Bedridden and missing work again

I had a lot of pre-george pain this cycle, to the point where I was taking over 1,000mg of ibuprofen to get through the day.

I had intermittent right side ovarian stabbing pains all day on Tuesday, January 24.

On Wednesday evening, January 25, I got a sudden droning headache, shivers, 
G.I. issues, crushing fatigue, runny nose. But because I have allergies, it could EITHER have been a food reaction OR a virus.
 People are dropping like flies at work from the stomach flu and bronchitis.
Interesting to note; the crushing fatigue started before dinner. Everything else began during dinner.
So was it a combo of PMS and fighting off a virus, PMS and food reaction, or just PMS?

On Thursday, January 26, I woke feeling much better. However, by afternoon that day, I had the distinct feeling of adhesions pulling deep inside my abdomen. I forget what side; I want to say it was the right side. I had forgotten to record it til Sunday in my calendar. According to facebook, I ate 1,200mg Advil to get through the day on Thursday.

On Friday, I was so busy that I don’t remember if I was having intermittent cramping. It was daycare day at school, and parent/teacher conferences were happening. I was floating from the preschool yard to the elementary yard to parent conferences all day long. Then I picked up one of my students after work and babysat him and his brother til 9:30pm that night.

The next day, on Saturday, January 28, I experienced mild uterine cramping. I chose to drink with friends rather than take any pain meds, because it was an all-day birthday gathering for one of my friends. I wasn’t ready to admit downtime was coming for me. I still wanted to play. I never got drunk that day, but I did have five drinks over the course of about 7 hours. I paced each drink and also consumed water.

I was not hungover on Sunday – like I said, I never got drunk. Sunday however was brutal. I experienced moderate uterine fullness and soreness, and spent the entire day on the couch near tears from the pain. My entire lower back was on fire, and deep inside my pelvis there was a volcano of death brewing. 

I took 800mg Advil, half a Tylenol 3, stretched slowly in doorways, used my TheraCane on the lower back, and used heating pads. I was close to having an emotional meltdown, because my period hadn’t even started, and yet I was in so much pain. Later, I dug into the Tylenol 3, which helped, so I took half pills of that for the rest of the day.

I had 15 pain-free days in January (non-consecutive). The good news though is that nine of those 15 were consecutive.

George arrived on time on Monday, January 30. I’d like to note that January is a “Blue Moon” menstrual month for me, since I got george twice (January 5 and January 30).

Sunday night I had gone to bed nauseous and expecting to get george during the night. Thankfully, I awoke on Monday with minimal pain and no nausea, so I went in to work. Of course, by the time I was leaving for work, the pain and nausea set back in. I was able to make it through the day on 1,100mg of Advil, a hamster bladder, and some whining.

On Tuesday, January 31, I wrote in facebook:
“So is it bad that I’ve been sitting here for the past 43 minutes, waiting for the pain to stop so I can eat food and get ready to go to work?

I guess the 800mg of Advil for breakfast so far didn’t do the trick.

I have 30 minutes before I have to leave for work, but I need to make the judgement call in the next 10 minutes in order to attempt to find substitutes for the day.”

Just under an hour later, I wrote, “Can’t find substitute – still short-staffed. Going in with heating pads strapped to my body like incendiary devices. Hoping for the best. I may very likely have to take a half of a Tylenol 3 on the job just to get through.”

I tried 800mg Advil, then 3 hours later I took 600mg more Advil to no avail, then a protein bar and half Tylenol 3. Finally, the extended care supervisor found some staff to juggle, and gently pushed me out the door around 11:20am. She’s super empathetic and in general awesome that way.

The pain hovered between 6.5 and 7.5 on the pain scale all day and all evening. I saw that I still had some Vicoprofen in the medicine cabinet, so I decided to give it a try again, since the Tylenol 3 didn’t appear to be dulling the pain enough for me. I took half a Vicoprofen and half a Robaxin muscle relaxer I also had left in the cabinet. The pain during this cycle has been centered low on the uterus and pressing into the bowels through the anus. It’s enough to make me whine and cry like a three-year-old. It’s been REALLY brutal.
Tuesday night, I was in bed before 9pm because of the strength of the medications I had taken.

In the middle of the night (3am), I woke from a crazy dream in time to find myself bleeding through my bedclothes. George had circumvented the thick overnight pad and went through my underwear and pajama bottoms to the bed. I had to change my clothes but was not about to change the bedsheets at three in the morning! Thankfully the bed wasn’t a disaster.
Wednesday morning, I awoke with heavy flow, nausea and grinding uterine pain. Thankfully, the woman I had asked the night before to sub got back to me and said she would come in. I took another half vicoprofen and half robaxin pill. Within 20 minutes, maybe less, I was higher than a kite, so I went back to bed. I was fine as long as I was bedridden. If I tried to get up, I was super dizzy and cranky from the medication.

The pain hit me again four hours later, so around 10:30am I took a half vicoprofen and half robaxin. Once again, it took roughly 20 minutes and I was higher than a kite from the meds. This time, however, I decided I was just DONE being so stoned. I was done being bedridden, and now I was depressed over it, because I couldn’t just stop being high. And besides, the pain was leaking through the meds – just as it had done with the Tylenol 3.

That’s when my memory kicked in – didn’t I have a problem with vicoprofen in the past? I turned to my own journal, knowing full well I’d find out that I had a big problem with vicoprofen. OH LOOK, THERE IT IS…

And so I spent much of the day stoned – trying to leech the meds out of my system. I took only Advil for the rest of the day and the pain crept back in, but I was adamant that I did not want to take any more opiates or narcotics til the bleariness of the vicoprofen wore off. And here I am, at 6:15pm, STILL FUZZY from that shit!!!

All I can do is smack my forehead and label the bottle THIS WILL KILL YOU or some other means of avoidance. I don’t want to throw the stuff away, because in case of emergency, I’d rather have something in the house.

Now…going back to the end-of-January pain cycle. I was saying it was really painful pre-george.

My question is, am I having a bad pain cycle because of the stress at work during the last two weeks of January (parent observations, prep for report cards, and parent conferences)


am I having a bad pain cycle because I chose to drink with friends two days before george was due?


am I having a bad pain cycle because of BOTH the stress and the drinking?


am I having a bad pain cycle for no reason other than It’s Just Endometriosis?

It’s my age-old question, steeped with guilt over the possibility that I am doing the wrong thing to bring more pain.

Whatever the reason or lack of reasoning, the fact is that in the new year, 13 months after surgery, I am still missing work and still on occasion bedridden from endometriosis.

I was bedridden one month after my surgery when the first real menstrual cycle hit. I was bedridden nine months after surgery.
I was bedridden 10 and 12 months after surgery.

The good news is that since my surgery in 2010, I was only bedridden for FOUR cycles, and only couch-ridden during TWO cycles out of 14 cycles total in the year 2011.
That’s much better than I was doing before surgery, where I was bedridden nearly every cycle of the year.

Doing the numbers helps me keep focus, helps me keep a semblance of morale up.

I’ll continue to track bedridden times through the year 2011 and see if I’m edging back towards pre-surgery illness. I’ll continue to tweak my diet, even though overall, dietary changes have not in my opinion shown vast improvement to the overall pain level during each cycle. If I don’t keep doing something to fight, then there’ll be no reason to fight, and the endo really will consume me.

My workplace, some friends and family, and total strangers will not see any improvement in my condition. I see little fluctuations that to me are major. I must continue to point them out so you can see how major in the scope of my illness these small changes are, and why I must keep fighting.

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!

Update fail

Well I’ve been meaning to keep you updated – and myself for that matter – on the progress and setbacks as each month post-op goes by.

However, I’m nearing the end of a teaching certificate program, and I’m working full time as an intern teacher, so I’ve had very little time to spend thinking about long narration of my menstrual woes.

I’m due on Sunday.

Parent observation week at school is next week. I’ll likely be out at least a day due to the pain. :(

I’m still missing 1-2 days of work each month, but it’s better than 3-4 days each month.

I’m under a lot of stress with this internship and trying to graduate a preschool class, take care of a stressed out head teacher, and get my thesis written and presented.

I tried using a progesterone cream for pain management on May 15, and within 6 hours I was a mental wreck. I’m putting off further experimentation with it until after graduation.

I’m back to the usual PMS cravings from all the stress. Been eating cheetos and chocolate again, and drinking more caffeine. Of course this ups the inflammation, I know.

That’s all I have time to say here today. Wheeeee.

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.

5th cycle since surgery

I’m due for my 5th cycle since surgery 3 months ago. Why so many cycles, you may ask? I have a 25-day cycle. Sometimes I get my period twice in a 30-day stretch. I call these my ‘blue moon periods’. This month may end up as a blue moon period if it arrives today, cuz it certainly feels like it’s going to be a day early.

Whether it arrives today or tomorrow doesn’t matter – it’ll be crappy either way. Arriving today means I had two periods in the same month. Arriving tomorrow means it happens on April Fool’s Day. HAR HAR.

I’ve been experiencing moderate low back pain and intermittent sharp uterine cramps for the past three days. Starting a week ago, my ass decided to gush bright red. This is nothing new and has not changed despite surgery, and despite the surgeon saying she found no sign of endo on my bowels.

I have eaten like complete shit for the past three weeks, and moreso within the past week, because I have been stressed the hell out. I have subsisted on coffee and chocolate and cheetos. There is going to be a heavy price to pay for that. I woke at 3:30am with cramps so strong that I needed half a Tylenol 3.

We’ll see how this cycle goes…

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).


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.
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.

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…

Second Laparoscopy: Day 29 post-op

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Woke up feeling better, though my face was flushed like fever and my temp was 99.3F.
I enjoyed decaf coffee with my breakfast of gluten free waffles and coconut milk ice cream. I had a second breakfast of pan-fried onions, spinach, broccoli and mushrooms with cow’s milk cheese all stuffed into a brown rice tortilla quesadilla.

I was able to accomplish some light house cleaning & purging, and found a pile of socks and other clothes that need darning. I can’t remember what ended up distracting me from the sewing, but other stuff happened that day…

At one point an Internet friend’s comments on my blog led me to worry, so I asked her if she was alright since her surgery. She’s got endo and she’s pregnant. Some women have undergone surgery while pregnant but red flags went off for me over the lack of updates on her site since before surgery. She wrote back to me, confirming the worst – she had to lose the baby during surgery because her own life was in danger. She was about three months pregnant. I actually cried upon receipt of this news. It was the second time in a month that a friend had lost their baby. Earlier in the month, on the same day as my post-op appointment (January 5), a friend had lost her newborn. She thinks it was SIDS. She is still awaiting the autopsy report. I cried for her, also. She had fought so hard to even conceive, and then was in pain and bedridden through most of her pregnancy. Her baby was born tiny and fragile on December 23, 2010, but the hospital sent her home the very next day. I do not know why the hospital did not keep the baby for observation, or send the baby home with a breathing machine, or what. I just don’t have all the info, and I’m feeling a whole lot of IT’S NOT FAIR for my friend. For both of my friends.

Call it oversensitivity since surgery (my ovaries were mucked with, which causes hormonal upset), or call it PMS. Call it whatever – I’m hugely empathetic and emotional right now, and seeing others suffering physically and emotionally just registers so much more intensely than usual for me.

Saturday night, we went dancing. I had been looking forward to it all week, to test out my mobility again, and because I knew there’d be a lot of swirly music to dance to.
Sadly, no photos from that night – I simply forgot. Well, there is my Daily Mugshot photo:

Going out to dance at Solace

Going out to dance at Solace


I had been melancholy all day for my two friends, and was listening to a lot of Dead Can Dance and music I used to perform ritual to, so that I could send love and positive energy out to my two friends. I wasn’t even sure of my own mobility, but I knew I would at least request and dance to Cantara by Dead Can Dance.

And I did.

By the end of the night, I was on Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen, but it was worth it. I also got to see another chronically ill friend that night – she has fibromyalgia and was having a low-pain day and also decided to make the most of it and go out that night. She danced, too. :)

Second Laparoscopy: Day 26 post-op

Wednesday, January 12, 2011. One o’clock pm.


I got a copy of my December 28 blood test results to take to my doctor appointment on Wednesday, and right there in bold text, it shows my red blood cell count is low and my eosinophil white blood cell count is through the roof! The eosinophil count was 1,900!!!
‘Normal’ is 15-500! It was flagged as HIGH and everything, in bold text! How could these people miss it?!?!?

I had puked my guts out on December 26th, and I had pain and bloating under the diaphragm, as well as itching all over my trunk from December 26-28th. I was having all sorts of issues and my surgeon’s office kept saying ‘you’re fine’. At my post op on January 5 I was still getting ‘you’re fine’, even though I felt like crap.

Then Monday January 10 I get a call from them saying “uhhhhh can you get a new blood test”?

How can they let THIRTEEN DAYS go by before really studying my blood test results and seeing some kind of major infection going on!

At my January 5 post-op appointment my surgeon’s assistant said “so and so got the results and said it looked fine.” The surgeon asked, “Do you have the paperwork?” The assistant replied “No, it’s at the front desk.” Instead of going to the front desk to get the paperwork, my surgeon asks me, “Do you want to get more blood work done?” I looked at her funny and said, uhhh, no…if you think my blood work was fine…” And my surgeon replied, “Oh! Well okay, you’re fine!”

I am SO MAD! I am kicking myself for not saying GO GET THE DAMNED PAPERWORK YOU LAZY ASSHATS!


After I settled down from my rage a little bit, I went outside and climbed the stairs to the building I live in. I ascended the stairs SIX TIMES. This is a first. My previous record was three times, five days earlier.

Firsts for today:

  • Climbed stairs 6 times.
  • I lifted a 19lb box of school work and carried it from the bedroom to the kitchen, spent the afternoon doing homework. Then I carried the box back to the bedroom and lifted and put it atop a 46″ tall dresser. This is the most weight I have lifted since surgery, and it did cause some discomfort, but I wanted to test my limits.



  • Dizzy and weak after stair climbing – despite a full meal an hour beforehand.
  • Mild to moderate pelvic and low back pain all day. It got bad enough at times that I wanted to take Tylenol 3, but I’ve become seriously revolted by the stuff since my big scare on December 27.
  • Still having diarrhea – this time after dinner. It could be food sensitivity, though; I ate sushi, and some of it had avocado, which has given me diarrhea since 2010 when I became more sensitive to things in the latex family. I had also drank some miso soup, which I have had sensitivity to as well. After dinner, I had cow’s milk ice cream (w/ 2 lactaid pills). So much food – I was plagued by internal gas and too full a feeling all night – it finally simmered down by 11:30pm.
  • I’m PMSing. I can seriously feel the uterus thickening. I’ve begun to have major sugar cravings. I found and ate ALL the chocolate in the house. I drank sugary pop twice that day. I am angered at the drop of a pin.

Wait For It…

Here we are, once again, with the waiting game, and all the uncertainties of moment-to-moment planning.

I could blame it on all the sugar and alcohol (sake) I’ve consumed over the past four days. I could blame it on the blasted endometriomas on both ovaries. I could blame it on being stressed out by work, unfinished summer school homework, and my upcoming surgery. I could blame it on me being 39 years old. I could blame it on the overall illness itself: endometriosis.

But the fact remains that George was due on Saturday, and there’s still no flow, yet.

It’s the same thing I’ve ranted about, before:

I feel like I’m in limbo whenever my period is late. I go through each minute of each day knowing I should have been bedridden already. I’d already planned for the time off work. I’d already stocked up on groceries and tried to prep the house for my descent to the underworld. And then george is a no-show and I’m left biding my time, Waiting For It.
I’m in that special hell where I cannot exert myself too much because it causes pain…but I’m not in debilitating pain. And I’m super tired – I want to sleep all day and all night. And yet because there is no constant gnawing pain and/or bleeding going on, I feel like I’m expected to BE somewhere and DO something productive. But my body isn’t up for it. But my mind is restless. So the guilt sets in. I have video blogged about the guilt before, but it’s so hard to LEARN the lesson and just be okay with whatever my cycle is doing – just roll with it.


And now, the TMI part. It’s for science! It’s for education! It’s because there is no owner’s manual so I try to create it as I go!

On Saturday, I experienced low back and pelvic pain throughout the day – I was at a 3.5 on the pain scale for much of the day. It was annoying pain, but not debilitating. My mid to upper back kept trying to seize up, though, and this got worse by 10pm, when my vaginal mucosa changed from clear to pinkish. I contemplated taking a Tylenol 3, but I’m running low on it, so I didn’t take any. I did however consume 1,200mg of ibuprofen that day.

This morning (Sunday) I began spotting – it is dark brown and sticky, which is why I’m blaming all the sugar and alcohol intake. The spotting never ramped up the entire day, but the pain has been like a yo-yo. I took a total of 1,200mg ibuprofen again, and ate half a Tylenol 3 during the afternoon, which surprisingly made me quite loopy when I ran some errands with my husband. Thankfully, he was the one driving!

I was hoping that since I’ve been in moderate pain for the past week that I could at least have had my period by now, but noooooooo. The spotting that was happening has since disappeared since my shower this evening.

I’m setting my alarm for the usual time tomorrow, because I have no idea if I’ll be in any shape to go in to work or not. Had everything happened on time yesterday, I’d have spent half of yesterday in bed, all of today in bed already, and would be on Day 3 by tomorrow already. But noooooo. I get to start off at Day 1, Take Two, tomorrow.