The Toughest {Best} Decision I Made for My Health :: Endometriosis Awareness

I swear just a few years ago I was was a high school senior plagued with strange pains, awkwardly sitting on the exam table at the Gynecologist. Little did I know at that time I’d be diagnosed with Endometriosis (often referred to as Endo), an “invisible illness” that affects roughly 1 in 10 women. In reality, I’ve been battling Endometriosis for closer to 20 years – undergoing countless tests and procedures, trying various medications and treatments in an attempt to stop the growth of Endo in its tracks, and praying that something {ANYTHING} would help manage the pain. 

After having my three little miracles, thanks be to modern medicine, I was hopeful that I’d be one of those mythical unicorns women that never truly saw a return of symptoms. Sadly, I was not. My body never fully recovered after the birth of the twins, and despite all of my (and my wonderfully supportive OBGYN’s) best efforts, my body gave me the proverbial middle finger.

The decision was made at my annual well-woman exam roughly six months after the birth of my twins. I was no longer able to function at one hundred percent. I was constantly sick, exhausted, and in pain. And, the icing on the cake was I had never stopped bleeding after the birth of my twins. I was going through nearly a box of tampons every week. 

Deep down, I’d known this was coming for a long time. But at the same time, I’d also been holding on to hope that we’d use another one of our frozen embryo’s to have a fourth child and complete our family. My OB promised me I was making a good decision, but I couldn’t help but bawl uncontrollably. My OB, ever supportive, asked why I was so upset since I knew that I’d been straddling this line for so long, so I confessed…

I desperately wanted another baby, but my body had failed me. The pain wasn’t controlled, and I was ANGRY. What did I do to deserve this?  My body wouldn’t function the way it should, so surely there must be a reason. Was I that bad of a person that God wanted to punish me?  My OB, as always, knew just what to say…

“Diana, you know what?  Sometimes I just want to go to the pool and get a nice tan. But you know what?! I burn. I didn’t do anything wrong. my red hair isn’t a punishment. It’s how He made me, just like He made you with this lousy uterus. Completely out of everybody’s control. Plus, come on, I’m pretty certain if you got pregnant again you’d deliver in the car on your way here. Just sayin’…”

Then the tears disappeared. I laughed, although still disappointed in what I was given. I had to do what was best for me and my family. We scheduled an MRI to ensure that he didn’t need any additional support in the OR, and scheduled my surgery. A month later we saw each other again in the hospital, just before my surgery. I was sad and somewhat scared, even though I was a professional surgical patient at this point. 

Of course, the surgery couldn’t go as planned. My horribly diseased uterus had adhered to my bladder, so it took longer than anticipated. He had to ensure my bladder hadn’t been compromised. I woke up without a uterus and cervix, and moved on with life.

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Although I still have some pain, everything is under control now. I feel like a new, MUCH better version of my old self. There is no question in my mind I am now able to be the best mom and wife possible. 

And, here’s the most amazing thing – from 17 on, I was constantly sick. I caught every single bug going around, and was at the doctor at least once a month. Since my hysterectomy 19 months ago, I’ve only been sick once or twice. 

Although I still struggle with the permanence of my infertility, I’m coming to grips with it. This was the single, best decision that I’ve made for my health and I can honestly say I’m so very thankful that I listened to my doctor.  

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If you, or somebody you care about is struggling with unexplained pelvic pain, please listen to your gut.  It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but get a second {or even third opinion}. Find somebody who will listen TO you and fight to do everything in their power to find the correct diagnosis.  Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone}. Go to a Pain Management Clinic, or reach out to others for advice or guidance. While I cannot refer you to an OBGYN in the Atlanta area {I’m keeping my OBGYN in Texas}, if you need somebody to commiserate, get a load off of your chest, or lead you to resources to find a physician, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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