Wednesday, March 16, 2016

emdometriosis part II

Do you ever find yourself googling a medical condition, becoming convinced that you have said medical condition, making an appointment with a medical professional, and then being told that you are perfectly fine and leave the office feeling silly?  As someone who is VERY conscious of every ache and pain and completely aware of my family history of just about every singe deadly disease in the books and strives to live as healthy a life as possible, this scenario has become very repetitive.  I exercise regularly, I eat clean, I take my vitamins, I wear sunscreen, I watch my intake of salt, sugar, and caffeine, I don't smoke, I don't drink alcohol, and I drink tons and tons of water.  I've been to the doctor, convinced that I broke a toe, only to find that I am perfectly fine.  I've been to the doctor, convinced that I had a torn rotator cuff, only to find out that I just have a super flexible shoulder joint.  I've been to the doctor, convinced that I had breast cancer, only to find out that I have super lumpy boobs.  Notice a trend here?

This is why I was so shocked to find out, last week, that my gut feeling was right.  On Wednesday I was diagnosed as having a Uterine Anomaly.  Were it not for my gut feeling that I had Endometriosis, this anomaly would not have been discovered for years.  And were it not for multiple people sharing their stories about endometriosis, I would not have known the condition existed.

So, because I believe in being honest, and because I believe my story has the potential to help other women, today I am sharing part two of my Endometriosis Story.  (read part one here)

 Jim Schaeffing Vintage Pulp Art Illustration | Female-Centric Pulp Art | Sugary.Sweet | #Pulp #Art #Illustration:

Two months ago I got a call from my primary care doctor saying that the results from my pelvic ultrasound came back negative.  I did not have endometriosis, just incredible horrible periods.  Knowing this information, I made a follow up appointment with my gynecologist to discuss pain management options - birth control?  Lifestyle changes?  Chloroform and a rag to knock myself out for a couple days each month?  (totally joking.....sort of)

On Wednesday, I entered the office in a good mood, cracking jokes to the receptionist and my mom (who I was so lucky to have with me).  An hour later, I exited in tears after learning that I am one of 5% of women in the United States to have a uterine anomaly called a "uterine septum," a congenital malformation of the uterus caused during the early stages of fetal development.  Beginning as two halves, the uterus slowly comes together,the two sides of the uterus connecting to one another.  But in some fetuses, instead of developing into the normal uterine shape, the uterus remains slightly separated with a vertical septum dividing the two halves.  My gynecologist explained it as having a heart-shaped uterus.  Had this not been discovered now, I would have suffered from multiple miscarriages in the future - since currently, my uterus is not big enough or in the correct shape to carry a baby to full term.  Due to the abnormal shape of my uterus, my monthly blood flow is being redirected out of the falopian tubes, which both explains my incredibly painful periods, and puts me at an increased risk of having endometriosis.  As you can imagine, my head is spinning with information, unfamiliar emotions, and a million questions that won't be answered for another month.  Do I have endometriosis?  If so, how bad is it?  How extreme is my uterine septum?  Will I be able to get pregnant?  Will I ever be able to carry a baby, healthily, to full term?  My first pregnancy would have most definitely ended in a miscarriage.  To know that, and now to know that thanks to one person mentioning her experiences with endometriosis, I won't have to experience heartbreaking miscarriages in the future is an unbelievably bizarre feeling.  To mourn something that would have happened.  To know what my future would have held for me.  And now, to know that that WON'T happen, and that my future holds a different outcome, makes me incredibly grateful for modern medicine and for good friends who share their stories.

Now, I have a plan.  Tomorrow I have an MRI, next month I have a follow up appointment, and then a surgery - and then, hopefully, a future clear of the miscarriages and fertility issues that so many women suffer from.

Three months ago I had never heard of Endometriosis or a uterine anomaly.  Life happens quickly.

So, if you are suffering from an endless list of symptoms - related to the uterus, chest, ankle, or forehead - and keep thinking you'll get it checked out a month from now, or a year from now, or when the timing is right, let my story motivate you to GET IT CHECKED OUT NOW.  Nine times out of 10, it will be nothing.  But that 10th time always comes.  And it's better to get to it before it gets to you.



  1. You are doing truly amazing, sweet lady. As a fellow endo sister (who is infertile due to such, though that is also influenced by some of my other chronic illnesses, too), I can very much relate and want you to know that the staggering amount of thoughts, new information, alternative courses for your life, and management approaches do really get easier to handle as time goes on. There's never anything normal per se about them (chronic illness is not normal to begin with!), but one day, you'll have a moment when you're not thinking about it right then and there, where you breath and smile, and for an instance at least, you're do just feel like your condition(s) any more. And then, you realize, how far you've come and how very much you've triumphed over. Bad days will follow in time, naturally, but if you keep having such moments periodically, almost anything can be handled (trust me, I know from which I speak).

    You are brave, strong, and absolutely incredible!

    Huge hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

  2. I so appreciate your kind words, Jessica. I've read them over and over again for the past week - you have helped me so much! Just to hear that someone else has gone through what I am going through is both sad (as I now understand how truly awful it feels) and incredibly comforting. I can't wait for the day when I no longer have to be in pain! Thank you <3