Inspiration Monday: Endometriosis Surgery Lowers Ovarian Cancer Risk -
Some positive news related to endometriosis surgery.
I hit the 200 mark! Thank you everyone who has joined here! In the interest of helping to make this blog as informative as possible, is there anything I can help you find? Anything you really want to see on the blog?
I had an anonymous request to do a post on peppermint tea. This person has found that drinking the tea can be helpful in reducing pain associated with endometriosis so I set out to do a little research!
I found this great article on the health benefits of peppermint tea. Headaches, stomach aches and cramps - sounds like a lot of things I get as a result of my endometriosis. The greatest benefit comes from the menthol which reduces spasms and could explain why it is so helpful in these conditions.
Have any of you tried peppermint tea? Did you find it helped?
Words of Wisdom Wednesday
Tasty Tuesday: Baked Quinoa Oatmeal -
This breakfast looks amazing! And endo diet friendly - as long as you skip the maple syrup!
Inspiration Monday: New Medicine for Endometriosis Treatment
So this is not how I planned endo awareness month to go on this blog. In fact, silence is the opposite of what this month is supposed to represent but I just couldn’t find the words to express what was happening to me. I think that the experience is a reminder of what this month is actually about and the issues that are associated with having a chronic, invisible illness such as endometriosis. We have such a long way to go! I will warn you that this post is long and while I am giving you the short version, you should get comfortable if you want to get to the end.
So most people have no idea that my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while now. 14 months to be exact. It’s not working. Every month when I would get that negative result, there was a little voice in my head saying “I bet the endo has stolen this too”. When we approached my OBGYN about the issues, he just said “I have no idea why this isn’t working” and I had to remind him I had endometriosis. Let me pause and say that this is my greatest annoyance. Having a doctor who is so busy he can’t spend 5 minutes looking at your chart and reminding himself that you have endo which could be affecting everything. He told me that we had two choices: fertility treatments to get pregnant or to stop the pain. I couldn’t have both. We chose getting pregnant and he ordered a battery of bloodwork and other tests to figure out just how hard this was going to be.
March 1, 2013
I went to my OBGYN’s office for an ultrasound to tell me if there was blockage in my tubes that could be preventing me from getting pregnant. He had a student helping with the exam and there were no less than 4 people in the room. They injected some air into my uterus and 10 minutes later, as I laid there half naked in a room full of people, he said this “your tubes are completely blocked. I will do an x-ray test and if it confirms this, we will be having a very different conversation. IVF will then be your only option.” And then he left the room.
I got dressed, picked up my appointment details, went to my car and cried. I cried a lot. Did no one else hear what he said? He just told me I’m never getting pregnant on my own. And IVF? Sure, but who’s to say we can even afford something like that. My heart was completely broken at the thought of losing something I never even had.
March 13, 2013
I went to the movies with my husband and a couple of his friends. Towards the end of the movie, I started to feel that familiar pang in my gut. The one that says “ha ha, you are going to be in bed for days”. I thought maybe I had just eaten too much popcorn but once the movie was done and I excused myself to the bathroom, I was nearly screaming behind the stall door. Something was very wrong. We declined going out for ice cream and instead I told my husband I needed to get home.
As he drove, the pain was intensifying. To a level I have never experienced before. After 15 minutes, I told him to detour to my parents’ house which was nearby. I couldn’t make it home. I was screaming, crying and writhing in pain. I started heaving. The nausea was out of this world. My mom called an ambulance.
On the way to the hospital, the paramedics asked me all sorts of questions. The one I remember most was:
Paramedic: Have you experienced this type of pain before?
Me: Yes, but this is worse.
Paramedic: What does the hospital do?
Me: Sometimes gives me pain killers and sends me home.
Paramedic: *insert surprised face here*
I was taken into the ER, given 2 doses of morphine to dull the pain and 2 doses of Gravol to stop the nausea and vomiting. And then I waited. I was in bed 14 - this is the same bed I was in when I first had these symptoms 15 years ago. Strange how life comes full circle.
After a couple of hours, the doctor came in. I won’t share every detail but the gist is this: while he believed that my pain could be from a ruptured cyst, he believed I was a drug addict here for a fix and he was refusing to “waste valuable hospital resources on doing an ultrasound that would show nothing”. Under no circumstances was he giving me more medication to “facilitate my addiction” and I should take Advil to lesson the pain. At the end of my arguing with him, he gave me 5 days worth of percocet and sent me on my way. No tests. No confirmation of anything. Heck, I didn’t even get out of my clothes. I filed a formal complaint against him the next morning.
March 27, 2013
Things finally started to turn around. I went for my HSG test (this is where they inject dye into your uterus and see if it goes through your tubes). I had read about it online and heard that it was painful but I was half asleep that morning because I was up all night thinking about this test and what it meant and forgot to take anything before I left the house. I was certain that today all my fears would be confirmed - endo had stolen my fertility.
I will spare you the intimate details but ladies, if you ever have to go for this - take all the pain killers you have! Despite my OBGYN telling me “it will just feel like a little cramp”, the pain was incredible. I made him repeat the results 3 times: my tubes were 100% open! My uterus is completely fallen over backwards which causes great pain but my tubes are open! Endo hasn’t stolen everything yet!
I know this still doesn’t explain why I can’t get pregnant but at least it appears to be something fixable right now which is all I can ask for.
Thank you for your patience with me this month. It’s been hard to find the words to share this experience. Keep spreading awareness through your stories - it’s the only way we can change things!
Welcome new followers! I’m so excited you have joined in the fun.
It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions this month and I promise the updates are coming this weekend when I can finally breathe. Good news finally came today and I can’t wait to share it with you all!
Thank you so much for your patience while I have been all but silent for a few weeks!
chronicallyvegan asked: For the anon that can't take birth control, how about trying a nonhormonal IUD? They have worked for some people!
Thanks for your suggestion! I hope Anon will see this too!
Anonymous asked: so I had an operation last year to remove a cyst off an ovary. The surgeon found a TON of adhesions and stuff, which he dubbed endometreoisis. So I lived with that for a month before the results came back; they were negative for endometriosis. Which should have been awesome - but I still get the WORST period pains, and they're getting worse every month. So I'm just aware that stuff could still be going on inside. And I have that mild looming fear that because I lost 60% of an ovary...
I’m so sorry for the experiences that you have had. Keep your chin up and thanks for sharing. It is only through awareness that I believe we can make a difference!