I can’t wait for surgery. Seriously. I called the chosen doctor’s office for an appointment. I already knew that they accepted my insurance, so it was simply a matter of figuring out the logistics of transportation and timing of the appointment. It would take half a day, so I figured that I needed to take an afternoon off of work, and that a morning appointment would not work unless it was the only option.
I called and ended up with the first available appointment… almost two months out.
So I stressed some more about my other options. Because really, I can’t wait two months to quite possibly be told that I need to either get pregnant or go on the Pill.
After stewing for a few days I called the Expert Surgeon office and found out that they do indeed take my insurance. I hung up happy since it seemed that this might work both well and quickly.
But the next day I thought about the fact that I did not know for certain that they were really, really experts at endometriosis, even if they are experts at surgery.
So I didn’t call. Instead I researched endo experts in the area. A common consensus was that there are no experts in the area. Someone and her friend liked a surgeon in Baltimore, and two people liked Expert Surgeon, but someone else (who hadn’t actually had treatment, only an initial consultation) didn’t.
I thought about all of the risks of surgery and how it can often make things worse rather than better. I thought about expertise. Ahhhh, the lure of expertise. The idea that someone out there is skilled surgically, and skilled in recognizing endometriosis, and skilled in protecting (what should be) the normal healthy state of the body, and skilled in ending pain rather than merely allowing pregnancy.
I concluded that there may be no real experts out there. Sure, some doctors are infinitely better than others (actually, their superiority is quite quantifiable in many ways!) but there is not the clear EXPERT/NOTEXPERT line that many would like me to believe. A surgeon who is young may be inexperienced and ignorant. A surgeon who is old may be incorrectly convinced that one way is the right way when it would not be the right way for my body, and age negatively impacts vision, physical dexterity etc.
Then I read this:
Most patients will have relief of pain with simple removal of the endometriosis. However, 20% of patients will not respond to surgery and will need further medical treatment or pain management specialists.
Endometriosis recurs in about 20% to 30% of cases over 5 years.
And they aren’t talking about surgeries done with super-specialist IAmARockStar!!! doctors. This is just surgery in general. That means that even if my surgeon isn’t an “expert,” I still have an 80% chance of pain relief from surgery and a 70-80% chance of endometriosis not regrowing for 5 years.
That sounds amazing.
It makes sense that I am in the minority in not having any pain relief from my last laparoscopy. After all, the doctor deliberately left some endometriosis on my ovary. Adding in the likely adhesions, it only makes sense that I didn’t get a break from pain.
But really, all I have to do is get a decent surgeon to actually remove the endometriosis and I have an 80% chance of not needing further help for pain relief for a while?!
So I decided to call Expert Surgeon. Only it was too late that day and the office was already closed.
At home I talked with my husband about the fact that I had changed my mind (last he knew I was set with calling to schedule the appointment) and then changed it back after lots of internal drama.
There is lots to worry about if I wanted to. And to think about even if I don’t want to. After all, surgery always has its risks, and there is a reason that the last doctor did not touch my lovely endo-enhanced ovary. Why risk a functioning ovary over endometriosis removal?
Thankfully the answer is incredibly clear: because I want to be able to function. Because I want to have the chance to give myself in an active way. Sure, if it all falls apart and I have to just live with pain and exhaustion I will deal. But that is not clear now.
The next day I called and got an appointment with Expert Surgeon. And they offered me one which could have been today, except I was already scheduled to meet the wonderful Rebecca. So the consultation is scheduled for next week.
I really, really hope that it will involve scheduling surgery. The day after I scheduled the appointment I checked with work. They are cool with me taking off any time other than next week. I hardly think the doctor will try to schedule surgery two days after the appointment, so I am good to go.
And really, I can’t wait. A certain someone with whom I live thinks that it is odd that I am looking forward to getting cut open. But really, considering how often I have wanted to cut myself open? This is thrilling.