chronic illness

One Lovely Blog Award: Creating Community Among Bloggers

lovely-blog-awardIt has been quite sometime since I have received a notification for any type of blogging award. So, it was rather humbling to click on the bell and see a message stating that a fellow blogger had nominated me for an award called “One Lovely Blog” Award.  Continue reading “One Lovely Blog Award: Creating Community Among Bloggers”

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chronic illness, health

Endometriosis is Chronically Screwing with My Marriage

Having endometriosis, or any chronic illness, presents a lot of interesting challenges to a relationship. The reason for the challenges is because a relationship requires patience, nurturing, understanding, and time from both individuals, typically achieved by experiencing new and exciting outings together. When you throw a chronic illness into the mix, planning any outing takes extra care, concern, and extreme planning. If both partners are not in-sync and willing to putting in extra time to plan around the needs of the partner with the chronic illness, there will be a lot of issues going forward. From last minute cancellations to deal with pain flare-ups to adjusting for food sensitivities, there are many things that need to be discussed and understood if you are going to be in a relationship with someone who has a chronic illness.

Continue reading “Endometriosis is Chronically Screwing with My Marriage”

chronic illness, health

Excision Surgery: The Good, The Bad, and the Pill that goes Where?

When I went in to have my surgery I knew the inherent risks and had a basic understanding of what to expect. Heck, I was posting about it! I had a previous laparoscopic surgery in 2007, so I thought I was an ol’ pro! Yet, ten years of growth, ten years of aging, and a new procedure make a world of difference.

Continue reading “Excision Surgery: The Good, The Bad, and the Pill that goes Where?”

at home remedies
health

The Best 7 At-Home Remedies for Endometriosis Pain Relief

pain-heating-padOver the last ten years, I have searched high and low for anything to help me relieve my endometriosis pain at-home without having to go to the emergency room with each flare-up. Some have asked me to list some of the ones that I have found most helpful so that is what I have done below.   Continue reading “The Best 7 At-Home Remedies for Endometriosis Pain Relief”

chronic illness

Excision Surgery: What to Expect Nine Days Post Surgery

coffee-bannerThe last few days I have felt an ability to move more freely and do more things on my own. I showered on my own. Dressed myself. I even drove to the mailbox half mile down the road to get a package! I had no idea what to expect after surgery, really. Yet, when I woke this morning, I could tell that something was not right.  Continue reading “Excision Surgery: What to Expect Nine Days Post Surgery”

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Excision Surgery: Why a Heart-Shaped Uterus Is Not Cool

One week ago today, I had my laparoscopic excision surgery performed. During the surgery, the gynecologist discovered that my uterus was heart-shaped and determined, due to my husband and I expressing a desire to conceive within a year, that resection was necessary.  This made me look into why have a heart-shaped uterus was something that needed corrected, I mean heart-shaped anything usually means good, right? Continue reading “Excision Surgery: Why a Heart-Shaped Uterus Is Not Cool”

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Pained, Pushed and Ignored: My Day in a Wheelchair

On Thursday I had laparoscopic surgery to excise endometrial tissue and repair potential hernias. While inside the super stellar gynecologist also observed that I had a heart-shaped uterus, which sounds awesome but apparently can cause increased risk of miscarriages. So, my doctor removed the septum that creates the “heart-like” shape to reduce this risk. The result of all these things being done is that I am in a lot of pain and recovery is taking a tad-bit longer than anticipated.   Oh, and did I mention that Friday was my birthday? Continue reading “Pained, Pushed and Ignored: My Day in a Wheelchair”

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Excision Surgery: Occult Hernias, Bicornuate Uterus, and Birthday Cake

Hernia:  protrusion of tissue through the wall of a body cavity in which it is normally contained, most often an opening or weakness in the muscular wall of the abdomen or pelvic area

When my gynecologist first mentioned that my bilateral pain may be due to undetectable hernias, I almost wanted to laugh. Seriously, another problem that ultrasounds cannot find? In my ten-plus years of pelvic pain living, I have not once heard the word hernia mentioned.  I was fighting tooth and nails to get the doctors to believe I had endometriosis, and here, I finally find a doc to say “Yup, it’s endo…” then she keeps going “but it’s also hernias.” Continue reading “Excision Surgery: Occult Hernias, Bicornuate Uterus, and Birthday Cake”

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Excision Surgery: The Surgery and Recovery

Do. Not. Move. Seriously, do not attempt to move at all. Yesterday was the BIG day for me – my laparoscopic excision surgery was completed! And, as the internal numbing agent began to wear off towards midnight, I started to realize that my doctor’s warning “the second day is the worst” was dead-on accurate.  For now, though, let us go to the surgery day.

Day of the Surgery

me-in-er
Me in my no makeup Pre-Op glory! 

On Thursday, my mom, husband and I packed up the car with my pillow and blanket and started the two hour drive to the surgery center. Once we arrived, I checked in, paid the surgery center co-pay (these surgeries are NOT cheap!) and then gave a urine sample to ensure I did not become pregnant between 1/17 and 1/19.  I had not.

Then, the waiting started.

I was scheduled for 12:00 p.m. but was warned that the doctor had some egg retrievals that may bump my time, and sure enough at 11:10 when I should have been ready to get going, the cool ticker in the waiting room stated: “Dr. P running 1 hour behind.”  Regardless, the nurse came and said I could come back to the pre-op room and get ready. This part was probably the best part of the day!  I was able to listen to some of the funniest conversations, and laughed with the nurses when my pulse-ox monitor kept registering me as dead.

Unfortunately, I sat back in pre-op for almost 2.5 hours due to the delays and then, lunch breaks, before being taken back. Luckily, I had my husband and mom sitting with my for about 1/3 of the time, and due to having a crazy migraine from dehydration/hunger, the amazing anesthesiologist gave me fentanyl.

Around 2 P.M. I was greeted by my OR nurse and OR nurse anesthetist, and told that the bar was open and a syringe was injected. THAT WAS THE LAST THING I REMEMBER.

When I woke up, I was in a little bit of pain but could not remember anything except someone placing an oxygen mask on my face.  I heard a nurse asking me about my pain level and I just said – it hurts – and more of whatever they were serving was provided. To be honest, I do not recall if the pain was awful, but past history has taught me that it is always best to say you need more because it will eventually be worse. 

Soon they brought back the hubby and he told me that Dr. P said the surgery was successful. Two hernias were found, one on each side,  endometrial tissue on my bladder and uterus, and some other growths on both the left and right pelvic area; everything was removed.

recoveryThe Day After

Yesterday evening we went to eat on the way home from the surgery center and I was starting to have a little bit of pain, but it was manageable. Yet the worst started around midnight when I tried to get up to use the bathroom and could not get myself out of bed.  I felt like a bionic woman, though, with my compression leg wraps “massaging” my legs to prevent blood clots…but I could not lift myself out of bed.

With the help of my Oxycodone, I was able to make it through the night!

The morning was a struggle. I woke up early – right on time for my next medication dose. I was able to make it to the bathroom by myself, the bleeding was not as bad as the day before – the pain was another story, though. Thanks to my supportive, amazing, self-less husband, I was able to get dressed with his help and went out to join my mom, sister and niece. We watched t.v. most of the morning, including the inauguration  before we decided to get ready for a pizza night at my in-laws.

One amazing surprise was receiving an Edible Arrangement from my work family – it was delicious! I love my friends and am actually missing them enough to want to go back to work – crazy compliment, right! 

When it came time to shower to go over to the in-laws, I was in so much pain that I practically had to have my husband carry me to the bathroom. I feel proud to say that I was able to shower on my own, though, with him nearby to make sure I did not fall.

The rest of this day has gone on fairly well, it’s weird to feel fine but be in excruciating pain. Yet, everyone has been amazing with me and I know that this is healing pain. I am looking forward to each day having a little less pain.

What I’ve Learned

Though this journey, I have learned to appreciate my husband a lot more. I am not saying that I didn’t appreciate him before, but I did not stop to notice all the little things he did/does for me each day. Leading up to this surgery and through this recovery period (all one day of it, so far), I have seen how loving, attentive, caring, and self-less he is. He has been my strongest supporter, my voice when I am too weak to speak up, and my support when I needed carried. He has dealt with a lot, too. From my lack of energy to constant doctors visits to turning fun-filled date nights into staying at home watching movies.

God truly knew what He was doing when He paired us together. I do not deserve him at all, and am striving to make sure he feels appreciated more often. I am so hopeful that after this recovery period, I will be able to get us back to a fun-filled lifestyle and continue on enjoying our first year of marriage together.

Also, endometriosis is such an un-researched area. If 1 in 10 women are cursed with this disease, why is it not being researched? I know that there is some because that is why my doctor was aware of the hernia issues associated with chronic pain, but there should be much more research occurring.  I will be doing a post on the occult hernia that was discovered in me by Dr. P and the general surgeon and a little bit about that research area, because I think there are a lot of women who are suffering without relief since doctors are unaware of occult hernias occurrence in women with pelvic pain.



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Excision Surgery: SUPREP Advice

Nearly two seconds ago I swallowed the last gulp of the most disgusting concoction that has ever existed. I am convinced that this was created for the singular purpose of torturing humans into excruciating sickness a mere hours before surgical procedures. What is this devious concoction, you dare to ask? 

SUPREP Bowel Kit (aka death-to-your-colon in a cup)

suprep-kit

Since I have completed this prep – the drinking part, at least – I am now qualified as an expert in the topic (by today’s standards, at least), so let me tell you what I have learned.

How to Prepare.

Prepare your mind. This is my second bowel prep in about two months. The first was done using Miralax and Ducalax tablets, equally crappy. Oh, look, I made a pun without even trying… this is fun! The Miralax procedure was easier to stomach, though, had I chosen a different mixing agent. I will never drink Mango Peach Tea, again.  Basically, these preps are mentally draining. You are forced to sit around watching everyone else eat, drink, and enjoy life, while you are drinking some gross mixture that makes your colon cramp and expel everything you have ever eaten in your entire life that chose to remain.

I am not good at the not eating part. I have completed it before and am getting ready to go to bed early in order to successfully complete this prep; however, does your family really have to arrive on THIS day and eat PIZZA! I’m kidding, I actually ordered the tickets and suggested the pizza since I could not go out to Bonefish… but…. P I Z Z A!

Make sure you have clear liquids. When I did the first prep, I went overboard with the clear liquid purchases. I had Italian Ice, Ice Pops, jello, bouillon, juice, etc. I had one italian ice and bouillon. The prep makes you sick, people!  So, stick to your basics and do not be me.

Prepare your family/friends.  For my first prep, I had high hopes. I thought I could sit through a movie after leisurely drinking my mixture and enjoy the evening while taking occasional trips to the porcelain throne.  wrong.gif

I spent half the evening in the bathroom googling “How long does Miralax Last” like it was my job! So, if you have plans, please do your future self a favor and cancel those glorious plans now. Let your friends know that you are going to be suffering greatly that evening instead of whatever fun-filled activity was planned.

HOW TO MAKE SUPREP NOT SUCK SO MUCH.

SUPREP comes in a split-dose manner. You drink one whole 6-ounce bottle with 10-ounces of COLD water, then drink two 16-ounce cups of water within the next hour. You wait the designated period prescribed by your physician (mine said between 8 PM – 10 PM) and then you repeat.

Well, let me tell you, by Round Two I was not having it and we came up with a way to make the drink slightly potable.  I placed six peppermint tic-tacs under my tongue while holding my nose and chugging as much of the mixture as possible.

This system, shockingly, worked. I drank the whole cup in under six minutes? The first cup took nearly twenty minutes to force down.  Now, I will admit, I thought I would throw it back up a few times, but I managed to keep it down.

Fair warning if you plan if you are actually doing the prep, Round Two does not take long to work.

This has not been an enjoyable experience but it is worth it if tomorrow’s procedure leaves me pain-free for even a moment, although I am really hoping it lasts a tad bit longer. 

If you have ever taken SUPREP or another bowel prep, I would love to hear your experience below… SHARE AWAY!


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