Most of you know that I suffer from endometriosis. And after this past year of being off my medicine, “suffer” is definitely, 100%, completely the most accurate way of describing it. The physical symptoms, the pain, it’s just been getting worse and worse each month — as has the depression that’s come with it.
It’s basically gotten to the point where a hysterectomy seems like an ok idea. When a radical surgery, removing organs from your body, seems like a thing you want to do, well… that’s a hard and deep place to be in.
Of course, not having insurance, it sort of makes any option a non-option, so… Yeah.
Thankfully, as part of my tuition, I get to use the health center free of cost. And that includes access to an OBGYN. So I made an appointment, and finally saw one yesterday. She got my history, and gave me what looked like a pamphlet from the 80s. Asked me how much I knew about endometriosis. Well, I’ve known I’ve had it for over 5 years. That’s plenty of time to google. (And, you know, talk to doctors.) And after that she gave me her opinions of a possible treatment plan.
I’ve had the laparoscopic surgery, which, does a lot. And I’ve been on various type of birth control: low dose (which my body basically ignored and my cycles kept becoming closer and closer together), continuous progesterone-only (which was fine, though contributed a bit to my weight gain), and continuous combined (which also worked but became too expensive to stay on at the time). With any of those, if I missed a pill, or was more than an hour or two late taking it, the pain returned — and sometimes returned as badly as if I’d never been on the pill at all.
She first suggested the Depo-Provera shot. It’s a form of progesterone. However with Depo they don’t really want you on it long term. Maybe a year or so. She said after this, she would suggest Danazol then GnRH — these basically put you into a false menopause. Fun times, right? Basically she said the typical plan goes through all the hormonal options first as to not eliminate any chance of future pregnancy.
See. I’m 31. I’ve been dealing with endometriosis for at least 5 years now — at least since the symptoms became a problem. If I was in my mid-20s, yeah, maybe I’d be more concerned about that. About having my own biological kids. But, as I’ve mentioned before, I have no plans of letting this disease — or my continued singleness — keep me from starting a family. There are a lot of kids who need homes, who need families. And a good number of them are beyond the infant stage, which makes me feel less weird/bad about not being so sure about dealing with a baby 24/7.
Anyway. After talking to this new doc, we decided to try a different variation of the birth control pill. Another combination pill that I’ll take continuously. This one has a somewhat higher dose of the hormones, so hopefully there won’t be any issue if I accidentally miss a pill. I’ll give this a go for the rest of the semester, then see how I’m doing. If it’s not the best option, then we’ll switch to the shot. After that? Well, time for another surgery to see how things are looking inside (and to remove all the adhesions)… If it seems worse than before, time to look into more extreme measures. If it’s not as bad or on par, well… then we’ll work from there. No need to remove organs if I don’t have to.
But, yeah, I’m super over this disease. I’d like to get my life back. And not just two-thirds of my life, all of it. I’d like to not miss school, or have crappy paychecks because I couldn’t make it in (and don’t have sick leave). I’d like to maybe get into a relationship again. It’s a hard disease to deal with. But having a plan is sort of making it easier. So we’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed, and all that, right?