Pre-op Festivities

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In keeping with my tradition of being a Bad Blogger, I never did blog my promised update for surgery #6.  Oops.  I’ve been meaning to update here for awhile, but: life.  You know how it is.

My next surgery is set for March 12.  Four-plus weeks sounds like a long time, but I’m sure it’ll whiz by.  My pain level and symptoms from endo have amped up during the last few months, so I’m really hoping that after this surgery will provide much-needed relief.

Surgery will be laparoscopy accompanied by D&C, hysteroscopy, and chromtubation.  Dr. Lee is also going to cauterize my cervix (again) in an attempt to stop my intermenstrual bleeding. I do not have high hopes that cauterization will work this time, because it did nothing to stop or even slow my bleeding last time. Time will tell though, and I’d be relieved to be wrong. A colo-rectal surgeon will assist Dr. Lee, if needed. I really hope s/he is not needed. Recovering from partial bowel resection is no joke, and not something I wish to repeat, like, EVER.

Pre-op this time around is pretty breezy: I’ll have some blood work done—including an updated AMH, just for kicks—and the day before surgery I’ll do a bowel prep. Bowel preps are some nasty business. This will be my third bowel prep, and I don’t expect it to be any funner than the other two were (which were so unfun I can’t even say …). Even so, I don’t have much in the way of pre-op testing, which I’m pleased about.

Dr. Lee suspects that I have endo either on my urethra or attached to one of the nerves that runs near it in my groin area. Lately I’ve been suffering from weird pubic/groin/whatever pain that shoots through my body and causes abdominal spasms. And I mean spasms, like spasm spasms, where my whole body jerks uncontrollably for minutes on end. It has had Jake and I completely freaked out, but according to Dr. Lee, patients with severe endo often have it on their urethra or nearby nerves, so that was (sort of?) reassuring.

In addition, I’ve been having ongoing stabbing uterine pain throughout my whole cycle that jars me and doubles me over. Clearly, something bad is going on in my uterus. My pelvic MRI didn’t show much, but in my opinion it was kind of a waste, because what can MRI really show when it comes to endometriosis?  I’m still not clear why Dr. Lee orderd my MRI in the first place, but, hey, I’m not the doctor here.

Otherwise, I’m prepared for my next surgery.  I fully know what to expect, how to prepare, and what recovery is like, so I feel little-to-no nerves in that department. I’m just glad it’s scheduled and am looking forward to maybe having relief this time around.

Peace.

 

 

 

Upcoming Surgery #6

Hello, all—if anyone’s still out there! My blogging has been slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y crawling toward the point of nonexistence, and I’m so sorry for being such a terrible blogger! But, life happens.

Alas, here I am. Still sometimes blogging and always still walking among the infertility trenches. But I’m beginning to climb out: I see a definite end in sight—even if that end involves bidding adieu my unproductive reproductive parts.

Blogging

In big news, part of my blogging absence is because Jake and I bought a house! Long story short, we bought  a townhouse, moved to the burbs, and are currently adjusting to the massive shock of our lives being completely uprooted.

The other reason for my blogging absence is because fertility/infertility hasn’t been much on my radar. For awhile I believe infertility became an idol in my life. It was all-consuming. As time passes, it slips further and further down my Top Ten list. Lately, at best I’m halfway interested in infertility’s role in my life. Mostly, I’m trying to move away from it, rather than digging in deeper. I want to move on.

Endometriosis Surgery

Back in October while scouring the internet for an endo specialist, I found a contender, right in my own backyard! Jake and I had a surgery consult with the doc, Dr. Lee, last week. Dr. Lee is an endometriosis wizard (wizardess?) and I think I’ll be in good hands with her for an excision surgery. She’s head of gynecology at a hospital in the city and know a lot about endo. Despite that her beside manner struck me as clinical and slightly cold, I still liked her because she plans to do a thorough endo cleanup on me.

Dr. Lee’s surgical plan is more involved than my last cleanup. Because I had a partial bowel resection during one of my prior endo surgeries, I have to meet with a colo-rectal surgeon. A pre-op bowel prep will also be involved (yech). Next week I’m having a pre-op pelvic MRI, which Dr. Lee also ordered. Then some other x-ray or specialist or… something… is involved. I basically forgot at this point what she was saying. I got hung up on the whole, “It’ll be a big surgery” part, and the rest was kind of a haze. There’s also a good chance I’ll spend a night or two in the hospital if my colon is involved again.

Surgery will be excision of endometriosis, removal of adhesions and any cysts, and cauterizing my cervix (again…) to try stopping its endless bleeding. Unlike my last two surgeries, this won’t be a daVinci robotic surgery.

Hysterectomy

Like every doctor before her, Dr. Lee reviewed my previous surgical reports and was all gloom-and-doom about my prospects for fertility and for long-term endo relief. She kept emphasizing my need to have a hysterectomy, and for the first time in many years I actually heard her out about it. Normally I tune out the docs when they start yammering on about the virtues of hysterectomy (although never the downsides… hmm), but I’m starting to wonder if maybe—just maybe—the docs are right.

It mostly comes down to quality of life: Do I want to keep a modicum of fertility, but live with ceaseless pain and bleeding? Or do I want to say goodbye to that sliver of hope/fertility, but finally have pain relief (and, dare I say, closure)?

I’ve reached a point where I can’t 100% confidently say that I want a baby badly enough to continue suffering physically and emotionally with pain from endo, pain and bleeding from a super-friable and inflamed cervix, pain from fibroids, endless ovary pain, pain from breast cysts (yeah, that’s a new thing…), painful intercourse, mega monster incapacitating cramps, and the icing on the cake: infertility. I just want it all gone… even if that means I can never be a mama. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. We’re praying for God’s leading on this. For now, I wait quietly.

 

Update: Cervix-y Stuff, Round 2

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I’m regretful to report that the cervical cauterization I had done last month was a fail.

Having my cervix cauterized with silver nitrate (let’s call it a CC to keep things nice and short) was supposed to stop my ongoing intermenstrual bleeding . But—like every month since last summer and despite the fact that my cervix is apparently unable to bleed outside of a period—the mystery bleeding showed up on cycle day 21 this month and decided to hang for the duration of my cycle. Sometimes the bleeding begins as early as cycle day 13 or 14. I never know from one month to the next which cycle day I’ll randomly just start bleeding.

Since we have a new cast member here on The Endo Zone (my newest doctor), she needs a pseudonym.  My new doctor just came to the Philly area after having practiced in Maryland for the last 25 years.  Hence, I dub her Dr. Maryland. I really, really like Dr. Maryland: she’s extremely kind and warm and patient and truly wants to help me. She did my CC last month.

Dr. Maryland thinks that my bleeding could just be my “new normal.”  Before we know if it truly is my new normal though, a biopsy is in order.  The month before the biopsy, Dr. Maryland says that Jake and I can’t have sex ALL MONTH, since uterine biopsies and pregnancy don’t bode well. When I protested that sex for an entire month is totally unreasonable—considering that there’s only five possible conception days—Dr. Maryland wouldn’t hear any of it.  *Sigh.*  I’ll do the biopsy, but her command of full abstinence? No thanks. I’ll take my chances.

I can have two more doses of silver nitrate CC’s before we move on to the next step of biopsy. My second CC procedure is scheduled for next week.

I’m believing God that round two will be the final CC and stop this bleeding entirely.  I believe that this ongoing interruption of bleeding is not in His best plans for my life.

Besides that, my copays are pricey. I’m beyond over this incessant bleeding. And I’m definitely not stoked about the possibility of three rounds of CC, only to have to do a painful biopsy at the end of it all.  Because continued intermenstrual bleeding after three rounds of effectively sealing my cervix shut means that the bleeding is coming from my uterus… which is a whole other party for Marixsa to get invited to.

So, my friends, I ask for your prayers that this problem will at LONG last be resolved. And I’m expecting in my next update to have nothing to report other than nice and normal… maybe even better than normal.

Peace.

 

Shiny Cervix and Other Nonevents

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Oops… was my last post seriously back in March? I took a much-needed hiatus from the infertility blog world, which was kind of refreshing actually. And who knows? I just might take another one immediately after this post! Fertility’s just hasn’t been on my mind lately.

Not only have I stepped away from the blog, but I’ve also bid adieu to daily basal body temping, raspberry leaf tea, ovulation prediction kits, timed intercourse, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and all the other crap that comes along with TTC. And you know what? I don’t even miss it. I like feeling normal again. Living life.

We have now officially reached the 6-year TTC mark and I’m tired: tired of the stress, the all-consuming-ness of it all, the fact that it’s been on my mind way too much than is healthy.

Since I’m here and all though, here’s the scant highlights since my last post:

  • My yearly gynecology appointment showed questionable lumps in each breast. My doc sent me for a mammogram, which was fortunately clear. For the record, mammograms (this was my first) are not as painful as the interwebs allege. And this coming from a chick with the lowest pain threshold in the universe. *breathes sigh of relief*
  • I turned 35. My period came on the day of my 35th birthday, which was either a real kick in the teeth or just a failed scare tactic to mess with my head. Anyway, I guess I’m now officially “old” when it comes to fertility stuff. Whatever.
  • Cervical cauterization. My cervix is quite shiny these days! I’ve started treating with a new gyn (this makes like the 20th gyn I’ve seen: no exaggeration) who recommended having my cervix cauterized with silver nitrate. Silver nitrate—picture that black stuff boxers use on their face to seal up cuts in the ring—should stop my ongoing mystery intermenstrual bleeding. With nothing to lose, I had my cervical cauterization procedure done this week. It was uncomfortable, similar to an extended PAP smear, but, like the mammogram, not nearly as painful as the Internet warned. The only side effect I had was grayish spotting and cramps for the rest of the procedure day.  Silver nitrate acts as a seal for the cervix’s tiny blood vessels, which is supposed to prevent blood (except menstrual blood) from seeping through. Sperms still makes it through I’m told. Sometimes it can take two or three treatments to be effective. Results to follow if it will stop the bleeding.

Back in 2011 when Jake and I were all, “Let’s have a baby!” we naively figured we’d be pregnant by the end of the summer. I had no inkling that we’d still be sojourning toward that same goal six years later. We knew back then that I had endometriosis. We knew I had only one ovary. We knew it might take a few months longer than most people. But we never in our wildest dreams imagined that 72 months later we’d still be trying.

So be it. It’s in God’s hands now. It always has been. I’ve not gone down without a fight—I’ve not even really “gone down” at all—but I’m done with the weird supplements and teas and stick peeing and other fruitless endeavors toward something I’ve literally no control over. I continue on with hope—expectation even—but choose to live and enjoy my life as a normal person in the meantime, whatever the outcome may be.

 

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