Feel Good Fridays

Hoarfrost on a leaf. Leavef covered by hoar or snow and ice on a winter day on the garden. Hoarfrost on the leaves on beautiful winter image – close up of frozen tree branch and leaves covered with rime.

Friday snuck up on me today.

I’ve been put on work furlough and have applied for unemployment. It’s still unknown if my May 13th excision surgery will remain on calendar or be postponed. And I’m going a little stir-crazy in the house, unable to leave except for “essential tasks.”

I totally forgot it was Friday until a few minutes ago! Ha!

I have to remind myself daily that finances will be okay, I’ll have my job back once this crisis is over, my husband will come home safe and sound, and by staying home I’m protecting myself and others.

And I’ve picked my sewing projects back up, cleaned the house like a madwoman, bought a treadmill, and am keeping my mind and body occupied.

Still, though, I’m stir-crazy and bored. Perhaps next week I will focus on researching and writing new blog entries!

May today’s quote inspire you to embrace those things we can no longer experience, at least for now:

“Freeze, freeze in the winter, if you really want to appreciate the summer! Walk, walk at the edge of the precipices, if you rightly want to learn the meaning of the safety! Switch the lights off, if you want to see the amazing beauty of the light!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan

Be well.

Feel Good Fridays

How are you doing through all of this?

Sometimes you go through things that seem huge at the time, like a mysterious glowing cloud devouring your entire community. While they’re happening, they feel like the only thing that matters and you can hardly imagine that there’s a world out there that might have anything else going on. And then the glow cloud moves on. And you move on. And the event is behind you…” ~Welcome to the Night Vale

This too shall pass. Stay safe out there!

Feel Good Fridays

Braided river delta with red & green lora at low tide Lower Cook Inlet Kachemak Bay Alaska
Braided river delta with red & green lora at low tide Lower Cook Inlet Kachemak Bay Alaska; NOAA

MARCH! Endometriosis Awareness Month! My Facebook newsfeed has exploded with EndoWarriors posting amazing things every day and I love it!

So, today’s quote IS US!

“Drop upon drop collected will make a river. Rivers upon rivers collected will make a sea.” ~Sa’di (1213-1292)

We are numerous. A mighty force. We stand together. WE FIGHT TOGETHER!

May you have a wonderful weekend! And if you need me, I’m here.

Blogs I updated this week:

Bladder & Endometriosis: Added a January 2020 study from ACTA Scientific Womens Health about a a 46-year-old woman who had complaints of painful, long, and heavy periods. She also had difficulty urinating, peed frequently, felt pain when she peed, and sometimes had blood in her urine. Turns out she had Endometriosis inside her bladder.

C-Sections & Endometriosis: Added an August 2019 study from MOJ Clinical & Medical Case Reports of a 28-year-old woman who had painful swelling beneath her c-section scar. I’ll give you one guess what it ended up being…

Endometriosis & the Bowel: Added a January 2019 study from Paripex of a woman who had a mass of Endometriosis inside of her sigmoid colon…that actually prevented a full colonoscopy from being performed.

Endometriosis & the Lungs: Added a January 2020 study from the Thai Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology of a 49-year-old woman with a history of spontaneous pneumothorax. Surgery finally confirmed the presence of Endo lesions in her right lung and her diaphragm, but she had no other evidence of pelvic Endo, nor other symptoms of Endometriosis. Five years after her surgeries, she was still symptom-free.

Pain Journal: February 2020

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.

This was an eye-opening experience

I’m participating in the Endo Month 2020 Challenge. And today’s prompt was “Surgeries.” And it made me sit back, take a deep breath, re-read all of my past surgical notes, and I want to cry. And I still have that terror in the pit of my stomach that my surgeon won’t find anything during my May surgery.

If we’re friends on Facebook, you’ve likely already seen this post. But now I want to know about yours.

Here’s mine:

Day 3: Surgeries? I’ve had four since 2014 and a fifth on the way. During each one, my surgeon has found and removed Endometriosis growths and accompanying ovarian/Endo cysts.

Endo has been found on my liver, on my diaphragm, on my sigmoid colon, on my small intestine, on my appendix, on my right intesine, on my ureter, on my fallopian tubes, on my ovaries, between my uterus and my rectum, between my bladder and my uterus.

It has caused extensive scar tissue which had to be removed. That scarring has stuck my uterus to my colon, stuck my bowels to my pelvic wall, stuck my ovaries beneath my uterus, stuck my ovary to my pelvic wall, pinned my bladder to my uterus. I’ve lost 7 inches of my intestines due to the illness (including my appendix) and both of my fallopian tubes were so badly damaged by the disease they, too, were removed.

There’s been a total of $521,571.10 billed to the insurance company. Of that, I paid $4,300.

Half a million dollars in six years. Four extensive surgeries. And the fifth is coming in a few months…..

Will it never stop?

Day 2: Endometriosis means an often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and underplayed chronic, painful, and incurable disease

Day 1: My diagnosis took 22 years to receive: 22 years of being told my pain was all a part of being a woman, was normal, and I had a poor pain tolerance…

This challenge will be an awesome experience!


Sponsor Highlight: Pelvic Pain Rehab

As you may know, we are hosting (along with the non-profit organization, Gifts 2 Help) our 2020 Endometriosis Awareness & Support Walk. This is the first year we’ve asked for sponsorships and today I’d like to honor Pelvic Health & Rehabilitation Center.

Pelvic floor therapy has been shown to help many people suffering with Endometriosis, as well as many other causes of pelvic pain. Not only have PHRC sponsored the event, but they’ll have a booth at the walk! Stephanie Prendergast, MPT and Jandra Mueller, DPT will be available to answer all of your questions!

And if you’re looking forward to our opportunity drawing, they’re also donating two copies of the book Pelvic Pain Explained as well as a free pelvic floor therapy session with Jandra!

Thank you, Stephanie, Jandra, and all the staff at Pelvic Health & Rehabilitation Center for sponsoring our walk, for making yourselves available on the weekend to answer questions, and for such a big supportive force to so many Warriors!

Instagram: Under New Management

We’ve undergone some changes and had to create a new Instragram account. One of our group admins, Nicole, is an IG-queen (I kind of know nothing about it) and will be posting entertaining and thoughtful things to get us through this Journey together. If IG is your thing, give us a follow.

And if you ever have a funny meme or something you’d like our IG to share, send a direct message to Nicole on our IG account!

SD Voyager Interview

Black and white photo of a woman in bathrobe, wearing a towel on her head, clay mask on her face, holding a cat in the bathroom

I cannot thank the folks at SD Voyager enough for spreading the word about Endometriosis!!!

Feel like learning more about me? Go read their interview of yours truly! 🙂 http://sdvoyager.com/interview/meet-trailblazer-lisa-howard/

I’m so stinkin’ excited about the awareness possibilities! AND excited they didn’t ask me for a more professional photograph! They encouraged me to submit a photograph that is fun and speaks to who I am.

Welcome to my Sunday night ritual!

Sponsor Highlight: Mary VanBuhler

As you may know, we are hosting (along with the non-profit organization, Gifts 2 Help) our 2020 Endometriosis Awareness & Support Walk. This is the first year we’ve asked for sponsorships and today I’d like to honor Mary VanBuhler.

A HUGE thank you to Mary for her generous donation for our 2020 Endometriosis Awareness & Support Walk! Mary is a fellow EndoWarrior who has an incredibly positive attitude toward the fight ahead and is here to support other Warriors, too! We’re looking forward to walking with you!