Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One Year Hysterversary

One year ago today, I had the most painful and emotional surgery of my life, but it was well worth it. I had a complete hysterectomy, ovaries and all on June 19th of last year. Yes, this post is entirely too personal, but I feel that it has to be said in case anyone else is suffering in silence. I spent years in blinding and constant pain, until I finally had a doctor suggest to me that I wasn't crazy, and that I most likely had endometriosis. The doctor told me I was young, and it is incurable, so her prescription was to start trying to have a baby as soon as possible. I was told that endometriosis makes it very difficult to become pregnant, and can cause a painful pregnancy. My husband and I decided it was the right time, so we began trying. It took a while, but I felt overwhelmingly blessed to be one of the lucky women with endometriosis who was actually able to get pregnant. Pregnancy was difficult. I was not a glowing pregnant woman, instead I had terrible pain and constant nausea. Once my son was born, I was optimistic that pregnancy had caused my endometriosis to calm down and that I would get some relief. My doctor had informed me that for a lot of women, the break in menstruation for the nine months that a woman is pregnant can be enough of a break to cause some women to never have problems again. I had hoped this would be me. Unfortunately, it was not. Six months after my son was born, my pain was back, and this time it was worse. My doc decided it was time to go in and take a look. I had a laparoscopic surgery done, and it revealed adhesions on my uterus and holes where the endometriosis had finally tore through my uterine wall. This all confirmed my other doctors insight that I most likely had endometriosis. The doctor cleaned me up the best he could, scraped adhesions off my uterus and closed the holes. I felt great for about six months, and then my symptoms hit me like a ton of bricks. I had horrific pain and overwhelming, constant nausea and diarrhea. I had always had severe pain, nausea and diarrhea during ovulation and periods, but when my symptoms came back I literally was having it all every day. I wasn't sure if this could be caused by whatever was going on with my uterus, so I went to my general practitioner. I went through months of extensive testing. It was exhausting spending my life in a doctors office. Meanwhile, I felt horrible, and some medications they tried me on made things worse. I was suffering. My husband missed his wife, and my son missed his mother. I had lost about thirteen pounds in one month, which had left me at 98 pounds. My general practitioner finally said that it is possible all of this is due to a resurgence of my endometriosis following the lap surgery. I went in to see my gynecologist twice. We tried one more med to get my symptoms to subside, it didn't work, and I was done. I went into his office crying, and saying I couldn't take it anymore. He told me that if I was done, then so was he, and we scheduled my hysterectomy. My husband and I had discussed the possibility of a hysterectomy when my doctor had given me the last medication to try, he said that I was running out of options. My husband and I talked it over, and knew we still wanted more children, but it didn't matter if it was from me having them or if we had to adopt. It took so much of the stress off of the situation knowing that my husband was supporting me full force. So, on the summer morning of June 19, 2012, my husband drove me to the hospital and I had my hysterectomy. It was a very painful recovery. I had three days in the hospital and six weeks at home. Looking back, it was a small price to pay for the life I have now. I go places, I do things, I am part of my life again. I no longer have to plan anything around which week I will be ovulating, or the two weeks I would be having my period (yes, my periods usually ran 10 days). I am in menopause, and that is a strange concept at 26, but I don't mind hanging out with the older crowd in the air conditioning while all the young whipper snappers are outside enjoying the heat. As positive as this all is, I still think about how unfortunate it is that I had to have a hysterectomy at all. There is still so little known about endometeriosis to include exactly what causes it. In fact, I have even heard people say that they do not believe that it even truly exists. Well, one look at my adhesion covered uterus and you would believe. Since today is my hysterversary, I decided that it can also be endometriosis awareness day for my readers as well.

Here is a link to the Endometriosis Foundation of America - The site has great info about endometriosis, and the strides being made towards disease awareness

Here is a link to Pura Vida Bracelets - They have an Endometriosis Awareness bracelet, and $1 is donated to the Endometriosis Foundation of America for every bracelet you purchase

I am lucky that, for me, endometriosis is just a bad nightmare I once had... Some women continue to suffer every day, and the majority of them do it in silence...