My appointment with the Endo specialist went exactly as I wanted. I should feel happy that the appointment went the way I wanted, but unfortunately when the way you want things to go ends with surgery it’s a little difficult to celebrate. This was the first time I had a male gyno and, although he was very nice, I did feel a little weird. He met with my mother and I in a regular looking doctor’s room and asked me question after question so he could paint a picture of my health with my words. He then said he would like to do another ultrasound even though I’d had one done last week as my regular gyno’s office. So we proceeded to move down to another office that was used for ultrasounds.
I stripped down my lower half and waiting on the table with just a thin sheet of paper to cover give me a sense of modesty even though this man was about to probe into me with all sorts of fun contraptions. I waited about ten minutes, but it felt like a lot longer with nothing to keep my mind occupied with as I waited for him. He explained what he was going to do. Even though this wasn’t my first rodeo I appreciated the synopsis and it put me a little at ease. He asked me to scoot to the end of the table and put my feet in the stirrups. I do so and my knees splayed out a bit leaving all my bits on display for someone who’s not my boyfriend. He held out the speculum and let me know when it was going in and then began using the ultrasound wand.
He pressed into different spots and let me know where my right ovary was and my left. Told me when there was a cyst and when it was clear. He made the mistake of thinking he wasn’t recreating any of the pain, but what he doesn’t know is between hip surgery, living with this pelvic pain for the last 1.5 years and horrible periods since I was 11 is that I’ve learned how to breathe through most of the pain. Many of the areas he pressed spiked up to a level 5 or 6 of pain, but when you spend most of your days at an 8 or more you can’t fret about the lower numbers or you spend your whole life obsessing about your pain. I let him know I was actually in a fair amount of pain and he pressed areas again asking me when I was in pain. Funnily enough when he pressed down it actually recreated the pain I feel four inches below my belly button. It’s funny how the sources of pain isn’t where you feel the pain sometimes. Referential pain can be a bitch when trying to get to the source of the pain.
He also did a manual exam for whatever reason. After the ultrasound wand it barely made me flinch. Just odd having another man’s fingers in me palpating around. Sometimes it feels like SIBO and possible Endo has robbed me of whatever dignity I’ve had, but that’s not true. I only lose my dignity if I allow others to take it. He told me he’d have a nurse bring me in a towel to clean myself up and that we’d meet in the conference room to go over a game plan. The nurse came in 10 minutes later and I sat there for a minute once she shut the door just thinking about how the next few minutes may define my future.As usual I just pushed myself up and got dressed making my way down to the conference room.
My mom and I sat there for what felt like an eternity, but was really only a handful of minutes. I told her my worries. I worried that another doctor would ignore my pain and tell me just to try the IUD or that we would do surgery and they wouldn’t find Endo so I will have gone through all of this for naught. Soon the doctor came in and shut the door behind him.
“So I think you should have your diagnosis”, he said matter-of-factly. I breathed a sigh of relief and also a sigh of worry for what was to come next. Someone was actually listening to me. They could see the pain in my body and the weariness in my eyes. He then went on to say how I had a lot of markers of Endo and that he wants to go in there to confirm. If I do have Endo he will remove all of it. I was instructed to do a bowel prep beforehand in case there is some Endo tissue on the bowel and he said he hopes it’ll help clear up some of my GI issues. He also told me that they could put in the IUD while I was under which is definitely a godsend. One less mortifying, painful experience I have to go to. He suggested the Mirena instead of Skyla since it’ll last for 5 years and I’ll be under for the insertion so the little bit of extra size shouldn’t be a problem.
He was talking about scheduling my surgery for two to three months out, but once my mom mentioned that I have to take Norco everyday to deal with the pain he said he’d get me in sooner. So now the surgery is just a little two weeks away. One step of my game plan is under my belt and now I have a handful left to check off. I will not let this illness beat me without leaving all my blood, sweat and tears on the course. I am not beaten into submission that easily.
My greatest fear and the worry that bounces around in the back of my head that I try and shove into a box is “what if they don’t find anything?”When that happens I tell people or take a deep breathe and tell myself that SOMETHING is creating this pain and I will figure out what it is. I tell myself what I would tell my best friend, my sister, mom. I tell myself what I would tell someone I love. Something is causing this pain. You aren’t crazy and you aren’t meant to live this way and we WILL figure this out.
I couldn’t get through all of this without the strength of my best friends, my mom and my boyfriend. I also have to remember that I am strong. I’ve made it through hip and knee surgery. I’ve made it through severe anxiety and depression when I was younger. I am a fighter and there will be a time in my life where I won’t be preparing for battle, but enjoying the view. One day.