My Endo Journey & Laparoscopy


Health., Life. / Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

      

I feel like young girls, especially now days, don’t learn enough about their own bodies. I mean, in school I had a handful of health classes, but even then, they never went in to detail about reproductive organs. How lame is that?
So, as I got older, hit puberty, and got my period, I just had to rely on what I had heard from the women around me to make sure everything was ok down there. The amount of women I have been around that complain of painful, unbearable periods is honestly outstanding. It lead me to believe, for so many years, that all of the pain and “pms symptoms” were completely normal. Maybe I was just one of the unlucky ones… Which I now know is totally not true. 

I’ve had my fair share of trial & error when it comes to figuring out how to stop this crazy pain. I’ve been on 4 different types of birth control pills, seen 3 doctors, 2 of which did not take me seriously at all. According to them, it was normal to experience pain, “as long as you aren’t pregnant”. Funny, right!?

According to my current Doctor, the birth control pills I am on now (low estrogen), are supposed to help alleviate symptoms & also keep endometriosis from happening in the future. That alone however, didn’t solve the pain I had been experiencing for basically my whole teenage/early adult life. We talked for months about my options, which included changing my method of birth control to something other than pills. I did my research and based on my personal preference, I stuck with the pills.

So on to the next step, which was how I was taking these pills. If you have ever taken BC pills before, you know that the very last week, or period week, in the pack are “sugar” pills, which is basically just a reminder for yourself that you have pills to take. Since most of my pain happened the week before, during, and week after my period, I was instructed to skip the sugar pills, start a new pack instead, & get rid of my period all together. I mean, no period no pain, right!? Wrong again.

After a few months of trying that out, I had to go back to the Doctor. Obviously, nothing was helping me at this point. The pain seemed to get worse every day. At this visit, he requested to do an ultrasound. Just to make sure that I didn’t have any weird cysts or anything crazy going on in there. *It’s important to note that the only way you can know for sure if you have endometriosis is by a procedure called Laparoscopy.*
During the ultrasound, the only thing found was some fluid hanging out behind my uterus. There’s a lot of causes for that, one of them being endometriosis.

We went back to his office for the final time to discuss my options… or option in my case. It was time to do the laparoscopic surgery. Basically, this is where the surgeon makes a few small incisions in your abdomen, one being in the belly button. They stick a scope with a camera through the belly button and are able to see what’s going on inside you. If they find endometriosis, cysts, fluid, adhesions, etc, they will use the other incisions to remove it. It’s a simple procedure, but the risks are of course always there.

I am currently 2 weeks post-op and everything is healing great! Do I still have pain? Oh yes. But, that could take anywhere from 6-12 months to go away. It’s honestly a waiting game. So now that you all have read my story, if you want to see my symptoms, my scars, and my tips for Laparoscopic surgery, then keep on scrolling. 🤕

Laparoscopy

Let me give you a background of my symptoms before I jump in to the actual surgery.

  • Painful, heavy periods
  • Lower back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sciatic nerve pain
  • Constant bloating
  • Painful ovulation
  • Periods lasting longer than 7 days
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Migraines

The surgery itself went smoothly. It took a little over an hour for the actual procedure, then I was home in no time. My Doctor removed a cyst on my right fallopian tube, fluid filled sacs & fluid pooled behind my uterus, and a tiny spot of endometriosis in the very back of all my reproductive organs. Crazy to think that small thing had been causing me so much pain since 2010. Now that it’s gone, I can’t wait to see if this surgery worked! Keep in mind, endometriosis can grow back. There is no cure.

Wish I could say I was poking out my stomach.
Extreme bloating – 4 hours after surgery. Day 1.

For all my ladies out there who are going to be having a laparoscopy done, I want to share my recovery time with you. It was actually quite miserable, I’m not going to sugar coat it. But you have to remember that everyone is different… because I was expecting something else too.

Day 1:
– Excruciating gas pains (during surgery they blow up your abdomen with carbon dioxide & some remains inside you afterwards)
– Pressure & pulling on incision sites.
– Can’t feel bladder to know when to use the bathroom.

TIPS:
– Walk around as much as possible to move those gas bubbles. Alternatively, get someone to gently pat your upper back to move them down.
– Get some GASX! It works I swear.
– Take your prescribed pain medicine & motrin every 6 hours (or as prescribed)
– Stack lots of pillows behind you in bed, to where you are slightly sitting up, because of that dang gas.

Day 2: 
– Less gas pain.
– Back pain & incision pain.
– Dizziness & nausea.

TIPS:
– Rest.
– Drink plenty of fluids.

Day 3:
– Pain when using the bathroom.
– Extreme dizziness + nausea.
– Shivering. (not when cold)

Day 4:
– Weak.
– Loss of appetite.
– Nausea.
– Fever.

Day 5-7:
– Headache.
– Loss of appetite.
– Fever.
– Constipation.

Bloating.
Bruising.
Day 5.

Day 8-Now:
NO SYMPTOMS! I feel a million times better. Although I still have pain in my back & pelvis, I’m hopeful that everything will continue to heal properly & I won’t have to go back to the pain I was experiencing before.

 

Still some bloating.
Incision in belly button is almost healed.
No bruising. Day 14.

Thank you all so much for reading my story. I hope this inspires some of you all to go and talk to your doctors if you’re going through any of the same things. Living with pain shouldn’t be something that is normalized. It should be taught from a young age, we need to take care of ourselves.

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is my story. I understand all women are different, and will have different symptoms than I do. Please visit your healthcare provider for information.

xoxo,
Autumn & Elizabeth

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