As you may remember, I had surgery in January to see if endometriosis was the cause of my chronic pain. The answer was “yes!” and… there was more to the story, as I learned at my post-op appointment. I’ve made a big decision, and like I did with my first surgery, I’m already planning my healing for the second one. Or, so I think.
First Things First
After my surgery my doctor assured me that I’d start feeling better right away. Somehow the removal of a small amount of endometriosis was all my uterus needed to start acting right. However, that wasn’t the case. In fact, I started feeling worse. The pain down my legs and in my lower back, the abdominal cramps — they were getting worse!
My doctor wondered if maybe I had GI pain, but I let her know that I’ve dealt with both kinds of pain for most of my life and I know the difference. Thankfully, she believed me and we moved my post-op appointment up a week.
She confirmed that she did find endometriosis, but that wasn’t all. There were also signs of adenomyosis — basically endometriosis in the muscles of the uterus, not just on the outer layer. This causes bleeding in the uterine muscles which is likely the real cause of my chronic pain. This bleeding also causes the uterine walls to weaken. She said I have a boggy uterus. (ew)
My doctor offered a few choices — go the drug route which would likely include something called Lupron, administered by shot. This drug is often used in IVF… and one of the reasons I did not want to do IVF. Feels a little cruel that this is a solution to my chronic pain, don’t you think?
The second option is a hysterectomy. Initially this is not what I wanted. I worried about hormones and early menopause and having another surgery. However, the more I thought about how many issues this option would solve, the more I realized this is the way to go. When she recommended that I keep my ovaries, I knew this was the next right step for my health — both mentally and physically. Get that boggy thing out of me!
Planning My Healing
I have a date set for surgery and now, as I do, I am planning for my healing. How do I go about such a thing? Well, I know what they say the typical recovery time is and I’m setting aside the lower end of that time to heal. Based on my last surgery, I’ll be up and back into things in no time! I’m strong, healthy and will have no issues whatsoever…
Okay, so maybe this won’t go according to my plan. My dear friend suggested that I aim for the longer range of the recovery time, just in case. If it doesn’t take as long, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. My husband took a different route and just said, “You can’t plan your healing!” Then I rolled my eyes and said, “whatever.”
A Plan For Healing
I think they might be right though. When I get unsure or nervous or dare I say it, a little scared, I plan, plan, plan! If there are enough plans everything will surely be just fine. I’m just not sure that will be the case this time, though. I won’t be undergoing abdominal surgery (it will be laparoscopic again) but an organ will be removed from my body. And even though this organ has caused me serious physical pain and copious amounts of mental anguish for most of my life, it will be a shock to my system.
There will be more laying around than I prefer. I won’t be able to run or roll out my mat or walk the dog for several weeks. I mean, I can’t even lift a gallon of milk! This will require me to (God forbid!) ask for help…
So, no, it turns out planning my healing isn’t possible. But I can plan for my healing… I can rest and eat well. I can drink plenty of water and exercise in preparation for my surgery. It’s possible for me to take steps now that might make my healing go a little smoother… maybe?