Colonoscopy – Done…..

Are you wondering what the “…” are for? Becuase this saga is still not over.

I had my colonoscopy a few weeks ago. I guess since I am young, fairly active and have regular BM’s (as my great-grandma would say) (and I know TMI) the prep was not as horrendous as I was expecting. The worst thing was that my procedure was on Monday morning and I could not eat solids after Saturday night! That Sunday was a looooong day for both me and my husband  The staff at the hospital was great! All things considering, it was a really good experience.

Last week I had my follow up with the GI doctor. He said my colon was “pristine!” and all of my biopsies and blood work came back normal. That is good news. He said the next step is to have a CT scan of my lower abdomen and pelvic and have a HIDA scan to look at my gull bladder. I have to give it to him, he is very thorough. He ended my visit by telling me he is convinced I have endo but he doesn’t want to assume and not miss anything. Thankfully I work for the hospital and have really good insurance so I’m cool with that. He also said he doesn’t want to have me suffering with the pain so in the meantime he wants me to try 2 other medications. These are supposed to help reduce the pain without all of the side effects (make me feel like a space cadet) that come with the narcotics (what my GYN gave me).

So I just scheduled my next 2 scans for the first week in March. I will have a follow up with him after that. After that visit I will let you guys know how I’m doing.

Random Info:

  • They gave me propafal (sp?) the AKA Michael Jackson drug for the colonoscopy.
  • When I woke up I was SOOOO giddy, I felt tipsy and very happy! I’m sure the nurses won’t forget me!
  • I got a terrible cold the week of my colonoscoy, missed 3 days from work, and fell off my workout schedule.
  • My running buddies are no longer my running buddies due to one being preggers and the other recovering from surgery herself.
  • Since I am off my bandwagon, and I plan on increasing my volunteer work next month, I have decided to table the 5K all together.

GI visit

So, it’s that time to update you again. I scheduled my annual physical and the GI appointment both for this past Monday. Both doctors are very convinced that I do have endometriosis, despite the laparoscopy being negative – they said that the endometrial “implants” are sometimes microscopic and not visible by the naked eye. My primary doctor said that in that region of the body it could only be 1 of 3 things 1-GI problems, 2-GYN problems (endo) or 3-kidney/bladder problems. I do not and have not had any bladder or bowel symptoms, so they are pretty convinced that it is still enodmetriosis. (sad face).

So, the next step is to rule everything that it could possibly be out. I had COMPLETE blood workup done, and just got a call that all of my levels are fine. That means that my lipids, liver, gall bladder, thyroid, etc, etc are all ok and not causing the pain. In two weeks I will have a colonoscopy (another sad face) to rule out any large bowel issues. If that comes back normal, which it probably will, then I will have CT scan to look at my appendix and abdominal organs again. If all of that is normal, then I will be left with what I was originally given – a diagnosis of endometriosis.

I am ok with it. I have since started eating better, taking all of my vitamins, having good water intake and exercising more (I’m training for a 5K). I feel good. I feel really good. Right now the pain is not so bad, about 0-2/10. I think having the piece of mind that it isn’t some tumor, or pre-cancer, and having doctors in my life that are really invested in my healthcare are priceless.

I am also thankful for my wonderful husband that encourages me to keep on the right track and is there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on.

I will follow up in a couple of weeks to give you all another update.

WHAT! No Endo!

So I had my diagnostic laparascopy yesterday morning. It went so fast. Check in at 6am, in OR by 7:30 am, in recovery by 8:30am and home before 10am.

Why so fast?!?! That’s what everyone was asking. Because nothing was found. My doctor checked out all of my abdominal and reproductive organs and there were no signs of anything wrong. I am happy about that, glad to get a clean bill of health. But what is the cause of all of this pain that I have been having for months now?

My doctor told my husband that at my check up appointment, she will be recommending me to see a GI doctor.

You know I am all over the internet, so when I woke up at 4:41 am this morning to take my next dose of pain meds, I did google “not endometriosis, then what?” I saw a few articles that said that the implants can be microscopic, therefore not visible to the naked eye during laparascopy. I also saw a few blogs about women that were sent to GI for more testing.

When I spoke to my mother yesterday evening she mentioned that she had pelvic pain, went to GYN, findings were inconclusive, so she was sent to a GI doc. When she had a colonoscopy she was diagnosed with a rare, benign condition. “Thanks Mom” is what I was thinking.  That could have been useful family history to disclose to my doctor before my surgery.

Anyway I am keeping a positive attitude, keeping my pain pills close by, enjoying the warm loving support from family and friends and getting great care from my nurse, A.K.A. hubby.

Maybe the diagnosis will not be a lifelong condition like endometriosis after all. 🙂

Hello World!

This is my first blog about living with endometriosis.

I have been diagnosed with endometriosis for about 3 years. The pain would come during my cycle and would knock me off my feet. At times the pain was so bad that I could not go to work. My doctor treated me with Seasonique, a birth control medication that changes your hormone cycle so that you only have a period 4 times a year. The side effect is that your periods will be less intense and shorter. Not bad right!?

I have been on this medication for about 2 years with good results, but over the last six months my pain has become constant. My pain is in my right pelvic region (self diagnosed on my right ovary). I have pain with: intercourse, with prolonged walking (which doesn’t really agree with my job as I am on my feet all day), riding in the car on bumpy roads, wearing panty hose with control top, or anything thing else is tight around my lower waist. I also have pain that radiates down the front my right inner leg. Almost feels like sciatica, but in the front instead of the back of my thigh.

In October the pain was so bad I missed 2 days of work (I haven’t had to miss work because of this since I started my medication in 2009). I could hardly stand long enough to get dressed, let alone walk. I went to the doctor, and had an ultrasound done. They were able to see “something” on my right ovary. But I have been told you can’t “see” endo on any imaging. But the ultrasound was able to rule out fibroids, cysts, or any other abnormality, so the diagnosis of endo prevailed by process of elimination. My doctor gave me 2 options. 1-try the depo shot, which is birth control 365 days/year. Side effects: unscheduled spotting, potential 8-15 pound weight gain or 2 – laparoscopic surgery to: definitively diagnose me with endo, and burn off the implants. Side effects: medical procedure under general anesthesia (need I say more).

I decided that I would do the surgery. I want to know for sure what is causing all of this pain in my body. I was feeling nervous but good about this decision. Then she tells me that this is not a cure, just another treatment. I will be dealing with endo long-term – until I have a hysterectomy or menopause, which ever comes first. That was a HUGE BLOW. I was not prepared to wrap my mind around the idea of having this forever. Well that was back in October, and I stuck with my decision to go ahead with the surgery. One positive thing is that after the surgery I will have other medical options to treat this ongoing syndrome (issue or whatever you want to call it). Since my decision I had the pleasure of having spotting/light period for about 3 straight weeks, with more intense constant pain. NOT FUN AT ALL. The only thing that helps with the pain is a prescription pain pill. I hate the idea of being on that, it makes me feel loopy and tired, and I’m not good to get anything done. So most times I just try to suck it up and deal with the pain.

My surgery is fast approaching (finally getting to the reason why I am writing this blog).  It is in 4 days. I am so ready to have it. I am a worry wort and I think I have been able to worry about every possible thing that can go wrong. I am also looking forward to trying different medications that have better long-term benefits. I am looking forward to a break in the pain, so that I can resume being more active and working out again. I am also look forward to being intimate with my husband without sharp jabbing pains. I am hoping that after the healing process of the surgery, I can look forward to a time period where I won’t be popping pain pills.  I want to be back to the me. Get my life back.

I am so scared and nervous about the “procedure” as they call it. (I’m sorry getting a shot is a procedure in my book. Going “under” is very much a surgery to me). I am nervous about the unknown and my recovery process.  I will be using this blog to document my progress and hopefully shed some light on it for those of you who might be in the same boat as me.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

~Kari