Diane shares her Endometriosis journey with us today. And she’d like to remind us all when life hits us too hard and we’re stuck or immobile…we have to start somewhere. One step at a time.
Diane’s Journey: So, I’m officially diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain, recurrent peritoneal cysts, and precancerous cervical cells. I did have an exploratory lap in 2016, to remove suspected ovarian cysts. They turned out to be peritoneal, and I also had “extensive adhesive scar tissue”. Endometriosis was added to my records at that point, but I was seen at a teaching hospital. The residents that saw me and performed my surgery never sat down and discussed what they found.
I went back to work, happily unaware. I thought since the cysts and adhesions we’re gone, my pelvic pain was through. For context, I work as a CNA. 8 hours on my feet running from room to room and lifting human beings bigger than me. It took two weeks back to realize I was mistaken.
So, back at home, trying to focus on my kids, home, and health. In between the year and a half of appointments with residents, different ones with different opinions each time, I fell into a good old fashioned depressive episode. I hurt all the time, I was trying to take care of two special needs children (my daughter has ADHD, severe anxiety, and a fine motor skills delay, and my son has cerebral palsy), trying to keep up with the housework, and missing the adult socialization and feeling like I actually contributed to society.
I started working with a counselor after being diagnosed with adult ADHD and major depressive disorder. In the middle of all this, I had an abnormal pap. Went back for the colposcopy, thinking nothing of it. Not my first rodeo and usually the colposcopy came back negative. This time it didn’t. One LEEP procedure later and I was being referred to a new gynecologist for a hysterectomy consult.
I now know that the hysterectomy won’t cure my endometriosis, but it will stop the recurrent peritoneal cysts that my new DOC says are fed by my ovaries putting off estrogen. It will also drop my risk of cervical cancer to zero, as the cells are still just on my cervix.
I’m scheduled for next month. I’m having a total abdominal (darn scar tissue, again) with removal also of my ovaries and fallopian tubes. I will be in menopause at 34 years old.
I am also working through a not quite midlife career change. I’m going back to school to be a special education teacher.
So, endometriosis and related conditions have changed my course, but they’ve also pointed me towards my passion. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking care of people, especially my geriatric patients.
But I’ve worked with special needs kids for years, and now have my own personal experience to bring to the field. Teaching will be a less physical job for me, but I believe a more rewarding one also.
If you would like to email Diane, please feel free to do so here.
I want to send a special Thank You out to Diane for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today. We are all wishing you the best with your upcoming surgery and recovery! Please keep us posted.
And if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here. The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.