My Tales from the Bed

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I've been away for a minute, save for a couple of posts here and there. I have reasons, y'all! Come back! Lots of amazingly great things have happened. But, since my birthday, either the Frog Princess or I have been under the weather. Spring has brought lots of questionable health, and not just allergies. I don't appreciate any of it.

A few weeks ago, I woke up with pelvic pain. No big. I figured it was the endometriosis acting up leading into my period week (eeek! I said period!).

But day 3 of pain and my period wasn't about to make an early appearance. Yet the pain persisted. I'd already set an appointment to chat with my doctor because I have noticed that my pain days had been increasing.

The morning of the appointment, I woke up and couldn't stand straight. So began the journey. I saw the doc who wanted to do a sonogram as we talked about what was happening with my body and the endometriosis.

Two days  later, I got a sonogram. I love that I can get it done right in his office, easy peasy.

Turns out there's A LOT happening in my abdomen. Where do I begin? Certainly the endometriosis is a problem. A BIG problem. A problem that will need surgery.

The good news is that my uterus is good. The bad news is that the ovaries have been compromised. 

As I wait for the consult with the surgeon, the pain has not let up. It makes me tired, I get chills, have the cold sweats, you name it. I can now assure you that my pain ranges from early labor to active labor. Except with less pauses in between. Mornings are slightly cruel (yet another reason to be happy it's the end of the school year). And this past Friday, I had the un-pleasure of having a "ibuprofen ain't working here" day.

Suffice it to say, I'm having to adjust life. It's not easy. It has meant that I have backed away from all non-essential tasks. Because I am usually exhausted and/or in too much pain to sit up in the evenings, this has meant no writing (which frankly is killing me). I will say that even when I feel a bit better, I can't think of what I want to write.

I keep wanting to find a new doctor, a new medication, a new something that would help me. But also...exhausted and some days I just want to sleep with all my chills and sweats.

So here we are. I'm maxing and "relaxing" in my Snoogle again (mental note: buy a new cover). I have so much to think about, so many decisions to be made before the surgery (so much damn laundry to go through and fold so that everyone knows where everything is). I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Though I know the general information, the truth is that all decisions will have to be made while I'm under anesthesia so I have to get all my thoughts/questions/concerns out during this time. I have all the feels about all the things at the moment.

But life goes on, right? I still have some awesome campaigns at work that need to be rocked. But I'm afraid my glitter body rolls are now like swooshes instead. I'm lucky I work from home and can work from the bed (I'm totally looking for a snazzy laptop tray and a good back rest).

With 10 days before my consult, I'm afraid that I'm just on pause, waiting.

Til then, I need to figure out how to make it through the pain without too much stress. Lettuce pray this is doable because 17 days into this and I'm really wondering how much longer til things let up.

If you don't see me here, you might find me on Insta, Twitter or the Book o' Faces.

Taking It Seriously: My Battle with Endometriosis

Last week I was in some serious pain. What should've been my regularly scheduled program was not to be. Instead, the program was pulled out of its socket and thrown out of a high rise window. I spent a good 3 days in a lot of pain (which is not like me). I was not well. Back in the day, before I had a baby, I would tell people that the pains and cramps I got from endometriosis felt like labor pains. Folks would laugh and tell me I didn't know what I was talking about. Now I do and I can confirm that's the case.

I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 26 and though it is something I live with, it is also something I rarely talk about. Chatting with my sister, I asked her the question: why is it that my brain can't ever just process the fact that I have endometriosis and that it's a real thing that I have to deal with?

Her reply? "The same reason I have issues taking PCOS seriously. It's not always tangible and it affects so many aspects of your existence, that the very act of "dealing" with it extremely overwhelming".

I think that little one is right.

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What is Endometriosis?

This is the easy part. Endometriosis is what happens when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Basically, it's not playing it's position. Play your position, endometrial tissue! You know you are only 'posed to be in the uterus, why are you going around here exploring my abdomen like you ain't got anywhere to live?!

But, I digress. That's what it is. And because it's supposed to be in the uterus, every month, it goes through the same cycle that the uterus goes through. Meaning that it "sheds" it bleeds, etc. With no other place to go, you can guess that this just accumulates and causes all kinds of havoc to the system. Mainly pain. Lots and lots of pain. Which I ignore. Which I write off. 

I also experience lots of exhaustion. And I get bloated because somehow my intestines also get involved. I've gotten used to the Frog Princess coming up to me, kissing my belly and telling me sweetly that I look like I am going to have a baby.

All these things happen. On this side of the screen. And I hold the pain in.

Last week, I was in and out of bed for 3 days and tied to a heating pad. I thought I was good to go but pain woke me up early Friday and it was soooo bad. I couldn't walk to the kitchen to grab ibuprofen. I was plotting texting my brother and waking him up so he could help.

But see, this is where it begins. I don't ever want to inconvenience anyone. During a wave of the lesser pain, I got what I needed from the kitchen, strapped my heating pad on and prayed that I'd be able to get out of bed in 20 minutes so I could get the girl ready for school.

I pushed myself and made it. But the exhaustion that comes from pushing through a day with pain is something that folks don't tell you about. And something I love to forget.

Even today, as I sit at my desk, I am not feeling pain free. Which upsets me. I went through surgery last year and another round of hormone treatment to help but it seems I am nowhere near where I thought I'd be on the recovery cycle.

This is my reality. And it's about time that I spoke more about it and that I started making life changes to deal with this reality: I have endometriosis but endometriosis doesn't have me.

On my slate: holistic health plans, self care, admission of illness when I am not well and request for help when I need it.

It's time.

Resources:

Bloomin' Uterus (how cool is this name?!)

Tuesdays with Mami: Helpless

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I feel helpless... I can't pick up a shirt that fell to the floor a day ago.

I'm exhausted after washing my hair and attempting to cry without sobbing.

The 5 inch incision across my pelvis means I can't get a proper sob out without fearing I'll blow my stitches. You don't know how many muscles it takes to cry til you can't use some of them.

I want to get back to work, but sitting up over long periods of time brings me renewed pains.

I am embarrassed to ask for help.

It's stupid but I find it annoying to not be able to do little things for myself. People call and ask me to call them if I need anything but, I don't know how to make up the words to ask someone to put some socks on me or refill my flower vases or braid my daughter's hair. I never learned the vocabulary of asking for this minuteness of help.

The surgery "went well" and I'm not entirely sure what that means but it's what people want to hear.

Stage 4 endometriosis is never "good". Endometrial tissue stuck on my bladder bad enough to cause problems is not good. 

Ovaries that had to be released (like they were being held captive) from all the tissue that's been growing all around is not good.

The pain and discomfort I've been dealing with over the last year, finally explained. And I don't want to hear the words "at least".

I know I'm blessed. Know that "at least" I was able to have my treatment work 13 years ago. That "at least" I was able to get pregnant. That "at least" I had a child. That "at least" I've had all this time without the disease that tore up my world when first diagnosed.

I know how lucky I am. But here I am anyway. Feeling helpless. Pissed off that I am not healing fast enough for my liking. Thinking about what treatment options I'll discuss with the doctor on Thursday.

Tick tock tick tock. Will this womb ever have life again? I've been blessed with the bestest child ever and she is MORE than enough.

But only another woman who has had to make the conscious decision due to an illness will understand the hard headedness and indignant feelings that come when you have to make that decision under duress.

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And I get back to feeling helpless. Needing to ask for help for things that you don't even think about when you do them. Or getting creative. I pulled out a sleep bra from a bag on the floor with my toes (ain't nobody ever said I wasn't talented!).

I'm okay, though. Always okay. Takes more than this to keep me down, right? Praying through the feelings and for direction.

Waiting on the frog princess who hugged me this morning and asked me if she could cuddle with me when she got home. I will cuddle and it will make me feel like I'm doing something good and right and needed. And maybe then I won't feel so helpless.

 

Monday Musings: Love Volume I

Could it really be? Do I not remember that exact moment when I first felt my frog princess move inside of me?  I tell you, thank gawd for me writing things down.  Tonight, I was sharing some poetry with a friend and remembered my blogspot site.  I looked through it and found this little nugget.  Today, I am most grateful and blessed for this poem which brought with it a flood of memories.  The first time I saw her heartbeat (at 6 weeks), finding out she was a girl (at 18 weeks), remembering how blessed I felt being pregnant, how I had never felt more beautiful and how I never thought that moment would come because I'd been diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 26.  And how, in the early morning of June 18th, I felt the very first flutter of the little girl growing inside of me. But here she is.  And here, is the poem...

Love Volume I

There have been no words dedicated to you No poem to tell you how I feel No volumes explaining this journey No verse to make this magic real

It has taken me 10 weeks of thinking And feeling guilty at not working my craft All it took was a few minutes before dawn And at the simplicity I just laughed

Saved up deep in my heart Was this wish I couldn’t speak Although mothering’s apparent The force of it had made me weak

Years have passed where I have questioned Whether I’d ever see this day To stand before a mirror And see things look a different way

But here I am after all this time Feeling a flutter as I laid still Amazed and humbled by the thought That all that matters is God’s will

You were made in perfect calm With assurances of love and dedication Without the stresses of daily life We ended up with a perfect creation

I’m overwhelmed with feelings of joy As God looked down and smiled At the moment that my life forever changed When I finally felt my child © 2009

Mondays are usually The Suck but, if you take a moment to think about something wonderful, your week will begin in a fabulous way!  What are you grateful for today?