Doing physical therapy, now.

Okay this is driving me nuts. I am constantly behind at updating about my condition, and it’s only hurting ME when I cannot track things in a timely fashion!

I have been in a relationship for seven months, so the whole “new relationship energy” should have died down a bit in order for me to get back to taking care of my blogging and whatnot…but it hasn’t died down. I mean, it’s good that the energy hasn’t died down, but I need to FOCUS! lol

Back in August, my doctor got back to me and reluctantly told me to stop taking 600mg/day of Gabapentin because of the side effects I was getting. So I went down to 500mg/day and stayed there until I felt comfortable increasing, again.

It wasn’t until October that I felt comfortable, so I increased to 600mg/day again. I’ve stayed at that dose for 13 days, though after this latest round of endo pain, I’m ready to continue increasing dosage!
Then again…I did have a terrible migraine today, which made me seriously light sensitive and nauseous.
One of the side effects of increasing Gabapentin last time was a bad headache, so I will wait at least another day before continuing the dosage increase.

This month, I finally began seeing a physical therapist for the latest diagnosis: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. I received this diagnosis back on August 7th from a doctor who refers out to physical therapy. I was told that this diagnosis is NOT to replace Endometriosis or Dyspareunia. I was told I ALSO have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction ON TOP of the other two diagnoses. This is why I came home and sobbed back on August 7th.

Going to the physical therapist only confirmed what the referral doctor suspected. The first appointment was on October 1st. I told my story to Dr. Hale. She wanted to know as much detail as possible about my pain and cycles, what worked and what didn’t, what surgeries I’ve had, what meds… everything going back to age 14.
Afterwards, she said based upon my case history, and knowing I was so close to my next cycle, she would not perform an internal exam. Instead, I was hooked up to a biofeedback machine (with electrodes attached to my pelvic area and labia) and was instructed to bear down, then relax several times. It was very hard to relax the region at all, and it showed on the monitor. Tensing my muscles set off mild cramps, but I was able to get home without dying. The next day, george showed up.

For the second physical therapy appointment on October 17, my girlfriend drove me, as I was unsure about the amount of work to be done.
This time, an internal exam was done, but very lightly, as Dr. Hale could tell how intensely tight my pelvic region is. She winced several times and said she felt very bad for me. At first, I wanted to say, “Oh, it’s not that bad”, but I held back. She’s the doctor – she knows this is bad news. Me? I’ve just developed ways to cope with it all these years, and this is SO FAR FROM BEARABLE PAIN. So very far. Dr. Hale assured me of that.
Despite the lightness of her internal examination, I cried out in pain a few times. Again, I felt like a wuss for doing so, and was reminded that I am in no way a wuss, that my condition is severe! She told me, “You and I are going to be friends for a long while.”

I came away from that appointment with a directive to NEVER cross my legs again; something that is SO DIFFICULT to break!
I was also told that I must NOT sit like a lady anymore. I have to sit with my knees far apart, and I have to sit my pelvic area downwards, bearing down. This means I have to sit up straight.

I must also do exercises a few times a day for a couple of minutes each time.

PelvicFloorDysfunctionPhysicalTherapyExercises

So. My third physical therapy appointment is going to be this Wednesday. Unfortunately, most of the pain from my current flare will be tapering off by that point. She had wanted to catch me in a pain flare. But I cannot get in to see her any sooner due to work obligations already in place.

The goal of physical therapy is to retrain the pelvic floor and hopefully also end up mitigating the pain of endometriosis, and cease the pain of dyspareunia.

We shall see what happens.

On the medication front, I have hopefully ended the battle this month with Kaiser doctors refusing to refill more than 15 pills of Norco at a time for me. After going round and round between multiple doctors, I was finally granted 30 pills at the beginning of October’s pain flare.

I have 14 and a half left as of tonight. This will definitely see me through this pain flare and November’s. So the next medication battle isn’t until end of November so I’m prepared for December.

Happy New Year…

Sorry I’ve been away for so long.

Just so I don’t leave you hanging, I did not have a better day after my last journal entry. In fact, it was my worst pain day at work that week. I wore a heating pad all day and consumed 1,600mg Advil.
After that date, I didn’t record my pain for the rest of the week. I was likely too pissed off about the pain to bother recording it. Although I had noted on December 1 “Nausea, extreme fatigue, shakey legs, mild to moderate pain. dark brown flow, turning to red.”

I got my period again near the end of the year and was actually bedridden from the pain.

THIS PART IS IMPORTANT:

Since December, I have become sexually active again, and as a result have been dealing with drama in one case, and what my housemate calls ‘New Relationship Energy’ in another case. So maintaining my endo blog had not been priority. ;)

Although I blamed becoming sexually active again as the reason why I must have been bedridden. Why else would I have had such a great year previous to that, pain-wise, other than the fact that I’d had a noticeable lack of sex, specifically penetration sex?

Ok, interrupting the pain diary for a moment to tell you about relationship stuff!
In December and again in February, I had a fling with a friend. I ended it after February, though. In March, I began seeing a newish friend, and we’ve been together – not separated by more than five days at a stretch – since March 21st (Happy Spring!).

Right…back to the pain blog:
Looking back through the last 24 months of my blog, it reads like someone who grabs at straws each month, looking for a tiny amount of hope that things could be improving pain-wise, but in reality the pain actually has remained the same the entire time.

For all of 2013, though I was bedridden only once, the pain continually got to between 7 and 8 on the pain scale, which is still unacceptable. The surgeries have not been worth it in that regard. The only benefit of surgery was a short-lived lengthening in span between pain cycles. The Gabapentin is what helped me to not be bedridden for over a year, until I became sexually active again. The end of December and into January was very rough on me, pain-wise. Same thing for February.

During March, I pushed through the pain because there was so much already planned for that weekend. I got up to a level 7 pain on March 13, and said ‘screw it’ and didn’t record my pain levels for the rest of the week/weekend because of all that was going on.

In April, I got george TWICE. On top of that, I began dealing with severe low back pain. I wasn’t sure if it was related to endo, a cyst, or spinal deterioration. I went and got an X-Ray, and bone spurs were found on my lumbar spine (#1-3).

My latest cycle began April 29th. The pain was intermittently bad. I consumed over 1,200mg Advil a day for a week. On Friday, May 2, I was out with friends and had to pee every half hour it seemed. On the way back home that night, the pain ramped up and was so intense on the left side that I cried a little. It hurt to be in sitting position. I just wanted to be in bed with a heating pad. Again I wondered if I had an ovarian cyst, or if the endo was sticking my left ovary to the back of my uterus again. But I didn’t want to dwell on that, because it’s too depressing.

Oh! Also…starting in January, 2014, my cycle changed from 28 days back to 25 days. It took a few frustrating months for me to notice, but after continual let-downs when my period showed up 5 or more days ‘early’, I went back and re-counted my cycle days again. Sure enough, it’s back to 25 days after a short stint on a 28 day cycle.

So now you are basically up-to-date.

Late February cycle

I had about 12 consecutive pain-free days from last cycle til this one.

I began getting intermittent uterine and ovarian cramping on February 16, when I was feeling sad and missing my grandmother, as it was her birthday. She’s been gone for 25 years, but I still grieve for her.

Two days later, I spent the day grieving for a friend who’s been gone for 9 years. Every year around the time of his death, I get little reminders seemingly from beyond, that he’s still with us somehow. Because I was sad, I got cramps again.

A few days later, my husband returned from a weekend-long gaming convention, and I was happy to see him, so we were intimate. The next day, I experienced either dyspareunia or premenstrual cramping, and then a day later (yesterday), george appeared two days early.

The thing is, I think I brought it upon myself. I’ve had a rough month emotionally, as I’ve been really sad for people who have died. And then I had a really bad day at work, wherein I got emotionally involved with a child who was having tantrums. When I tried to lead her out of the room so as not to cause further disturbance to the class, she had a big meltdown. I picked her up to expedite the removal from the class, and she wriggled free and fell to the floor screaming. My face was beet red with embarrassment and also with anger. In my effort to do the right thing (get her out so as not to disturb the lesson taking place in the classroom), it actually sped up the child’s complete meltdown.

Within minutes, I felt a trickle and a hot sear of pain, and I knew that I had made not one but two bad choices: taking the child out of class and causing myself a release of stress and anger hormones, which flooded my system and started the endo flare.

And I was supposed to be the head teacher all this week, as my head teacher is on a family retreat.

As soon as I got the child stabilised emotionally, and made sure the assistant teacher in the class was still running things alright, I called upon the director and the afternoon supervisor for help in finding substitute teachers, in case I could not make it in the next day.

This morning, I woke determined to get SOME work done. I wrote:

Attention: I am going in to work. Endometriosis can DIAF.
I’m the boss, dammit; I call the shots in this body.

 
I got through 5 hours before the pain and exhaustion took me out of the game. Then I came home and passed out for 3 hours with second round Ibuprofen and heating pad. Outside, we had an unusually warm and sunny winter day – it was in the 70′s, which is weird even for California. In February, it’s supposed to be raining hard all through February.

But because of george, I missed a beautiful sunny day, and I will miss it again tomorrow, too.

I spent the rest of the day today couch-ridden, working on importing endo blog posts over to Facebook.

The pain has been steady throughout the day, and I resorted to taking a half Tylenol 3 pill in the evening.
After dinner, I needed the other half pill. I’ve consumed 2,000mg of Ibuprofen today. The pain has been constant at 7 on the pain scale.

This evening, still in the thick of an endo flare, I counted out the days til the next one.

The next endo flare is due on the anniversary night of one of my favourite night clubs.

I’m seriously thinking of showing up – even if I have to arrive in my wheel chair. I AM SO FURIOUS WITH THIS ILLNESS TAKING JOYFUL EVENTS AWAY FROM ME.

My Story

I just discovered a blog wherein a fellow endo sister asked others to share their story. So I sent her my story, and then realised I really didn’t have a narrative of it here on my blog. So here is my story:

I got my first period at the age of 14 in 1985. By the time I was 15, I was vomiting from painful periods. Everybody told me I was being a baby about it. My mother threw Midol pills at me and told me to shut up. My friends did not have the pain as bad as I did, so I knew there was something wrong.

In 1991, I was put on Loestrin, firstly as a birth control method, and secondly with the potential benefit of easing my cramps. I went psychotic inside of 3 months, and stopped treatment. I wasn’t very good at recording details of my pain or treatments back then. All I have is the memory of wanting to kill everything in site, and weeping all the time, so I stopped Loestrin treatment.

In 1996, when I was 24 years old, I was fed up with people telling me that this pain was common to every woman, when I saw for myself that this was a damned lie. NOBODY around me was going through what I was going through, and I certainly wasn’t making this shit up. I hired a new gynaecologist – a man this time – and he told me I hit every symptom in the book for Endometriosis. He scheduled me for surgery, but my boyfriend got hired across country for a new job. I desperately wanted to go with him and leave the hometown we’d been trying to flee from for years. I promised the surgeon I’d schedule surgery as soon as I moved across country. How hard could it be? I’ve already got one doctor saying I likely have Endo. All I have to do is take that paperwork with me when I move, hire a new gynae and get the surgery.

THAT WAS A MISTAKE.

See, I knew nothing about health insurance in the United States. I had great Preferred Provider Organisation (PPO) coverage when I lived in Michigan. When I moved to California, suddenly the health insurance of choice for employers was Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) coverage.
Under HMO insurance, it’s all about preventing illness, not treating existing illness. If you have existing issues, they don’t want to talk to you – they want to deflect you to other services. I spent the next ELEVEN YEARS begging doctors for surgery, only to be told I don’t have endo, I ONLY have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or I ONLY have Dysmenorrhea, or I am simply out of shape and need to spend more time at the gym (I was bicycling 30-60 miles on average during this time, for fun!).
I was referred to chiropractic for period pain!! I was flagged as drug seeking for the pain!!

In 2001, I convinced my HMO primary care doctor to send me to a surgeon for evaluation with the suspected diagnosis of endometriosis. I was so excited to be so close to an official diagnosis. When I got to the surgeon, she flat out denied me surgery! She said I ONLY have Dysmenorrhea. She took a biopsy of my cervix, without any pain meds, knowing full well I’d driven there myself with no one to drive me home. I left her office feeling completely violated and abused. I noted the degree on her wall – University Of Alabama. I wondered if all doctors who trained in the South were this barbaric. She said my cervical biopsy came back normal. I fired her.

In 2005, I once again sought the help of a male gynae, hoping for a compassionate doctor such as the one I had back in 1996. Nothing could be further from the truth. This doctor looked me up and down with disdain as I told my story, and replied that I did not have endo – more likely it was bladder infections or sexually transmitted diseases! I noticed the degree on his wall – University of Kansas. Again, I wondered if all doctors trained in the South were specifically trained as barbarians. He was rude and condescending, but I let him perform a pap smear, hoping to exonerate myself. When the pap smear came back normal, and again he insisted I did not have endo, I fired him immediately.

Finally, in 2006, a friend referred me to her surgeon, and I had also finally scored a job which allowed me to have PPO health insurance. I saw the surgeon, told her my story, and she scheduled me for surgery. In February, 2007, I was laparoscopically diagnosed with Stage III Endometriosis on the ovaries, bladder, uterus and peritoneum. I was also told that I have a retroverted uterus and an everted cervix, which could account for Dysmenorrhea aside from the endometriosis. On that note, I was finally officially diagnosed with Dyspareunia. Why the hell wasn’t I told any of this when I had my cervix biopsy back in 2001?!?

I filed complaint against the surgeon who saw me in 2001, who had refused to give me surgery and who had said emphatically that I did not have endo. She was, coincidentally, a colleague in the same hospital as the surgeon who DID diagnose me with endo in 2007.
The hospital performed an investigation and came down unequivocal on her side, instead blaming my primary care doctor for improper referral, which had confused the surgeon, who did not know I was there for a surgery consult!! Are you kidding me?!?!

I experienced NO pain relief from the surgery. Initially, I was put on Yasmin to suppress the ovaries after surgery, but within one month, I exhibited the terrifying symptoms of Akathisia and Anhedonia (I just learned of the term Anhedonia from another fellow endo sister’s blog post, entitled Progesterone intolerance: Loss of enjoyment).

Two months into the Yasmin treatment, I was completely suicidal and had to be placed on 72-hour lockup while the doctor stopped the Yasmin treatment and fed me full of Xanax around the clock.
After that mess, I found that I did experience longer amounts of time between endo flares, where I was more often pain-free and had more energy. Each menstrual cycle however was the same as it had always been – I was bedridden from the pain. Six months post-op, sobbing in the surgeon’s office, she admitted to me that she had not gotten all of the endo out of me – that there was a spot on the bladder reflection – she was too afraid to get to it, because she feared she would have ruptured my bladder.

I knew this meant I’d have another surgery.
Three years later, in 2010, I had my second laparoscopy, and was re-diagnosed with Stage I Endometriosis. Again, my uterus and ovaries were covered with endo, and now endometriomas in the ovaries as well. There was a complication during surgery – they accidentally ran into the mesentery
The second surgery showed better results, but I have never been completely pain-free during my cycle. I may have spent far less time bedridden in 2011, but I still experience level 6 and 7 cramps, and I still have to come home sick from work. On the upside, I experienced 20 consecutive pain-free days in a row after this past surgery. It was amazing.
Of course, 14 months post-op, the endo symptoms are returning again. I have decided against further surgery, since I’m in the home stretch for menopause, which should begin anywhere in the next 6 to 10 years. That seems like a long time, but when surgery has been an ineffective pain management tool for me, and I’ve already been suffering with endometriosis for 26 years, I choose my battles carefully. I know the behaviour of the endo in my body. I have figured out my windows of uptime. I’m tired of hormonal and surgical experiments to quell the pain, which only brings up new and more terrifying complications.

I am fully aware that endometriosis could continue to ravage me despite entering menopause. If that becomes the case, I may go in for the big surgery – hysterectomy. Unfortunately, since the endo attacks my ovaries, I’d have to lose them, which means being put on HRT. If there’s ANY endo left in my body after a hysterectomy, then the HRT could stir up a new hornet’s nest, because endo feeds on any estrogen – whether natural or synthetic. There’s also the issue of progestin intolerance, which I am convinced was the case in leading me to become completely mental when I was on Loestrin and Yasmin. So far, I have refused any other hormonal treatments. No Lupron, no Danazol, no GnRH treatments of any sort – none of it. I refuse. I would rather have pain every 25 days for up to 4 days than ever deal with Akathisia, Anhedonia and planning suicide again.

For further information, see Things I’ve Tried To Combat Endo.

Dismal September “uptime”

I enjoyed a mere four pain-free days before pelvic pain returned. I don’t know if this was early mittelschmerz or what, but on September 9 and 10, I endured intermittent stinging and stabbing in the uterus all day long.

Then, on September 11, I had to contend with dyspareunia all day. I had intense low back pain with stabbing uterine and cervical pain all day after intimacy.

For two days after being intimate with my husband, I had right side stabbing ovarian pain all day. It made me cry out “OW!” or yelp in pain each time. Around 4pm on September 12, there was continuous pulsing pain for several minutes, and on September 13 I had intermittent stabbing ovarian pain all day again. Despite this, I bicycled to and from work on September 12 and 14.

I was able to enjoy three more pain-free days from September 14 to September 16.

On September 17 (my birthday), dyspareunia ruined all the fun again, and lasted for two days.

I then had three pain-free days before the pre-menstrual pain cycle set in on September 22. To make things worse, I contracted an intestinal virus, which caused mean stomach pain on September 23, leading to diarrhea, which lasted for two days. I felt like I could die. My entire body ached and my mood was more foul than my worst PMS.

Speaking of PMS…stomach flu aside, I have to say that this month’s PMS was the most aggressive and depressing since I was on synthetic hormones. The level of rage I had in the past two weeks equals that which I experienced when I was on Yasmin back in 2007. I phoned my mother to ask when she started menopause, and she thinks it was right around the time we moved houses back in 1983, which would put her at 39 years of age. She gave several instances of being a raging psycho hose beast from hell (which my diaries corroborate).

Well here I am at age 40…so I wonder if I’m starting down the path to menopause. Half of me shouts HOORAY! because the hope is that with menopause, the endometriosis will burn out.
The other half of me is freaking the eff out for two reasons: #1 I still look, act and feel like I’m in my late 20s, and #2 all the other crap that goes with menopause is terrifying to ponder.

Going back to the whole pelvic pain thing…
On September 25, I attended the annual Alameda Home Tour, despite getting over the stomach flu and enduring more pre-menstrual cramps. I was on Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen all day, but not to the point of stupor – I took half pills of Tylenol 3.

To cap off the day on September 25, I developed a migraine.

I have started tracking the migraines. I also had a migraine back on September 7, and I complained on facebook that I felt like I was having an increase in migraines each month ever since my surgery last December. My friend Wanda is the one who told me it could be tied to my cycle, and to start tracking it, so I went back as far as I could online and in my iCal to see if there was a connection.

Well wouldn’t you know it, there IS, and it goes back YEARS:

September 7, 2011 – Migraine lasting several hours (two days after period ended. Also, it was 86F outside and I was at work in the heat for a couple of hours, then bicycled home).

April 27, 2011 – mild to moderate cramps, migraine from hell, lasting 5 hrs (on first day of period)

January 19, 2011 – light to moderate pelvic pain two days after my period started, “with migraine that lasted five hours, then major pelvic pain and bleeding with cramps at 11pm.”

October 12, 2010 – Migraine noted in facebook (1 day after period ended)

January 29, 2010 – Migraine lasting for several hours on same day spotting started.

January 8, 2010 – Migraine noted in facebook (During period)

December 26, 2009 – Migraine noted in facebook (during Mittelschmerz)

July 9, 2009 – pounding headache two days before period.

April 6, 2009 – moderate headache on 4th day of period.

January 26, 2009 – Migraine noted in facebook (3 days after george ended)

In all, during my supposed uptime, I enjoyed TEN total pain-free days, which were non consecutive. This is dismal compared to the last few months.

Entering end of August downtime

During this month’s uptime, I accomplished the following through the Prop 215 dispensary:

 
During this month’s uptime, I accomplished the following:

  • spent several hours aboard the U.S.S. Hornet walking around, ascending and descending stairs, and sitting on hard floors
  • attended two going-away parties back to back
  • got reeeeeeeally drunk
  • went to the circus for father-in-law’s birthday request
  • bicycled to work three days in a row, for a total of 8 miles
  • went for walks
  • continued my yoga lessons nearly every night before bed
  • helped pack away a classroom of its summer theme and helped prep it and another classroom for the coming school year

 
Along with the getting drunk part, I also ingested more caffeine and more sugar than I should have allowed myself to do. I felt stressed out this whole month. My sister-in-law was hospitalised with a pulmonary embolism (she’s now home and managing it with medication), and the aftermath of my drunkening had me seriously in the doghouse with my husband, and had me feeling very depressed for a whole week. Oh, and both of these things happened the same exact week. Being on the U.S.S. Hornet was draining, because it required heightened psychic sense (we were ghost hunting), and there was some national news that triggered me emotionally (also in the same week as my sister-in-law’s hospitalisation). The week of August 14 – 20 was a really bad week.

Despite the emotional roller coaster, I experienced SIXTEEN, count ‘em 16 pain-free days in a row! Sixteen consecutive pain-free days!

WOW! I definitely have a trend showing itself five months after surgery!
From May to June’s cycle, I had 20 consecutive pain-free days.
From June to July’s cycle, I had 17 consecutive pain-free days.
From July to August’s cycle, I’ve had 16 consecutive pain-free days.

This is AWESOME.

What’s even better is that no matter what I’ve done to myself diet-wise, the number of pain-free days has barely wavered. Not that I’m gonna go on a booze, caffeine and sugar binge from here on out, mind you. That shit still affects my mood something fierce.

I will say that this month’s PMS has been HELLISH. Perhaps that is tied to the poor diet. I’m angsty, depressed, angry, weepy, and desirous to claw myself out of my own skin. I feel like a three-year-old who can’t tell you what the trouble is and who resorts to screaming and kicking everything in site.

The libido thing is about the same as it is for many women with endometriosis – I enjoyed three intimate days this entire month. There were three in July, two in June, one in May, two in April, two in March, FOUR in February, and three in January. None of that has changed much since surgery, because due to endometriosis, I’m also diagnosed with dyspareunia, which happens with deep penetration. The cramps can often last for days, and the deep cramps not something I want happening between cycles, during my “uptime” or my sacred pain-free time zone. Thankfully, truly thankfully, I have a life partner who understands and respects this, as rough as it can be emotionally for him to have to deal with on his end. My husband is a super hero. We’ve been together for 11 years, and have been married for almost three. :)

I fear today may be my last day of work before I’m stuck at home in pain again for a day or three. I’m hoping I won’t miss work at all this week. On Monday, I required 600mg of Ibuprofen to get through the workday. On Tuesday, I required 1,000mg of Ibuprofen. Both days, I woke up feeling like a Mack truck ran over me. My muscles have been tired, my joints have been aching. I have increased my calcium/magnesium intake, and I’m trying to add more green vegetables to my diet for iron. I should be taking my iron supplement – I’ll do that at lunch today.
So far today – Wednesday – I have not needed to take ibuprofen. I’m heading off to work right now. Wish me luck!

I bicycled! And other updatey stuff

Despite having cramps this morning, I did not want to chance taking my car to work, and I had forgotten again to see if there was a quick bus to my workplace…so I bicycled to work. This is the first time in 134 days that I have bicycled! It felt so good. Granted, I live only a mile from my job, but still, any exercise is good exercise. The weather has finally turned from constant winter rain to unseasonably warm and sunny; yesterday it got up to 83°F and today it got up to at least 86°F, so there was no excuse not to bike to work.

Speaking of exercise, I’ve been weight lifting again. Don’t get excited – they’re only 3lb weights. But as I said, any exercise is good exercise. I typically do the weights before bedtime, but I’m trying to get better at lifting when I wake up in the morning, too.

This month has been stressful for three reasons:

  • I’ve been sick all month

  • My father-in-law’s been in the hospital and just underwent a Transmetatarsal Amputation on Monday of this week
  • A classmate who wanted to work with me on the thesis project for graduation has not done anything useful, and I have to fire her.
  • Mercury turned Retrograde yesterday.

 

I detailed my getting sick in this post. I felt like I was getting worse, not better, on that day, but instead of starting in on a new pack of antibiotics, I decided to give it a few more days, since my doctor said the z-pack was supposed to have benefit for 5 days after the last pill. I just didn’t want to have to get a yeast infection. I have enough going on down there as it is with the endo.
I’m still coughing up junk, but not as much. I’m still needing what’s left of my inhaler once a day, usually in the morning. My ears are still clogged and the left ear is still painful, but not all day long anymore. So I guess I’m getting better…

Around about March 25, my arse started bleeding again. Same as it ever was, always a week before my period. It lasts a few days and happens during bowel movements, and then stops.

This week my symptoms were near-debilitating low back pain on Tuesday, and intermittent uterine cramping throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday. Then last night I went to bed with the heating pad, woke with worsening cramps at 3:30am, took a half Tylenol 3, and went back to bed with the heating pad. This morning when I got up for work, I had moderate low back pain and the pelvic pain was about a 4 on the pain scale.
I kept forgetting to take ibuprofen all damned day, but after biking to work, I felt like I was more limber throughout the day. So that’s excellent.

Regarding my stress level…my father-in-law spent February in the hospital and then in physical therapy rehab after having his left toe amputated. Five years ago, he had his right toe amputated. He has mismanaged his diabetes for 20+ years, and is now shocked that he’s losing digits. When, two weeks after being discharged from rehab he was back in the hospital with another gangrene toe on the left foot, all hell broke loose (again) with his wife.
She told him he can’t come home until he can properly care for himself. Then she went on a previously planned vacation with her son and wasn’t back in time for her husband’s surgery. The surgery was a much agonised-over foot amputation.

His wife got back the day he had surgery, showed up at the hospital once he was out of the recovery room, and then fled in a hissy fit a couple of hours later. I’m the one to thank for that, because I got tired of her talking about him as though he wasn’t in the room with us, bitching about how he doesn’t take care of himself and it’s all his fault he’s back here again (not entirely true – he has a calcified artery in his leg, so no amount of dietary management or exercise was going to stop the toes from dying. She even told me earlier in the day that she was throwing out all of the “liquor”, even though he only has wine in the house. I tried to explain that his occasional glass of wine isn’t what set all this off but she wouldn’t have it.

Sure, yeah, it’s still his fault over time due to gross mismanagement of his illness, but he didn’t do it in the past two weeks as she keeps claiming). Anyway, I told her she and he need to work this out, it’s not for me and my husband to figure out for them. And apparently that’s talking down to her and I was told, “You can’t talk to me like that!” and she fled. Left her husband there, eyes welling with tears. Refused to answer her phone for roughly 15 hours. Wasn’t at the house when we drove by after hanging out in the hospital awhile longer.

I found out later that she’d had a previous marriage and that the guy was an alcoholic who literally drank himself to death. So it seems she’s having a giant triggering flashback that she can’t escape, and she’s projecting her previous marriage partner onto her current partner. Wow, serious mental issues, there. I’m told she refuses to do therapy. The way she freaked out when I said they need to work on their stuff kinda indicates her refusal towards therapy. I dunno. I don’t actually want to talk to her again for awhile.

The other stress I’ve had revolves around continuing homework and internship responsibilities, and the classmate who wanted to work with me on the thesis but who has barely done anything at all towards it. I’m going to see what she produces for the seminar next weekend and then fire her if she doesn’t have enough to show for. Ugh. Hate it. But she can’t take the credit for all my work. I won’t let her.

In the food and drink department, preceding this menstrual cycle, I have imbibed on wine, port and nigori to the point of drunkenness, but not anywhere near the point of making an ass out of myself. I have gorged on chocolate and cheetos – staging a rebellion I guess – I have no excuse. I know these things hurt me and I did it, anyway. I wanted comfort food to deal with everything.

Regarding the astrology thing with Mercury going retrograde – I’ve been feeling the effects of that for the past two weeks. Ugh. It becomes harder for me to control my mouth. It becomes impossible for me not to drink or spend money or in general do unwise things to my body and mind. Most people find astrology to be hogwash. That’s fine, we’re all entitled to our quirks. If you don’t like my quirk, I don’t need to hear about it. Plus, I’m PMSing. Telling me how illogical astrology is will just get you thrown into a pit of rabid weasels.
I’m probably PMSing so badly because of all the junk I’ve been putting into my body. But it’s too late, now. I just have to go through this month and hope all the damage I did isn’t long-lasting in my body tissue.

The PMS is pretty harsh. I’m extremely moody and my body temp is all over the place, but mostly I’m freezing. I just spent a day in hot weather, came home, stripped down to my underwear, and within an hour I was freezing and now I’m still freezing, even though the house is 70°F inside (it’s down to 73°F outside). I’m literally wrapped in a velour blanket. Oh and the cramps are back again, now that I’m cold. Awesome. Good thing I just ordered some leafy green saag from the local Indian restaurant. Oh yeah, spending money again. *sigh*
George will be here officially in a minute – the mucosa changed colour this afternoon.

Lastly, I don’t think I’ve experienced mittelschmerz this month. I know I said the same thing in January and went back on it, and then in February it was difficult to tell for sure because it could have either been dyspareunia or mittelschmerz, or both. This month, I was just too stressed out to remember to record whether I was having mid-cycle pain.

Sickest I’ve been in a year

I did go to work that next day on March 10, and I worked nearly the whole day before the pain decided to come back and bitch-slap me one last time. I left an hour early. So this month, I’ve only missed one day and one hour of work total on account of george, and once again I was never fully bedridden during this cycle. That’s two months in a row now!

This is really great post-op news!

Next period is April 1st (ha-ha). We’ll see how it goes. I remain hopeful.

The main complaint for this month is attack of the killer viruses.

February 28th I came down with the flu, and that was on a Monday. I went to the doctor, who listened to my lungs and remarked that he heard “crackles.” He listened again but I had a coughing fit, and that seemed to clear things up. I joked that he’d have to wait for the next build-up before determining “crackles” again.

The doctor asked if I’d had my flu shot. I said no, because I’m allergic to eggs (flu shots are created using chicken eggs, did you know?). He then suggested I try Tamiflu. I told him I have previously examined the drug and its side-effects, and decided that my sensitivity to meds, coupled with dealing with autoimmune disease, did not make it appealing to chance multiple side effects on the off chance that the flu might be lessened by one or two days.
The doctor asked what autoimmune disease I have, so I told him I have endometriosis. He looked annoyed, put down his pen, looked at me and said, “Endometriosis is not an autoimmune disease.”

My jaw dropped. I politely told him that the confirmation on this is fairly recent, so yeah, it’s actually an autoimmune disease. Meanwhile, his intern student doctor, standing to my left, murmured under his breath, “yes, it is an autoimmune disease.”

The doctor retorted angrily at me, “It is NOT an autoimmune disease!”

I thought for sure his next comments would be something about endometriosis MERELY being painful period, and why don’t I try some Midol to ease the cramps…he was at that level of condescension.

I told him “First of all, I’m the one with the disease, so I’ve done my homework, so yes, it IS an autoimmune disease, and secondly, there has been proven anomaly on chromosomes 1 & 7, WOULD YOU LIKE COPIES OF THE STUDIES, since I am subscribed to medical journals?”

The intern again quietly agreed, “it is an autoimmune disease.”

The head doctor wanted to hear none of it. Red-faced with rage, I informed him that I’d be inserting the studies into my medical file for his education.

THIS IS THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, AND YOU ARE IN A SUPPOSEDLY DEVELOPED NATION, IN A SUPPOSEDLY HIGH-TECH DOCTOR’S OFFICE, TELLING ME WITH YOUR IGNORANCE THAT YOU ARE NOT UP ON THE LATEST MEDICAL RESEARCH?!?!?!?!

This is the second doctor’s office I have chosen in this city. I see I may have to fire this office, too. Sadly, I’m certain that all local doctor’s offices are this stupid. When I was leaving the exam room, the intern held the door for me. I smiled and quietly thanked him for backing me up. He grinned and replied that he was looking forward to the heated debate on the topic. It seemed like he was trying to tell me that he’d be in trouble for agreeing with the patient, and that it wasn’t his first run-in with the doctor. Ugh, poor intern. I sincerely hope he makes it out of med school in one piece.

When I got home from the doctor’s appointment, I called the office and told them to put it in my file that I will never see Dr. James E. Eichel again. As a matter of fact, my husband reminded me that the reason he left that doctor’s office the first time around in search of another family practice was because of Dr. Eichel’s condescending attitude.
I did a background check on him, nothing comes up. But take it from me and my husband, the guy’s a total asshole. Also, check out doctor reviews on the web – numerous people have found him to be condescending and rude.

I was so angered by this doctor telling me that my debilitating chronic illness is not in as valid a category as he feels it should be, that it has taken me 24 DAYS to write about it, and even now, this is the best verbiage I can find without using a string of expletives and then throwing something across the room.

So that was Monday, February 28. I took the whole week off of work to get better. However, by that Friday, the flu had turned into bronchitis. I was back in the doctor’s office, and again a doctor listened to my chest. By now I was seriously wheezing, too. The doctor said she heard “crackles”. Hm, this is the second time in a week that word was used, so I asked what it meant to detect “crackles.” She said it means pneumonia at worst. I asked if Dr. Eichel had put it down in my chart that he’d heard crackles back on Monday.

GUESS WHAT.

He made no mention whatsoever!

ASSHOOOLLLLLLLLLLLE!

So I was sent to the hospital for a chest x-ray. Thankfully, it came back normal. However, I was diagnosed with bronchitis and put on an inhaler.

The following Monday is when I got my period. I went to work that week, and only missed one day of work, and took it as easily as I could given the bronchitis and menstruation. I hacked a lung every day, and alarmed the students some of the time with my coughing fits. Being outside for a couple of hours each day didn’t help either, what with the cold, wet weather we’re having.

Ten days later, just as the bronchitis was clearing, I felt well enough to go dancing. We got home late, and I got about three hours of sleep, got up and went to work.

By the end of the day, I had a sinus infection. Go me. :(
Three days later, I had an ear infection.

Friday, March 18 I was back in the doctor’s office. The doctor, thankfully my preferred doctor this time (April Fredian), walked into the exam room, took one look at me, and sighed, “you got it, didn’t you.” She told me that this flu-turned-bronchitis-turned-sinus-infection is a really nasty thing she’s seeing in a third of her patients, and even she did not escape it. She estimated that I will be sick for another month and a half.
Dr. Fredian examined my lungs (clear) and my ears (left eardrum inflamed, could rupture), and my nose (more allergenic than viral). I was told all I could really do was take anti-inflammatory meds and hope my eardrum didn’t burst. She gave me codeine cough syrup and suggested I try Afrin for the allergy-ridden nose. I asked if antibiotics would help with the ear infection – she said if by Sunday my ear still hurt a lot, to get on antibiotics. I asked what kind, cuz I still had a z-pack at home. She said the z-pack would do, and then amended her prescription, saying if my ear still hurt by Saturday, that I had her permission to take the antibiotics.

So on Saturday, the ear still hurt, and I started the antibiotics.

Today was Day 5 of the z-pack – the last day – and dammit if the sinus infection and ear inflammation didn’t get worse. WTF.

So I’ll be back in the doctor’s office again tomorrow for further advice. I’ll be demanding ear drops or something. UGH, I just want to be well again.

March 17 was 90 days post-op, and I had promised myself by March 1st I’d be back in the gym again, toning up after all that downtime from surgery. And BAM instead I get a month of wheezing and staggering amounts of lung and sinus butter. I cannot believe the head and chest can produce so much phlegm. It’s disturbing.

Oh, to go back to endo for a moment – my husband and I were intimate on March 20 and I did experience dyspareunia afterwards, but it didn’t last more than a couple of hours. It was sharp, intermittent pain – the type I thought would get worse and last for days as usual. But it didn’t! YAY!

Going back to the ear infection – yesterday I was so depressed by not being able to get back into the gym that I literally cried.
The ear pain got so bad today that I had to plug my left ear for the last hour at work, and I felt like crying from the resonating noise (I work in a preschool in daycare mode this week, so you know it’s anything but quiet).

I got home and took Tylenol 3. I’ve been in a stupor ever since, but at least I’m dissociated from the screaming tinnitus (both high and low drone pitch simultaneously in both ears, plus the pounding eardrum pain in the left ear).

That’s all I’ve got. Great news on the endometriosis – keeping that in mind through this depressing flu season crap.

And we’re already into mittelschmerz

The last day of george was February 13. There had been nearly no bleeding overnight from the 12th to the 13th, and then the cramps and bleeding ramped up by 9:30am.
I still went out of the house despite the pain, and an acquaintance helped me return the rental car I’d gotten for the weekend seminar. I came home and took a whole Tylenol 3. The pain radiated down the inner side of my thighs almost to my knees. I was nauseous. The pain reached 7.5 on the pain scale.

This of course proved to be the “last gasp” as we call it – the bleeding and pain abated by late afternoon and then I spotted on the 14th and 15th.

The good news of the February menstrual cycle is that I was not bedridden at all!
The bad news of the February menstrual cycle is that had the pain struck me on a week day as opposed to the weekend, I still would have missed two days of work, because the pain was above a 6 on the pain scale and required narcotic medication to treat.

Eight days later, like clockwork, mittelschmerz (mid-cycle pain, a.k.a. ovulation) occurred and lasted for two days. The symptoms consisted of sharp, intermittent stabbing pain in the uterus and left ovary (that damned left ovary!!!), which lasted for hours. On February 22, I took half a Tylenol 3 before bed. On February 23, I took 600mg of Ibuprofen before bed. The pain lessened but was still present (less stabby) on February 24 (today). It’s difficult for me to know if the pain would have been less sharp, because on February 21 and 22, I was intimate with my husband (funny how ovulation and an increase in libido happen at the same time, huh? ;). It could be the dyspareunia OR the mittelschmerz OR both. I’m special that way.

So the bad news is:

  • The pain still got to 7.5 on the pain scale, which is unacceptable.
  • I continue to have mittelschmerz.
  • I continue to have dyspareunia.

 

Still, I am excited about what promise the March menstrual cycle holds. Each month my body recovers from surgery means hope that the really bad pain has been ameliorated by surgery. Hope is strong. Only at six months post-op am I allowed to throw in the towel with the hope that surgery worked. I am fully aware of the statistics of actual pain relief amongst endometriosis sufferers with surgery, and by that I mean I know full well that our numbers are low. But I am not one to give up so easily.

I am hoping with this next paycheck on February 26th that I can start up the acupuncture and massage treatments again. My masseuse also has endometriosis. She got a hysterectomy and had no relief even after that! She went to massage school and also had massage therapy on herself. What ultimately helped to relieve her pain was PUSH therapy. My masseuse is certified in Swedish massage, acupressure, Shiatsu, sports massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, Dynamic Reposturing, and PUSH Therapy.

I also need to get back on the bicycle again. I’ve been a weather wuss, which is hilarious because when I lived in Michigan, I bicycled in 48°F weather all the time. The rain is another issue, I have never liked to bicycle in the rain.

Challenges to continue working on: omit alcohol, sugar and chocolate intake entirely.

Second Laparoscopy: Day 45 – 52

So what I’ve been doing is keeping a running log of tidbits from my day, thinking that later each day, I would expound further and make a good narrative journal entry for you. And then it wouldn’t happen. So the next day, I’d type up some tidbits from that day, hoping to put it in more readable narrative…etc. And what you get instead is me being way behind and playing catch up.

Day 45
Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 5 of my return to work. I don’t recall the order of the day. The big news that day happened when we got home and got a call from my husband’s step-mother, saying his dad was in the hospital again due to complications from Type II Diabetes. His left foot had swelled up, and he had to have his left big toe amputated. Now he has no more big toes. His right toe was amputated back in July, 2005.

My husband endured a long rant from his step-mother, and looked depressed when the call ended. He said, “I seriously wonder if he’ll be able to ever walk again after this.”

That’s not all – father’s wife is screaming divorce because she’s tired of him not taking care of himself. It’s been going on for over 20 years.

Day 46
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 6 of my return to work. I wore slacks again, and no, the belly button wasn’t any happier – 46 days after surgery!!!

I was stressed out at work, and had little water intake because I forgot to take my water bottle to work with me, and it was my first day of recording the childrens’ work. Recording entails walking around the classroom with a clipboard and noting what the children are working on, checking their work with a Three Period Lesson, and noting on the clipboard next the activity whether the child has mastered it, needs to redo it, or is just having a sensorial experience with it.
The class usually has 20 children, and at any time, three or four of them are tapping me on the shoulder or arm while I sit with another child, or they’re calling out across the room when they’re not supposed to. Then there’s four to six children playing instead of working at any given time, whom I have to continually resettle. It was a very busy day.

That night, we visited my husband’s father in the hospital.
I experienced sharp ovarian pain on the right side as we walked down the corridor to my father-in-law’s hospital room – this was after climbing stairs – and I had just told my husband that I was fine to climb stairs, since I had been active at work.
It’s a workout to do Head, Shoulders Knees And Toes every day, along with squatting down and getting back up again several times a day to check children’s work…in Montessori, many children work with materials on the floor.

We visited probably for an hour, and my husband’s father seemed not to be too put out that he’d just lost his other big toe. He talked about the trip to Alaska he wants to take this year, and refused to discuss serious matters of his health – you know – reality.

When we got back home from visiting my father-in-law in the hospital, I mentioned online about my crazy mood swings I’ve been having since surgery, and an endo sister suggested I try taking Zomig. I don’t have any Zomig, but it does have the ingredient 5-HT in it. I took a 5-HTP supplement, instead.

Within an hour, my tummy was burning and nauseous, and I had moderate indigestion all the way up the esophagus.

Note to self: 5HTP contains sulfites and B vitamins. You know you can’t take B vitamins because it upsets your tummy.

I took a shower, and discovered that the first scab had fallen out. It looks burnt to a crisp, just like last time. My scabs didn’t fall out til around Day 61 last time.

Right before bed, I experienced sharp pain towards the left side – it was more uterine in nature this time.

So, now I have to go back on what I said in my last post – I had said I did not experience Mittelschmerz, but actually, I think it was just a bit late – Day 10 of the new cycle instead of Day 8.

Yeah. I still get Mittelschmerz. :(

Day 47
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 7 of my return to work. It was my second day of recording the students as they worked, and I was still running around all frazzled, trying to keep up. No pain that I can remember – no notes about pain so I must have had a pain-free day!

Day 48
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 8 of my return back to work. We had Chinese New Year celebrations and only half an hour of work period, but I recorded what I could for the head teacher. I came home from a good day at work but the moment I got home, I was full of angst the likes I haven’t seen since I was in my early 20s.

I realised that it is because I am sick to death of LOOKING and DRESSING like a preschool teacher five days a week, and coming home every day with songs from The Wiggles or Dora or some such stuck in my head. I also realised I was PMSing.

Day 49
Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 9 of my return back to work. It was my last day shadowing the person who is leaving that room to work in the classroom I was moved from.

That night, I went dancing! I wore a corset! Sadly, no pix. My husband is really bad about that, and well he’s been depressed about his dad being in the hospital. That night, I blew out my right knee while dancing, and had to ice it right there in the club. The staff were FANTASTIC about coming to my aid – they didn’t have to do that but they did. To my fellow endo sisters, I know you understand when I say the blown out knee pain was HILARIOUS compared to what we normally go through. I iced it for a bit and went back dancing!

I must note for posterity that I did drink alcohol that night. Alcohol is known to be a bad actor for endometriosis, so it’s something I need to stop consuming. I struggle with this.

Day 50
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sharp right knee pain. I got up after only 6 hours or so of sleep and went to have my blood drawn again (still dealing with follow-up to Dec. 28 high eosinophil crap). From there, I went over to a sports shop and bought another knee brace. ACE bandages don’t take care of the pain anymore – I have congenitally misaligned knees, so over the years, the pain has just gotten more annoying. Stretchy knee braces don’t take care of the pain anymore, either. So I bought a cool knee brace with hinges. It worked superb! I wore it all day and my knee felt SO MUCH BETTER by the end of the day!

And then the depressing news – I also experienced sharp pain on my left side – ovarian area – after eating breakfast (frozen mango, frozen banana, goat milk yoghurt, gluten-free vanilla extract, cardamom, cinnamon for a nice smoothie, and two gluten-free waffles with cream cheese).

Meh.

Day 51
Sunday, February 6, 2011

Intimacy with husband the night before resulted in pelvic pain that morning. We’re not doing anything fancy or kinky, mind you, and I’m still getting pain pretty much every time. I was told by my last surgeon that surgery won’t change that – I have dyspareunia and that’s just how it is. I had asked my current surgeon to please fix my retroverted uterus during the December surgery, as I’m convinced that it accounts for the dyspareunia and for some of the pelvic pain during menstruation, but she said there’s no easy fix to a life-long retroverted uterus. She said that the tendons or whatever it is that connects the uterus to the bladder and other organs would become to strained or weakened if she lifted the uterus up and clamped it into proper positioning. She said it would result in even more pain for me. I have to trust her on that, since she’s performed hundreds of surgeries for endometriosis and pelvic conditions. She’s probably seen the gamut.

The day started off great – I woke before the alarm, ate breakfast, showered, and went to my Alexander Technique class. The panic attack wanted to happen the moment I drove off towards the appointment.
WHY.
My hands were shaking. I couldn’t breathe. I felt the flutter in my throat. I took .5mg lorazepam on the way to class, and when I got out of my car, I thought for sure I was going to faint, so I took another .5mg lorazepam.
I got to my class and was the only one for a bit. I was honest with my instructor that I was not emotionally well grounded that day for some reason. Class began, and two more filtered in and joined the conversation – all of us regulars – all people I’m comfortable with. Then halfway through the class, a staff member opens the door and asks if a new patient could be admitted to class. This is where the session went downhill. This woman made the conversation all about her, and was verbally defiant and combative the entire time with the instructor. The other three of us may as well have ceased to exist. I began doing my breathing exerises. I dissociated and put myself into a fixed state, staring down my nose at the floor, just focusing on breathing so I would not have a panic attack and lash out at this horrible beastly woman who kept saying, “I can’t do this. I can’t do that. I want you to teach me how to properly sit so I can play flute and not be in pain. I can’t do what you are asking me to do. I want you to help me.”

Back and forth. UGH.

When the class ended, I bolted.

I got home and locked my keys in my car, I was so frazzled after that class. I mailed two bills by walking to the mailbox on the corner, came home, and my husband gave me a spare key to go get my keys out of my car.

I got back home and started sorting laundry. I left the room to go through my closet to double-check whether more clothes need to be pared down, came back to the living room, and saw my cat actively sniffing around on the laundry piles on the floor. This cat has a bad history of peeing on my stuff since November 2009 so my heart sank. I knelt down and began to go methodically through my clothes. I found four pair of underwear and a work shirt, all damp from my cat having just peed on them. WHY. WHY.

My husband guessed that perhaps we’re not keeping the litter box clean enough again. This was all I could take for the day, and I feel immediately into a black depression. My posture slumped. My face fell. My eyes glazed over. It was 72F outside for an unseasonably warm February weekend, and emotionally, I was not up to it.

After I threw away the underwear and shirt, I bagged up the remaining laundry and took it out back to the laundry room. Then I took some crocheted blankets (two are from a thrift store, and one is from a friend) to the laundrymat because I like the front loader machines better for such delicate washing. I tossed in some scarves and my Dickens Fair skirt I had made in 2009 and had worn again in 2010.

When I returned to the laundrymat to retrieve my items, I found that everything reeked of mothball.

WHY!   WHAT THE HELL!   HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?   Was it one of the thrift blankets? Was it the washer I chose?
I hung up all my items when I got home. Airing out was good enough for most of the items, but a scarf and a thrift store blanket still reeked horribly, so I washed them twice by hand with baking soda, vinegar and oxobrite cleaner.

I had already been deeply depressed over my cat peeing on my stuff again, and then the mothball chemical assault happened. I’ve refused to eat or do homework all day. I did another load of laundry here at the house, but that was it. Even as I sat here typing this out, I was hunched over. My stomach was hurting. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to just go away.

8:19pm update:
I think I got the mothball smell out of everything except for our tartan scarf. :( I’ll keep trying at that before giving up, though.
There are two culprits now – the green crocheted blanket I got from the thrift store, and the purple microfiber blanket I just bought from the neighbor last night. Two different smells at that! The green one is the mothball and the purple one smells like a dog or cat had urinated on it at some point and it was incorrectly washed and dried. This makes a good argument for me never getting thrift store or yard sale blankets ever again.
I’m wondering how sick I’ll become now that I’ve exposed myself to nasty mothball fumes all day. One day I’ll learn to just flee the situation or throw the offending items away instead of trying to save things. ugh.

Day 52
Monday, February 7, 2011

Continued pelvic pain from late Saturday night’s intimacy.
Lots of intestinal gas noises, and pressure on the low back extending to rectum. This is “normal” pre-menstrual activity. Alas.
I awoke around 4am and finally got up to use the bathroom around 4:30am. I took .5mg lorazepam. I was never able to get back to true sleep after that. I hit snooze on the alarm four times, being stubborn about getting out of bed. I was exhausted and I still had a whole day ahead of me.

I got through the day but had to take 600mg Ibuprofen gel-caps by 9am to get through the day, because of low uterine pain. I seriously had to go check to see if I’d started bleeding, the cramps were strong enough. I’d wager about a 4 on the pain scale.

Postscript:
My first surgery was February 1, 2007 and I never did get any pain relief from that surgery. That’s why I had the second surgery on December 17, 2010. Both surgeries were electrocoagulation type Laparoscopy. I wanted excision surgery this time around, but my surgeon told me that the latest research out there shows that both excision and electrocoagulation have benefit. She prefers electrocoagulation but will not hesitate to do excision where necessary. The bulk of what I ended up “needing” was electrocoagulation, according to my 2010 surgery report.

I’m nearly two months post-op now, and I am just getting back into my regular old mobility mode. I’m due for a period on February 11, so we’ll see if the pain comes back or what. I have been experiencing symptoms (alternating ovarian stabbing pain), and I still have the pain with sex (but I’m told that’s a different diagnosis altogether – dyspareunia).

For medication, my cocktail is Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen gel-caps. I have tried all the NSAIDs, I have tried opiates and narcotics all the way up to Dilaudid and back again. I have tried medical marijuana. The only thing that helps dull the pain with minimal side effects to me is the Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen.

For pain management, there is yoga, and also the Alexander Technique. I like bicycling, dancing and roller skating, but I cannot do these things when the pain hits.

I went back to not eating pork, beef and other red meats, as well as fowl. I’m vegetarian plus fish, now, though I also omit crustaceans because they are said to set off the pain, too, and in my case, it held true. :/

I have a whole list of foods I avoid on my No Fly List, and then there’s the vitamins and supplements list.

I am hoping that with each month post-op, the pain relief will increase. That’s where I’m at…