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  1. #1
    Senior Member WildCard's Avatar
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    Default Endometriosis - What now?

    First of, I understand this can be a touchy subject. And, since it applies to me, I would appreciate it if everyone refrained from sarcasm.

    Thank you.
    *************

    OK, I knew I was at risk for Endometriosis, especially since my mother had it really bad. All through high school I had very, very painful periods. I missed a lot of days because of it. However, we went to a OB and they never found anything to indicate that I had it. Birth control pills did nothing, so I eventually quit taking them.

    It was until the past six months that my symptoms got really, really bad. I was constantly tired, even when I slept all day. What I thought were strained muscles in my back and legs simply continued to hurt, getting worse with time. My menses became either extremely long, or would skip for no reason.

    I finally went back to the OB on base and after several tests, they concluded that I had Endometriosis. Further investigation, they told me from the amount of scarring and lesions on my fallopian tubes would render me infertile.

    So, I can't have kids. It never really bothered me before, but it seems that now that its "been taken away" I'm a little disturbed. I guess it's a good thing I wasn't dead set on having children.

    Anyway, I'm not sure how to take this. I won't lose my job with the military, which is good, I will be put on meds for when things get bad, but I won't be able to have surgery for another two years.

    Any advice ladies? Perhaps some of you have encountered this yourself? My mom seems to be taking it rather badly and has pulled religion into it. I believe she told me that since I "pursued a career not meant for a woman" God "cursed" me to be barren.

    And then they wonder why I won't go to church.
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  2. #2
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear this. I've not dealt with anything similar and I don't really have advice, but I can imagine that it would be difficult to hear that you can't have kids, even if you weren't sure you wanted them.

    It seems strange that your mom would tell you that this is a punishment from God.... when she had it as well! Did she choose a career not meant for women, too? I don't mean to belittle your mother - I'm sure it's upsetting for her and she doesn't mean to hurt your feelings, but you'd think she'd be a bit more sympathetic!

    Anyway, take care, and try to look on the bright side - at least you will feel better physically, and if you do decide you want kids someday, there's always adoption.
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  3. #3
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Bless your heart.

    Endometriosis is a physical condition, not God cursing you. Sometimes I think people believe the painful and unhappy physical experiences they have are easier to attribute to God's disfavor than see it as purely something going wrong. Believe me, I've been in that position a thousand times. I'm still in it, still struggling with it. And as to being in a field "not meant for a woman", I'd be hexed for being a mechanic, so cast that superstitious thought from your mind. You should be proud of your achievements.

    However - from one lady to another - I know FULLY what excruciating pain during your cycle can do to you, physically and psychically. It's pinned me down since the age of 12. I can still remember December 1989 being a month of a very rude awakening into adulthood. I don't have your condition - my pain comes from a severely over-active nervous system - but I've been to the edge, where I'd black out and my body would start to go numb from the waist down as a sort of 911 maneuver. I ready to kill myself to make the monthly nightmare STOP.

    Suddenly being told that you have a lot of scarring and can't have your own children must have been a really nasty blow. I'm so sorry. I've been of the same mind as you, that I hadn't had my heart set on it, but the idea of it being taken from me would be very hard. I've never met that man that made me WANT to have kids so that must make a difference, but as a woman, I'd want it to be part of my function by MY choice.

    I'll tell you what I did to help, and I hope it will make some difference for you. I don't know how much control you have over your diet presently, but when you can, try going organic. When I cut out meat (not good for everyone) I noticed a HUGE difference in my pain levels. I went further and drastically reduced my intake of any and all omega-6 oils (such as are found in almost every shelf-stable baked or fried product). The healthy ratio of omega 6 (inflammatory) to omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) should be something like 3:1, though I've had, through my own problems, to reduce that ratio even further with omega 3s taking more of a lead.

    This may sound a little "new age"y, but I went through a long stretch of time making peace with my body, spending a lot of alone time in silence so I could hear the rhythms of my own body and let her know that no matter what, I didn't blame her for what was happening, that we weren't enemies, and that I would fight for her. That brought a lot of calm to my physical body as well as my mind.
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  4. #4
    Oberon
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    There's another thing you can do, though I would think twice and three times about it before doing it: Go on the Pill, and never come off.

    The five sugar pills in a monthly pack of oral contraceptives are there mostly to make you feel normal. They really serve no medical purpose. You could ask a doctor's opinion, and if he or she concurs, just be on oral contraceptives 24/7/365. You won't menstruate, and no menses = no endometrial pain.

  5. #5
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    She said that the pill didn't help her at all. That's usually the first line of defense, and it appears it hasn't worked out. I know there are ways to STOP the cycle completely so that you only menstruate every 3 months or so, but I've always looked at something like that as a court of last resort. I can't imagine what it does to your hormones.
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  6. #6
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    She said that the pill didn't help her at all. That's usually the first line of defense, and it appears it hasn't worked out. I know there are ways to STOP the cycle completely so that you only menstruate every 3 months or so, but I've always looked at something like that as a court of last resort. I can't imagine what it does to your hormones.
    The bold part... that's what I meant. It's not the last resort, though. The last resort is a hysterectomy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Blown Ghost's Avatar
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    I've known a few ladies who have had this. I'm a guy so I don't have the requisite bodyparts to understand entirely, but I've always been curious what the pain from endometriosis and ovarian cysts is like. What kind of pain it is, where you feel it, if it happens some times of the month more than others, does it get worse when you move or do certain activities, etc. I am interested to hear this from anyone who has either of these conditions because I'd like to understand how it affects your daily lifestyle in ways that a medical article wouldn't cover. Please don't feel the need to share if you don't want, of course. I wish you the best of luck in fighting it.

  8. #8
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildCard View Post
    So, I can't have kids. It never really bothered me before, but it seems that now that its "been taken away" I'm a little disturbed. I guess it's a good thing I wasn't dead set on having children.
    Firstly, I am sorry that you are experiencing pain and discomfort, and I wish you a speedy recovery to managing the difficulties of endometriosis.

    Regarding children, please look into the possibility of cryogenically having your eggs preserved.

    Your eggs can be harvested, and kept viable for a loooong time on ice.

    I have my kids' embryonic stem cells cryogenically preserved, and they are guaranteed to be viable for 20 years.

    Human eggs have thicker cell walls and membranes than embryonic stem cells, so they should be good as long, if not longer.

    If you are willing to explore this option, you can have a surrogate mother carry your children and bear them for you. Maybe a relative or a friend would be willing to do this for you. I know one forum member here who did so for a family member. It is possible.

    From the perspective of a male, that is the most advice I can offer.

    Good luck, and God bless you!

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  9. #9
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    There's another thing you can do, though I would think twice and three times about it before doing it: Go on the Pill, and never come off.

    The five sugar pills in a monthly pack of oral contraceptives are there mostly to make you feel normal. They really serve no medical purpose. You could ask a doctor's opinion, and if he or she concurs, just be on oral contraceptives 24/7/365. You won't menstruate, and no menses = no endometrial pain.
    I have done this, and while I know it is not relevant to the OP (I'm sorry to hear -- no words can describe how much that sucks), in case anyone else is going to try this, you will eventually bleed, probably unexpectedly, so have supplies!

    Coincidentally, I am in the waiting room waiting for my first US experience at a health clinic to get a BC 'scrip, because I am scheduled to have debilitating cramps my second day of teaching 101 and I am nervous enough as it is!
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
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  10. #10
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blown Ghost View Post
    I've known a few ladies who have had this. I'm a guy so I don't have the requisite bodyparts to understand entirely, but I've always been curious what the pain from endometriosis and ovarian cysts is like. What kind of pain it is, where you feel it, if it happens some times of the month more than others, does it get worse when you move or do certain activities, etc. I am interested to hear this from anyone who has either of these conditions because I'd like to understand how it affects your daily lifestyle in ways that a medical article wouldn't cover. Please don't feel the need to share if you don't want, of course. I wish you the best of luck in fighting it.
    Many experts believe that severe contractions constrict the blood vessels feeding the uterus. The resulting pain can be compared to the angina that occurs when blocked coronary arteries starve portions of the heart of food and oxygen.
    -mayo clinic

    This just describes severe dysmennorea, aka menstrual cramps, the OP probably has it worse.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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