Gone Fishin’…

Da Vinci robot (surgery)

As you may know, my Endo-Surgery No. 6 is scheduled for October 21st. So, I’ll be out of commission for several weeks.

This time it’s the tag-team dream-team of my colo-rectal surgeon (Dr. Matthew Schultzel) and my Endometriosis excision surgeon (Dr. Mel Kurtulus). They’re going in to find that remaining Endometriosis that was discovered and left behind in my May 2020 surgery and remove it, which may entail a bowel resection.

We shall find out Wednesday…

It’s been a rough past few weeks of pain.

Pain chart

As you can see, a lot of my pain has been within the 1-4 range…but but it’s been rather high since October 10th, reaching the 8s and 9s. Even with the high pain days, I still carry my doubts they’ll find any Endometriosis and we’ll be back at square one.

But with sex being so painful, 91% of my bowel movements causing some sort of agony, 95% of October (so far) having pain on my lower left quadrant, 15% of the month with pain on the lower right quadrant, 5% having middle abdominal cramps (usually around a poo), 42% with mirrored lower back pain (mostly on the lower left side), and on two occasions screaming lower left ab pain when I peed…they have to find something.

*sigh* These doubts will never go away. I have them before every surgery. And even though I tell myself that every time, and that they’ve found Endo every time, I can’t shut these doubts up.

So, I won’t know until after surgery if my recovery time is just two weeks or if it’s six weeks. It all depends on what they find and if the bowel resection is required.

Be well, dear Readers, friends, and family.

I’ll keep you updated when I feel well enough to do so.

Much love,
Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

What a painful week I’ve had. I hope your week has been better.

So all I have in me is what I stare at every day on a bracelet:

“Nevertheless, she kept on fighting.”

I have my bowel resection surgery on Wednesday at 12:15pm. I’ve never been more ready. I still harbor that small nagging doubt that they’ll open me up and not find any Endometriosis, but it was there in May. It’ll be there in October. It’d better be.

Whatever you’re going through, keep fighting. Always.

Love, Lisa

Feel Good Fridays

Image by Sue Rickhuss from Pixabay

It’s Friday. October 9th…time is just whizzing by so quickly.

I have several friends and Warriors having surgeries this month. One of whom is my dear Nicole. You’ve met Nicole a few times on our blog…and I don’t know where I’d be in my Journey without her. I love and appreciate her so very much.

Her surgery is next week. And mine may be the following week. Two more Warriors in our local group are having hysterectomies by the end of the month. And one Warrior is recovering from her excision surgery that she had this past Tuesday. It’s a very busy October for my San Diego Endo-crew.

Surgeries are hard. But oftentimes made more bearable with our loved ones by our side until we’re wheeled off into the operating room.

But now? Covid and the pandemic have drastically changed things.

No friends. No family. You are dropped off at the curb of the hospital, a hug and kiss to your loved ones and an awkward goodbye. Alone, you trek into the hospital, pass the pandemic screening questions and tests, and check in. You wait, alone, to be taken back into the surgery prep. And lay on the bed, alone, waiting to be wheeled back into the OR.

Granted, you’re not truly alone: there’s a hustle and bustle of nurses, doctors, and hospital staff getting you all prepared and answering questions. But gone is the comforting hand of a mother, friend, significant other.

It can be terrifying.

I endured this for my May 2020 surgery. And it was a nerve-wracking, but the time passed very quickly and before I knew it I was waking up in the recovery room and soon wheeled out to the smiling face of my husband waiting for me at the car. And I did have the caring, familiar faces of those hospital staff I’ve come to know since my 2014 diagnosis.

But all of this brings me to today’s quote:

“Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

We have been through so much in our lives. And we know that we are incredibly strong, even when we don’t feel it. We are allowed to be nervous, scared, and lonely. But…always know that we are also strong enough to endure whatever life throws at us.

You are strong enough to make it through this. As am I.

To anyone going through anything leaving a sense of weakness or inability, know that you can get through it. And, if you want, I am right here if you need to talk.

Love, Lisa.

Blogs I updated this week:

Endometriosis & the Bladder: added a Nov. 2020 study of a 49-year-old woman who developed symptoms of increased frequency of urination. Imaging studies revealed a mass and lesion on her bladder, which surgery confirmed to be bladder endometriosis.

Endometriosis & the Bowel: added a June 2020 study of a 37-year-old woman who had Endometriosis on her cecum, which caused a small bowel obstruction.

Feel Good Fridays

Friday. Already. Whew, I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted this week.

No quote today. Just a plea:

Be there for one another. In any capacity that you can.

You may never fully understand how your presence, patience, understanding, friendship, or (fill in the blank) has positively influenced another in need.

Pain Journal: September 2020

September flew by all too quickly. October is now upon us! And hopefully I’ll find out when my next surgery will be! So much to look forward to.

I was certain I was going to skip my period, but alas it just started very late. LOL. Damn thing. I was due around the week of the 8th, and I thought that I was going to start with the full-gambit of pain I had that week. But…nope. I started 15 days later.

As you can see, I had a lot of left-sided pain this month, which warranted 14 Naproxen and one-and-a-half Tramadol. Blech. If you like stats:
  • 100% of sex was painful. We only had it once in September and it hurt so much I’ve been too terrified to try again. At least my partner is incredibly patient and understanding.
  • 79% of my bowel movements were painful.
  • 80% of the month had pain on the lower left side of my abs
  • 30% of the month had pain on the lower right side of my abs
  • 10% of the month had uterine/mid-ab pain
  • 23% of the month had lower back pain

During my consult with my colo-rectal surgeon earlier this month, he took a peek up the poopchute to make sure my pain wasn’t caused by something else. He found a tiny hemorrhoid (which he has since banded), but just having the butt-speculum (anoscope) and a finger up there caused such an intense flare up on the left side, I had to take half a Tramadol to calm it down.

Here’s my daily slideshow of my pain and diet journal:

Movin’ on to the painful poopchute! It’s frustrating: never knowing if it’s going to feel like the left side of your guts is ripping out as you drop a deuce. Most times it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

I told you nearly 80% of my bowel movements were painful. Here’s that play-by-play! Blue lines indicate painful solid poops and red lines indicate painful diarrhea. If there’s no color, but there’s a date, that was a successful pain-free poo!

Chart of painful bowel movements

And, my favorite, the pie charts o’poo!

I’ll be sure to keep you posted when I get my surgery date for my bowel resection on the left side.

Do you track your symptoms? What system do you use? I’ve fallen in love with Google Slides and Google Sheets for my homemade trackin’.