Two years ago today, my life took a turn down a road that I never thought I would have to travel. My whole world was flipped upside down. Seven days before June 24th, 2014, I went to the ER with extreme pain on my left side. It started while I was at work and I panicked thinking maybe I was having another miscarriage. The pain wasn’t like all the other pains I got over the years. This pain had me doubled over. In the ER, as usual, I tried to explain the pain the best I could. After a few needle sticks and IV medications that barely took the edge off for only a few minutes, I was in Radiology getting an ultrasound. Shortly after, they told me what I knew they would. I have a cyst that is possibly rupturing and there was nothing that they could do. I received a prescription for pain medication and we were on our way home. This was the routine.
However, later that night, the pain grew stronger and the medicine I was given didn’t even touch it. I began vomiting and that’s when I knew this was different. I told Hubby when he got home from work we needed to go to the ER. We went again. Same routine only this time no ultrasound because we already had results. I was pumped with more pain meds and sent home with instructions to follow up with my doctor. I made an appointment to see my OB/GYN a few days later on the 20th.
I barely made it the four days to my follow up but knowing the ER would just drug me up and send me home, there was nothing I could do about it. At my follow-up appointment at the office which is in an extension of the hospital, I barely made it 30 minutes into the exam before I completely broke down. I was tired. I hadn’t slept. I hadn’t eaten. I was in so much pain and the doctor knew it. She sent us immediately to the main part of the hospital and I was admitted.
The next few days involved many sleepless nights, tests, multiple needle sticks, IV’s and medicines. The rotation of doctors were perplexed at what could be causing so much pain. I have had numerous cysts before and nothing ever hurt this bad. It was decided on the 23rd to do a CT scan to see if there were any other things that might be able to be ruled out. The results came back negative with the exception of the still “very angry cyst” as the doctor put it. The decision was made to do surgery the next day. A Laparoscopy to do a Cystectomy and to see if there were any other visible causes. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a fiber-optic instrument is inserted through the abdominal wall to view the organs in the abdomen or to permit a surgical procedure. I was also warned that if the cyst or something else had caused more damage than thought, my ovary and tube might have to also be removed. Not scary at all, right?
I remember waking up from surgery on the 24th. Anesthesia does crazy things and apparently makes me forget how to breathe normally. I remember waking up to the nurses telling me multiple times to take deep breaths. They wheeled me up to my room and my family came up shortly after. I was so tired but I had to know if I still had all my woman parts in working order. My family assured me I did and the only thing removed was the cyst. It was good news and I fell asleep.
I woke up later in the afternoon. My pain was a new pain. I didn’t have anymore of the same pain from earlier, this was post-surgery pain/soreness. Friends and family convinced Hubby to get something to eat and get out of the hospital for awhile. I was so grateful he barely left my side the entire time. He even slept on the awful couch provided in my room even though we lived ten minutes away. My parents had left shortly after my surgery so I called my mom to talk since I was so loopy earlier. We talked about how I was feeling and she had asked if I had talked to Hubby yet. I said he was gone and asked why. She said I needed to talk to him and had a sense of urgency in her voice. I start to worry.
I hear a knock at my door. My doctor walks in and brings in a few pieces of card-stock with pictures. She sits down and starts with “So I guess you know by now, you have Endometriosis.”
Please excuse me, while I pick up my jaw off of the floor.
I stutter “I’m sorry. What?”
She responds “Oh, I thought you already knew. Yeah, you have Stage IV Endometriosis and it’s everywhere. It’s adhered to your ovaries, intestines, uterus, and your bowels. This is what is causing your pain. This is probably one of the worst cases I’ve seen, actually.”
She hands me the pictures. She points out each brown area and tells me it is the Endo. It is everywhere. She tells me it is so widespread they weren’t able to try to remove any of it. As quickly as the news came, the doctor told me to make an appointment in two weeks for a follow up and to develop a treatment plan and she left.
The door shut and I cried. I cried hard. This was the day my life changed. It’s the day I learned my future would involve an uphill battle and my “baby” door began to slam shut.
Two years ago today, I began my search for the last key.