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Surgery & Surprises: The Endometriosis Battle Continues

Last year during Endometriosis Awareness Month, I shared the story of how I received a pre-surgical diagnosis of endometriosis based on the clinical symptoms my body was displaying and how I finally responded to a new round of medications. About a year after being on those meds, I was doing a routine wellness visit and was referred to a gynecologist because the timeframe allowed to be on those medications was only two years. It wasn’t until a few months later that I was able to see this gynecologist, but it was perfect timing. It was just my luck that I’d been having an extremely bad flare-up that lasted weeks. My legs ached so bad in the mornings that it would take me a minimum of 20 minutes to get out of bed each day. There were times that sex would bring me to tears because my uterus was in so much pain. I felt like I didn't have any legs. I was in pain 24/7 and the medication that had once taken my pain levels to 0-2, was no longer working like it once had. 


            I explained all of these recent problems to the man on the other side of the screen and was prepared to beg him to do the diagnostic laparoscopic procedure. Thankfully I didn’t have to beg because after describing everything I was dealing with, he recommended that we proceed with another pelvic ultrasound and surgery. I was pumped (says no one ever regarding being cut open) to finally get the relief I’d been longing for after almost 4 years. Fast forward a few months of waiting, getting good ultrasound results, doing research, and it’s finally the big day. The nerves have finally shown up, but this is what I’ve been waiting for. They’re going to make 3 small incisions in my stomach to go in laparoscopically and clean out the endo that’s been invading my body, I'm going to be relieved, and possibly lose some weight along the way. 



I was wrong! Matter of fact, the doctor told my partner that there was no endometriosis for them to clean out. As soon as I learned this, I was a bucket of tears. There was no endometriosis, so what was wrong with me? What has been wrong with me for the last four years?

            I later learned at my post-op appointment that there was no endometriosis but there was scarring in my body – which means that there once was endometriosis. This led my medical team to believe that the medication I’d been taking had cleared the lesions from my body. They showed me all the cool images they took that displayed no lesions and I got to see up close just how small the uterus really is! But I'm still experiencing pain in my legs. Because of this, they want me to up the dosage of my meds for 6 months and then we’ll follow up with the next plan of action. Since I’m increasing the dosage and frequency of meds, the price is going up over $20/month...on top of however much that ultrasound and surgery justcost me - yayy for more medical bills 🙃



I'm also working on a plan with a dietician to help me lose the weight that just won’t seem to go away no matter how much I work out or eat right. I’ve been self-conscious about my body since I was a teenager, but being almost at my heaviest weight (again) is really taking a toll on me.  So far, I've learned that endometriosis lends to insulin resistence so I need to adjust my diet accordingly, which is mostly the types of grains I eat. Lastly, I’m finally checking out MyHappyFlo vitamins to help regulate my hormones and cycle! I’ve heard so much about the benefits of this product from my friend, Lamanda Ballard, the Founder/Chief Hormone Officer of FloEver Health and Founder/Executive Director of FloCode.  

            I am extremely grateful to my medical teams for helping me navigate this journey. It’s not easy for BIPOC women to be taken seriously when it comes to our health – it took years for me to reach that point, but Dr. Cross in Houston and Drs. Wildey and Staine in Baltimore have listened since day one. Take this as your reminder to never stop advocating for yourself. It’s a lot of work, but keep going until you can find someone that takes you and your health seriously. 

 

Xo, 

 

Your Fellow Endo Warrior 💛🎗️


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