What is Adenomyosis(Adeno)?

It has come to my attention that many Endo Warriors do not know what Adenomyosis is. Honestly I was one of them until a few weeks ago when I was diagnosed with this disease during a laparoscopy. I want to take the time to bring much needed awareness to this disease. I have suffered from Endometriosis along with Adeno for many years without knowing.

Please take the time to read this short breakdown on what Adenomyosis is. If you would like to know more please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

What is Adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is a condition in which the Endometrium(uterine lining) implants inside the muscular wall(myometrium) of the uterus.  This causes the Endometrium to become stuck in the wall of the uterus with no way to exit. The Endometrium can be localized to one section of the uterus or become spread all over.

Adenomyosis is NOT the same as Endometriosis! However most women that have Adenomyosis ALSO have Endometriosis. Just like Endometriosis the cause of Adenomyosis is not known. Adenomyosis occurs most often in childbearing ages. For most suffers it often occurs after having a child. For most patients Adenomyosis is no longer an issue after reaching menopause. However the condition is ONLY curable by Hysterectomy.

Although Adenomyosis is not life threatening it is a very difficult condition to be forced to live with.

What are the symptoms of Adenomyosis:

  • Severe Pain & Cramping(often knife-like pains).
  • Lower abdominal pressure.
  • Tender lower abdomen.
  • Bloating of the abdomen.
  • Passing clots during menstruation.
  • Heavy and/or prolonged bleeding during menstruation.
  • Breakthrough bleeding between periods.
  • Pain that worsens as you age.
  • Pain during intercourse.
  • Cramping throughout your cycle.
  • Enlargement of the uterus.

However some women with Adenomyosis have little to no symptoms at all!

How is Adenomyosis Diagnosed?

Unfortunately the only sure way to diagnose Adenomysosis is through a Hysterectomy. This is where the uterus is removed and then taken apart and it’s cells are tested for Endometrium cells. However recent technology have come a long way as far as imaging is concerned. Things such as an Ultrasound or MRI make it possible for a doctor to see Adenomyosis. It is also very possible for your doctor to detect during a physical examination.  Be careful that Adenomyosis is not confused for Uterine Fibroids which have similar symptoms as they require different treatments.

What treatments are there?

Because there is no cure for Adenomyosis other than Hysterectomy there aren’t a lot of options.

However here are a few

  • Heating Pad for Cramping.
  • OTC medications.
  • Anti Inflammatory medications(NSAIDS).
  • Hormone Therapy.
  • Presacral Neurectomy(PSN).
  • Uterine artery embolization.
  • Endometrial ablation.
  • Hysterectomy.

If you suspect Adenomyosis please consult your physician for the best plan of action for your care!

This Endo Girl,

-LaLa

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Where have I been?

Hey dolls!

I am so sorry that I have not put out a blog post in almost 2 months now! I recently had a second surgery since my Laparoscopy for Endometriosis. This recent surgery is NOT related to my Endometriosis at all! I am now preparing for a third surgery on November 1st which will hopefully be my last. I will be doing a few blog posts on my recent health battle as soon as I am able. Please be as patient as you can with me! Very soon I will be uploading “My Endo Journey: Surgery update 2 months out”! If you are interested in knowing how my surgery went please “follow” me and you will get an email when it’s live.

I thank you all so much for the support!

This Endo Girl,

-LaLa

xoxoxoxox

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!!!

Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: Post Op Ailment Tips!

A few days ago I posted my Hospital Bag & Bowel Prep tips. Please check those out if you would like to know what I have packed & purchased in preparation for my upcoming surgery.

I have noticed that lots of my fellow Endo sisters complain about Post Op Ailments like gas pains more than the actual surgery it’s self. So I figured I would go ahead and post what helpful tips & tricks I have collected over the last few weeks. I hope you all find these to be helpful and will be prepared before & after surgery.

Lets get started!

Gas Pains OR Shoulder Pain…..

Unfortunately this pain is most likely going to happen regardless of how much your surgeon tries to suck out all the gas. They will never be able to get it all so regardless you will have excess gas trapped in your abdomen. Beautiful thing about this is that it has no where to go. It can’t exit the digestive tract so it has to SLOWLY be absorbed into the blood stream. This can take minutes, hours & for some even days.

  • Immediately after surgery take some Gas-X. I know I said that the gas can not be expelled through the digestive track. However it can’t hurt to try & see if it works! : ) This will of course help if you have any gas in your digestive track.
  • Sip on hot tea with peppermint as soon as you are able to hold down liquids.
  • Drink plenty of carrot juice…it naturally helps absorb the gas!
  • Use a heating pad on the front & back of the area you are having gas pains. It helps to bring increased blood flow to that area & allow the gas to be absorbed faster! It also helps with the pain!
  • Walk as much as you can as soon as you can! Most hospitals have patients up walking within hours of surgery. This helps to move the gas around & out of the abdomen. It also helps to increase blood flow to the body. Once you are home walk a few times around the house or even outside….careful not to over do it!
  • Avoid cold food/drinks…I find that they give me gas. May just be in my head but it could not hurt to avoid it for a few days post op!
  • Elevate your feet & head to allow gas to pool in the center of the abdomen instead of in the shoulders!
  • Elevate your hips and allow your head & feet to rest lower….this also helps to disperse the gas!

Constipation…..

Constipation is something that just comes with the territory with surgery! All the pain meds & General Anesthesia stops you up! Only issue is that it makes ‘going” extremely scary when you are sore almost all over but especially your core muscles.

  • Keep your diet light for the first few days! This a great time to start the Endo diet.
  • AVOID foods high in fiber for at least the first 2 days Post Op.
  • Take a probiotic daily…make sure that it has at least 5 different strains & live cultures.
  • After a few days eat foods high in fiber like prunes apples, bananas & pears. Yogurt also helps to keep your bowels moving. Greens are also great for this!
  • Stay hydrated & drink plenty of liquids! At least 8 glasses per day!

Diarrhea….

In case of diarrhea Post Op this can be very uncomfortable! I would suggest if it is severe or you have a fever to call your doctor.

  • Try OTC anti-diarrheal.
  • Try fresh ginger in boiling water…this can help to stop diarrhea naturally.
  • Chamomile tea is also known to possibly decrease diarrhea.
  •  AVOID soda or things with carbonation.
  • AVOID  dairy.
  • AVOID caffeine.

Nausea and/or Vomiting…..

For me after surgery no matter what meds I am given I am nauseous. Not so much the vomiting but still no fun! I think it has more to do with not having anything to eat than the actual meds. Some articles I have read report that nausea occurs more often in gynaecologic surgery than others.

  • Ask your surgeon or anesthesiologist if nausea meds can be given along with GA. This way you don’t wake up with nausea.
  • Lying flat helps to reduce nausea.
  • Gingerale or sliced ginger in boiling water does wonders on nausea.
  • Teas with ginger in them also work well!
  • Snack on saltines or graham crackers.

Pain….

Of course since this is a surgery you will have some pain. It really depends on your level of pain tolerance & amount of “work” done to determine how much pain.

  • Stay on top of your pain! Take your meds BEFORE your pain hits. It is often too hard to stop pain once it starts.
  • Fill your prescription BEFORE leaving the hospital. In case you have pain on the way home once the hospital meds wear off.
  • Use a heating pad for any left over pain that the pain meds did not take away.

I really hope this helps you to care for any Post Op issues you may run into! I know for one that I am not looking forward to the gas pains but I am prepared to handle them with the tips I provided above.

If you have any other tips please leave them below in the comments!

My Endo Journey begins: 37 days out til surgery!

Today July 5, 2013 marks 37 days out! I am still relaxed and at ease about surgery. I am just sitting back and waiting now. I have been getting my room organized and in order. My cat sheds like no other so I dust a few times a day…guess it gives me something to do ehh?!

I took my last of 21 Estrogen pills today and of course the break through bleeding started. I figured that it would once the Depo Provera Progestin was able to take over again. I am not upset because at least now those horrible Estrogen induced cramps will stop. I have also been getting loads of pain in what feels like my ovaries so I am hoping that goes away as well.

I contacted my surgeon to ask if I didn’t restart the Estrogen would it interfere with my surgery. Thankfully I got a reply that it would not interfere and that the bleeding is fine. I am so relieved to hear that. I just want my cycles to return to normal and all of these synthetic hormones out of me!

As of July 29th I will be OFFICIALLY DONE with Depo Provera! I can’t tell you how happy I am to say that..well type it! I have been drinking loads of water and detox tea to help my liver filter it all out a bit faster. I have no idea if it works or not but hey I tried!

Anyone have an tips to offer me?

My Endo Journey begins: 41 days out til surgery!

Today July 1st marks 41 days til surgery! We are almost at 5 weeks and 4 days out! It is closer than I thought it was! The other day I didn’t even realize we had already passed 6 weeks Pre-Op!

I have realized that many of the women that I know that have Endo rarely if ever have enjoyable intercourse with their partners. I have also noticed that lots of women blame themselves as to why they can not have sex. It saddens me that our bodies can control and prevent such important parts of our romantic relationships! On top of that is the shame and embarrassment that we hold in not wanting to talk about the painful side of what should be pleasurable!

So lately I have noticed that intimacy for my partner and I isn’t happening as much as we would like. For one it has been way too painful during intercourse since I have scarring on my ligaments and ovaries. Two because I have constant cramping in my uterus which I am hoping isn’t Adenomyosis! My partner gets really sad when we attempt to be intimate and have to quit because it hurts. She thinks it is her fault and that she is the reason I hurt but we both know different. Also sometimes I feel guilty because we can not have sex as often as I am sure she would like or need.

Just a few months ago I rarely ever had pain with sex unless it was a week before my periods was due. Other than that I never really noticed any discomfort let alone pain with penetration. I am starting to think that it is because my Endometriosis has been so active due to hormonal imbalances and it being untreated for 13 years now. Yes I have done birth control for 1.5 years when I was 15-16. However since I have only used pain management to treat my Endo. I am sure that this has let Endo grow deeper and implant and scar more places in my pelvic floor.

I have been looking into trying Pelvic Floor Therapy to help but I have not been able to find a clinic in Atlanta. So far all that helps is taking a pain killer before and after sex. But even then we still have to be extremely careful. We have started using a lubricant to help with friction discomfort and that does help a lot.

Anyone have suggestions for PFT? Or any other methods that could help us? Please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at lala.life.with.endo at gmail We would really appreciate it!

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!