My Endo Journey begins: 7 days out til surgery!

Today marks 5 days until my life changing laparoscopy surgery with The CEC! I didn’t even realize it until today that I had forgotten all about blogging for my 2 week Pre Op mark. I may end up doing a “make up” blog so that later on I can see where my head was at that time.

Today I can tell you that I am so excited and so ready for this surgery to come! I am so grateful that in just 7 short days I will get real answers as to why I am always in so much pain. Since I will be having a Chromotubation(Like a HSG) I admit that I am completely terrified that I may have fertility issues from never being treated in the past 13 years. But I am willing to attack them head on and fight for my right to be a mother! I am not claiming those thought but I also don;t want to ignore the possibility.

Another thing that has me completely nervous is the fact that I woke this morning with an awful head cold! Sneezing, sore throat, swollen lymph node and all! I immediately increased my Vitamin C from 3,000mg daily to 4,000mg daily. I started drinking loads of water, tea and ginger ale. I am hoping that this will help my system to knock it out a bit quicker. Normally my colds only last 3-5 so I am praying it is gone before Sunday night! I have been waiting for this surgery for 13 years…67 days of which it was ACTUALLY scheduled : ). I would be heartbroken if it were canceled and postponed!

I have also had what I think to be the start of my first cycle in 3 months come on Saturday. I woke up with my usual Endo period symptoms…nausea, diarrhea, cramping, heavy bleeding and back pains. I had some clotting as well which I haven’t really had much of when I was on the Depo Provera shot which officially left my system on/around June 29th. Of course I couldn’t take any pain or nausea meds because my surgery is so close and I cant have blood thinners. I ended up mixing a red rock ginger ale with a Seagram’s ginger ale which helped tremendously with my nausea. I took some Tylenol for the pain which did diddly squat for my pain. I got out my amazing 13 years old trusty heating pad which helped a lot.

I am hoping this is a sign that my body is ridding me of the awful drug that is Depo Provera and bringing back my cycles. I am not excited about the pain but I am excited to not be irregular or bleeding for 23-30 days at a time. I am just so ready for the possibility that my pain will no longer exist soon after surgery. I know that excision isn’t a guarantee but for me I am hopeful! I can no longer sit around a watch my life and all my potential to be happy pass by me! Soon on August 12th, 2013 I will have the chance to get my life back!

I am feeling amazing!!!

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Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: What’s in my hospital bag?

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24 days out until surgery and I am finally all set up! My bag is packed and waiting by the door. My bedroom is organized and stocked with my Post Op Surgery Supplies. Now it’s just sit and wait it out!

For weeks I had the hardest time finding a list or blog post of things to take in my hospital bag. I got extremely lucky with some tips from some wonderful ladies in my Endo support groups! I am hoping that this will help you to decide what to take with you. I have included all the things that I hope will make me to feel comforted before & after surgery. Feel free to build off of this list and pack things that will make you feel at home away from home! I am not sure if I will stay 1-6 days so my bag is a “just in case” measure.  Not everyone will need or want to take all of these things! Most of these things I already had on hand in my home. No need to go out and buy all of this stuff if you don’t think it is a must!

If you are traveling out-of-state for your surgery I will include a few extra helpful tips at the end of this post!

What I packed in my hospital bag:

  • Loose Fitting Clothes– Relaxed clothing with no zippers to wear to and home from the hospital.
  • Robe & Pajamas- I will be taking pajama sets that are 1 size bigger than I normally wear. They all have soft waist bands with lots of give.
  • Comfy Slippers/Socks- After surgery you will need them for walking plus hospitals are notorious for being cold.
  • Loose Underwear- I recommend buying either bikini or hi-cuts at least 1 size bigger. Some hospitals give you those stretchy mesh panties. They are wonderful…take as many home as possible.
  • Menstrual Pads- In case there is any post op bleeding. Most hospitals offer them to patients….but just in case take your own.
  • Feminine Hygiene Spray- I am not sure how soon I will get to shower…I prefer to bring this just in case!
  • Deodorant & Body lotion- Your skin can get really dry and itch…try to take something slick and long lasting.
  • Body Wash- In case you are there for a few days & have a shower in your room!
  • Mouthwash, Toothbrush, Tooth Paste, Floss Picks- Floss picks come in handy when your hands are shaky but you have food in your teeth. Traditional string floss can be tricky.
  • Body Spray or Light perfume- Easy way to feel fresh & pretty after surgery. Please keep it light in case a nurse or etc. has an allergy.  
  • Shampoo/Conditioner- If you have a shower in your room and feel up to it. Instead of buying the small travel size get those small clear bottles and use your current product!
  • Comb/Brush- The smaller the better!
  • Hair Ties or Head Bands- You will not want to deal with hair in your face.
  • Facial Cleansing Cloths & Moisturizer- Easiest way to refresh your face without needing a mirror or sink.
  • Chapstick or Vaseline- Your lips will be really dry after surgery!
  • Hand Sanitizer & Wet Wipes- Mostly for any visitors or my partner if she needs to change my bandages or etc.
  • Throat Lozenges- Your throat will be incredibly dry and a bit sore after surgery from the intubation tube.
  • Mints/Gum- Will work wonders for dry mouth and nausea if you have any!
  • Nail Clippers, Nail File, Nail Polish- Since you cannot wear polish into surgery I find that painting your nails after surgery is a great way to peep yourself up. Yellow is always a great color choice!
  • Ear Plugs & Eye Mask- If you will not have a private room these will be your best friend.
  • A small soft pillow- For the car ride home. Put it in between you and the seat belt to protect your wounds. Also will come in handy of the pillows provided aren’t very comfy.
  • Light Weight Blanket- In case you are cold and want something from home to comfort you.
  • Magazines, Books or Puzzles Books- You may be waiting before going back & get bored. They also come in handy for your family/friends that will be waiting during your surgery.
  • Phone, Tablet, Chargers- I will need these for updating my fellow Endo Warriors! Also create a soothing playlist of music before surgery to relax you!
  • Camera, Charger- If you would like to document your surgery!
  • Medical Records, Insurance Card, ID, SS Card- These are a must!
  • Emergency Contact list- If you are traveling without your closest relatives this may come in handy. Just in case!
  • Medication/Allergy List- In case you are too sedated and the nurses may need to give you a new medicine. It is good to have a current list as well as things you are allergic to.
  • Pre Op Forms/Hospital Registration Forms- Cannot forget these!

Those of you traveling out-of-state please consider bringing the following:

  • Food & Drink– It may be less expensive to bring these in than to buy once at your hotel or etc.
  • Hot/Cold Packs/Cooler– To keep foods cold while driving. Cold packs are also great if you have swelling in your joints.
  • Allergy Meds– In case you run into pollen or etc on your drive. Pollen levels are different in various states.
  • Pain Meds– Fill them in advance in case your pharmacy isn’t out of state or you have pain on the drive.
  • First Aid kit– In case you get in minor burns or scraps.
  • Razor & Shave Cream– To prep before surgery!

I hope this helps you to prepare for your surgery! I know it can be overwhelming to go through surgery as it is without the stress of packing. Hopefully having your bag packed and ready to go will free up some anxiety and allow you to focus on more important tasks.

What are you hospital bag must haves?

My Endo Journey begins: 30 days out til surgery!

Today June 13, 2013 marks 4 weeks until my excision surgery! I am exactly 30 days out from surgery!

I had not idea time would start to fly like this. I am glad that I have OCD and started prepping as soon as I did. I am extremely  happy to say I have absolutely nothing left on my Pre/Post Op Surgery list!  My hospital bag is already packed and my home care supplies have been set up. I will do a blog post soon with my recommendations for your hospital bag and home care supplies. I will also be doing a post with tips on the bowel prep & post op ailments that can happen once you are home.

On another note….I logged in today to find my last post was 7 days ago…I didn’t even realize that. Crazy thing about having Endometriosis is that life can change in seconds! My pain went from moderate to intense in a matter of hours! I pretty much sat in bed for 6 days straight except to go to the restroom or eat. My partner has been working overtime to save a few bucks just in case any other bills/emergencies come up before or after surgery. I realize I am really lucky to have her support.

Only issue we are dealing with now is trying to figure out my sleeping arrangements prior to surgery. We don’t own a recliner and our futon is way to firm and low to use as an option. Our current bed is a full and very hard with broken springs. She is also a wild sleeper so there isn’t much room for someone with stitches to recover LOL. I would not want to be sleeping and to be jolted by a knee or elbow. In order to prevent this very possible disaster we want to get a queen bed. We had saved for a queen size memory foam bed but that money has had to go else where. That leaves us with 30 days to figure out where I will sleep.

I also just realized that my ID expired June 30th and I have to get a new one. I have 30 days to do so for surgery but 20 before I need it for a FNA(Fine Needle Aspiration) of my Thyroid on August 2nd. I am starting to stress a bit and worry but I know it will all work out!  I am sure it will all get done…I am making it a priority starting next Monday.

I am so excited for my new life….new me will be born on August 12th 2013.

My Endo Journey begins: 39 days out til surgery!

Today July 3, 2013 marks 39 days out! The days are going past and I am still calm…I didn’t really expect this. I have had lots of anxiety up until a few days ago. I guess seeing that my surgery is 100% happening and being prepared has helped a lot. Now it’s just sit and wait it out!

I don’t have much to say today other than I feel like crap!! I have been getting the worst stomach pains. Like cramping in my intestines or deep in my bowels. The ability “to go” hasn’t come in nearly 8 days now. Boy does that suck!

My bowel issues are the one thing I hope to be able to say buh-bye to in a few days! I am hoping I will not need a bowel resection but if I do I am praying for no ostomy bag. My grandmother had one and I can tell you right now she suffered with it. It was by no means easy for her to go out or be more than 10 mins from a restroom to change her bag.

All in all if my surgeon believes that an ostomy bag or something similar is right for me then that is ok with me. I will not refuse or reject the best way to move on with my life.

All I can do right now is have faith and to pray that my surgeons will be able to help me!

Please pray for me at 11 am on Monday August 12th! ❤

My Endo Journey begins: 42 days out til surgery!

Today June 30th marks 42 days until surgery! I am almost at 5 1/2 weeks Pre Op! OMG it is really becoming real! I am having surgery in a little over 6 weeks! Okay I am back now!

My niece Leona’s 2nd birthday party was today and we had a blast! She looked like a divine princess in her birthday dress! We ate loads of hamburgers, hot dogs and we sang happy birthday. She opened all her gifts and of course only liked one and ran off to play….Kids!! I played Baseball with my nephews Cayden, Trison & Timothy! Cayden is the youngest of the boys at 3 years old , Triston is 5 and Timothy is 8. None of us truly knew how to play but it was all in good fun. Can I just say how badly I hurt after that but it was worth it.

Oh yea my partner Christina & I FINALLY got all of the Pre/Post surgery supply list done today! We added nausea meds, anti acids and stool softeners to out checked off list. We also picked up all my bowel prep supplies which includes: MiraLAX 14dose, 4 Dulcolax laxative tablets and 1 fleet enema. Yep this is going to be a party!

Christina is planning on setting up the bathroom really nicely in preparation for the night before surgery. I get to watch TV/Netflix from the hallway closet just so I won’t have to go far from the restroom. You never know when you may get the urge to go : ). We are making a comfy bed in the closet as well just in case the prep wakes me up in the middle of the night. Our bedroom is a ways away from our bathroom and we don’t want to chance it LOL. I will stock the hall closet with all my necessary things like gingerale, gatorade, fragrance free wipes and any other things I may need for the bowel prep.

Doesn’t it sound like I am prepping for a fun sleepover or party? I wish it were the case! 🙂 But oh well I will do what I have to do before surgery day!

My Endo Journey begins: 44 days out til surgery!

So today June 28th I am now 44 days out!!! I am so happy to see that the days are passing by faster than I had realized! I am nervous still but I am getting more anxious to get this done and improve my overall quality of life!

I am sitting here bored as heck while Christina is at work! Of course I am in loads of pain from the Estrogen pill I just took 10 mins prior to deciding to blog today! My head has been hurting lately along with these random knee pains. They kinda feel like deep aching pains like someone is hitting my knees with hammers. I started taking blood thinners just in case is blood clotting from the estrogen pills. I do not want to chance getting blood clots prior too surgery!

I have absolutely nada planned today except for catching up on some TV shows that I have missed. I am thinking of getting the rest of my Pre/Post surgery supply items this weekend but I am not sure yet! I have nearly everything and I have crossed off some things I doubt I will need/use. I am sure that will help our pockets a bit since prepping can get really expensive! I am hoping to get to use coupons/rebates on the rest of the items on our list. Maybe I will be in less pain on Sunday and can get some shopping done!

That’s it for today’s post since I don’t have much else to talk about besides my cat loves to lay on the keyboard every time I go to blog. I think you guys make her jelly : )

Aren’t you jealous of my amazingly exciting life?! Yea ok I doubt it but I had to ask!

My Endo Journey begins: Surgery scheduled for August 12th 2013

Update: I had my first surgery consult on June 6th at 3pm with Dr. Sinervo at The Center For Endometriosis Care. Many patients call it The CEC. 

I was extremely nervous on the way to my appointment. In between crazy thoughts of possibly losing a ovary during surgery or not being able to afford it at all. I was also in so much pain. My left side of my pelvis felt as if it wanted to jump out and run. Strong cramping and sharp shooting pains. The awesome part is that I had to walk…yes walk 15 mins from the Marta station to get there. Once I reached my appointment I met the awesome women at the front desk. Got my paper work started and took a seat. About 45 minutes later I was being called back to see Dr. Sinervo. My heart began to pound as if it wanted to come out of my chest. But my nervousness was all for nothing. He was so sweet and so concerned about my health. Which was so refreshing next to the usual docs that just questions your pain tolerance.

We went over my pains, symptoms and medications as well as my concerns. He answered all of my questions…well I only had one. But I am sure if I had more he would have easily answered them all. After we were done talking he recommended that we schedule surgery soon. He wants to do a Laparoscopy, Hysteroscopy, Chromotubation and a possible bowel resection. He strongly believes all of my bowel pains are from Endo on or in my bowels. I was completely calm until the words “bowel resection” came up. I just can not imagine waking up from surgery and being told my bowels had to be re-sectioned. I mean what could that mean for my every day life? But quickly I realized that I was in great hands. And that Dr. Sinervo would make sure I had the best bowel surgeon on hand to handle it if need be.

Shortly after that conversation I got my ultrasound. I found out that my left side has scarred ligaments and that could very well be why I have constant left side pains. He thinks I may have lots of Endo on the ligaments to my ovary as well as my uterus. Glad to know that my uterus and my ovaries look nice and healthy otherwise. My uterus is retroverted but he thinks that it may right itself over time so I am not too concerned. I am extremely relieved to now have a  reason as to why I am always in so  much pain in one area. I am hoping he can remove the scar tissue and Endo and it not return.

I was also relieved that my Chromotubation would be done while I would be under GA-general anesthesia. I have heard horror stories of that procedure feeling like your hoohah was on fire. I think I can live without that memory LOL. Also having the Hysteroscopy while under means I wouldn’t need two surgeries. All in all I am so excited to be having surgery and on my way to a possibly normal life without Endo running it. I am so grateful for everyone at The CEC and for the possibility to afford this procedure. They have been incredibly generous to me and I will never forget it.

Anyone ever have any of these procedures done? How are you now that you have recovered? Feel free to comment below if you have any questions as well.

xoxoxox

Sincerely,

This Endo Girl! ❤