Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How We Celebrated Our 11 Months...

Beautiful cheerful flowers and some bread and soup
from Kneader's from a lady in my Relief Society
presidency.  So thoughtful!

Today it has been 11 months of marriage for Dave and I.  We don't get too sentimental about the days, weeks, and months we've been married, but I just remembered that the 17th is our date so I decided I'd mention it.  Today we celebrated (unknowingly) with lots of Perkoset, Ibuprofen, and Benadryl, water, jello, and crackers, pillows, blankets, and naps, and I enjoyed some beautiful flowers from family and friends, a walkie talkie system instead of a bell, and some of my favorite candy--See's Chocolates.

Annie and I just rested this morning while
watching some shows on my laptop.

Modern medicine at its finest!
Dave was so kind to go get my See's for me!!!  Gotta love those Butterscotch squares!
Why did we celebrate in such a strange way, you ask?  Well, yesterday (the 16th of July) I went in for an exploratory laparoscopy to see if we could definitively diagnose endometriosis and hopefully remove it if we could see it.  The surgery took place early in the morning so we were basically up and going from 6:30 am to the time we got home from St. Mark's in Salt Lake at 4:00 pm.  It was a huge success and we are so so excited about what they were able to find!

We had a private room the whole day at
 St. Mark's Hospital.  It was so nice :)

For a while now I've been dealing with unexplained chronic pelvic pain and it was pretty mild until this last year when it started to become debilitating after long days of sitting.  Our first year of marriage has included, among other things of course, MRIs, CT scans, blood tests, many hormone therapy treatments, trips to the emergency room and urgent care, and all to no avail.  After hoping to find problems with any other organ (colon, appendix, kidneys, etc.) in my lower abdomen, we finally resigned ourselves to the diagnosis of endometriosis a few months ago.  Unfortunately, I didn't respond well to the conservative hormone therapy treatment they tried which could have meant one of two things--either I didn't actually have endometriosis and they didn't know what was causing the pain, or my endometriosis was progressed enough that hormone therapy wasn't going to work.  I'm about to start a program that will lead me to a career of sitting all day talking with clients, and since sitting is what causes me the most pain they decided it was worth going in for surgery to look around and see what was going on before the school year started.

Horrible picture, but had to prove it really happened, right?

I loved my doctor and he took a bunch of pictures for us during the surgery to show us what he found.  I had a good amount of endometrial cells in my pelvic cavity and around (but not on) my other organs, and he was able to laser some and cut out the rest.  They seemed to be in the locations corresponding to my recurring pain so my doctor is very optimistic that his removal of the tissues will help with my pain.  The best news of all yesterday was that my ovaries and fallopian tubes looked completely free of any endometriosis so in theory we shouldn't struggle with infertility issues!!  This was a huge relief as one of the major symptoms of endometriosis is difficulty conceiving.

Dave concocted the idea of using walkie talkies to
get his attention when he was in the other rooms of
the house and I was in bed needing help.  
But I had a pretty sweet setup so we
didn't have to use them very often.  
I'll be on more hormone therapy from here on out to help prevent the endo from coming back and shrink any remaining cells that weren't visible to the surgeon, and then just regular birth control until we are ready to start our family.  I couldn't be happier with the results of the surgery, and I was crying tears of joy yesterday when he told me they were able to see and remove some of the adhesions.  It's just very hard to feel like your pain might be all in your mind because no one can find anything physically wrong with you.  It's such a great feeling to know that there was a reason for it all!  I wasn't making it up!

We are hesitant to hope that the pain will be completely gone just because of this surgery--endometriosis tends to regrow itself with time, and there are lots of muscular issues that have occurred secondary to the growths I'll need to work out with physical therapy--but I have such a renewed sense of hope about a pain-free future :).

Even with all the Perkoset, Ibuprofen, Jello, naps, and other fun things I mentioned above, the recovery hasn't been bad at all.  My mom, Annie, and Dave have been taking it in shifts helping me and the pain is pretty manageable.  I'll take a surgery with three tiny incisions (laparoscopy means they just use a tiny scope to get a look around and laser or cut) in my abdomen any day over oral or sinus surgery.  So much less painful!

Beautiful flowers my mom brought me because Dave didn't have time to
pick any up.  

Anyway, so happy 11 months to Dave and I!  Here's to a renewed sense of hope and comfort due to the miracles of modern medicine and great doctors who listen :)  Thanks everyone for your kind wishes, prayers, and thoughtful acts that have made me feel so loved the last few days.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post Erin. You explained it all so well. Could hardly tell you were on serious drugs!! Haha. It's all going to be good I just know it!, love you!