Post-op Update

My 2.5 week update after my Da Vinci hysterectomy and excision of Endo.

I am 2.5 weeks post-op today. I feel AMAZING!!! Dr. Furr went in and removed my uterus, fallopian tubes, and multiple adhesions and lesions due to Endometriosis. My left ovary was adhered to my side. I had lesions on my bladder, ureter, uterus, and pelvic wall. Pathology confirmed adenomyosis.

The first night in the hospital was the roughest. I really did not want to take dilaudid, but the percocet had me wired. Eventually I caved and took the dilaudid and actually got another dose before leaving Chattanooga for the 2 hour drive home. Throughout the first week, I had a whole lot of help. My parents had to help me get up and sit down. All my food had to be made by other people. I couldn’t even open the freezer to get ice for my water by myself. Thank goodness for my family and friends.

Week two was so much easier. I went to church and hung out with lots of friends. I might have pushed myself a little too far at times. I played with puppies one night. I did a lot of sitting down and standing up and sitting back down. By the end of the night I was starting to hurt. All throughout week two, I was off all pain medicines including over-the-counter stuff.

The beginning of week three was Friday. That night, I went to my boyfriend’s wrestling banquet at his high school. Saturday I went to Nashville and stood outside the Mercy Lounge for almost 3 hours to get tickets to see Panic! At the Disco later that night. I ended up being up on my feet for another almost 5 hours straight before and during the concert.

My restrictions really were not that rough. The first two weeks I wasn’t allowed to lift anything over 10lbs and week 3-6 I am on a 20lb restriction. I am not supposed to be bending down much at all. I was told to walk as much as I can as soon as I can. My ice pack was my best friend for  the first week and a half when it came to walking. My dietary restrictions are non-existent as long as I am having normal bowel movements. The biggest thing Dr. Furr told me was to listen to my body. If it hurts, slow down. If I feel fine, keep it up.

I pray that anyone looking at having a hysterectomy who reads this understands that everyone’s body is different. I have had an extremely easy recovery compared to most. I have also been covered in prayer and am very young.

Versatile Blogger Award

When I started this blog back in October, I never expected to be nominated for any awards. This blog was started purely as a way for me to help others in my situation and express my feelings about the hand that life has dealt me. But, lo and behold, I was nominated by EndoTough for the Versatile Blogger Award. The rules are simple, post 7 facts and nominate 15 blogs. So, here we go.

My 7 facts:

  1. I used to be an Irish Step Dancer
  2. I coach recreational and competitive gymnastics
  3. I am going to go pre-med at college next year
  4. I play piano
  5. I have a 20 lb dog who is amazing
  6. I absolutely love hunting and shooting
  7. I changed high schools right before my junior year

My 15 nominations:

  1. Jasmine’s Endometriosis Journey
  2. TruerThanTrue
  3. mychronicself7
  4. misskingni
  5. Endoblossom93
  6. relopez94
  7. Ellie
  8. livingwithadhesions
  9. Endometriosis and Me
  10. Yellow Endo Flower
  11. Endo Fighting Fit
  12. Women with Endometriosis
  13. Everyday Endo

Endo Awareness Month

It’s March y’all!! That means Endometriosis Awareness Month!

March is Endometriosis awareness month! On my Instagram, I am participating in #TheEndoPhotoChallenge2018. I am also going to participate on here by posting the photo challenge each day here! Enjoy!!

Day 1: You

 

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I am an 18 year-old senior! I was diagnosed with Endometriosis through laparoscopic excision at the Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, GA. Within the last month, I’ve been told that I probably have Adeno as well.

Day 2: Endometriosis

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I had excision performed in December of 2012 for Stage I Endometriosis. The pictures above are from that procedure. I have struggled with pain, bloating, and other symptoms from the time I hit puberty. After my first surgery, I did pretty well up until about the last 2 years. They are pretty sure my pain is now coming from Adeno and thus, I am having a partial hysterectomy a week from today.

Adenomyosis

I’ve really struggled to write this post. This hits very close to home and is very personal for me, but I feel like other teenagers need to know they aren’t alone if they choose to go this route.

Some big changes are about to be taking place in my life. I was diagnosed with Adenomyosis this past week and was given my options. Only one option was guaranteed to help and that is a partial hysterectomy. Adenomyosis is similar to endometriosis as it is still a gynecological disease. The endothelial cells grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus causing sever cramping along the mid-line of the abdomen.

I have tried some different medical treatments such as progesterone, birth control, and birth control without sugar pills. I know that a Presacral neurectomy (PSN) is a potential surgical route. It could buy me anywhere from 6 months to a lifetime of relief from the pain. But, the PSN won’t control the severe bloating or nausea associated with my Adenomyosis. I could try the Mirena IUD, but it may take up to six months to work, and I do not feel like I have six months to wait and see. So given those options, I’ve chosen to go the route of a partial hysterectomy. Because Adenomyosis is within the uterus, that is the only organ they will remove.

At 18, the idea of a partial hysterectomy is terrifying. I’ve always dreamed of carrying my own children, but the reality is that won’t be an option after March 9th. I know I will still be a mother one day, but I am giving up the ability to bear my own children, an ability that I have been fighting for. I am ready to have my life back. I want to be able to live my life while in college rather than Adeno dictate what I can and can’t do. I am confident that I am making the right decision for my life, but it still hurts. The relief I will feel is going to make everything worth it.

If you are a young girl facing this decision, you are not alone. It can be hard to make such a permanent decision at a young age. Mourning your loss is okay. I made this decision on a Monday and cried so much at school Tuesday that I checked out after first hour. It will be hard to go to classes and know everyone’s biggest issue is going to the game that night and your issue is going to affect the rest of your life. I will make a post later describing how I evaluated this decision and decided it was right for me. We are all different and the right decision for my life and body may not be the decision you need to make.

Sports and Endo

Sometimes staying active with a chronic illness can be hard. I gave up all sports right after my laparoscopy and didn’t get back into them for another year and a half. I used to be an Irish step dancer, but I quit because of the amount of time I would be out after my lap. I got back into sports quite literally 20 months after my laparoscopy. I joined JROTC at my high school. When I moved schools junior year I became a cheerleader.

To be honest, ThermaCare menstrual are a lifesaver for endo. So is biofreeze or icy hot  on your abdomen during sports. Just please don’t use both at the same time.

Know your limits. Sometimes I over do it and end up with a bad flare. Saturday my cheer squad competed for the first time ever. And, we won. We ate concession stand food and taco bell for lunch and dinner that day. By the time I got home I felt awful and I barely slept thanks to pain and nausea.

I suggest swimming for Endo patients. Swimming is relaxing and low impact. It also is easy to do and works all muscles. Plus I’ve always loved the cold water on my back when it hurts.

Endo Resolutions

Hey y’all!! Merry Christmas and Happy New year!!

Sorry to have been MIA recently. Between cheer season starting and finals and the flu, life has been crazy. I am hoping to get back to blogging more often. If y’all want blogs about anything specific or y’all have questions, drop a comment and I will do my best to address it!
So with New Year’s coming up, I wanna share some resolution ideas. Often times people say they are going to hit the gym, lose weight, or something along those lines. Those resolutions can be hard to keep for anyone, but especially us Endosisters. How can I hit the gym when I can’t get out of bed? I can lose weight, but I’ll still look pregnant on my period. I compiled a list of 10 resolutions for us Endosisters that might just hopefully make our quality of life better.
In 2018…
1) I will cut out soy from my diet completely.
The human body processes soy as estrogen and estrogen causes Endo growth. Most Endosisters are already estrogen dominate which means soy is just adding to the issue.
2) I will gradually introduce the Endo Diet to my life.
I will pick one no no good group each month and cut it out until I am eating clean. Example: January cut out all gluten. February cut out all dairy on top of the gluten. Etc
3) I will do crunches every day that my pain is below a 5.
Crunches or an work in general strengthens the same muscles that tend to cause cramps. Strengthening them should make cramps more bearable because they aren’t being overworked and are used to the stimulation.
4) I will not feel bad about cancelling plans due to my Endo.
My health comes first. I’m sorry that I can’t always see my plans through but I promise everyone involved will have more fun if I don’t go when my pain levels are high. If someone has a problem with that, they aren’t the kinds of supportive friend I need. Cut them outta my life
5) I will explain to those around me what Endo is and how it affects my life.
People often don’t know what Endometriosis is. I will take every socially acceptable opportunity to educate those around me. This can be as simple as a very nongraphic dinner conversation or as elaborate as a full out presentation for a class project that includes pictures and videos.
6) I will not worry about the what ifs of this disease.
This disease often makes me worry about my future. What if I can’t have children? What if my future husband can’t handle the stress and strain of my disease? What if I can’t finish college? Guess what?? It’s in God’s hands and this disease will no longer control my worries!
7) I will participate in the Endometriosis Awareness Month social media campaigns.
More women need to know about Endo and I can help promote that knowledge through social media. It’s more than a bad period and people need to be educated. Maybe if people are educated we can start getting some real research done.
8) I will cut people who do not believe me about my Endo out of my life.
This disease is hard enough without people accusing you if lying. You think I’m faking? Bye. You think it’s just a period? Bye. I don’t need your negativity in my life.
9) I will try everything else for pain before turning to prescription pain pills.
Chronic illnesses can foster drug addiction and pill reliance as prescriptions are handed it liberally. I will do my best to not take my prescriptions to prevent any potential pill issues.
10) I will thrive!
I’m not going to just survive Endo. I will thrive. Endo will not get the best of me, nor will it control my life. It’s my life and I plan on living life to the fullest.

It’s More Than a Bad Period

How do you know if you have Endo?

** Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional… This is all based on my research and personal experiences**

Even before you hit puberty, some signs and symptoms of Endometriosis may show up. *TMI warning* Growing up, I was never really regular with my bathroom habits. It wasn’t until after my laparoscopy in 2012 that I found out most people use the bathroom daily without constipation or diarrhea. Also, I firmly believe that genetics plays a major role in Endo. I am one of many people in my family to have this awful disease. My mother, cousin, great-aunt, and paternal grandmother all have had surgeries where Endo was discovered.

As you hit puberty, other signs and symptoms may appear. Every woman is different, and your symptoms may not match this list or any list you find.

  1. Major cramping – Advil, Midol, Ibuprofen, etc don’t touch the pain you feel. Some women with Endo take prescription pain pills to help alleviate the pain.
  2. Bloating – I normally wear size 6 jeans. When I am on my period, or bloated due to my period, I can’t wear a size 8. I end up living in sweats and leggings.
  3. Acne – Hormonal acne is common with Endo due to the Estrogen dominance that is associated with Endo.
  4. Sleeplessness – Pain keeps me up at night at times. I take Melatonin to help me sleep when I can’t seem to get comfortable. I also wear a bite guard so I don’t grind my teeth from pain.
  5. Irregular periods – A 28ish day cycle is seen as normal. I am honestly not sure I have ever had a 28 day cycle or anything that is semi regular.
  6. Bleeding – Extremely heavy bleeding that lasts longer than normal. Mine is b=generally 7-9 days and regular tampons may last me about 3 hours.
  7. Infertility – This is common in late stage Endo patients. I really have no personal experience with it as I am too young to begin to go down that road.

Don’t let any doctor tell you that you are too young or that it is all in your head. You know your body better than anyone else. Your pain and your symptoms are valid.