This is the continuation of my story, you can read part 1 here.
As I left off, I was entering my 30’s. Mild pain management had been found in the form of traditional Chinese medicine, and beyond that, little else.
I had begun focusing on my career, myself, and trying to give up on the idea I would ever be a mother. I continued to battle depression and a problem no one seemed to know I had but me.
I want to take this time to mention, that as far as family went, my mother was always there for me. She would often be a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. She did the best she could, but had no more answers than I did at the time.
During this time, I met my partner, Rick. Well, we had known one another for a while, but never got to really know each other until then. Things were good, we were really happy, I was becoming really happy.
The days passed, and as it seemed almost inevitable, the idea of a family came up. I am not sure exactly what compelled me to tell him so completely all that I had been through up until that point, but I did. Everything, the problems, the pain, the doctors, and the miscarriage. Despite it all, he stayed optimistic.
I shamefully admit that at least a few times during our struggles, I would resent his optimism, almost as if my mind said “you only think it will be ok because you just don’t know how bad it really is! You don’t understand my pain!” I am glad I did not let those thoughts consume me.
Despite my belief that it was all for nothing, I found a new fertility doctor. One far away, 7 hours drive one way, but he seemed to be a good fit. We started to try to figure things out.
I met my doctor for the first time and immediately knew I was in better hands than I had been before. I still remember his reaction to hearing my story “You mean you have been suffering like this, with no answers, for over 10 years?!”. His shock, and later determination, would soon spearhead my newfound desire to figure this out for sure.
Time passed, tests and procedures passed, and many medications later, and we still had no results. However, this was a sign to my doctor, a sign of Endometriosis.
Endo-what? I had no idea at the time. I mean sure, I had read it in passing time and again, but never as a serious thought. This was a thing that happened to very few people, right? I mean it had to only affect a few people, it was hardly ever talked about, I had never had a doctor say it to me before, and had been doing this dance for over a decade.
I researched, read, looked up, asked around. I did everything I could to know more and more about it. While I was learning, an exploratory laparoscopic surgery with a specialist, had been planned. I researched that too.
Surgery day came faster than I had ever imagined it would. However, my research, and newfound desire to be better, happier, and healthier than I had allowed myself to be for the past years, found me making myself a pact.
This surgery would restart my life, one way or another, regardless of the outcome.
So when the day came that I found myself on a hospital bed, Rick by my side, and nurses checking my various conditions, I found myself determined and confident (if not a little scared). I was a long nap away from a new life, and I was going to make the most of it.
When I woke, I was groggy (ok, I actually found out that I woke twice, and just went back to sleep the first time), and had no real idea what had been found or what was to come. They brought me to a recovery room where I was rejoined by Rick.
The specialist came up to us, he had news.
He found Endometriosis. Not just some, but lots, and scar tissue too. I was surprisingly over the moon. He had found the cause! The reason for my pain! It was no longer a mystery, it was no longer in my head, there it was! Real!
He had more to tell.
They had cleared away as much as they could, a great deal of it had been excised. He gave me hope, hope that maybe being a mother was in my future after all.
I left that hospital on cloud nine, which may have been in part due to the pain killers, but mostly from feeling a sense of relief. I finally knew what was wrong with me!
This may seem like an odd place to end a story, and I will admit that it is. However, you are caught up. This is where I am now. I am currently just over one month post-op. Things are doing well.
The pain has decreased for the most part, however, my first period and 3 days leading to it since the surgery were excruciating, but the time after and around it have been met with a blissful pain free feeling I nearly do not remember having before.
My partner and I are still trying to conceive, and hoping for our own little miracle in all this.
My mother is still supportive, and I have since learned that a few other women in my family also have Endo.
I have returned to work, though that is incredibly recent, and I have not quite had enough work in to say how that is affected by all this, but so far it feels good to feel normal again.
Thanks to everyone for reading my story. I hope that it helps at least one person keep trying with their own struggle. Never give up, answers are out there, somewhere.