Pain Journal: March 2019

Summary of my March pain journal

March is done and over with. And man was it stressful! I can’t see myself EVER fitting in two big Endo events in March…too much planning, not enough energy! 🙂 But it was MARVELOUS!

AND to make March even better? It was 99.9% pain-free! My period even snuck up on me (again!) – no cramps, no pain. Just suddenly…I’m bleeding! And it remained pain-free during it’s 6-day duration. I did, however, have that sudden and severe butthole ache many of us may be familiar with. Out of nowhere and gone in a few minutes – but it was enough to take my breath away and make me stop typing.

I had a bad episode of food poisoning, which led to a sick day from work and a bit of painful sex (before the food poisoning symptoms started). And later in March learned my lesson the hard way that I can’t drink dark beers. It was quite a poopy month. And I did take two Ibuprofen on March 30th after our Endometriosis Awareness Walk – I was just sore and stiff, but not Endo-related pain.

If you’d like to track my daily symptom and food journal, feel free to scroll through each day:

And if you’re intrigued by my bowel movements, here they are! I’m super-duper-pooper excited to share that there were ZERO painful bowel movements. Just a LOT of diarrhea – oh food poisoning and dark beer…kept my March interesting to say the least. It taught me the VALUE of tracking my food and drink: I can go back and scroll through the day prior (or even the morning of) to see what may have triggered my liquid-poo).

I’m still so very pleased with my progress since November’s excision surgery and bowel resection. And am truly hoping this lasts. Forever. We shall see!

April begins NOW!

Pain Journal: January 2019

Summary of Lisa Howard's pain journal from January 2019

I’ve decided to start publishing my pain journals; not only in the hopes of documenting my Endometriosis Journey, but possibly helping others with theirs. Let’s get intimately familiar with my habits, shall we? 🙂

I use Google Slides to track my food, drink, bowel movements, medication, sex, and pain levels. I also track the location of my pain. And I’ve found this method helps me stay more in touch with my body and it acts as a great aid for my doctor and surgeons. I can access Google Slides from my PC, my phone, and my tablet; so it’s never too far away. And if I’m too lazy to open the app, I just shoot myself an email with a timestamp and description of what’s going on (i.e, 2:45pm ate a bowl of vanilla ice cream). Then the next day (or whenever is convenient) I rebuild my Google Slides with that information.

There are several Smartphone Apps out there that act as diaries and symptom trackers, too, but I’m all paranoid about permissions and developer access. 😉 BUT…the most important thing: you do what’s best and easiest for you.

So, welcome to my world. I will likely retroactively post my prior pain journals just to have them all in one place and can compare!

I’m pleased to say that January was relatively uneventful! Surgery was a huge success and most of my pain has been discomfort from my incisions and staples, learning my new bowels (and what NOT to eat/drink), and very very mild period pain. I literally forgot I was on my cycle for 99.9% of my period!

You can feel free to scroll through the slides of every day in January:

I also wanted to start tracking my new bowel movements by type and pain levels. I’m a visual kind of person, so I like all the info in ONE place. And I simply cannot believe the difference since my surgery! To poo almost EVERY day multiple times a day and to have zero pain most of the time is incredible! AND to see the difference when I’ve eaten (or in this case…drunk) something that didn’t agree with me. January 25th and 26th were Life Lessons, that’s for sure. I’ll most definitely have to go back in time and rebuild my pre-surgery poop charts!

Blue is the number of poops in a day, the orange line shows if I had any diarrhea (and how many times in a day), and the red line shows pain levels during bowel movements:

I am so grateful for my Endometriosis surgeons: Dr. Mel Kurtulus (my gynecologist and excision surgeon) and Dr. Matthew Schultzel (my colo-rectal surgeon). You have given me my life back.