Severe adhesion pain has been my constant companion for nearly two years. It stopped briefly after my hyster last Nov, but was back again (slightly different) by February. Since then it has ruled and ruined my life to the point where I was already thinking about another adhesiolysis. NOW (knock on wood), I am much better, and I thought I'd share with any other sister sufferers what I have done.
The first round of pain, before the hyster, was in the extreme range, but it only lasted about 3-4 hours each day. For a long time I never took anything for the pain as I hate drugs and anyone can get through 3 hours. Knowing it wasn't going to be continuous kept me off drugs till the final month, when the pain did become full time and I was taking injections of ketorolac. Then came the hyster which revealed endometrial cancer. Such fun. But at least I wasn't in pain.
Round two started off fairly mildly -- but it didn't have a time limit, so I took advil to deal with the pain. It would come every afternoon and I took two advil. By the end of June, though, I was taking 18 advil a day and still having uncontrollable (and extreme) pain every day from about 2pm onwards. Then, suddenly, two weeks ago, the pain dropped off about 80%.
BTW, I've had cat scan, mri, etc, and there was no visible explanation for my current pain, but there are various reasons to believe that it is adhesions, and according my general surgeon, probably bowel to abdominal wall.
So here's what I've done to get better, and maybe it works, and maybe it will help some of you. First of all, I get regular acupuncture treatments and take Chinese herbs. This was also true through the first round of pain.
For round two I added Iyengar restorative yoga, which I've been doing for almost 4 months. It makes sense that stretching would be helpful with adhesions as the pain is all about spasms and general tightness.
I'm also getting a special kind of massage called Maya abdominal massage. The general idea of this massage is that lack of proper alignment of the uterus is the source of all kinds of problems (don't we know!!!). However, it is also good post-hysterectomy for helping to restore the right position of whatever we have left.
I also meditate (although I've been kind of slack lately) and the obvious benefit of this is stress reduction. If you have adhesion pain, then you probably know that stress can instantly make it feel much worse.
The general surgeon who told me that he thought it was intestine to abdominal wall adhesions told me to try a low gas diet. I thought back through all the years of my somewhat irritable bowel and remembered that the time I had the least amount of gas was when I was on a low-carb diet. So I've been doing that again since the beginning of July and in addition to the possible help it has given me with the pain, I've also lost 10 pounds (and I really needed that!). Gas in an adhesed intestine creates pulling and spasms that equal (of course) pain.
So what on earth am I eating? Grilled fish for dinner 3-4 nights a week. Salads with organic virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Organic plain yogurt. Vegetable juices (organic, natch) with no high glycemics like carrots or beets.
In addition to all of the above, I have the love of my wonderful husband, adult children, and one fabulous grandson. I couldn't do it without them.
Here are some links about the stuff I'm doing:
Iyengar restorative yoga:
Maya abdominal massage:
Let me say again that I am now about 80% better -- not 100%. I'm not all better, however, I'm also not disabled with pain as I was before. Now I just have to figure out how to get back into normal life, whatever that is.