Full Moon My Foot

And now the whole reverse-PMS thing makes perfect sense. After all, normal women ovulate during the full moon, right? And today during the new moon I suffered through 6 hours of sharp cramping while my body kept me from forgetting how very far from normal I am.

But I suppose it makes sense. After all, the mere fact that my fertility cycle abandons the lunar cycle has no bearing on whether my hormones must do so as well. So here I am with PMS which follows the moon, even while the rest of my body does not.

I suppose it should be called POS? No “C” needed.

Living With Endo

What Pain?

It is not even a week later and I find myself confused by my last post. After all, this wasn’t a bad cycle. The pain was quite bearable. The mental/emotional havoc, now that is something! But the pain? Bah! I’ve had so much worse. This isn’t even worth thinking about, let alone the effort to pursue solutions.

And so it continues. Of course I am thankful, so very thankful for these days of little physical pain. But how am I ever to have a cure when I am either in too much pain to seek one or else in complete denial of the fact that there really is a serious issue.

Living With Endo

The Pain

How to explain The Pain? I rarely write when I am actually in pain (not that I even could write during the worst of it). I suspect that most others may be like me as well. This means that only those who live with the pain and those closest to us have any idea about it. It also means that as soon as it is over I start to downplay it to myself. Just a few weeks ago I had re-convinced myself that it was only the inability to think/remember etc. that really mattered. I could deal perfectly well with a few days of pain each month and a few weeks of what doesn’t even deserve to be called “pain” in comparison to those days.

Yet here I am, once more in it. It hurts. It just hurts.

In a week or so I will think that I must have been fine. After all, I somehow made it to work and even took my exam. But right now, in these moments, I can see how very wrong it is. I can see all of the drastic little changes I make in order to compensate. I can see how pointless it is.

Living With Endo , ,

Prometrium

And then it sunk in. The sweet irony that if only I had started the pill a year ago I might be bleary eyed from being up all night with a sick child rather than from hormonal insomnia.

Living With Endo

Bye, Bye, CrMS

My last sessions with my FCP were via Skype and Josh begged out of the very last one. He ended up overhearing most of it (we have a 1-bedroom apartment), and joining in for the last part of the conversation so that we could be quizzed, but he at least tried to skip out of it.

After it was over and I had managed to not schedule a follow-up appointment, Josh announced that he was never charting Creighton ever again. Amused, I responded with something like oh really? because Josh is far more patient than I am. He has been not only great about keeping multiple charts (4 versions at this point!)  but also very interested in learning all of the main forms of NFP and becoming instructors.

He responded with a less-amused well, not unless I have to!

I told him that he did not have to. I planned to keep the chart up for a while because I thought it would be NFPdoctor’s strong preference since she worked at PPVI for years. But we had pretty clearly determined that it was unhelpful for us, and Josh had already learned far more than the basics, so there wasn’t much point in Josh continuing to practice his skills at charting a useless method.

When Josh realized that I was still keeping up the dreadful chart he said that he would do the charting if I was really sticking with the method. He then put the other charts inside of the CrMS chart so that the worthless chart could serve as protection for the charts he thinks are actually worthwhile! Nothing like a little passive-aggressiveness to let your NFP charts know where they stand, right?

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Bathroom Floors, I Know You Well

This weekend I did not want to just lie in bed in pain. My brother was visiting and so while I did spend a fair amount of time lounging around I also felt the need to do some things. And that is how I ended up on the floor of the museum bathroom.

I knew better. Not only was there the obvious warning pain that is always there, earlier that day I had had to walk out of church before mass was over. This was only my second time ever leaving mass before the consecration, and the first time resulted in me vomiting in the bushes right outside the church.

So yes, I knew better. But I felt like I was doing a little bit better and mostly I needed to actually do something with my brother.

There was no place intended for sitting in this particular museum, so after having found the restroom (because it is not like I could go more than half an hour away from it) and the fact that it was empty, I went back a few minutes later and just sat on the floor. The pain and nausea did not subside and somewhere along the way I ended up trying to pull myself together enough to clean my vomit out of the sink.

I am, after all, the one who made it through a year and a half of college before realizing that most people who vomit in the sink could have prevented it by just drinking a little less. But I could avoid my experiences just by taking a little pill. So I can’t exactly judge anyone else for being stupid.

Living With Endo , , , ,

Follow Up

Surprised by Pride. The good kind.

Today I had my follow up appointment with Expert Surgeon. I left the office with a prescription for hormonal contraception and felt surprisingly–no, incredibly–pleased. It did not matter that there was still a huge chance that I would not follow through on filling and taking it. What mattered for the moment was that I had actually taken care of myself by having surgery and getting a prescription for something that could actually make things better.

I remembered Michelle‘s post about feeling like a real woman when she made all of the sexual choices most commonly in line with the Church’s teaching and considered the irony of the fact that I now had that same feeling from getting a prescription so many would condemn.

The current plan is to wait less than a month for the appointment with NFPdoctor and see how that goes, but there is at least the option of hormones now. Thanks be to God!

In other news I seem to have healed perfectly. The doctor warned that it was possible that I could feel fine for the first ovulation/menstruation, but that about half of her patients have a reaction more along the lines of “whatever you took out, put it back in!” so we’ll see about that.

Treatment ,

Our Lady, Helper of Mothers (to be)

I confess, as much as I believe in science and working to make things happen… if I really wanted a baby I would head to Albuquerque rather than Omaha.

We have had a smaller version of this icon in our church for many years and we know of 20 miraculous births from God’s action through this icon.  One woman was told by the doctors that her baby was already dead–there was not heartbeat or brainwaves.  She came to the church and when she laid the icon on her belly, the baby kicked.  He is now 13 years old. (source)

You really should watch this.

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Laparoscopy

I had surgery yesterday and was incredibly pleased that Expert Surgeon found and removed endometriosis in precisely the spot where I have had the most pain in the past few years. Most interesting was the fact that that was the only place she found it. Both of my ovaries were clear.

That made me wonder whether my previous surgeon could have possibly been mistaken in thinking that she had left some in order to prevent greater damage to the impacted ovary. After all, what she had described would have been visible, and if there is currently endometriosis on my ovaries it cannot be seen. But Endometriosis notes that:

The anatomic manifestations of endo–implants and adhesions– can be assessed before and after therapy to determine whether the treatment is of value. However, such a simple comparison makes two assumptions. First, it is assumed that endo is invariably a progressive disease, never to regress on its own. This is not necessarily correct, however, as the disease has in fact been noted to regress in some instances in both baboons and humans. Second it is assumed that once regression has occurred via medical therapy, it is stable. this, too, is not the case; endo is a dynamic disease that constantly changes over time.

So it is apparently not strikingly odd that I no longer had endometriosis where it was left, but did have a new patch where it was not observed in the last surgery.

I am very thankful that everything now looks great. My understanding is that the chance of adhesions is minimal due to the location of the endometriosis that had to be removed, though I will find out more at the follow-up appointment.

Treatment ,

Mah Mind

One of the things that I really, really can’t explain to anyone–including myself–is the incredible burden of hormonal issues on my mind. It simply does not function properly. Slash that, I simply do not function properly.

But how can I explain all the little ways in which I am broken? Or, rather, the little signs of the tremendous brokenness?

My husband only realized the extent of it one day at the end of May when I called him one morning. I never call him in the morning on a work day.

But this day I did. I asked him if he had a second to talk and he did as he had just arrived and could step back outside. Then I told him my quandary: should I go to work today?

This was quite an astounding question since I was incredibly happy that I had been able to get through 9 months at this job without taking a sick day. There had been some not-so-good (to put it mildly) days, but I had always managed to get through them at work. And this day in question was not one of unbearable physical pain.

I explained the bit of logic I could grasp, namely that I was going to be late for work. I had fallen apart that morning and not gotten things together in time and might be 15 minutes late for work.  I had not taken a sick day yet, that I had sick days built up, and that taking a sick day would not be counted against me in upcoming reviews. On the other hand, I had been late once or twice recently, and the percentage of days which one is late is a factor in performance reviews.

I walked to the car as I called my husband. When he heard my confused question and explanation he responded that he thought I should stay home from work. It was clear to him that something was really, really wrong with me. And though I could push through the days on which I was purely physically sick, this was different. This was a little scary.

Yet, even as I heard his response that I should stay home and take it easy I decided that I needed to try to get to work. I thought that there was a slight possibility that I might be able to make it to work on time, and it somehow seemed reasonable to commute into work and then “call in” sick only once I verified that I could not, in fact, make it there on time.

It is worth noting that I typically make a point of not asking my husband for his advice unless I am planning on following it. But at this time it seemed to me that I needed to get off the phone as quickly as possible and try to hurry into work, even though I had just heard precisely the opposite advice.

And so I did.

And I got to work on time.

I don’t even remember what time my “I’m going to be late” worries started that day, though it seems quite clear that I had plenty of time at that point. But even knowing the time would not help at all, because the point is that my mind simply does not work the way it should. Sometimes, despite my best efforts to be reasonable, I find myself unable to follow the most normal of patters. Decisions that are usually made unconsciously will overwhelm me.

Living With Endo