February. Man. What a weird month for pain and symptoms…
Pain started around February 5th and continued nearly the entire month. I also took a staggering amount of Ibuprofen, none of which was related to my Endo symptoms. I did need several Naproxen and two separate halves of Tramadol, thought.
And although I spotted for several days, I technically didn’t have my period. The spotting took place far off of what would have been my normal period. And when I brought it up to my gyno, they didn’t count it as a period, either. You know, the “first day of your last period” question?
At least the pain continued to only be located at lower left, lower right, and mirrored areas of my lower back. We’ll continue to monitor it and see what my surgeon finds in May.
Would you like to see the play-by-play daily journal?
And the super silver lining? I still have zero pain when I poo! I mean, I still need to figure out what I’m doing to upset my guts on the regular poop/diarrhea scale, but…that’s a work in progress. I know cheese is a big culprit, and likely booze. Meh. I’m not over-indulging in either…but I still feel like they’re both big players in my poo-game.
The first month of 2020 is already over! And I just realized I didn’t share my December pain journal! Whoops!!
So, January. I was lucky enough to start the first day of the new year with my period (I skipped having a period in December). AND then I had it again on January 25th. So, two for one! Yay!
My favorite part? No more discomfort near my belly button and staples! I don’t know if I’ve just gotten better about portion control and eating, or what, but I’m super excited about the lack of spread-out pain and discomfort that occurred in January.
The not so favorable news? Both on and off my period, I experienced pain on the lower left and lower right of my abdomen. Ovary pain? Cyst pain? Something-else pain? It was in the exact same spot both on and off my period. And when on the left, it was almost always accompanied with reciprocal lower back pain in the same location. But the good news? Naproxen made the pain manageable and no need for the newly-acquired Tramadol.
During my periods, I had some uterine cramping and the aforementioned left and ride-sided pain. The highest-intensity pain level was a about an 8 out of 10. I hate it when it’s above a 6…but again, Naproxen dropped those pain levels below a 6 and I avoided Tramadol.
On January 6, 2020, I had two crowns repairs, which meant temporary crowns for 2.5 weeks. During that time, I mostly drank dairy-based protein shakes. Dairy. Ugh. This experience confirmed that I need to stay away!!! Wait ’til you see my poo journal below!
And on January 24th, I received some very stress-inducing news. Upon hanging up the phone, I immediately had a pain flare that lasted several hours on my lower left side. It truly makes me believe there’s either Endo or a cyst or soooommething wrong on that side. And it further encourages me to schedule another surgery when I see my doctor tomorrow.
I’ve also started counting my calories, trying to eat healthier, and have begun a low-impact exercise routine (started the Walk On 21 Day program on 2/1/20). We’ll see how that affects my symptoms. If you’ve been following my journals, hopefully you notice a difference in the types of foods I’m eating and the amount of alcohol I’m consuming!
Ooooooh man. Januarys’ poo-catastrophe!!!! Are you ready? OMG.
See all that red? DIARRHEA! SO MUCH DIARRHEA! Between the beloved phenomenon known as PeriodShits, the dairy-induced liquid carnage, and catching some type of stomach bug, I feel like I had way more diarrhea than I had regular poos. But January is behind us. And I will soon forget the multiple trips to the bathroom and the steady stream of OMG. Whew.
Let’s see what February holds in store!
Do you track your pain, symptoms, and diet? If so, what platform do you use? Share in the comments below!
Throughout the month, I’ve had a few bouts of abdominal cramping. As I go through my pain journal, most of that was either diarrhea-related or getting close to my period. I did, however, have a few odd episodes of stabbing or throbbing pain toward the lower right and lower left of my abs. And when I cough, sneeze, or twist a certain way (hubby and I have recently signed up for a yoga class), there’s a pulling sensation on my lower right abs.
An ultrasound yesterday found my right ovary may be slightly stuck to the underside of my uterus, which may account for the right-sided pain. The cyst on the left ovary appears to be collapsing. I have my official meeting with my physician on Tuesday to discuss the ultrasound findings.
Sex is still painless, but I do think again it’s in part to the fact that we’re avoiding positions that we know cause me pain (aka doggy style).
My period showed up on October 7th, announced with cramping. Throughout the eight-day period, I only had to take 3 Naproxen and those knocked the six out of 10 pain down to a one or a two. So those still seem to hold their own and help. When the Naproxen wore off, I cuddled my heating pad and suffered. There was one night where the pain kept me awake.
If you’d like go scroll through my pain journal, here you go:
Boy, I ate a LOT of fast food in October. What? That may explain the excessive diarrhea throughout the month. Oh. My. God. And a lot of alcohol…Too much food, crappy food, too much booze: it all goes straight through me. Again, I really need to get better at that. I feel like I type this sentence every month…
And here’s my pooooooo-craziness! Although there was A LOT of loose bowels…I’ve made it through another month with NO pain when I poo! I simply CANNOT believe it! Thank God for my Dr. Kurtulus finding the endometriosis on my bowels and involving Dr. Schultzel for the bowel resection! My pooping is SO much better, and it’s almost been A YEAR!
I’m ashamed to say this is probably my most diarrhea-filled month since surgery. I failed October miserably and vow to make November easier on my body and bowels!
What do you learn about yourself when you track your pain, symptoms, and diet? I’m still learning!
September is behind us…and I’m spending my lunch hour reviewing and publishing my pain journal. A good use of time, right? I think so, too!
Let’s just start by saying it’s October 1st…and I still haven’t had my September period. I wonder if it will arrive in a few days? Back in August, I started my period on the 26th…so we’ll see if I am graced with two periods in October?
Okay, let’s review September’s adventure!
On September 6th, I woke up with a bit of abdominal cramping. Oh no! Is my Endo back already? No…I just had a big ol’ fart and all that cramping ceased the second I let ‘er rip! C’mon, laugh with me. Sometimes it’s all we can do. But seriously, the “oh no it it back already” thought did enter my head. I’m glad it was just gas…although my husband was none-too-pleased with the funky morning aroma.
I continue to experience staple-area pain around my new guts if I eat too much. And I still either get insane diarrhea after I drink too much booze…or I don’t poop at all for a day or two. Ten months since surgery and I still lack a lot of self-control when it comes to delicious things.
On September 7th, I contracted The Plague: some sort of craptastic upper respiratory infection that led to a chest cold, bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, and hives. It was a doozy! Three weeks later and I still have a little bit of chest congestion and my voice isn’t quite at 100%. BUT…I blame the sudden spike in diarrhea and medication-use over the next few weeks on fighting the Plague. (PS – if you didn’t already know, sugar-free cough drops or throat lozenges GIVE YOU DIARRHEA!)…
A few impromptu roadtrips with my husband in September led to some fun and pain-free sex. So that’s still super exciting to not have insane pain. I mean, we have to still avoid deep penetration poses, such as Doggy Style, because of my unique anatomy (two cervix which still hurt when they’re bumped), but at least there’s some pain-free sex in my life. So woohooo!
A lot of the abdominal discomfort I experienced in September can easily be attributed to the aforementioned liquid-shits…but every once in a while a sneaky “what the hell was that?” sharp pain would kick in out of nowhere:
On September 25th, I had the only true amount of sharp pain that had me worried; everything else in September was still on the level of “discomfort” and was easily explained away due to The Plague. But on that particular Wednesday, I had already pooped three times that day (just a good ol’ normal poo). That morning, I had an appointment with my colo-rectal surgeon for the last of my hemorrhoid band ligation procedures; a relatively simply and painless (mostly) procedure. At 2:30 that afternoon, I was poopin’ and had a sharp, horrible, agonizing pain on the left side of my lower abdomen that literally took my breath away while I sat on the porcelain throne. But, it was quick. At 5:20 that same afternoon, the pain returned while I was driving home and lasted several seconds. Then again at 5:26pm, it returned…and didn’t fade until 6:00pm. Was it poop-related? Was it my cyst on my left ovary rearin’ it’s ugly head? Was it a sign I’d be starting my period? I didn’t have any other pain that day, or any following day, until a little throbbing discomfort in the same area on September 29th. Still, though, no period. And that throbbing pain was minimal and quick.
I see my gyno/excision surgeon again in November for another transvaginal ultrasound and will be sure to mention that lower left abdominal pain. It’ll be interesting to see if my left-sided 3cm cyst has done anything.
But my favorite news? The onlyreason I took any pain killers in September: The Plague and my hemorrhoid procedure. YAY! Following is the slideshow of my September pain journal, if it interests you.
Pooping? You’ll see a spike in diarrhea episodes in September. OH MY GOD. Yep, you already read it: the laxative effect of a certain brand of sugar-free lozenges that shall remain unnamed (*cough cough* Ricola *cough*). Here’s the all-over-the-place poop chart…including the first instance of poopin’ pain since i recovered from my bowel resection! And that’s AMAZING!
If you don’t already track your pain, symptoms, diet, and bowel movements, I cannot stress how important it is to understanding and acknowledging what’s going on inside your own body. PLUS it gives us something to tangibly point to out to our physicians: “I hurt…HERE!” If you’d ever like some pointers on what I use to track mine, please reach out to me.
August has ended. The bulk of the month went well, except for one day: Day Two of my period.
A week before before my period began, I had a strange instance of severe pain (8 out of 10) in my lower left abs. It only lasted for a few seconds, though. Day one of my period came with mild abdominal cramping (0-2 out of 10). Day Two was such a painful day that I used my last paid sick day at work, and had to pop 2 Naproxen and 1 Tylenol throughout the day. Luckily, it was just one day. And then the rest of my period went on without a single cramp.
I have my next scheduled transvaginal ultrasound to check on the status of my bilateral endometriomas this Thursday. And I’ll meet with Dr. Kurtulus to discuss the findings early next week.
As usual, I had my standard staple, belly button, and left lower gut discomfort if/when I ate too much. And I still really need to remember to have just one drink; no more than two if I’m enjoying it with friends.
If you’d like to review my journal of food, drink, pain, and poop, here’s the slideshow:
And if you’re intrigued enough to review my poop chart, here ya go:
July flew by, didn’t it? Which means it’s the first of August and it’s time to review and post my pain journal! How was July? Let’s find out.
There’s still a distinct discomfort at my staples if I eat too much or haven’t pooped in a day. Thanks bowel resection! Most days I poop at least twice a day; sometimes four to five times a day (not a single painful poop since early February!!) And what’s the Number One culprit in making sure I don’t poop? Having more than one alcoholic beverage in a day. Case in point:
The weekend of June 29th, my husband and I enjoyed some R&R at one of our favorite spots in San Diego County. And I sipped on four whiskey gingers throughout that Saturday. I didn’t poop that Sunday. At all…and the discomfort at the staples by Monday, July 1st, was a bit much. Before I administered an enema that morning, I weighed myself; and again after I completed my business. I lost three pounds while pooping!
And I had four beers on July 4th, you know, to celebrate! Did I poop at all the next day? Nope.
I really need to remember to have just one drink; no more than two if I’m enjoying it with friends.
And when I eat too much food? On July 10th, I ate a large dinner and went to bed with discomfort near my intestinal staples. The next morning (2:30am and 9:00am): I had diarrhea. I’ve gotten a lot better about understanding when enough is enough, but there’s totally room for improvement.
I only had a few moments of distinct actual pain in July. Once, I sneezed and had a hard, sharp pulling pain on the lower right of my abdomen. Scar tissue? Endometrioma? Who knows. It lasted a fraction of a second.
I wondered if I was going to skip yet another period as my projected start date (July 15th) came and went. But then on July 22nd, I had some lower abdominal cramps; not enough to even classify as pain. A few days later, I started my period! I had some cramping and lower back pain on the lower left of my abdomen that was deep enough for me to pop two Ibuprofen. Nearly 30 minutes later, it all disappeared! So, I silently thanked the skillful hands of my excision surgeon and went on with my day.
That same afternoon, I had my scheduled follow-up transvaginal ultrasound. I ended up taking one Naproxen that evening because the discomfort of the ultrasound wand bumping around my already-angry female bits enraged my uterus and my cramps swarmed in (at about a 4 out of 10). The pain ceased to exist for a few hours, but mild cramping came back before I went to bed. I didn’t take any more pills as it was just a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale. A few days later, on the 27th, I had a sharp cramp at that same lower-left abdominal location. But I didn’t need a pill.
And that was it for my pain. For the entire month of July! It’s uplifting, seeing as my July 25th ultrasound confirmed the presence of Endometriomas on both of my ovaries, my ovaries are both stuck to the sides of my uterus, and the suspicion of adenomyosis grows deeper.
A girlfriend of mine has sworn off meat and dairy for a month; I decided to join her and support her in this quest. It began on July 17th and I haven’t noticed a big difference, but then again: I haven’t been in a lot of pain this year. But, it’s been an interesting, difficult, and fun challenge!
If you’d like to review my journal of food, drink, pain, and poop, here’s the slideshow:
And if you’re intrigued enough to review my poop chart, here ya go:
I cannot believe that June is already behind us. It was a pretty laid-back month for my Endo. I skipped my period again, but I’m not too worried about that.
I still haven’t learned my lesson about eating too much. And when I do, I still get discomfort near my staples in my guts. I also experimented with having two or more boozy beverages; nope, not good. My body still doesn’t like that. Now, though, instead of intense staple pain my guts just freak out: I either poop uncontrollably or don’t poop at all for a day or two…which causes a discomfort all in its own. And I also experienced some left-abdominal discomfort and/or pain, but it was rare, minimal, and only at times right before I had to poop (and no every time I had to poop, either). And I mostly poo’d between one to five times a day, with a few days of no-poo…but those no-poo days were usually triggered by poor diet and beverage choices.
I did have one instance of “what the heck is that” pain near my lower left abdomen when I was bending over and cleanin’ the cat litter. It was fast and sharp and I figured it was either adhesions or that li’l cyst on my left ovary. Again, I’m not to worried about it.
Although I skipped my period, I did have a few days (around where I should have been bleeding) where I was super emotional and had baby-twinges of cramps. So I think my body was trying really hard to have a period. I spotted a few times during those days, but I’ve picked boogers that made more blood than my uterus did those days. So, seriously, counting June as a skipped period month.
And my favorite part of reviewing my pain tracker? No need for any NSAIDs or pain meds! No Ibuprofen, no Tylenol, no Naproxen Sodium, no Percocet, and no Tramadol! I cannot stress the importance of excision surgery by an experience Endo surgeon, as well as getting in tune with your body and seeing what else it may need: diet changes, meditation, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, yoga, pelvic floor therapy; whatever helps you!
May was a fun one. I was curious if I’d skip yet another period. OR if having skipped my April period would lead to a hellish May visit from Aunt Flow.
As you can see, I was pleasantly surprised! My period cramps never got above a 2 out of 10! My lower back pain was intermittent on my period at a low 1 out of 10. And I did receive a twinge of pain when I coughed on my period, toward the lower right abdomen area. I only took two over-the-counter Ibuprofen for my mild period cramps and back discomfort on the first day of my period. I had to remind myself, “Why suffer with this pain?” And they killed the remaining discomfort and cramps. TWO IBUPROFEN!
My other pain during May while NOT on my period?
May 8th: I woke up at 6:30am with mild lower abdomen cramps, a 1 out of 10. Nothing to be concerned about, but something to note. It only lasted a few minutes; and I wondered if it was gas or poo-related.
May 9th: I did it again; I ate too much. A buffalo bacon cheeseburger AND onion rings? I mean, I didn’t finish them…but I most certainly should have stopped eating sooner. This led to discomfort at my staples, 2 out of 10.
May 10th: an odd, burning type of discomfort near my staples that lasted a few minutes, 3 out of 10. About an hour later, it was a quick series of diarrhea and poops; so I figure that discomfort was most certainly poo-related.
May 12th: I woke up with mild discomfort at my staples; likely related to the night before’s angry bowels…
May 13th: this was a new one: a weird discomfort in the area between my belly button and my lower ribs. Similar to the location of my pre-surgery pain, so of course I quirked an eyebrow and monitored this one with extra vigilance. The discomfort was only a 2/10. And didn’t lead to a big poo or anything horrible. It didn’t last long, either.
May 14th: a repeat of that throbbing discomfort between my belly button and lower right ribs; it was a 3 out of 10 and lasted several minutes when I woke up. It occurred again that afternoon. It happened again twice more that afternoon…and I found the trigger. CHERRIES! By going through my food journal and timestamps, I realized it MIGHT be cherries causing me some type of gas pain. So…I stopped eating cherries…
May 22nd: I, again, ate too much. It was yellow curry with chicken; I mean, how can you NOT eat to much? Well, I haven’t learned my lesson and received my usual staple discomfort, 3/10.
And my May poos? ZERO PAIN the entire month. No glass being dragged through my guts. No cramps while I poo. No need to bend over in two and cry while sitting on the porcelain throne.
May 7th holds the record for the most poos in a day: seven and two bouts of diarrhea! SEVEN!?! I hadn’t poo’d well the day before…and this was just my body’s way of suddenly purging all the leftover crap that was still in my guts! Seven…I was exhausted that day. LOL
What were the lessons I learned in May? 1) STOP EATING TOO MUCH! Just take your time, eat slowly, give your body time to adjust to the volume of food, and STOP EATING. Push the plate away, drop the fork, get a doggy bag. 2) My body’s not ready for two drinks a day. It may not lead to that agonizing pain I had in January…but it leads to some poopy issues. 😉 Just leave it to one drink…
If you’d like to read my day-by-day play-by-play May pain and food journal, please check it out below:
If you’d like to see my Poo Chart, please check it out below: