The Band Ligation Procedure

Rubber band ball

If you read my post from a few weeks ago, you already know that I have three hemorrhoids inside my butt. Yep. Three. What can I say? I’m an overachiever. (Update 5/13/21: I’ve had A LOT more since first writing this blog entry. On 5/11/21, I had internal hemmy #7 banded, and have #8 & #9 to be handled in a few months. I’ve also had 2 external hemmies cut off)..

Why am I writing about hemorrhoids on my Endometriosis blog? Well, that’s because any one of you (yes, even you), can get them. Especially if you’re having to fight constipation, diarrhea, or both. And what do a lot of us with Endo have? Pooper-problems: yep. Constipation and diarrhea.

Today was the big day to remove the first of the three: the band ligation. Was I nervous? Of course. I didn’t truly know what to expect other than a tiny rubber band would be going around my lumpy li’l hemorrhoid. I already verified with my surgeon’s office that the band didn’t have any latex (I have an allergy), so that was a relief. Google didn’t help answer my “is it gonna hurt afterward” inquiries. I envisioned myself squirming for days, sitting on a donut pillow, walking like I had just ridden in a rodeo.

Am I? Nope!

SO I wanted to share my experience, in case any of you were ever diagnosed with internal hemorrhoids and needed to undergo band ligation. But, realize that every person is different…and this is my experience.

Once in the exam room, the nurse took my blood pressure and laughed at my lame jokes. Then, I was asked to strip from the waist down and to drape the paper blanket over my lap. He left and gave me the privacy to shed my pants and skivvies, I took a precursory look at the small tray of tools and blob of lube, and hopped onto the exam table.

I was literally in and out of that office in 20 minutes: start to finish. The actual procedure took less than five minutes!

Dr. Matthew Schulztel arrived with big smiles and a warm handshake and it was time!

I was worried there’d be some type of numbing injection. Nope. Nothing but the calm, soothing voice of my colo-rectal surgeon warning me of sensations I may experience as tools went in and out.

Did it feel good? Nope. Was it painful? Nope. But it was uncomfortable…mostly just awkward. The doc lubed me up real well first, then a big metal tube went into my butt (I presumed to hold it wide open). Once my body acclimated to the intrusion, it wasn’t too uncomfortable. Then he inserted the little metal rod device that had the rubber band on it. I could feel it as the tool bumped around inside my poopchute, and could feel an odd sensation as the hollow-tube that housed the band surrounded my hemorrhoid. “You’re gonna feel a pinch,” he warned. And yep, just a slight pinch as the band was placed at the base of my ‘rrhoid. A few deep breaths, the tools were removed, and all was back to normal.

As I laid there on my side, knees together up to my chest, all I could think of while he was inside was how oddly similar this felt to a pap smear; just in a different hole. It really wasn’t as awful as my brain thought it was going to be!

I go in on August 28th for my second hemorrhoid to be similarly attacked.

He did warn that I may feel like I have to poop because of the weird band around my ‘rrhoid; at least until it fell off in one to four days, he even thought it may just fall off today! As I got dressed, I marveled on how I couldn’t feel anything. I even sat down on the chair (gingerly, at first) to put my boots on. I didn’t feel a darn thing!

But as I walked toward my car in the parking lot, I felt exactly what he was talking about. And the car ride back to work. And even now as I type this up for you. An unmistakable urge to just go void my bowels. I’m glad he gave me the head’s up. Have I tried to poo yet? Nah. I’m just gonna nurse this li’l feeling for a while.

Curious about the tools used? Let’s see what Dr. Google shows us. There are lots and lots of brands of tools, and I’m clueless what he used, but here’s a general idea:

hemorrhoid bands for ligation
The band: these teeny, tiny black bands are what get the job done! Once secured around the base of the hemorrhoid, the blood supply is cut off and the little ‘rrhoid dries up and falls off. Alibaba, lucid O bands
Anoscope
The butthole opener tube: I’ve learned it’s called the anoscope or proctoscope. It’s hollow once you pull that handle-portion out. It totally keeps things open and unencumbered for the physician to do his business. Courtesy of Henry Schein Medical, Item No. 4268469
band ligator cone
The band-spreader thingy: the rubber band goes on the tiny tip of this little metal cone, then gets slid up and loaded onto the next tool. And the cone goes away now; it’s job is done. Photo courtesy of Medline, Item No. MDS6840410
The band delivery device: the band goes around the hollow round tip (the cone doesn’t remain attached once the band is around the round tip). That hollow tubed-tip slides inside the anoscope, into the poopchute, over the ‘rrhoid and, once in position, the plunger gets pressed and the rubber band slides into place around the base of the hemorrhoid. Medline, Item No. SKA801910

And, of course, luuuuuuuuuuuuube!

If you’re going to have your own internal hemorrhoid ligation, I hope this eased some fears for ya and answered some questions. I’m all set to go in and do this again in another month!

Bye bye hemorrhoids!!!

(Updated 5/13/21)

~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research. Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

Group shot of 2019 Bloomin' Uterus Endometriosis Walk; San Diego, CA
2019 Bloomin’ Uterus Endometriosis Walk; San Diego, CA

And suddenly, just like that, it’s Friday already!

Today’s quote is for my fellow Warriors. This one, right here, is for YOU:

“Even in times of trauma, we try to maintain a sense of normality until we no longer can. That, my friends, is called surviving. Not healing. We never become whole again … we are survivors. If you are here today… you are a survivor. But those of us who have made it thru hell and are still standing? We bare a different name: warriors.” 

― Lori Goodwin

Remember how strong you are. How far you’ve come. How much you’ve endured. But, most importantly, understand that you are flanked by your fellow Warriors, standing side by side, hand in hand. You are not alone in this fight.

Maintain strength, even in the scary moments. And, if you need it, reach out for the Warrior beside you. ❤

Love, Lisa

Blogs I Updated This Week:

Bladder & Endometriosis: added a 2019 study of a woman who complained of menstrual cramps, painful urination, and an inability to hold her pee in. Guess where they found Endo? Yep, I know it’s rare, but it happens.

Endometriosis & the Bowel: added a 2019 study of a 35-year-old woman who had complaints of abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and cyclical rectal bleeding. They thought she had a possible carcinoma inside her guts, but it turned out to be (you guessed it), Endometriosis.

Endometriosis & the Lungs: added a 2019 study of a 37-year-old woman who ended up having Endometriosis inside her lungs along the pleura lining. Her surgeons were able to successfully excise the lesions and she was sypmtom-free nearly three years later.

What Does Endometriosis Pain Feel Like?

Woman lying on couch, holding heating pad to stomach, bottle prescription pain pills in the foreground next to a mug of tea

One of our local EndoSisters had a brilliant suggestion: have EndoWarriors describe, in physical terms, what their Endometriosis pain and symptoms feel like and share the responses with the world!

If you’d like to let the world know, please fill out this form below. Your email address, if you provide it, will remain confidential and shared with no one! (If you can’t get the form to work, contact me). And scroll down to read how other people describe their Endometriosis.

And here’s what we’ve received. Check back often for more entries!

Please note the verbiage of any submissions received after March 15, 2021, will now read: “1 in 10 people assigned female at birth suffer from Endometriosis…” thanks to a thoughtful correction from one of our Instagram followers.

Before my recent surgery, I would feel like I had shards of glass, razor blades, and barbed wire flowing through my intestines every time I had to poop.  Period cramps would squeeze my uterus in a tight vice.  My lower back always felt like it had been kicked by a horse. And the sharp pains that would just linger from time to time around my abdomen felt like a white hot fire poker was stuck in my side. Lisa, San Diego
Left hip feels like its been skewered by a railway spike, blader / vagina /uterus feels like they are being burned by a welding torch, feels like glass shards moving through my bowel with EVERY B.M., sciatic pain leaves my legs, hip, ankles & feet feeling numb, tingling AND in so much pain like they've been smashed to bits by a sledgehammer.  MamaBear, Nova Scotia
A heavy weight of low back throbbing. A thorny balloon, inflating and deflating in between my organs.  Sal, San Diego
It feels like my skin is on fire and I have thousands of bugs crawling all over me. I have a vise around my bladder, squeezing and squeezing, but I’m unable to pee. I can’t physically walk or stand up straight without feeling like my ovaries will pop like balloons. Just the smell of food makes me throw up.  I feel like someone is physically twisting and pulling my colon out with a pair of clamps and it wouldn’t surprise me if I look down and saw that I expelled my intestines. I have full blown labor pains and contractions, that don’t ease until I’ve passed a golf ball.  Tabitha, California
I would feel like I was having s baby dilated to 10 every month. Amy Jo, Michigan
It feels like a ripping, tearing sensation in slow motion - it burns and throbs with an intense cold and hot pain like someone is ripping a layer of skin or muscle out of my abdomen and down my inner thighs. When I feel it, I think of how it looks to pull the skin off of a piece of raw chicken before you cook it, or field dressing a deer - that’s what I imagine is happening inside my body, and this usually lasts for about 5 days each month.  Amy, San Diego, California
It's like rusty nails in a board and you put your foot on the board to steady yourself because all the nails need to be ripped out with that claw part. Since they are rusty nails they don't come out easy, they have to be wigged back and forth side to side. And just as you get one out it gets slammed back into your body again. And the nails are from your thighs all the way up over the navel. And your stomach is swollen hard not swollen like gas swollen or too much fluid but so swollen you cant wear underwear or clothes that touch the rusty nails. Anonymous, Western United States
A tiny person inside trying to claw it's way out, and having a zip tie around my ovaries that someone is constantly tightening. Andi, San Diego, California
Sharp pain that hits hard enough to make my vision go white with blinding pain. vomit inducing cramping to the point of passing out. Hot and cold shivering, muscle tremors deep aching in bladder, rectum , kidneys, etc. emotional swings from every five minutes to days to weeks causing Brain Fog.  Misty Joseph, Orange County, California
It's like my insides are connected by a spider web. And every move from walking to breathing causes everything to shift.  There's pressure then this shooting pain. It stops you dead in your tracks.  ~Betti, United States
It's like I've been blown up with a foot pump so nothing fits and I feel like I could pop, and then being stabbed in the ovary, hip and back of the leg with a very long hat pin from the inside.
Feels like someone is sawing my insides left to right. Sometimes it feels like my uterus is a balloon about to pop and the pressure is so intense I just curl up in a ball and try to sleep it off.  When I do get ahead of the pain and find relief, I find it's a dull numbness and my brain gets foggy, my nerves are extremely sensitive (especially my skin) and I am so fatigued.
When my flares happen it feels like a samurai double edged sword, dipped in fire and then thrusted into my right and left sides. Burning, stinging, stabbing pain.  Then the bloat feels like a balloon that someone keeps blowing until it can't get any bigger.  Then it hurts to touch. Those are bad days, "normal days" are thsoe that are not as bloated, stabbing pain without the heat feeling. Better daysh ave some pain off and on. Overall this disease is just awful and I wish there was a cure for it.
A gazillion needles poking my abdomen and lower back
Like an icepick was being jabbed or a nail was being hammered into my left hip.

I would have a good day and get up and do things, then be in searing pain for about three days following. I found out after surgery that my organs were cemented together by a white sheet of endo tissue. I was told each time I moved, the endo lesions would tear from my organs, taking organ tissue with it. So, in addition to the stabbing endo pain, I also felt like hot pokers were being shoved through my organs where the tissue was torn.

One time, the pain was so excruciating I was screaming and blacking out. I was taking 1.5 mg of dilaudid per hour at the time to manage the pain and IT WAS STILL THAT BAD.

Surgery left me with 52 areas of stitches internally, leaving internal scarification, plus the scar where I was stapled shut from belly button on down. It has taken years to learn to balance the inflammation problems just from that.
My pain feels like Someone is carving out my insides and turning up a dial on how much pain they decide I'm in today.
Burning in my hips that radiates down my legs, light headed, bloated, terrible bowel movements, feels like stuff is being pulled out of its place inside my body.  What’s ALMOST worse than the physical pain is the emotional side.  I’m Always worried about when I’ll start and how the pain will be; will I need to go to work/be able to go to work? Will I be able to care for my child? Will I faint?  Feeling like I’m crazy for having so much pain.  Getting in a rhythm with life (exercise, eating well, cleaning, taking care of my self, family, friends) then it all being interrupted every month with debilitating pain and the lingering recovery after the period ends.  The doctors and others who tell you “you’ll feel better when you have a baby”, “this is normal, periods are painful”, “there’s nothing wrong, everything looks fine.”
It feels like someone is taking a knife and stabbing me repeatedly in my abdomen. When it gets worse, it feels like the knife is being slashed down into my bowels and rectum. I even get “lightening pain” up my vaginal walls. The worse it’s ever gotten was when i was experiencing severe rectovaginal pain, and I couldn’t sit or stand. I had to lay on my belly and I just cried and asked god to take me back. My legs felt like a giant was squeezing them with his hands, and my back ached all the way up my neck. I wanted to rip the insides out of me and just replace everything, but I couldn’t. So I took 2000 mg of ibuprofen and smoked tons of weed to force myself to go to sleep. It took me 3 hours to fall asleep. It was horrible.
"When I’m not on my period, it feels like a giant hand pushing and squeezing my uterus. When I am, it turns into a whole other level. It’s debilitating, the kind of pain that makes you curl up in a ball and roll around because staying still hurts, but standing hurts, but sitting also hurts- basically anything hurts. The pain is like a chainsaw ripping through the internal organs, with one of those police flares constantly burning in my uterus. 

Long story short? It’s a *fun* time, and sometimes nothing (pain meds, positional changes, baths, etc.) gives relief. "
"
I have Endometriosis in my C section scar from a Cesarean in 2014. Apparently uterine tissue got involved in the incision and over time it has grown into an actual mass, and by suspicion, likely affected surrounding organs such as bladder, bowels and lower back. 
Every month on the day my period begins I have a burning sensation across my lower abdomen, in my skin like a hot iron is pressed against it. That lasts for the week of my period. Then the next week it is achey and stabby inside like my organs are attached to each other and my abdominal wall. Walking hurts, laying hurts, sitting hurts, standing hurts. There just isn't a way to escape these chains.
Then the next week, during ovulation, my stomach skin and scar are insanely itchy. Like a morphine itch that you can't actually scratch to relieve (but boy do I make a mess of myself trying 😏) 
And then I get a sense of relief for about a week.
Then the whole cycle starts all over again 🙄 

It affects my sex life, my bladder, my bowels, my lower back...and in turn, my demeanor and outlook on life.
It's absolutely debilitating. 

Anyway. That's my suffering. "
Feels like a litter of demonic alien babies with huge jaws and teeth trying to break out of my womb while there’s a bomb going off perforating my bowels.
Kicked in the stomach my insides being tied in a knot stabbing pain under/behind my ribs
At times my endometriosis pain feels like being stabbed over and over. Endo pain can effect the whole body from giving you a migraine to making it painful to walk.
Like stabbing and pulling and random stabbing in my pelvis.  Fun?  All that on top of the brain fog!  Ugh!
Like someone's wringing and twisting my ovary and uterus for the last 9+ years and docs are like "meh" when I tell them this fact.
My pain is very sharp stabbing pain that feels like I'm being finger fucked by Edward Scissorhands. It's crippling and debilitating and makes me cry out in pain
Trampled. Punched under my ribs. One hundred crunches. Lightning up the bum. Suddenly glass is moving around my bowels. Burning urethra. Rectal spasm. Kicked in the back. Random knife attack in my pelvis that ibuprofen and codeine can barely touch. Can't stand up straight. Bowel movement ripping me apart from the inside. Scared of my own body. Tired.
Dull back ache that is like someone stamping on my lower back. Tiredness, dizzy anxiety spells. Quite often I feel overwhelmed by the pain and often this comes with sadness and a low feeling of not feeling fit enough to do daily tasks. Endo is a black cloud I try to shift through . It’s more than pain, it’s a daily mental marathon.
My uterus is an overinflated water balloon that is ready to pop, and it feels like my insides are being raked out with a fork from both ends.  My ovaries throb with every sneeze, the room spins a little and I have weak knees. The depression and inability to function paints me.
It feels like someone has strapped iron chains with spikes around my ovaries and uterus and continuously yanking on it to pull it out but it does not come out.
Like someone let a school of piranhas loose in my guts. Alternately, like my innards got glued together with Gorilla Glue and someone is trying to separate them with herculean force.
"It feels like I ate a bag of nails or razor blades that I can feel make it's way through my entire digestive system.  

It feels like someone is stabbing me in the the rectum or vagina with a knife when sit. 

It feels like I've been impaired with a rod from my flank to my butt. 

It feels like I'm in one of those movies where the lead character can see the problem but noone else around them does. They spend the whole movie trying to scream the truth and everyone labels them as crazy. In the end they find the solutions themselves. 

It feels like screaming into a void. 

It feels like I'm trapped in an alternate  reality. I tell my doctor I can't eat, work, focus, socialize, or function as the pain and symptoms get worse. She responds, "" just get pregnant! You'll feel great!"" Or "" let's talk about antidepressants again"". 

I ask and what if I still feel this way through and after the baby arrives? She responds, "" Mothers find a way. You'd be surprised what mothers can do."" 

It feels like watching people post about mental health for Bell every year  but when i mention the endo pain or meds making me have suicidal thoughts, the same people respond, ""Don't talk like that!"" , ""just think positive!"" ""Dont be so negative!"" Even my doctor simply responded that the medication doesn't do that. Then never offering support services or following up with me about it. "
It feels like being stabbed over and over in random areas of my body. At my worst before my last two surgeries I couldn't eat. Food felt like digesting a bag of razor blades as it worked through my body. 
 ---- 
It feels devastating, isolating and lonely. 
I have lost my career or had to change careers multiple times because my body is unreliable. Which makes ME look unreliable. It has effected all my relationships with friends and family because I cannot keep up socially and mostly because people do not understand the severity of the condition. 
---- 

It feels hopeless most days.
Knives, but only when inserting something into my vagina
A swollen balloon, hot and cold flash, hip pain, hard to walk due to pain.
Very painful, involves vomiting. I can't even walk straight
I feel like someone is stabbing my uterus while my legs are cold, numb, and with electric shocks. Maria, Colombia
Hell, losing 4 pints of blood with swollen abdomen, extreme pain in pelvis hips, back, legs, I eat more painkillers than food.  Crying in pain, unable to speak. It's so bad. What a waste of life. ~Wasted Days, Canada
Feels like someone is slowly cutting my across the inside of my abdomen and and trying pull my womb down. Leila; South Africa
"Like my pelvis was frozen the burning would come and go it messed with my moods all the time, 2 years ago I was diagnosed with stage 2 endometriosis and this year I had to have a full hysterectomy it was stage 4 im glad I did it but going through menopause at 25 is a little bit of a battle." ~Tonya; United States

Blood and Poop and Headlamps … OH MY!

Proctoscope, gloves, and a blob lube
That’s gonna go…where?!?

So, over the past two months, I’ve been experiencing some bleeding when I poo. I’ve taken several first aid and civilian medical classes, so I knew it wasn’t anything to worry about: the color and texture was well within the “don’t freak out” range.

I noted these incidents on my food & symptom journal and booked an appointment with my PCP to discuss and get a possible referral to my PoopChute doctor.

Although I blog about poo and guts and all kinds of other lovely and taboo things, going into the doctor’s office to actually have them examine my bunghole is not my idea of good time. It’s even more horrific than having to buy pads or tampons when there’s only male cashiers…although I finally grew out of that trauma in my 30s.

Continue reading

Feel Good Fridays

30-day challenge calendar

A good friend of mine announced the other day that she was planning on giving up all meat and dairy for the next 30 days. You don’t have to have Endo to give up these things and feel the benefits!

I hopped on her bandwagon. I mean, I’d previously given up *most* red meat and dairy…but I have my weaknesses with bison, bacon, pork, cheeeeeeeeese, whipped cream, butter…

We are on Day Three today. and I must say it’s been fun. Hard, but fun.

Day One was a doozy: some of my EndoSisters and I went to dinner at a local favorite: Buckboard’s BBQ. Meat. And Cheese. My usual: pork belly sliders and a side of some of the best mac&cheese you’ll ever taste. I resisted and opted instead for the veggie burger. And oh, man, I’ve never been offered so many mac&cheese balls in my life. And I have chicken, fish, corndogs, fishsticks, and pork chops in the freezer just begging to be eaten. I’m not even gonna talk about the bacon…

It’s also led me to do a bunch of research on how to make sure I get adequate protein, especially since my body still can’t process beans, and I avoid soy like it’s death. A challenge, but totally do-able.

And it’s been fun sharing our meals with each other and discussing creative ways that we’ve avoided meat and dairy. Oh the discoveries! Endo or no Endo, these are two good things to try to give up and see how your body handles the change

27 days to go; we can do this! Which leads to today’s quote:

“Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation.” 

― Bernie Siegel


What about you? What challenges are you facing? You CAN do it, too. Whatever it may be. And you most certainly are not facing them alone. We’re all right here with you.

Have a wonderful weekend! Love, Lisa.

A beautiful breakdown of treatment options for Endometriosis

A pile of open books
Photo by Amanda George from Pexels

A new study about Endometriosis is out regarding the modern treatment of the disease.  This includes birth control, progestins/anti-progestins, GnRH agonists, aromatase inhibitors, danazol, NSAIDs, surgery, and alternative treatments. It identifies the pros and cons of each.

The study closes with this beautiful phrase:

“The pharmaceutical or surgical treatment require an individual approach and deliberated informed consent of the patient. Pharmacological treatment is only symptomatic, not cytoreductive, therefore, to remove endometriosis lesions, surgery should be performed.”

It’s uplifting to see a study bluntly state that medications only treat the symptoms, NOT the disease itself, and the Endo lesions need to be removed.  AND that each case of Endometriosis must be reviewed on an individual level.

Deliberated informed consent of the patient” means (to me) as having a fully-informed patient who is made well-aware of the pros and cons of each choice, the side effects, risks, and potential outcomes; as well as having performed their own research before agreeing to the treatment.

Even with excision, though, there’s always a possibly of recurrence or new growths. And not all physicians are skilled enough to recognize each lesion. Not to mention many surgeons still practice ablation (the burning away of the lesion, leaving rooted tissue to regrow).

Welcome to an EndoWarrior’s very frustrating pursuit for competent medical care.

I encourage you to read the study for yourself and share it.

Resources:

Journal of Education, Health, and Sport (Article, 2019) – Available Treatment Methods for Endometriosis

Feel Good Fridays

Good morning and happy Friday!

Today’s quote goes to all you supporters out there: whether you’re a caregiver, a friend, family, loved one, stranger…Thank you! And not just thanks from me…but thanks from anyone you’ve ever supported!

Just being there for someone can sometimes bring hope when all seems hopeless.

Dave G. Llewelyn

If someone needs you, and you can do it, be there for them. In any capacity.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Love, Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

Friday! I have today off for the holiday. My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew are out for the weekend. And we have friends joining us today and tomorrow as well.

Its shaping up to be a great weekend with a giggling nephew and wonderful friends.

Here’s your quote. 🙂 May you have a wonderfully full and vibrant canvas!

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can. – Danny Kaye

Saying Farewell to an EndoSister

Kristen Cavanaugh
Kristen Cavanaugh; Oct. 3, 1985 – June 27, 2019

Written by Heidi Baurmann, Speaking on behalf of all of our Bloomin’ Uterus sisters.

It is with a heavy heart that I announce one of our own has lost their battle with Endometriosis. Kristen Lynn Cavanaugh will always be a part of our Bloomin’ Uterus Sisterhood.

Kristen found me on Facebook in March during Endometriosis Awareness month. In the little time I knew her, it was obvious what a strong advocate she was for us all, sharing her story openly with the community & supporting chronic illness sufferers.

On Wednesday, June 27th, I was devastated to hear the news that Kristen had lost her life due to medication complications (the medications are listed at the end of this blog entry). It feels so unjust to loose a sister this way. Kristen’s friends and family are focusing their energy on spreading awareness in hopes to help others who are suffering in pain.

In loving words, her mother writes, “Kristen had a passion for helping those with chronic illnesses, and through her small business of health care products, she reached many women who suffer with endometriosis and fibromyalgia.“ Here is the link to her obituary. https://horancares.com/obits/kristen-cavanaugh/

Her dear friend opened up to me about her great sense of humor & expressed that what she “loved about her was how selfless she was. She quit a 6 figure job at DISNEY, to make boxes for each endosister. She carefully thought of each item while adding them to the boxes. She had such a big heart.”

Her family is asking for donations to the Endometriosis Foundation in her name. (There is a section where you can state who you are donating for.)
http://www.endofound.org

Here are the links to her Instagram endo page as well as her personal page, if you would like to say some words on her behalf.
@witsendocornerapothecary
@forkristenforeverago

Kristen will always be remembered in our hearts as a woman who fought hard & gave back. I hope you are looking down at all of this love and smiling. We send love to her family & all those who are feeling her loss.

**

Update: July 9, 2019: Suzie, Kristen’s mother, has given us permission to share the medications that Kristen was prescribed, which may have contributed to her death. We are sharing this information with you to implore you to verify with your physicians (and do your own research) regarding any potential drug side effects or interactions.

On June 24, 2019, Kristen was prescribed Dilaudid, Valium, Xanax, and Ambien. Suzie wants to stress to you that these medications, if taken together, can cause respiratory distress. Kristen and her family were not made aware of this danger. She would like to remind each of us that, “combining those meds is very dangerous.”

If you’re worried about your multiple over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, and/or herbal supplements having potential risks (or even death) when taken together, please talk to your doctor. And you can check out drug interactions on this amazing database.