Thursday, May 24, 2012


During my follow-up appointment with my surgeon's nurse, I learned that I heard correctly after my surgery - I do in fact have endometriosis. If you're not familiar with the condition, here's how defines it:
"Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus."
The link above explains the symptoms and other details. Basically, it sucks. But I've always had extremely painful periods and at least now I know the cause. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to help, but I already know all about that scenario. ;) I thought the surgery might have helped, but I got my period soon after the appointment and it's been as painful as always.

Then there's the whole fertility thing. My husband and I haven't tried to have kids yet because we haven't felt ready (even though we've been married eight years this month), but now I feel like we should at least start trying because there's no telling how long it will take, if it happens at all, due to the endometriosis. I'm trying really hard not to stress over it, but I'm 29 and at the age where EVERYONE and their mothers are popping out babies (okay, maybe not their mothers...), so that doesn't help. Anyways, I'd rather not think about it right now.

I was also hoping the surgery would have helped my head, but no such luck. I had another one of those migraines where it wakes me up and I can't move without feeling like I'm going to throw up. My husband brought me everything I needed before he left for work, and the Butalbital (Fioricet) ended up working although I had to take another dose later on that day because the pain started to come back. My husband brought me graham crackers to take with my meds but since we were almost out of them, he also brought a box of cheddar duck crackers which are basically like Goldfish. Can anyone imagine eating those when you're nauseous? I don't think Jonathan gets nauseous very often LOL. At least he was trying to help. :)

Art for Migraines
So I got an email from a migraine sufferer in the UK who is doing an online art exhibit through June 30 and he's donating a percentage of purchases to Migraine Action, a UK charity. If you're looking to buy some animal/landscape paintings, check out Mike Jory's website; I included one of his paintings below. His work is gorgeous!

"Riverside" by Mike Jory

Monday, May 14, 2012

Surgery for Ovarian Cyst

In a previous post, I wrote about an ovarian cyst that was giving me pain. As expected, I had to have surgery to remove it. What was UNexpected was that my blood work came back with high numbers for one of the tests that can indicate cancer, so instead of my gyno doing the surgery, a cancer surgeon did it as a precaution, and I was moved to a larger hospital which is luckily only a few minutes from my condo. Both my gyno and the cancer surgeon believed that the cyst wasn't cancerous (and they were right; I won't leave you in suspense on that one!), but they wanted to play it safe, which is a good idea when it comes to possible cancer. Of course I was still scared as anyone would be, but I tried not to think about it - no use worrying until I knew for sure.

The surgery was last Tuesday. The only surgery I'd had prior to that was wisdom teeth removal, so I had no clue what to expect. I was calm though, and of course I credit God for that. My friends and family put me on prayer lists at four different churches, and I had three preachers pray with me over the phone before and after the surgery, one being my dad. :) The night before I'd had to cleanse my system using magnesium citrite (I drank the sparkling lemon one straight - it wasn't that bad) and Dulcolax. Then when I checked in the morning of surgery, I had to do a vaginal douche with what I think was povidone iodine, and then I did two enemas. All I'll say about that is it's not the best way to start your day. Then it was a lot of waiting because a surgery before mine was running behind and only a limited number of rooms had the robot machine that was used for my surgery. Once I was wheeled away to the room, it took only seconds for the gas and whatever else they gave me to work their magic.

Side note - there's a picture of my scars at the bottom of this post (second picture down), so if you're queasy about things like that, scroll slowly to avoid the picture!

After the surgery, I started to come to and the first thing I asked was, "Was it cancer?" and thank God the answer was no. Okay that was actually the second thing I asked...the first was "Can you knock me back out?" :) I was still out of it, but I think they told me I have endometriosis - I'll know for sure after my follow-up appointment Wednesday. What I do know for sure is they removed a lemon-size cyst, my right ovary, right fallopian tube and appendix. And I went home that same night!

The recovery has been slooooow and painful, but I'm just thankful it wasn't cancer and that I still have one ovary, which will take over each month. My headaches have been better this week, but I've been on pain medicine around the clock too. I read that ovarian cysts can impact headaches and migraines, so I'm going to ask my doctor about it during the follow-up appointment.

Oh since the last time I blogged, I became an aunt! My sister and her baby Hadley, which means "field of heather" :), took care of me the day after my surgery. Here's a picture of my beautiful niece:

My niece, Hadley! :)
And here's the other picture I mentioned, my battle wounds. The surgery was laparoscopic. There are stitches on the inside and the outside is sealed with glue. I think I enjoy showing them off so much because unlike with headaches and migraines, there's actually a physical, visual, tangible sign of my pain! So anyway, here's my belly - don't look if you get grossed out easily!

Not sure why left side has more cuts than right...there's probably a good reason.