Back on the horse

18 Apr

It has now been a month back on visanne. The ups and downs of cramping, spotting and the hormone roller coaster seems to be mellowing out.

I went a full week last week only having to take two pain killers – several days apart. Woohoo!

Finally, I am slowly feeling back to myself. I have more motivation and range of motion. Sure I realize there will still be fluctuations of crap, but in contrast to pre-visanne, I’m a happy woman!

One thing I have noticed though, a huge need for naps. Not just any naps. Forget the 10 – 30min naps. Oh no. I’m in a whole other bracket. I range from 2 – 4 hours. Yup! That’s right. You would think this would mess up my sleep at night. Still sleeping a good 8 hours each night. 

As a deep lover of sleep, it is nice, however I hope this is something that adjusts. I lose so much of the day. Especially during long awaited weekends.

All in all, I’m pumped. Yea I may be full of western medicine, modifying the natural process of my hormones, but my quality of life is on the up and up!

Rage

10 Apr

I’m almost a month into visanne now and I honestly don’t know if how I feel today is due to the medication or not. I really woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

My blood is laced with rage.

Day to day, I’m typically someone who is positive and let’s annoyances roll of my back (or I simply internalize it). I wouldn’t be considered a hot head or irritable person by any means. Today though, I am a whole other person.

There are no buttons to be pushed today because they’re currently jammed in “on” position. Unfortunately, life won’t provide a sticky key pop up to notify me that my buttons are perpetually activated.

I hate everything today. I’m frustrated indefinitely. Sure there are a lot of components going on in my life that I know has lead me here, but usually I can take a deep breath and walk around it. Not today apparently.

Currently teetering on the edge of a cliff, hoping that a little puff of annoyance doesn’t send me freefalling into an ocean of tantrums and screams.

I’m painting a wonderful picture of myself right now. I know you all are dying to be my bestie.

All I can do at the moment is focus on my work, put some headphones in and try to drown out the world just to get through the work day. Once I get home, I’ll figure out how to…well…figure this out.

Until then, a little red monster named Hormones is raging inside me, banging on my skull, trying to break free and let loose.

Simmer down you reckless little jerk. I have to appear somewhat normal today!

Re-Thinking the Lemonade

8 Mar

I have reached a point in my life where I could continue to make lemonade from the sour fruit life provides, but regular old lemonade just doesn’t cut it anymore.

In my last post, I spoke of a good initial appointment with a new specialist. To recap, she believes I may also suffer from adenomyosis – a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (the myometrium).

I would imagine, for the average patient, being told you likely have a disease would not result in a positive reaction. Especially if it was in addition to a preexisting disease. As I expressed in my last post, upon receiving this news that I may have this disease as well as endo, I was happy. This meant I wasn’t crazy. My pain was real. There was a reason. Someone is on my side. Happy.

As I suspected, once this pre-diagnosis settled in, I broke down. A hide under the blankets, urge to shut the world out while I stuffed my face with chocolate and binged on Netflix kind of break down.

I pulled myself together and told myself that I would wait for the specialized ultrasound before letting my emotions get out  of control. Nothing is confirmed and who knows what they’ll find? Probably nothing, right? My ultrasounds have always come back without issue. A bitter sweet, I guessed.

The day came. My nerves were high. I hate ultrasounds. Filling my bladder until it hurts is one thing, but having someone all up inside me, pushing and prodding away while trying to not writhe in pain is not my idea of a fun outing.

The technician was nice, and clearly knew her stuff. I had never had an ultrasound technician as so many questions, let alone be so well versed in everything endo and adeno. I felt comfortable having someone this savvy investigate my insides.

At first, the questions she asked made me feel understood and assured.

How long are your periods? How often do you experience pain? Where do you experience the pain? Tell me about your last surgery and what they found. How does your bladder feel when it’s full?

Then she began having trouble hiding her feelings behind her smile and the questions began to become concerning.

When was the last time you had an ultrasound? Concern. Three years? A frown.They didn’t do a follow up ultrasound after your surgery? Disappointment.

As she prodded around, she seemed to know where all of the sensitive and painful spots where before I did. She took her time and recorded endless information. I followed her instructions, adjusting in such a way so she could see my ovaries. While analyzing the left ovary, I bit down on my lip, trying to hold back the tears. Pain shot down the nerves in my left leg and it began to tingle. After what felt like forever, she was done taking down all the information she needed and now it was time to look at the right ovary. Very little pain and took no time at all. Finally an ounce of hope!

“Your ovaries are mobile! Not adhered to the pelvic floor again.” Relief poured over me. But wait, was she just giving me that tidbit of positive information to distract me from the concern in her voice?

“When are you seeing your doctor next?” She attempted to sound casual. I told her it was still three months away. After a few more notes and looking around, she finished up. Before leaving the room she said, “You`ll be seeing your doctor a lot sooner than you thought.” Her words hit me like a mac truck.

I’d love to say I handled everything rationally and calmly. I fought the tunnel vision as her words rang through my brain. I immediately called my fiancé, telling him all about the appointment. He was loving and supportive, telling me he was there for me no matter what. That we would postpone the wedding if need be. That he was by my side through thick and thin.

But what if I’m not strong enough? What if I`ll never be able to have a baby? What if they can’t fix me?

I called my mom, reiterating all that I told my fiancé. She also tried to calm me and support me.

But what if my future is forever changed? What if I can’t do this?

A week later, I received a call that my appointment was being moved up. My specialist had recently had a minor surgery herself but she would be seeing me as soon as she was back. I was told that if there was a cancelation, I would be moved up.

My previous breakdown now looked like a regular case of the Monday blues. Now I was (and am) battling a full emotional shutdown. I have since only had one breakdown – a fall on the floor, can’t catch my breath, loved ones coming to stay with me kind of break down.

To be honest, I am really struggling, knowing something is wrong but not knowing what it is. How bad is it? Is there a long term solution or a short term? Is there even a solution at all? Will I lose control over my own future? Will I have to postpone my wedding? What about work? Things are going so well at work! And around and around my head spins.

I have 4 weeks to go until my newly scheduled appointment and I`m hoping it to be less. Come on cancelation!

Distraction is the name of the game right now. Wedding planning. Focusing on work. Spending time with my future hubby and pup. Family outings. It works at times, but this underlying sadness is hard to shake. I can only cover up so much. I feel great one moment and overwhelmed with emotion the next.

At this point, I can’t say I have anything overly encouraging or inspiring to say other than, I`m holding my head up and still somehow managing to put one foot in front of the other. I am hopeful that whatever is going on, there will be a solution. Unfortunately, I am currently in limbo and trying to stay above water.

And then there were two

3 Feb

Yesterday was my first appointment with a new specialist. I was nervous and frustrated before arriving. How many times can I restart this process? How many times can I get the same information, suggestions and dead ends? Emotionally, it takes a toll.

I tried my best to stay positive. I sat in the waiting room, my notes in my lap and my brain on overdrive, desperately willing my thoughts to form completely before jumping to the next worry.

The receptionist led me to one of the exam rooms. To my surprise, all of the information posters and brochures around the room were all Endo related. Hmm. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.

“When doctors don’t know why or what is causing your pain, you probably feel like you’re crazy.” Ok this doctor is already awesome. She was patient, understanding and knowledgeable. Immediately, she asked if anyone has spoken to me about adenomyosis. Nope. 

She went on to explain the disease. To sum it up, the uterine lining grows into the uterus itself. Some call it Endo of the uterus.

“All of your symptoms point to it and it makes sense you’ve still had so much pain even after surgeries. We will test to confirm but I’m confident this is what’s going on.”

Though I couldn’t see myself, I knew my eyes sparkled and my smile was huge. Why was I so happy to be diagnosed with another disease? Because there was an answer. No pushing for a reason. No open ends or questioning. No shrug with a “good luck”. An actual reason. Justification for how I’ve been feeling. I’m not crazy!

I left the appointment with my acquisitions, my head held high and a smile on my face. I knew the ball would drop when I would research adenomyosis further, but for now I was basking in the fact that not only was I heard, my pain was justified.

I could go on and talk about the darker sides of the diagnosis, but I don’t want to take away from the positive. In this post, I’m taking this as a victory!

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