6 doctors, 5 months of questions, and a 4 hour surgery that solved it all.
Stress. That is what 3 out of the 6 doctors told me was wrong. “Stress” was causing my pain. Then they would brush me off, prescribe me medications, or refer me to another doctor. For 5 months Mike and my family watched me suffer, and watched me fight with doctors who treated me with indifference. To say this has been a valuable lesson in perseverance is the understatement of the year. The only “stress” involved was trying to find someone who would help! It seemed like an eternity, but I finally found a doctor who listened to me, and last Thursday he helped me solve my painful body puzzle.
During the surgery they found scar tissue and endometriosis that had spread throughout my system. I am sharing what they discovered to help solidify my point that I had to listen to my instincts and fight for a diagnosis. If I had listened to the doctors who told me it was “just stress”, or that I “needed more fiber” (yes, that happened!), than I would have never known the truth.
- The scar tissue was wrapped around my uterus, and filled my right fallopian tube.
- He found a couple fibroids inside my uterus and ovaries,which he removed.
- My right ovary was covered with the scar tissue and endometriosis, and was pulled out-of-place. Yes, you read that right. My doctor literally said to me “we put you ovary back in its rightful spot!”.
- The surgery was more extensive and exhaustive than the doctor had assumed.
- The damage that done was caught in time. It did not cause infertility.
- We are still waiting on the biopsy results, but the doctor felt confident that the results will be negative.
The results shocked everyone. Stress, huh? It was a lot more serious than “needing to add Benefiber to my morning juice.” Bastards.
The most surprising thing for me was what happened to me after surgery. As I started to come out of my anesthesia coma, the first words I uttered were “can I have babies”. I asked everyone. The nurse, the doctor, Mike, and even my mom. It will be three years on May 16th since we lost our daughter when I was 20 weeks along, and I had been terrified to ask that very question. I haven’t wanted to hear the answer. Yet, under the courage of anesthesia, the question came rushing out…..and everyone reassured me that yes, I can still have babies. I will be able to try again. I have repeated it silently to myself like a mantra “I can have babies”.
The recovery process has been rough, to say the least. But, the pain from the recovery has been beautifully balanced by the tremendous amount of love and laughter surrounding me. I had to give up all pride, and allow Mike and my family to take care of me. I have never felt so vulnerable, or completely exposed. For the first 5 days I was totally dependent on other people to help me with the most basic of functions. Mike was there to help me walk, to help me get in and out of bed, and to help me sit up when I could barely move. It is a profound bonding experience to have your partner care for you in such a way. It is the ultimate trust test.
I learned so much about myself during the last few months. This past week has been the culmination of so many lessons, and the fact that I have transformed from someone scared, to someone steady in their growth. I am just now beginning to heal on every level. I am allowing myself to grow, and fight my stubborn urges.
Healing requires more than stitches and prescription pills. True and lasting healing requires a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual. I love the quote that says: “One day you will look in the mirror and realize that you walked through a one-way door with no way to return to your old life. You may come to know yourself better. You may make a promise to live your life differently. You may quickly realize that all we have is to embrace the present moment. You may heal on many levels. You may find a deeper sense of meaning; connecting to and finding real purpose and joy in your life.”
It has been a week, and I can finally walk on my own, and am slowly but surely getting off the pain medication. I now look forward to getting back to exercising, and finding new adventures to tackle. My bucket list is burning, and I am ready to tackle it.
This is just the beginning.