Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's not in my head, I'm not exaggerating, and I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!

or, how I decided to have a lap.

I knew I had endo. I would have bet on it, and I'm really, really not a gambler.

some of my symptoms were:
  • Pain regularly at the end/beginning of my cycle that included severe lower backaches and pain that radiated down one leg. I self-medicated with wine or tequila in the morning. This interrupted my daily activity, and that is not normal (still, try to convince certain asshole doctors of that.)
  • Spotting pre and post period
  • A family member with severe adenomyosis/endometriosis with a hysterectomy in her 30s
  • Infertility
Some other things that I've experienced that may or may not be related are:

  • fatigue
  • heavy clotting (but not necessarily heavy periods)
  • retroverted uterus

These symptoms did not happen back when I was on the pill prior to ttc and got progressively worse around the one year ttc mark. During the second and third years the pain increased in both severity and regularity, but seemed to plateau sometime after the three year mark.

One of my choices was to continue medicated IUIs. If the timing would have worked out, I might have tried another or couple more of these first because I have some insurance coverage for this. Limited is better than none. But because I have to sit out a cycle on bcps after each cycle, the timing can be unpredictable and it takes forever. With the holidays coming up, I would have been ready to IUI on or very near thanksgiving and we have plans to go to DH's parents' house (ugh, in retrospect, what a fab way to have gotten to stay home!) and we didn't want to deal with timing issues/stress. Plus, who wants to keep failing for no reason at all?

The doctor also said to consider IVF. He said that there was no reason that my cycles were failing, so IUI could work, but since it wasn't, we shouldn't waste too much more time on that. He didn't push for IVF which was a little surprising, since that's where the money is. The benefit here is that if I had endo, the theory is that IVF bypasses the places where those problems usually show up. Personally, I think they don't know nearly enough about how endo effects conception/implantation/embryo growth/etc to say that. But it's a common enough thought. The big downside? Zero insurance coverage.

So, we have the lap. I've wanted it for years now, and hoped that having a diagnosis (though I've had a few diagnoses added and removed in the last few years already) would make it easier to go forward both literally and especially psychologically. Plus, if there was a chance for pain relief, YAY. I know you don't have to have all or ANY of the classic endo symptoms to have the disease. I read somewhere that something like 20% of ALL women have endo (though they may be asymptomatic and/or fertile.) The whole "unexplained" thing isn't good enough for me when there are still diagnostic options on the table.

Really, there wasn't a question about whether I was going to have the surgery. I considered all my options, but P and I both knew from the start that we were going to end up going for it. I did have some anxiety about it, which surprised me. I think I wanted to feel better about having made the decision, having a surgery date, etc., and that didn't happen.

Am I glad that I did it? Yes. I knew going in that there was a chance they'd find nothing, and that I had to be ok with that. I wanted answers, so I was willing to take that chance. For me, it was absolutely worth it just to know.

1 comment:

Liv said...

Thanks Twirl. This post was really helpful to me. I am going to call my RE and tell him that rather than fail 2 more cycles, I'd rather just schedule a lap and get it out of the way. I'm glad that you finally got what you wanted. I hope that surgery goes well and helps you feel better. As for IVF, man that's a tough call. Good luck wringing your hands over that one.