endometriosis, Uncategorized

It’s Back!!!!

triptank_108_obgyn_02_640x360I am sitting in the waiting room “playing” on my iPhone.  I take notice of the people who are sitting around me.  An elderly woman walks from the reception desk and drags her left leg slightly behind her.  She sits down with a thud.  Adjacent to me is a younger couple, realistically probably my age.  It is a man, husband perhaps, wife, a four-year-old little girl and probably a 15-month-old little boy.  The mom looks tired.  When she stands up to return her paperwork I notice a bulge in her abdomen.  As, I begin to look back down at my phone, the door opens, and a very happy woman walks through the doorway followed by what looks to be her very happy husband, who’s pushing a child, probably two, in a stroller.

If you have not guessed, I spent my morning at the OB/GYN.  I have spent an abundance of time here, to the point where most of the staff knows my face and greets me by my first name.  I’ve been coming to this doctor for nearly nine years now, and sadly, I have an appointment every two to three months.

Every time I am in the office, I interface with someone who is just finding out that they are pregnant, clearly pregnant or attending their postpartum appointment.  Today was no exception.  And today, just like many times before, my heart aches and breaks.  The fact that I never conceived a child and the reality that I never will ever, hurts, like a slow, hot, deep slice into my pale, freckled skin.

Today I was at the doctor to evaluate the source of the abdomen pain on my right side.  I had an ultrasound to determine if there was a mass, as just back in May I had a mass just shy of 5 CM that seemed to pop up out of no where and then before I knew it (less than two weeks from the discovery) I was having my, well, I think my seventh (?) surgeries (I’ve lost count, to be honest) to remove endometriosis from various parts of my abdominal cavity.  I was looking at the screen in the ultrasound room and wondering what it feels like to see the baby that you created on that monitor.  What emotions does a person feel?  When I look at the screen, I am looking for masses, since I have been down this road before.  Unlike with a pregnancy, I am hoping to see nothing, rather than something.  Nothing is good news.

Today, there was nothing but some movement in the bowels (yup, I am full of shit, apparently!).  But, when I consulted with my doctor it was determined that the endometriosis had returned to the area where the mass had been removed just nine months prior.  We did not discuss surgery, it is not severe enough yet.  It was speculated that because of the HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) that this was aggravating the endometriosis and causing a flare.  I have been on the hormones for two years now, following a hysterectomy that was performed in December 2014 due to endometriosis and my history of pain related to the condition.  Endometriosis thrives off estrogen, but I need the estrogen to maintain some sort of peace within my body, both physically and mentally.

I read an article from NCBI and it stated, “For women with endometriosis, hysterectomy is often viewed as a permanent solution to their chronic pelvic pain. For many women, this is the case. However, there will be a small number of women who will experience a recurrence of their symptoms after “definitive” surgery. Women who choose to keep one or both ovaries or start HRT after oophorectomy are at higher risk for recurrence, although the benefits of ovarian conservation or HRT in younger women likely outweigh the risk of disease recurrence.”

So, today I felt numb.  Another appointment where I find out that another part of me is not working as it should.  Another hurdle to overcome.  Another problem that can not be fixed.  I was thinking, “What the hell?”, “Why me?”, “Why is there always something wrong with me?”  And I focused on that for more hours that I should have.  I wasted the morning feeling sorry for myself.

The truths are this:

  1. I am strong, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  2. I have been through worse and will power through this.
  3. I know my body and know when something is off, and I have the resources available to access care for all my numerous health conditions.
  4. I have a supportive network that consist of family, friends and co-workers.
  5. Much like in the past, I will get through this and will emerge stronger than at the onset.

 

There are things that are not within our control.  However, we are in control of how we handle what comes about.  It is within our control what we allow ourselves to think and how long we dwell on the surprises that pop up out of the blue.  This too shall pass (my new favorite saying) and the sun will come out tomorrow, in some shape or capacity, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun!

 

 

Resources used for this post:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4286861/

 

Bipolar Disorder

Boiling Pots

1

Psychologist. Psychiatrist. Primary Care Physician. Gynecologist. Dentist. Orthodontist…

I was updating the calendar that I share with my boss (I am an executive assistant and it’s pertinent that I keep the calendars up to date), and I was adding in all the appointments that I have scheduled so far for the month of February.

First Week of February

  • 5th – Child Doctor Appointment in the morning
  • 7th – Therapy Session with Psychologist in the afternoon
  • 9th – Nerve Blocks at PCP office in the morning

Second Week of February

  • 14th – Sleep Institute Follow Up Check In in the morning
  • 14th – Psychiatrist follow up appointment in the afternoon
  • 15th – Ultrasound with Gynecologist in the morning
  • 16th – Orthodontist appointment for child in the morning

Third Week of February

  • 21st – Therapy Session with Psychologist in the afternoon
  • 22nd – Dentist Appointment for child in the afternoon

Today I am feeling quite overwhelmed with what is scheduled as every week, at least once a week, I will be at a doctor appointment at one point during the week.  This means I will be taking time off work to accommodate the doctor appointments and will increase the amount of time I am driving as the locations for my doctor appointments and the office where I am currently working at on the opposite side of town.

Not only is it a grand investment in time and energy to have so many appointments, but it is financially draining.  I recently filed my taxes for this year and my medical costs for 2017 were 45% of my total income.  This is heart wrenching for me.  Nearly half of my salary goes to my health, whether it is co pays, office visit costs or prescriptions.  I have major debt because of medical expenses and past years spent overspending due to mania fueled shopping sprees.  I feel like I am drowning in debt with no light at the end of the tunnel.  I work part time because of my schedule and what I can handle mentally and physically, which means I make less than I have in previous years, only compounding the financial stress.

After our appointment this morning, both my son and I were discussing how we just wanted to go home, even though it was just nearing the lunch hour.  We were spent.  Attending appointments is not only time consuming and are financially a burden, but they wear you out mentally and physically.  Sitting, waiting, answering questions, receiving feedback all leads to processing what is transpiring and that can take a lot out of a person.  It also forces you to come to terms with the reality of situations and that can be hard to do.  We live each day knowing that we have obstacles to overcome, but somehow it is different when you are facing them head on and really being in the moment discussing your ailment.

I am taxed in many ways each and everyday dealing with my illnesses.  The Bipolar disorder takes center stage, but I also suffer from chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Sleep Apnea, Hormone Imbalance as result of a Hysterectomy and a few other mental illnesses.  Much like a person who has multiple pots boiling on the stove, once you get one pot simmered, another pot starts to boil uncontrollably.  This is my life.  Jumping from one boiling pot to another.  Making small progress, but still being overwhelmed by the whole picture as to what is going on.

I tell myself that I will persevere, and I will press on.  That I have never given up and don’t plan to ever.  That this sense of being overwhelmed will pass.  That I can look back over the last handful of years and see how far I have indeed progressed and am in a far better place than I have been in the past.  I am not sure if I will ever conquer this, but I will not allow it to make me feel like a failure or ever be too much for me to handle.  I’ve got this!

Uncategorized

The Change

Menopause-symptoms-hot-flushes-night-sweatsWinter finally arrived, and my family is now wearing heavier jackets out of the house in the morning.  Those around me are sporting sweaters and long sleeves, commenting about wintry weather and a chill in their bones.  Where I am sitting here waving air under my air pits because I am sweating like a burly, lumberjack of a man on an 120 degree day in the Arizona desert.

The past week has been a little rough.  I have been tired, unable to concentrate and not my unusual cheerful self.  I’ve been mentally preoccupied and just flat out tired.  I have not energy to go to the gym, and I just want to sit home and imbibe with a glass full of fermented grapes.  Monday night was a rough night as I was delving into issues of my past and focusing on single trees and ignoring the fact that they were part of a big forest.  As a result, I had a super meltdown, comparable of that of a two-year-old who was told to go to bed against their will.

Yesterday morning, while I was suffering from a horrible emotional hangover, it dawned on me that I may be battling more than just typical issues for a 30 something female who has a family, works, is in school, and has trauma in her past.  That this is more than Bipolar and the instability of moods… yes, boys and girls, this is MENOPAUSE… that ugly, dirty word, that describes what happens when they take all your lady bits due to their massive temper tantrums also known as Endometriosis and disposes of them in a waste container.

The hormone replacement therapy that I have been receiving for the last year or so, is in the form of pellets that are inserted into the skin of my buttocks and last for a few months.  I had my first “recharge” as I like to call it, since my surgery in May a few months back.  We do not know how long my body will take to absorb all the hormones (estrogen and testosterone) so we are doing the guess and test technique.  So, when Michelle starts having hot flashes and turns into Cruella Deville the night she came to get the puppies, we can gather that she has probably used up her estrogen and needs to have her blood tested to see what the levels are.

Prior to my melt down, and just off the amount that I was sweating, I had my blood work drawn a week ago.  I could tell that I was starting to drop and wanted to try and catch it before I plummeted (not so successful, it seems).  I followed up with my doctor yesterday, calling to find out if my results were in, and when I could get recharged.  I explained that I am losing my mind and really need to get in.  They heard my desperate cries and I will be seen on Monday.  It’s still a full five days away, but the solution is in sight and I know I can hang on (I think) until my appointment.

Being young, where most of the people my age are having their first child, it is hard to be going through menopause.  However, it gives me something more that I have in common with my mom and the older ladies that attend the crafting classes that I take on Tuesday nights.

My advice to the uteruses of the world, hold onto your ovaries for as long as you can!  Speak sweet nothings to them and let them know that they are loved and cherished.  For those that are warring with your lady bits, really think good and hard over getting your junk ripped out.  No period is amazing, but the hair growth, night sweats, snoring, 10-15-pound automatic weight gain in your middle and mood swings, are not for the faint at heart.  Peace to you and your uterus.

 

#endometriosis #menopause #hotflashes #bipolardisorder #moodswings #tantrum #uterus #ovary #hysterectomy