Friday, February 27, 2015

body talk

Yes it's been awhile, let's not dwell on it... ;)

Mostly, I have been dealing with the kids, my church calling, and mainly my body.

I definitely don't "have" to write about this, but I feel like medical issues are so closely guarded by people that it can almost do more harm than good in many instances. I wish I knew more about my ancestors' and extended family's medical problems because I feel like knowing that information would help and would have helped me so much in dealing with my own problems.

Long story short: I have had issues with the "middle section" of my body for a long time. I thought I was lactose intolerant in high school or maybe had nerves that upset my stomach. I've had bad periods, was diagnosed with IBS, thought that maybe I had anxiety related digestion issues, considered various intolerances/malabsorption problems, have been on herbal supplements for a parasite and digestive problems, done stool testing, had an ultrasound to check for gallstones, a CT scan to check my kidneys (did have some small kidney issues), and have been on birth control to help my periods, etc. 

For the last little while though (like over a year), I have felt like it's gotten a lot worse: sharp pains, nausea, dull pains, flu like symptoms, almost debilitating pain in my abdomen at times, and so forth. I may or may not have become more like a hermit than a real person to deal with it and avoid other people "just in case I'm actually sick." I have an (un)healthy relationship with hand sanitizer. I don't like going shopping because I don't want to touch things. Taking the kids out is hard for me. It's become a problem that seriously affects pretty much my entire life and has ended up costing us a lot of money (see: ultrasound, CT scan, nutritionist, stool tests, herbal supplements, organic food costs, hand sanitizer haha).


But still, despite the treatments I try or foods I eat or don't eat, the pain and nausea have not really subsided. I have been super frustrated about it and finally decided to start writing my symptoms down on a calendar, along with when my period is, etc. I eventually started researching endometriosis

My symptoms seemed to be in line with endo, and my family history did as well. I researched local doctors and found Dr. Cook. He wrote a book about endometriosis (which I read), and I eventually got up the courage to make an appointment. I mean, his office is so close and in my hometown. It seemed fortuitous, right?

At my appointment, he recommended surgery (since I had done so much leg work already with diet/elimination attempts, stool tests, birth control pills, etc.). The thing is, endometriosis can't be 100% diagnosed without surgery, so it's a bit of a risk. He could go in and I could be clean, no endo, and I would be back to square one (besides knowing another thing I don't have). Or he could go in and find endometriosis, clean it out, and hopefully I would feel great afterwards (for hopefully a long time but who knows-- it can come back). 

After much thought, I decided to have the surgery on March 19. I am nervous but hopeful at the same time. I hope that I get answers and would actually love to have a proper diagnosis. Even if I have enodmetriosis, it is better in my mind to know what I have than to always be wondering "if I'm actually sick." (which in my mind meant the flu but I guess having endometriosis is actually being sick too, right?)

I will update after the surgery with the results, but for now: if you are a woman and have abdominal issues that seem to be a mystery or are causing you to have problems living your life, research endometriosis. You never know!