Monday, January 19, 2015

The (Hormonal) Struggle is Real

It’s been awhile…first blog post of the New Year…wow, now I’m feeling the pressure to make this some kind of Earth shattering revelatory manifesto.  *Spoiler alert - it won't be*  I’ve been tossing around a few ideas for topics over the last month but the timing never seemed right and I just couldn’t get the ideas to click into a cohesive enough thought to put it out there. So imma blog about something boring but super relevant in my life right now…my uterus.

This picture is here because, well, you don't wanna know what Google returns in an image search for "angry uterus"

Ok, so it won’t be exclusively about that specific lady-part, but it is going to be centered on my body and my health and how I’ve been feeling about both lately.  It was a little over a year ago that I had laparoscopic surgery to remove a teratoma that had established residency in my pelvic region.  During the procedure, it was necessary to also remove my right ovary and fallopian tube; and at the same time, I had an endometrial ablation to hopefully remedy horribly heavy periods.  I’ve blogged about the procedure before so I won’t re-hash it.  In the months following the surgery, my periods got lighter and shorter but I also began having a myriad of new health issues.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I even discussed these new issues with both my gyno and my primary doc, only to be looked at cross-eyed when I suggested that any of it was caused or related to the procedures I’d had.

The amplified PMS symptoms of bloating, mood swings, sore boobs, and fatigue, which have only intensified in the last 6 months, are now coming on two weeks before the start of my now regular period.  I also experience cramps during my period that frequently have me doubled over in pain…which is one menstrual symptom that I never had prior to the surgery.  After doing a bit of reading about possible complications of pelvic laparoscopic surgery, I started feeling angry that neither doctor even entertained the idea that any of those issues – nor the leg pain and weakness and worsened “intestinal issues” (ahem…bathroom probs) I only started having after the surgery – could at all be related to the procedure.  Turns out that, particularly in fat patients, pelvic laparoscopic surgery has the potential to cause nerve damage if the patient isn’t positioned properly and repositioned if the procedure is lengthy…and mine took twice as long as they anticipated…over four and a half hours.

So here it is, 14 months later, and I find myself wanting to find a new gyno and, possibly, a new primary doctor.  I guess the fact that neither will hear me out that all of these issues only started after the surgery – oh, and I never met my surgeon….did I forget to mention that?  My gyno tells me – the morning of the procedure – that she will only be assisting and her associate will be the primary surgeon.  I never met the surgeon.  Ever.  Not before, not after, and neither doctor stuck around to give me the run-down before I was discharged to go home.  It wasn’t until my one week incision check that I even found out that they had to take the fallopian tube.  And it wasn’t until my six week check that I found out that there were adhesions that had to also be removed…I only found that out because I had requested to see pictures of the teratoma and one of the pictures the doc showed me was of the adhesion…and I was all like, wait, what??

I’ve had people mention that the experience I describe is worthy of a malpractice investigation; however, that would entail quite a bit of diagnostic testing to see if there are any new pelvic adhesions that could be causing the intestinal issues and any nerve damage that may be causing the leg pain and weakness.  And, as I know I’ve chatted about on here before, my insurance is pretty awful.  High deductible and out of pocket and, frankly, the thought of racking up a whole new mountain of medical debt – on the off-chance that I might have a case for malpractice – is not something I feel comfortable doing.
So I struggle with trying to stay positive despite the fact that, in a good month, I have a week and half without any hormone/uterine related issues.  I struggle with the fact that in the ten to fourteen days leading up to my period, I feel all bipolary, because, seriously…nothing about the movie The Conjuring should make anyone want to burst into depressed tears.  So, my current status....#TheStruggleIsReal 
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