I have endometriosis and it is no walk in the park, ladies. Short story long, in high school, I was the girl that always had to go to the nurse to get meds (nevermind the ones I kept in my purse so I could double up) when I was on my period and would beg to skip class and just lay down for a few minutes because I was in such pain. One time, while sitting in the library I recall being in such pain, sweating and suddenly feeling like my body was on fire. I felt like if I didn’t get to the ground quickly, I was going to go there involuntarily…and that is exactly what happened. I LITERALLY PASSED OUT FROM PAIN DURING MY PERIOD. But no worries; I was an overdramatic teenage girl who would learn to deal with cramps and gosh, why didn’t I try some of that new Midol they had on the market?
Fast forward to years of doctors overlooking me telling them that my periods were incredibly heavy, I had back pain with my periods, I was developing a strange situation with my bowels that we won’t go into, but it always turned a little dramatic riiiiiiight around that time, I would get headaches, would want to sleep for 17 hours a day if I could (not depression, that would come later), and so on. In a particularly fun conversation with one doctor, I explained how I would rather take the pen that he was using to pretend to take notes and gouge out my own reproductive organs than go through this pain any longer.
I started trying birth control that would stretch out or eliminate periods in hopes that the symptoms would go away. Suddenly I didn’t have incredibly heavy periods, which was amazing! However I still had all of the other symptoms, and sometimes complications. The patch would fall off after a day or two in depending on where I put it, or would fall off a day or two early if I found a good spot. The ring was not my favorite, I’m not a responsible adult and I would ALWAYS miss at least one pill a month, plus the hormones would always wreak havoc on me/my emotions/my new teenage acne covered face, etc. The final straw was when my IUD embedded itself, one of the “rare but serious side effects.” The removal of that, and the need to get something figured out after years of assuming this was “just life” lead me to talk with my doctor about all of this all over again.
Luckily, at this point I was seeing a female doctor who was also taking me seriously and she suggested we do an exploratory laproscopic surgery to see what might be going on, and if it was endometriosis, as she suspected, she’d basically “scrape” it if it was manageable and still within my girlie parts (endo can spread significantly outside of the female anatomy which is where it typically originates. Bowels, nose, lungs…gah!). So, we went for it and for 1.5 glorious years I was feeling good. And then I wasn’t so much. And back to surgery I went. And the DEPO shot which is supposed to help with endo. And again, glorious! And again, not so much.
So now comes the time to finally say goodbye. In the midst of all of the above trials and tribulations, I have had a singleton and twin pregnancy (all happy and healthy…well, as happy and healthy as two 7 and one 9 year old are when they have the meanest mom ever…) and that is one more child than we were planning on (hello unexpected twins!), so we’re very done having kids. Yet, there is this HUGE AND SUDDEN NEED to hold and sniff and rock ALL THE BABIES. I don’t want anymore. Very done. I’m not sure how many ways my logical mind can say it, but the idea of not being able to produce more makes something go a little wonky in my body and suddenly I need to squeeze a baby as if it is my last chance on earth. So, that’s not something I counted on when signing up for this (also, if you have an itty bitty, let’s make arrangements STAT for some baby snugs). The idea of a hysterectomy is so very scary, and luckily I am having a “partial” so that we can help control the hormones because PPD was no joke, so menopause will certainly be a one way ticket to crazy-town for this momma.
This surgery has been years in the making for me; I was planning on it a few years ago and then who got sick and who had a work thing and blah blah I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS because doesn’t mom always put herself last? When it finally comes down to it, it is what has got to be done and I’ve signed myself up to say goodbye and this will be the end-o my Endo!