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A HOT MESS.com
Becoming less of a mess one day at a time....
Endometriosis felt like the end of me...

According to Mayo Clinic, Endometriosis
(en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs. 
www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/home/ovc-20236421​​

Here's my story...
  October 2015, about two months after my family had relocated to the East Coast from TX, I started having these weird twinges and pains on my right side. Talk about bad timing! I'd moved a little over 1300 miles away from both me and my husbands's saftey net (our families). I immediately called my mom and asked her if she'd ever experienced this, as she's my "go-to" for advice. She said yes, sure, sometimes she gets weird aches and told me take some meds, get some sleep, and it should go away. It didn't. It got worse. The aching then stabbing pain would come and go at first, and at times it felt like someone was holding a hot poker in the area where I imagined my right ovary to be. I must've had a good imagination because after a few doctors visits, including an internist, PCP, and a gynocologist, not to mention a couple trips to the emergency room, they finally discovered a large cyst perched on top of my "twice the size it should be" right ovary.
  "It should go away, these things are normal for women", I was told. It didnt. It got even worse and soon the pain didn't go away any more. I could hardly walk some days, let alone care for my sons (aged 2 and 7 months at the time). My husband started missing loads of work, and my parents (God bless them) started visiting more often to help out too. I also started to notice the pain was worse at certain times of the month. My gynocologist offered birth control as an option. That didnt work either and by June 2016, I was on the operating table. I had a laproscopy, what they call a "keyhole" surgery. They go in through your belly using tiny little instuments and fill you up with gas, and look around, and in my case try to fix the problems they see. Well, they discovered a big ole mess down in my "lady land". Not only did I have tons of scar tissue from my two previous c-sections, I had tons of adhesions (basically, sticky tissue sticking stuff together that should NOT be stuck together) my uterus was stuck to my gall bladder, my ovaries and fallopian tubes were stuck together, and don't forget the cyst. My "simple, quick, and easy surgery" turned into a five and a half hour ordeal and they still sent me home that day! My doctor at the time (bless his heart) told me that he "did what he could", and that I should be recovered in a day or two, and oh yeah... He couldn't rule out ENDOMETRIOSIS.  Whatever that means?!? Where there any tests involved? Nope, just his thoughts...
Here's a big shocker.... I didnt recover in a day or two. I had about three pain free days, and then things actually got a lot worse, if that's even possible. Fast forward to September 2016, and my life had become pretty much unbearable. I had to stop breastfeeding my littlest guy before either of us was ready, due to my constantly needing pain medication. My mom stopped her life again and and all but moved in because I couldn't take care of my kids or home. I'd gotten tired of saying "my side hurts" everytime someone asked me to go to the park, or dinner, or even church. And I was back to searching for a doctor who would take my situation a little more seriously and quit handing me birth control and pain medicine. The medical bills were stacked up towards the ceiling and I began to enter my own little "great depression".
  A little before I totally gave up, I did some serious praying and I finally found the right doctor, a very smart woman who knew a thing or two thouand about Endo. But four days after my inital meeting with her to talk about my situation and non-surgical alternatives, I found myself back in the ER, unable to catch my breath due to the searing pain on my right side. They found another huge cyst on my still double sized right ovary but this time the cyst was was "complex and possibly hemorragic" and it had to go.
  September 9th, three months after my last "simple, quick, an easy surgery" I was back on the chopping block. The difference was that this time- I had a doctor I trusted and I gave her permission to do what she needed to do so that I could actually live again. When I came to, after 3.5 hours, the doctor informed me that I'd had a large chocolate cyst which ruptured and my right ovary and fallopian tube were so badly damaged they had to be removed as well. She took tissue samples and was able to confirm that I definantly had TONS of endometrial growth throughout that swollen ovary and tube.
  So here I am today, 4 weeks later. Finally feeling good again. Finally taking my boys to the park again. Clearing my shelves of all the tylenol, advil, aleve, perscriptions, heating pads, and on and on. And I'll tell you what- I am researching and studying Endometriosis like I have an exam to pass. In my case, the endometriosis seems to have started growing as result of my c-sections, I showed no signs of the disease earlier in life. This is something to think about if you are considering a c-section as a an option versus it being deemed medically neccesary. With both of my boys, a c-section was needed, I guess...But since I watched the film "the business of being born", my opinion has changed a bit. Thinking back I dont know if I did all I could to fight for a vaginal birth. In hindsight, I wished I'd fought a little harder. A woman's body is made for pushing a baby out. No one's body is "made for" repeated surgeries to the same areas. Things get damaged. Scar tissue forms, "stuff" grows where it shouldn't and sometimes things begin to stick to things they were never meant to touch.  
 Here's a few things about endometriosis I didn't know, and I want to share them with you, in the hopes that you or someone you know wont have to go through what I did: 
  • It affects about 1 in 10 women 
  • It can start as early as a girl’s first period, and menopause may not resolve all symptoms
  •  symptoms include painful periods and ovulation, pain during or after sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility, and can have a major impact on general physical, mental, and social well being
  • A general lack of awareness by both women and doctors, due to a “normalisation” of symptoms, results in a significant delay from when a woman first experiences symptoms until she eventually is diagnosed and treated
  • There is no known cure and, although it can be treated effectively with drugs, most are not suitable for long-term use due to side-effects. Surgery can be effective to remove  lesions and scar tissue, but success rates are dependent on the extent of disease and the surgeon’s skills.
  • the five facts above are taken from and more can be found at: endometriosis.org/resources/articles/facts-about-endometriosis/
  • Finally and very importantly, during a Cesarean Section (C-section) an incision is made in the abdomen and into the uterus, and the baby is lifted out through the abdomen. This may cause endometrial tissue to become dislodged from the endometrium and then transplanted outside of the uterus, in the pelvis. This increases the incidence of endometriosis in women who have undergone a C-Section over women who have given birth vaginally. Endometrial tissue from a C-Section may also grow in the scar tissue that forms in and around the abdominal incision, which can be very painful when the transplanted endometrial tissue bleeds during menstruation.  info taken from- www.hersfoundation.com/docs/Endometriosis.html
"It started with a pinch, a weird ache I couldnt put my finger on... eight months later I was waking up from my second surgery in three months to realize I'd lost half of my reproductive system."
I've recently decided to give up gluten and dairy, as well as try to eat more "clean" foods for 21 days.  I'm on day 7 and feeling amazing. Umm...like scary amazing. There is plentiful evidence that a change in diet may help my condition and I am starting to believe it! Follow my blog to read more about my adventures with Endo.

Sources for more information...

ENDO Fact sheet

Endo Diet

Treatments for Endo

If you would like more information and facts about endometriosis, please visit this page that I found to be very helpful.
  www.acog.org/about_acog/news_room/~/media/newsroom/millionwomanmarchendometriosisfactsheet.pdf
Essentials of an Endometriosis Diet--
A few hallmarks of healthy eating are at the core of an endometriosis diet. Find out which foods can help. Visit
Although there is currently no cure, you can find a variety of information on current treatments here:
www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/endometri/conditioninfo/Pages/treatment.aspx

The National Endometriosis Association

Center for Young Women's health