I have always had terrible menstrual symptoms...cramps, diarrhea, back pain. I thought I had IBS for the longest time. Having complained to numerous doctors AND my own mother (Queen of Menstrual Bliss) I was informed that menstrual complaints should improve after the birth of one's first baby (which I found to be totally inaccurate.) I gave up complaining, and decided to grin and bear it. Four years ago, I found some relief by changing my diet and eliminating some of the sugar and caffeine I was consuming. This helped with some of the intestinal problems, but I was still married to the commode every time my period came to town.
Then, last year, I was blessed with a kidney stone. And I'm not being sarcastic, because I really was a blessing. As the radiologist scanned down through the slices of my CT, he pointed out the lil' stone in my right kidney, and showed me the difference between my right and left kidneys. He proceeded to work his way down to my pelvis to see if my bladder was ok, and then I got the dreaded "Oh, by the way....you have this mass on your right ovary. It's probably a cyst, but you will need an ultrasound in a few months to see if it has gone away."
Well, it didn't go away. It grew to 7 cm. It had a 5 cm twin on the left ovary as well. I found my way to a surgeon who was described as "the King of Pelvic Ultrasound" by my primary care physician. My surgeon thought pelvic laparoscopy was the way to go, but he did declare that he would bet money that the rt ovarian cyst was not related to endo, since my symptoms were not consistent with the condition. He was sure my painful periods were the result of cysts coming and going.
I proved him wrong. When I woke up in the recovery room after my laparoscopy, there he was, scratching his lil pointed head, perplexed to no end. He described what was very extensive endo with adhesions throughout my pelvis, especially on my intestines. The rt cyst which is what started the ball rolling turned out to be an endometrioma. He was concerned that the endo may have invaded the muscular walls of my large intestine. I believe the words he used were, "Your pelvis is a disaster. It's like someone poured concrete in there." Hysterectomy was recommended.
I was relieved that someone had finally taken me seriously enough to intervene. After years of being told that I should just take more Advil, I was finally going to get the help I needed.
So, I trotted off to the next surgeon (since the first one does not do hysts.) Surgeon #2 was a lovely man who very patiently answered every one of my gazillion questions. I met with him twice before scheduling the procedure. He assured me that Surgeon #1's assessment of my endo may have been a bit alarmist, but it sounded to everyone like I needed to have everything removed to get any real relief.
June 3, 2005 was the big day. Surgery went well. Nurses were WONDERFUL. The drugs were great. The incisional pain was not as bad as I expected. The big plus was my doc found no violation of the muscular walls of my colon. YAY!
Today, I can honestly say that I am glad I had the hysterectomy. My endo symptoms are gone, (five weeks out) and my post-op discomfort gets less and less every day. In a few weeks, I will be a new woman.
I went shopping for some "get-well" clothes for myself this week. When I got my purchases home and started to cut off the tags, I noticed that I had bought a butterfly necklace, a butterfly barrette, and a butterfly shirt. You suppose that means something?