So the only way to do this is to dive right in. Except… wait! You should know that as candid as I may seem to be in my previous posts, it’s a very controlled candor. I play at being intimate, and truth is I’m incredibly private about most things. It’s also worth mentioning that I was raised to be this private about personal ordeals and not overshare as it may be perceived as desiring attention from others or worse, pity. With that said…
Here goes the dive:
I struggle with Endometriosis. About 200,000 women get diagnosed with it yearly in the US. Simply put : the tissue that normally lines my uterus grows outside of it. This can cause many different symptoms that range in severity. Intense lower abdominal pain, excessive bleeding during menstruation, and painful intercourse are just naming a few.
If you’re wondering where I’m going to cleverly weave in something about my outfit, or how to not look like a slob in a hoodie – it’s not happening, I’m sorry. I know, we’re talking about uterine bleeding, WTF? We are in some strange waters, I know, just stick with me, please. Let’s take it from the top.
I was diagnosed 5 years ago, after years of mysterious pain and irregular cycles. My mother suffered from this, so I wasn’t surprised. She had a very severe case that resulted in a Hysterectomy, (removal of ovaries and uterus), that was invasive and forced menopause at age 40. When I was diagnosed, I had a pretty good idea what to expect, because I had witnessed the symptoms 2nd hand my whole life. Still didn’t quite prepare me for what was next. What was next? Lots of ultrasounds, pain, questions about your pain, people looking at you like you’re broken and say ” I hear that condition makes it hard to concieve “. Followed by more pain that comes out of nowhere at times, crushing, debilitating, electrifying pain, that makes you feel like you really are broken, defective, not quite right. Eventually, it starts to effect you mentally.
Before my relationship with my husband, I didn’t have an interest in having children. Soon after falling in love with him, I realized I wanted to create something with him. It was powerful, and so was a doctor telling me I couldn’t satisfy this change of heart because of my disorder. The pain actually makes me crazy some days, and drains every ounce of energy. On my best days, I struggle with annoying, painful interruptions. On my worse days I feel like less of a woman. After consulting a few dud doctors, I have now have two doctors (one OBGYN and one speciality surgeon) that are as transparent as they are talented, and are invested in my well being. I have endured several different hormonal treatments to aleviate my symptoms. One treatment gave me forced menopause. I actually had real hot flashes this summer, which lead to sleepless nights and chronic fatigue ( i.e. not the look ). Finally, I had my fourth surgical procedure to remove excess tissue in and around my uterus one week ago. This time, the lining of my uterus was also removed in hopes to decrease menstrual flow and the extreme symptoms I experience. I don’t have a lot of fears and I can get used to anything, but I have yet to get used to going under the knife. I freak out everytime. Oh and did I mention there’s a chance it might not work?
Recovery is going smoothly and I have an incredible support system. I’m healing properly and only time will tell if what was done is a viable solution. The hard part will be keeping an open mind about the possibilities and not letting the fear and negativity set in. At this point, I should be jaded, but I refuse to be. While I struggle with the fact that I don’t know what lies ahead, I can’t lose perspective. Will my chronic pain continue? Will I know what it’s like to have a baby inside me? Will it work and all this be a distant memory? I have no clue. But I also have no idea where in the world I’ll be in 3 years and if I’m okay with that, I need to be okay with all of my unknowns. I know one thing now: I can handle it all. The long swim, the deep dive into the depths of uncertainty.
This is my struggle right now, it’s mine, I own it. Just like my dysfunctional uterus! I’m grateful that is not anything worse and I plan to own everything it’s teaching me. I know that every set of eyes that reads this is struggling with and healing from something. Don’t apologize and don’t be afraid to talk about it. I believe we learn from sharing, and as terrifying as writing this was, I’ve learned a lot.
Thanks for sticking with me birds,