I’m feeling good and doing well. Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts. The surgery went well. It was painful recuperating at first, but not as bad as I thought it would be. They were able to get everything out without any complications, but for one implantation on my rectum. If they had proceeded, they could have damaged my bowels. I am very thankful they did not. :) That is supposed to die slowly, but is going to be killed by having the hormones removed. In time, I should be better than before. I can not wait. I am happy. Thrilled actually! Now we need some bright and happy music, to uplift this place. New music coming soon and more updates on recovery. See you soon!
Tuesday morning, I will be at the hospital at 5:45 am getting ready for surgery. Surgery will be at 6:30 am. I am ready! Tomorrow, I will be doing a bowel prep, so I will not be going anywhere, or calling anyone. hahaha Love you guys! Wish me luck!
I know it has been a while since I have written. I am full of so many emotions, I can not even put words too. We were in kind of a limbo waiting for this last doctor’s appointment, trying to work through all of our feelings about a hysterectomy, or so I thought.
I am having a hysterectomy, July 8.
As I was getting ready to sign the consent form, my husband starts getting nervous. He said that he had not thought of the emotional ramifications until then. I had asked him a long time ago, how he felt about this. He says that guys do not think of the emotions, they think things through logically. Needless, to say this made me a little nervous. I think it just finally hit him, what a big decision this is. But I was already past that point, and determined. Later on he said, “I know this is the right thing to do, I just did not realize how it would affect me emotionally.” Bless his heart, guys are weird. Women think things through at every angle, and nuance. I have been thinking for a long time, how this decision would affect my life in every way. Even though I am nervous as hell (sorry for the language), I am resolved and beyond doubting. When I signed the consent form however, it became very real and I muttered an expletive in my head. I do not curse at all, so this obviously shows that I was beyond words, the dirty word I used just summed up the situation perfectly. I think God understood. This is what we want, but it is hard to assimilate. Garon said, “I know this is what we need to do, but I hate the fact that this is how we have to go about it.” I have been calling friends, and asking them about their hysterectomies, and it just feels like more confirmation. The minute we got into the doctor’s office, she went straight into surgical mode, and did not even mention the other methods. It made me realize that she thinks it’s time too. My life is about to be completely changed, but I feel for the better. This feels huge. Okay, I’m really struggling to put into words how I feel. The procedure is an abdominal hysterectomy. They are going in through my stomach, which takes longer to heal from. It is the only way, she can get it all out (the endometriosis). She will takes my tubes, uterus, ovaries, and cervix. This is because I have had precancerous cells in my cervix in the past. I was concerned about my organs being jostled around with nothing in there, but she says the organs just go into place and fill the holes up. I will be on hormones the rest of my life. So with much trepidation, I am going to go and think some more. Keep tuned, because I am sure I will have lots to say on this subject.
I am feeling great trepidation as I decide where to begin. Perhaps I should start with the fact that we are pretty sure, we are through with fertility treatments. Unless, the doctor totally convinces us otherwise, we want to be finished. I got a doctor’s appointment with my OB/GYN for the thirtieth of May. We intend to go in there, and discuss a hysterectomy. We aim to have one at the end of June, after we move into our new apartment. Then in late July, I will be able to look for a job. That is just a tentative plan, it all depends on what the doctor has to say. I have been doing research and have spoken with a friend in her early thirties, who had a hysterectomy at my age. She had the same problems I have, and said that her health improved 500%. Crazy huh? She has no regrets. I also have a friend in her sixties, whom I am going to call and see what she thinks. She also had these problems, and had a hysterectomy at the age of twenty eight. She has said in the past, that she does not regret it, only wishes she had done it sooner. So the Lord, has put a few people in my life who have been there, to encourage me. Then lately, everywhere I go people are talking about foster care. My chiropractor brought it up the other day, and asked me if I was interested. He knew I had problems conceiving. He gave me his wife’s number to call. The other day while waiting for my appointment with the pastor’s wife, I met a couple who were doing foster care. They felt like they were through, but they had hoped to adopt, and they had already had a few children. The chiropractor and his wife received infants, that they adopted, who are now teenagers. They also have just received a six year old for fostering toward adoption. I know it would be hard. Please do not tell me how hard this would be, I am well aware of the ramifications. However, my husband and I are in debt, and this could be the only way for us to experience parenthood. Not only that, this may very well be God’s calling on my life. I know I can get dreadfully attached, but why not give it a shot? When God could very well bless us with a child to adopt? If not, then we will know, and feel that we have at least tried. We do not know if this would be feasible while we are in school, we are just researching our options right now. We know we want children, but we are aware that they probably will not be our biological children, and we are fine with that. I cry at random times, while cooking, and while setting the alarm clock, (weird huh?) but I feel at peace. Truly.
Garon and I had a long talk last night and today about having our own biological children, the reason why is because of the last post. I was in extreme pain last night, and this morning, so we had to decide if we should push me physically hard, so that we can start our treatment. I could barely get out of bed, much less travel two hours. However, I felt that if either one of us was desperate to have biological children I would do what it took to get there, even though I was hurting tremendously. A few months ago, Garon and I had decided to only do three treatments instead of four because of the pain I was going through. Then we found our new doctor, and she gave us enough medicine to keep going. So we decided to do four, well, when the doctor said he wanted to do the injectibles, we realized it would depend on our insurance. So when we found out that insurance covered it, we thought why not. That was before we found out that I would have to go to Cinci frequently to be monitored. That is very expensive, (with gas), but we thought we could do it. Then the nurse told me I had to come in that very next day, well usually when I do treatments I am in pain, but I am able to bear it during travel, and the appointment. However, it has never been at the peak of my pain. Last night, we knew it would be difficult to travel today, so we decided to see how important this is to us, and what God wanted us to do, so we prayed. Now, a lot of people would say this is a no brainer, that children are the most important thing, family is. We have already talked in a prior post about my definition of family. So if family is the most important thing, and Garon and I are already family, so what matters is how we feel. We do not feel that we have to have biological children. We are sad, but feel that we could love an adopted child just as much. That child would be our own. Garon could still teach it everything he knows, and I could still love on it. There are no guarantees in life. Our children can go wrong, whether they are related biologically or not. We are adopted children of God, do you think he loves us any less, than the Jews? Heck no! We have enough medicine to get us through two more months, so if we decide after this month for another go, we can still do one more month. That is why we went ahead, and decided to stay home today. This was a very hard decision, but none the less the right one for us. At this time, we do not feel led to continue with treatments. This is a rational decision, even though I was a little upset in the last post. We definitely want to adopt after we get done with school. That is another reason why we both have dropped down to Masters of Arts. We want to finish quickly so we can pay off our debt, and start our family. I know most people would find adoption way more risky than fertility treatments, because no one can take your biological children away, but this is what we want. We have too great a desire for children, for God not to have a purpose in this. The funny thing is, even though I always wanted biological children, I always wanted to adopt too. Even if I were fertile, I would still want to adopt. There are too many orphans out there, and we are called to help the widows and the orphans. But that isn’t the only reason, I have all this love inside that is ready to burst, and it wants to lavish itself on a child that needs it more than anyone. Others may not understand, but I have wanted a child for over four years now, and I am tired. I am ready to move on. I am not the type of person, to go back and forth, nor do I have that luxury. If my health were not bad, Garon and I would just take a break and then try again later. However, we physically can not do that. That makes me think that maybe just maybe God has a better plan. You may think what could be better than your own biological children? Well, let’s just wait and see.
We just returned from our third treatment in Cinci. On the way out, our doctor informed us that there is really no point continuing what we are doing. He said if this one does not work, he would be willing to do one more, but it would not be prudent. He recommended us doing injectibles, if there is a next time. You never know, because we were told we had a huge egg this time. Anyway, the injectibles are high powered meds that are injected for five days in a row. I hate shots! It is also extremely expensive, $800 alone, just for the meds, not counting insemination. We already spend approx. $500 a month, so it would be over a $1,000 for a month. Crazy huh? Well, Garon looked it up and he thinks our insurance covers it. Should we go out with a bang, and try one month of it? Give it one last big shot? Pun intended.
Since the medicine does not always offer complete pain relief, and because I am limited in how much I can take, I have learned how to be creative. Here are a few physical ways I help myself cope with the pain:
1. Heating pads are the bomb. I use an electric one at night on my lower back or abdomen, whichever hurts worse. I use the air activated ones in ace bandages when I have to go places, but am too miserable to sit still.
2. I do not eat bread, because this can lead to inflammation and exacerbate the problem.
3. I will read a funny book or watch TV, just getting my mind off of it works wonders. It is a wonderful escape mechanism. (It is not good to always escape, but it is nice when the pain is unbearable.)
4. Hot baths do the same thing that the heating pads do. On days that it is really bad, I can take a couple of baths, or three just to make the pain bearable.
5. Resting and lying down help a lot, sleep is a natural way to cope and helps you feel more equipped to handle the pain.
6. Friends are a big help. I can be in lots of pain, but Garon will force me out of the house, and I will completely forget about my pain. Laughter is the best thing for it.
7. I do not drink acidic drinks, such as coffee, tea, fruit juice, or soda. It makes my back and lower abdomen pain worse, it messes with the inflammation around my bladder, which makes me more miserable. I try to drink lots of water and it seems to help.
8. Massage is a tremendous help. I get Garon to rub my lower back until I can relax enough, because the more I tighten and contract my muscles the worse the pain is.
9. This may sound gross, but I try to eat lots of fiber. My medicines cause constipation, and that makes the pressure in my lower abdomen ten times worse.
10. Last but not least, I cry out to the Lord to calm my mind and heart, and I read scripture. (If the pain is really bad, or too far gone, I have a hard time with this one.)
My next option to put endometriosis into remission, other than pregnancy or hysterectomy, is the Lupron shot. This is not a fun option. I received this shot once after my first laparoscopy. It works for three months, and prevents you from having your menses. It shuts down the ovaries, and sends you into menopause. The FDA only approves it for use, for six months, which means two injections. All of my doctors think it is a wonderful drug. The last time I took it, I just had hot flashes and mood swings. The mood swings were not that bad. Probably, because I was ultra aware of it, and had just started dating my husband. Used for an extended period of time, add back therapy is required. This is where they give you hormones (HRT), to prevent osteoperosis, and to help the heart. The reason I say it is Big Bad and Scary, is because all the testimonies I have read, have sincerely regretted using it. I found this information at reliable sites online. Also, after I used the Lupron I was unable to get pregnant, and my endometriosis came back worse than before. It did nothing for me before, and I was not even in pain back then. Here are a few of the lovely side effects: hot flashes, mood swings, bone and joint pain, migraines, night sweats, memory loss, rashes, itchy skin, dizziness, depression, nausea, pain in back, hips, and legs, severe constipation, insomnia, hair loss, cysts, weight gain, and blurred/double vision. Not all women, have all of the side effects, but the ones that do have the pain and migraines, say it is worse than when they had endo pain. Is the Cost/Benefit ratio worth it? If I do this, it is only recommended for six months, then what? Go through fertility treatments again? By that time, my endo may be on my other organs, and I may have to have that hysterectomy. I will have to have a hysterectomy eventually anyway. Not only that, I will have less dense bones and a weaker heart, so the side effects are just like a hysterectomy, what is the difference?
Garon and I have decided through much prayer and heartache, that we will not be pursuing in vitro fertilization. First of all, it is only thirty percent effective. It usually takes two to three cycles to achieve pregnancy. Second of all, my disease makes me more susceptible to miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies (which can be life threatening). Third of all, the cost, it is $8,000 a cycle. So that means, we could spend $16,000 or more, and still not achieve pregnancy. It is too iffy. Fourth of all, the toll it takes on a woman’s body. They pump the woman full of hormones, to over stimulate their ovaries, so that they will produce many eggs, and have more of a chance to get pregnant. It is a painful and tiring process with lots of side effects. Last but not least, the ethics was a major part of our decision. Every time they extract the eggs they immediately fertilize them. You could end up with a lot of fertilized eggs, that you could never carry to full term pregnancy. Once the egg is fertilized, it has the full DNA, it will have as an adult. So that is essentially when life begins. Also every time you freeze and thaw the eggs, about fifty percent die. I feel like it is playing God, and being wasteful of human life. I do not want to run the chance of having to have someone else raise my biological children, because too many eggs were fertilized. I also feel that if God really wants us pregnant, we will not have to go so far into debt that we can never get out of it. If it is God’s plan, he will make a way, and we do not feel peace about in vitro. This decision is not what is best in general, but what is best for us. I do not look down on those who feel it was right for them. We all have to do what we believe God is telling us personally.
A lot of people have been asking me if I am doing any holistic or natural things to help. Well, actually yes. Here is a little insight into the things I have been doing, and some new things I want to do, to help deal with the pain naturally and to promote physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. This disease affects every part of your body and functioning. If the rest of my body is not healthy, it can not help fight off the other problems, and it definitely makes my pain worse and less bearable.
1. A healthy diet- This I have struggled with lately. I am supposed to be drinking a ton of water, since endo affects your bladder and your bowels. I am trying to do better. I also try not to eat processed foods, and bread. Wheat makes my body produce more estrogen, which makes endo worse. I try to stay away from juices, because they make my bladder inflamed, because of the acid.
2. Supplements- Sometimes I take more, for specific things, but right now I am just taking fiber and a good prenatal vitamin.
3. Exercise- I struggle with being faithful with this, because I am in too much pain a lot of the time. But when I can, I try to go for a walk, or do water aerobics. I want to start doing yoga because it is great for pain. It also helps with relaxation and stretching those inflamed muscles.
4. Now the Mind/Spiritual/and Emotional Aspect I tend to combine, because they are all interelated and affect each other- First I am making this blog kind of like a journal. I haven’t been journaling my thoughts everyday, but I think I might start doing that even if I do not publish every single days thoughts. I am also doing a lot of research. I have researched infertility, treatments, endometriosis, suffering, chronic pain, and so forth. Knowledge is power they say. This has allayed my fears about the treatments we have decided on, and just reinforced what we know to be true in our hearts that is best for us and our situation. I am checking out some books on suffering and how to seek God in the midst of trials. I realize that my pain is harder to deal with, when my emotions are so desolate, and my spiritual life so dry. I am also seeing a counselor. I plan on doing Bible Study and private devotions daily. (This I struggle with being faithful about, but I am purposing to do better. I do not want to try to do this alone anymore.)
5. Sleep- It is hard to get on a good sleep schedule when your husband works nights, but I plan to get there. I want to go to bed earlier, and to wake up earlier, and more refreshed. So I am trying to get eight hours of sleep a night. I do not want to sleep too much, but endo causes a lot of fatigue, so a nap would be fine in the afternoon. No more staying up all night, and sleeping all day. Bad Laura.
6. Last but not least, Chiropractic care- I go weekly right now, to help prevent stress and migraines. I also get biweekly massages to help with the tension. It helps immensely.keep looking »