I have endomitriosis. This this the cause of my portion of our fertility issues. Yup, I said “my portion” because Nathan and I both contribute to our inability to conceive. I don’t think he would appreciate me sharing his issues with everyone, though.
I was diagnosed with this terrible disorder in April 2003. In march of 2003, after experiencing several weeks of excruciating pain in my abdomen, I went to my family doctor thinking I had a bladder infection. My doctor quickly informed me that the location of my pain was NOT my bladder. He referred me to the in-house gynecologist who performed an exam and sonogram and discovered that my left ovary was severely enlarged. He suggested I make an appointment with my regular OB/GYN immediately.
I was able to see my regular doctor a few days later. He performed the same exam and sonogram as the previous doctor. Upon seeing the size of my ovary, I was told I would need to have surgery that week to remove it. I was immediately scheduled for surgery that Friday.
We planned for a laparascopy, three small incisions in the abdomen, to remove the enlarged ovary. This is a day surgery and I would be home that afternoon. The back up plan was to do a “bikini cut” and remove the ovary if it was too large to be removed throughout the three smaller incisions. The “bikini cut” is similar to a c-section. This required a 2 night stay in the hospital. When I woke up from surgery, I was in a hospital room. I was told my ovary was too large for the laparoscopy. I got the “bikini cut”, oh joy!!!!
This brings on a new set of challenges . . . staples to hold me together!!! My favorite 🙂 After the surgery, I was rewarded with menopause shots, aka Depot Lupron!!! The purpose of these shots is to stop by body from producing estrogen. I was lucky enough to be able to take these shots for 6 months. I had the wonderful opportunity of experiencing the glorious symptoms of menopause for 6 months. All kidding aside, the next 6 months were torture: hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, etc. Any symptoms that a menopausal woman would experience, I got to experience at 26. Nathan hated it!!!!
When my ovary was removed, it was the size of an orange. Normally, ovaries are the size of a walnut. Needless, to say I was in a ton of pain. The pain was so bad, that I couldn’t sleep. I would function normally throughout the day and go to bed around 10pm. I would wake up around midnight wanting to cry but, not wanting to wake Nathan. Riding in a car was not fun, any pot holes or bumps jarred my body and made the pain so much worse. I found myself bracing against the seat of the car hoping it would absorb some of the motion but, it never worked.
Since the initial diagnosis, I have had two more laparoscopic surgeries. Each was to remove a cyst that has grown on my remaining right ovary. Each of these two surgeries and subsequent surgeries have removed a portion of my right ovary. I also took another 6 months of Depot Lupron after the 3rd surgery. After each surgery I can tell when the cysts are coming back. I have learned to feel the cysts and I can tell how bad it is based on the pain level I feel during my cycle.
Currently, I am taking birth control pills to help control my hormones and estrogen production. My doctor and I are trying to prevent having another surgery. In the 16 months I have been on “the pill” my ovary has reduced in size. Each time I see my doctor, we are both excited by the outcome. Since I have been on the pill, I have experienced little to no pain even though I know there is a cyst waiting to be removed.