Surgery over/recovery time, My advice

Original entry and comments: http://cherryteresa.greatestjournal.com/2006/04/04/

I am out of the hospital and am already well enough that I am able to be back home now!

I think I mentioned before that I’m seeing a much bettter ob/gyn who is much more experienced with treating patients that have my disease (even though he still says I’m probably the worst he’s ever dealt with! How comforting haha). So, even though I highly doubt he reads through random journals, I’d like to thank Dr. Dwight Im of Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore for treating me like a real human being and having the expertise to not only help me greatly but to fight my insurance company to get the treatment I needed that would have otherwise been denied. You went above and beyond, and it has not gone unnoticed.

For those who know me pretty well, you probably noticed that I seem much more positive and happy about things, if you can get a vibe just from typing. That’s for a good reason. I don’t want to jinx things, but I’m very optimistic about my recovery. A huge reason for this is because even though I’m in a lot of pain right now and on painkillers, I already feel SOOOOO much better than right after my last surgery. Right after getting of my last surgery, I was in a ton more pain than I am now. The day after my surgery in September of this past year, there was no way that I’d be able to even sit down at a computer. (Even though I’m supposed to be on bed rest and not sitting up, but I know I feel a lot better. I’m just being careful not to over do things).

So when all is said and done and I’m finished with my six weeks expected recovering time, I’m hoping that this surgery will be much more of a success than my last one was. I know based on last time’s recovery that my next major hurdle to get over is that in a day or so, I’ll have a ton of shoulder pain that will last for a couple days. It feels like someone beat the living daylights out of your shoulder over and over again. It’s because they pump your stomach up with air when they put the video camera into your belly button. And the air ends up traveling to your shoulders. Then it eventually escapes somehow. But I’m hoping the results will be worth it. I just want my old life back! Or rather, a progressed version of what my life was about a year ago.

Again, I don’t want to jinx myself since last time the surgery wasn’t much of a success. But without getting into gory details, my doctor lasered, cut and removed things more thoroughly. And approached things differently. But I am really looking forward to moving on with my life and working on new things.

I’m excited about being well enough to finally work again (have to find me a job) and as always, WORKING ON MUSIC!

And as always, thank you very much to my supportive friends and family who have been there for me through this difficult time. And especially since most of my close friends are males, I’d like to thank you guys for being mature enough to inquire and let me vent about what’s going without being like “Ewww… I don’t want to hear about your “female issues”.

I’d also like to note that it was a somewhat difficult decision for me whether or not to post what’s been going on with me on a public journal. I was a little nervous about it and still sometimes am. For the most part, I’m a pretty private person and I am picky about what information I will just let people know freely. However, I wanted to not only help explain what it’s like for people who have endometriosis – an incurable, but treatable disease that that has symptoms that can vary greatly between different individuals. And another major reason is that I would like to help maybe prevent at least one other person from having to go through what I did. I think that if I was more educated about things, I would have sought out proper treatment when I was a pre-teen, so that it wouldn’t have progressed to the point where it has.

So I really want to stress to females out there (and I know that there are a few males who also suffer from this, but unfortunately I am not as clear as to what the signs to watch out for) to take care of yourselves.

Pain and cramps are a normal part of being a woman and having your menstrual cycle. But unusually unbearable pain, and especially pain in parts of your body that is not typical of most women when they have their periods is something that should be treated as soon as possible. I’ve had severe pain ever since the age of eleven and also had a flow that was very heavy – as in I’d go through super plus or ultra tampon in less than an hour all throughout my cycle. And that is not normal.

I did get treatment throught my pediatrician at the time after my mother realized that I couldn’t even sleep at night and would wake up screaming in pain for the mintues that I was able to doze off into some sleep. I went through several medications that did nothing for me (one that was even taken off the market for being very dangerous), and then was eventually put on birth control. None of them worked for me, with the exception of Lo-Oval – and even that only slightly helped for a couple months. And then my situation went back to the way it was before.

It’s common for doctors and everyday people to tell you that if you exercise that it helps a lot with pain and cramping associated with pms and periods. And for many, if not most women, it does. However, as with my situation, if exercise makes that pain severly worse – even causing you to have several menstrual cramps weeks before your period that you didn’t even have until you started excercising – that is something that definitely needs to be checked out.

After going through all the hormones and birth controls, etc. and not having much help, I just thought it was something I’d just have to get used to and deal with. If I knew that these symptoms would have eventually progressed into even more pain and then pain that lasted 24/7 along with chronic fatigue (and memory loss – which happens to not all, but many women with this condition), I certainly think that I would have went to a specialist and been put on different treatments or possibly got the surgery years earlier so that it wouldn’t have gotten to the point that it has.

I’m not saying this to freak you out. You might be able to be put on simple hormone treatments that can help you out and not even have the surgery. Or you might have a different condition. My point is, it’s much better to have to get checked out by an oby/gyn – which I doubt any woman actually looks forward to – than to being forced to end up going constantly anyways because your health gets worse. Not to mention, that females who are either sexually active or who reach adulthood are supposed to regular check ups whether there are signs of problems are not. My point is, don’t go when you are “forced” to go! I wish I had. It’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of their health. And for women who are of lower income and do not have insurance there are great facilities you can go to such as Planned Parenthood who will work with you on your financial situation and charge you according to what you make.

I want to thank those who have emailed me stating that they either went through the same thing and gave me advice and told me their own stories of did and didn’t work for them. And to those who told me they ended up getting checked out because they noticed similar symptoms as mine. It makes me feel that me letting all this out in the open wasn’t for nothing. And us women need to stick together and take care of ourselves!

Feel free to keep in contact with me and how you’re doing through my contact page on my site http://www.cherryteresa.com

Of course I am not a doctor and have no medical training. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor.

If you want to find out more about endometriosis, there a lot of great resources on the internet (of course they don’t take the place of a doctor). You can simply type the word in a search engine. Here are some sites that have been helpful for me:

http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/girls/endometriosis.html
http://www.jenniferlewis.com/endo.htm

They aren’t that in-depth but will give you a general idea. You can search on certain other medical sites for more detailed information.

Alright, enough about this! I’m going to lay down like I’m supposed to. 🙂

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