I won’t know for sure until we try. With PCOS or Endometriosis on their own, it definitely can be hard to conceive. Because I have both, my doctor said it isn’t impossible but it will be hard… That being said, I will not do IVF or any of that to have my own biological children. If it cannot happen naturally, I do not want to put my body through more stress and pain. Jake and I can give just as much love to a child we adopt or foster.
Thank you guys so much for your support and well wishes throughout this journey. I appreciate it more than you will ever know!
Feel free to leave any questions below. I am more than happy to answer them. Here is my question to you: What is your tried and true trick to making your cramps less painful?! For me, it is a heating blanket and laying on my side.
*I am not a doctor, this is just my personal experience and path*