2020 Quick update

Hey all, just wanted to provide a quick update so I don’t forget. I’ll try to do a more detailed year-in-review in the next month.

I’ve been having a big uptick in pain since September. I hadn’t bled since March, and then spotted for a couple of days in September if I recall.

My contract ended at the end of September and I lost my health insurance, but my awesome primary care doctor (Fredian) wanted to see me anyway and said I could pay installments. She has to see me in order to justify authorizing a refill of Tylenol 3. So today I was able to see the doctor one-on-one in her small family practice. I was the only patient there and she the only doctor. We both had masks due to covid-19 still raging all around us (nearly every state right now has a HUGE spike in cases, bigger than it was back in March/April, because of the sheer volume of covidiots during this entire pandemic), and my doc took my temperature upon entering the building.

She gave me a urine test to rule out bladder infection. No infection, whew! She also tapped on my kidneys. No pain.

Then she did a pelvic exam, and that was excruciating. She says the whole region is still in constant spasm mode, which is consistent with my diagnoses of endometriosis and pelvic floor dysfunction. She recommended an ultrasound to rule out ovarian cysts. I have typically had my worst problem developing ovarian cysts in November. I don’t know what it is about November. She said there was no apparent infection and the cervix looked good, etc. I had to request a pediatric speculum, especially after the digit inspection left me in horrid pain already. Once the speculum exam was over, THEN I started feeling the spasms on the outside, and my lower front uterus was giving me gnawing sharp pains. I described it to my doc and I could tell she was a bit cringed about having caused me pain. She was as gentle as she could be, so I felt bad that she felt bad. She’s one of the best doctors I’ve ever had.

The last time I had in-depth sonograms and MRIs for the pelvic region was last year in Autumn 2019 when I revisited my surgeon (Dr. Giudice), who ruled out endometrial cancer at that time and said based on the images, she suspects the endometriosis has grown back and is likely especially thick in the pouch of douglas again (which also explains my lower back pain and constipation). So, when I get insurance again, I need to go for another round of diagnostics and prepare for the big surgery. But if I can make it to March 2021, then I will be declared officially in menopause, for not having had a regular period in a year.

My goal has always been to get to menopause and see if the endometriosis pain fizzles out. I know it is not a guarantee, but for some people it works. I’m not willing to do any more hormonal treatments due to unlivable side effects, nor am I willing to undergo GnRH treatments which cause bone density loss, when I am already experiencing that just by being a middle aged 10th generation Appalachian (i.e. really wonk genes).

So my options are pain management, pain management and more pain management… And possibly a full hysterectomy… none of that has changed.

I just have to keep going back every year for diagnostics, especially when I experience upticks in pain, to keep ruling out endometrial cancer or torquing cysts. That’s largely what this is all about. Ruling out scary stuff and getting to the finish line.

Comments are closed.