What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant (infertility).
So what are some of the symptoms?
Pain in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation
Cramps for a week or two before menstruation and during menstruation
Pain during or following sexual intercourse
Pain with bowel movements
Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle
I found out that I had endometriosis in my teenage years. I had a lot of pain which would call for many visits to the doctor. Pain that was so intense I would often throw up. Sometimes I would be in so much pain that my face would swell. My body seemed to react to the intense pain with a vomiting reaction. There were times when I couldn’t get out of bed to go to school, to go to work, to do anything for that matter. I was told I had irritable bowel as most women with endometriosis are typically diagnosed with. I went through many test. I was told that I would probably never have children. I had my first laparoscopic surgery when I was 18. My first surgery was estimated to take an hour but ended up taking three. I felt great after the first surgery and thought I would never have to deal with it again. It was after this that I did get pregnant with my daughter. I remember being in my bathroom in my condo and praying to God to allow my body to carry this baby. I had many problems during my pregnancy but I was fortunate to have a beautiful daughter who is now 13. Needless to say I call her my miracle child. This could even contribute more to why she is so spoiled. I would feel pretty good for a few years after the endomotriosis was removed but like clockwork it seemed the pain would come back. I had surgeries almost every 2-3 years. It was the same thing over and over. Pain and then surgery. It was the end of June 2007 when I underwent yet another surgery. I think this was number 8 or 9. I mentioned before I usually felt good for a couple of years after a surgery. This time I didn’t. Oddly, still feeling the pain from surgery, I still had intense pain from the endometriosis. I didn’t understand it and I kept waiting day after day if the pain would stop. It was that pain that sent me back into my doctor’s office. Not even a couple of weeks after my surgery I was destined for yet another surgery. This one would be different. This one was the one. The one that my doctor and I had hoped that it would not come to. So on July 26th 2007 I was back in the operating room having a hysterectomy along with exploratory surgery. I was very thankful that my doctor did the exploratory because it was then that he found endometriosis on the tube between my kidney and bladder. This would have stopped my kidney functioning. Recovering from the hysterectomy was a battle in itself. I can remember taking a shower on my second day home and crying. I stood in that shower and I felt like I cried out every ounce of water my body holds right down that shower drain. I felt empty. I did feel like less of a woman although I did agree to the surgery. I am happy to tell you that those feelings did subside several days later. I must admit the hysterectomy was the right decision for me. I do have some issues with the hormone replacement (HRT) and I usually do not wear the patches or take anything as when I problems with being able to sleep get worse. I do have hot flashes still but for me they get worse with the HRT. I wish I could end this blog post telling you that all my problems are over or saying that I conquered endometriosis but that just is not true. I will say that there are options that will allow you not to suffer in pain and give you your life back. I will tell you that should you have any of these issues you should talk to your doctor right away. I believe that the sooner you find out you have endometriosis the sooner you can start treating the endometriosis. There are also support groups like endometriosis.org and a lot of resources on the web and please feel free to contact me for support. I have tried many things (relaxation techniques, homeopathic mixtures, diets, etc) that did help me with the pain (at times).