August 6, 2014

It's a little difficult to accept... again.

Life has been feeling very "normal".  I've been loving everything so much --gardening, playing outside with all three kiddos, running errands, taking the kids to visit my parents... Everything was feeling so 'uppity'.  So, why?  Why must endo force its ugly self back in so horribly?

I realize, now, how comfortable I had become, not dealing with the daily challenges of fighting endo.  I dealt with episodes throughout my entire pregnancy.  Even after delivery, it came and went, it altered what I could and couldn't do.  But over the past week, I've realized how minimal it was, compared to what it has been in the past.  This past week has reminded me how far I've come, how my pain tolerance has changed, and how
paralyzing endo episodes can be.  I had actually forgotten.
Four and a half years ago, when it was at its absolute worst, I never would have . . . could have imagined a day where I had "forgotten" how horrible the fight could be.  I only dreamt of days of relief; even days of just half the pain, seemed like a dream come true.

Today, I was reminded of where I've been . . . my journey . . . 

As I woke, in pain, I did my usual, went to empty my bladder, in hopes of some relief.  Complete opposite happened.  I laid in bed, curled up, with just about every muscle locked-up, as the pain took over my body.  I did my best to keep my mind focused, knowing that it would definitely come to an end . . . I just wasn't sure when.  I tried breathing through the pain . . . it did absolutely nothing.  I tried rocking.  Nothing --other than annoyed me even more that I was moving, using energy, and it was 5 am and I had only had three hours of sleep.  I had just put Elly back in her crib, after she woke to nurse.  I was exhausted.  I didn't have the energy to deal with an episode.  ...I prayed.  I scrunched up my face in frustration and whimpered.  I wished that it was just a bad dream and a horrible case of gas (seriously!).

That's when everything flashed very quickly through my mind.  The last time I was dealing with pain at that level was the morning I gave birth.  I thought it was a horrible episode... hours later, my water broke and then it dawned on me that I had been in labor for those hours.  I reminded myself that I could handle the pain.  It wasn't anything new.  I've done it many, many, times...

The 'other' last time I felt pain like that, I was in a very low place.  I was infertile and felt "unfixable".  The only remedy was to use Lupron injections to force my ovaries into a medicated menopausal state.  I remembered everything so clearly this morning, as I laid curled up in my bed.  I started questioning how long it would last.  Had it reached its peak yet.  Would I be able to go back to sleep.  Would the babies wake up again before I could doze back off.  Was my ovary rupturing . . . is it possible to know without going to the ER.  And then I managed to doze off once I felt that I was coming down from the peak of the episode.

When I woke again, to start my day, another episode hit --just as it has been happening everyday for about two weeks now, maybe three.  I moved slowly to get through those twenty minutes of pain.  It passed and my day went on.  Two more episodes came and went.  When the fifth episode hit today, I had had enough!  I got angry inside.  I mentally talked to my body.  I stated how sick of all the pain I was.  I quickly tried to think over my surgical options (I visited my RE last week, due to the return of horrible endo episodes, along with other very concerning and life changing symptoms.  Unfortunately, the appointment ended with no real results, other than her telling me that she would talk to my gyno and see who could do the surgery I need, since she only focuses on the reproductive system, and I'm needing someone to explore and cut out endo from any and all of my organs --bladder, bowel, reproductive organs, "cul-de-sac", rectum, etc.).  My stomach turned just thinking of what a headache all this is becoming again, and so quickly it seems.  I feel like a switch was flipped and it all picked up right where it left off.  But then I realized what a nice "break" it actually had been, only dealing with some moderate and moderate-severe pains over the last year.  And now, all of a sudden, it's back to full blown, severe, episodes and symptoms again.

Out of nowhere a wonderful, warm, peace came over me.  And, I promise, I don't normally talk out loud, to myself, alone, but I found myself actually saying "Okay, Lord, this to has its purpose.  Use me in this situation, however you need.  Give me the strength.  Don't let me feel like giving up.  I know you will never leave me.  You'll always be right here with me, through everything... always.  You will never let me down."  A ton of my favorite worship songs rushed through my mind and then the wonderful memory of all the emotions I experienced while trying to conceive yet knowing that God was still holding me oh so close... and then blessing me beyond my wildest dreams.  I was reminded that seasons change, and storms will come, but He will be constant through it all.

So, here I am --again.  I'm facing endo, ready to fight!  I must do my best to remain positive.  I must choose to trust that this is just another tiny part in a much bigger and better plan for my life (again).  

Next step: decide on, and submit a request for, the right surgeon.  There's a top doc in Atlanta, GA, at The Center for Endometriosis Care.  I also found a listing on an endo site for another 'top doc' in Houston, TX, Rakesh Mangal.

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