A good friend of mine just celebrated her 7th anniversary. I was in her wedding. Shortly after celebrating her marriage, and two days after my birthday, I had surgery to remove my gallbladder. That's when I was officially diagnosed with Endometriosis.
7 years later, my friend is still married and has a home and two children.
I'm facing surgery again. Happy birthday to me!
I thought a lot about whether or not to write about this. It's a personal issue. I also don't want to be one of those people who overshares about their every health issue. But a few days ago, someone asked me for information for a friend who just got an official diagnosis and was struggling with the pain of the disease.
That's when I decided to write this. Because if you know me at all, I care about educating people about this disease that affects 1 in 10 women, yet no one seems to know anything about it.
I've been managing my pain for 7 years (that sounds SO long) with medication (not counting the 13 or so years before my diagnosis). I had a doctor who didn't really know anything about my disease and didn't really listen to me. When I moved to Charleston, I found a specialist who immediately took me off the pain medication I was on because it was killing my stomach. But although the new pain meds work better in a smaller dose, the side affects are still not good.
And so, we broached the subject of surgery.
My greatest fear is that the surgery will not work. That afterwards, when I go off my medication to see if it worked, the pain will still be there, and it will all have been for nothing. It's hard to look past that.
But there is hope. I cannot even imagine what it would be like if the surgery is successful. Endo has been a huge part of my life for a very long time and to have relief from that is a hope that feels just out of reach.
I have had so many people who have supported me in battling this disease. And I am grateful to each and every one of you. Thank you for trying to understand what I've been dealing with all these years.
If you or someone you know is dealing with Endometriosis or suspects that they may have it, here are some resources that can help. If you have any questions about Endo or my experience with it, please reach out.
Nancy's Nook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418136991574617/
This Facebook group has a ton of good information, dispels myths, and gave me the questions I needed to ask my doctor.
A Facebook support group
Center for Endometriosis Care:
Beware of any sites that are promoting Lupron - it's a dangerous drug and you should do lots of unbiased research before going on it.