Fatigue is Pain (And I Mind)
I decided at some point last year that this would be the year I would try to get my physical health sorted. And I don’t mean that in a resolution, diet-and-exercise sort of way. I’ll spare y’all my thoughts on resolutions, because they’re not nice in the way some people feel about Valentine’s Day versus the rest of the year. Improvement is a year-round sort of thing, but I knew that between baby and moving and postpartum, I’d not be in any sort of mental space to get on it until 2015 ticked around.
Now, my biggest problem is endometriosis… not that I’ve managed to get anyone to take that seriously. But it’s been affecting me since I was 13, in chronic fatigue and nausea and bowel problems and generally giving me a total lack of quality of life. My first pregnancy ‘fixed’ me for a few months, but then it started getting bad again after that. This last pregnancy was absolutely terrible, and the return of my cycle after my second pregnancy has taken me from bad to the absolute worst. I’m suffering chronic fatigue so bad that I am in physical pain. Honestly, I tick almost all of the CFS boxes, and it’s no fun at all. Add in things like bonus brain fog from bipolar meds, and yeah… all my energy goes into trying to stay vaguely cheerful for my own sake.
My plan for some time has been to push for a hysterectomy, as that’s what my maternal grandmother and aunt had to do around this point in their lives. I would prefer to not have to go that far, but I am prepared to to actually have some sort of quality of life. But because going to the doctor and potentially getting rejected for help I need is so exhausting, I’ve been trying to push myself around to it for a few months now. I’m booked in next week to see the one lady doctor at our surgery, so fingers crossed that seeing a woman means I get taken seriously, instead of pushed to the side because I can get pregnant and sex doesn’t hurt. Not all endometriosis is located around the uterus, and I’m pretty sure from past lookings and experiences that mine is in and around the bowels instead (which would mean that it doesn’t affect fertility, which it doesn’t for me).
I’ve got some rough notes scribbled, but the main things I’m going to push for are a permanent birth control solution — no periods means no endometriosis damage. If that’s an implant or the like, that’s fine. We don’t need a monthly to be healthy, and I think that it’s glaringly obvious that not having a monthly would be ideal. And as I don’t want any more children anyways… that’s part of why I waited. I didn’t want to be dismissed for being ‘hormonal’, even if I’ve known this was my battle plan for years now. I want to book in a set of full blood work, because that’s a wise thing to do postpartum. After all, what if the chronic fatigue is worse due to postpartum thyroid issues? Lastly, and this is of highest importance to me — I want to push to make sure I can get booked in for a laparoscopy. I don’t have a couple thousand pounds to get it done privately, and it’s the only way at current to diagnose/treat endometriosis. I very much fear that my bowels are rather fused, and that could require some scary scary surgeries to repair. The whole situation being untreated/ignored/dismissed for 20 years probably hasn’t done any good.
Of course, physical state affects mental state. And while I don’t think my bipolar is going to magically evaporate if/when this stuff hopefully gets looked at, and (hopefully) fixed, it should help with the severity of my brain fogs, and well… actually having the energy to do things would be amazing for my mood. Today I am feeling like a superhero because I bathed the baby, washed dishes, got the laundry started, and made my big girl’s bed. I’m completely wiped for it, and trying to decide if I can manage vacuuming without completely destroying myself. And this is a great day compared to yesterday, where the only thing I managed was a bath. Mind you, I’m still in a good mood on the whole, but yanno… want to feel better. I think those of us with chronic anything can appreciate that.
Anyways, hope everyone is doing alright out there.
Said a prayer that you can get the fix that you need, and that your bowels are not irreversibly damaged. You are so sweet and wonderful (I know you’re not perfect) – it says a lot that you said “all my energy goes into trying to stay vaguely cheerful for my own sake.” You do deserve better than that. xo
I appreciate the prayers. And yes, I agree — I do deserve better, and I’m in a space where I can finally ask for it.
Ouch, I am so sorry you’re going through this. If it makes any difference, the online medical journal I subscribe to came out today with big news: CFS is a REAL DISEASE!!!! Whoopie, we’re no longer going to be looked upon as cranks (at least when the word gets all the way around.)
I think the idea of a laparoscopy is excellent. Endometriosis can really muck up your innards.
The only thing about a complete ovarian+uterine hysterectomy is that you would suddenly be plunged into menopause, which along with your other health issues might be, well, not too good. I think your idea of a permanent period suppressant might be the thing. Just watch out for the new permanent solution: endometrial ablation, which has become very popular, but does nothing to stop your ovaries from cycling like usual.
It must be really rough having two young ‘uns to care for. I hope your baby is a good sleeper?
Sending love and healing juju –Laura
Yeah, aware that a full hysterectomy would trigger menopause. My maternal grandmother and aunt had to go that route in their 30s (1970s, and 2000s). I’m further aware that one can’t really take HRT if endometriosis is the issue due to it triggering the growths again. I know they both have a significantly improved quality of life for the choice, which is why I’m willing to hold it in mind if other things don’t work. I didn’t know what about endometrial ablation though, so that’s good to know. I guess I’m leaning towards one of the Minerva coils or the like, though I feel almost if maybe it should be a copper IUD + the arm implant. I’m not sure I could go through months or a year of waiting to see if things settle — my quality of life is terribad now. Hopefully she’ll have some thoughts as well.
Hopefully, the female doctor will be willing to push me forward to try and get that laparoscopy, because really, if it’s in my bowels like I think it is, that’s some potentially super-bad damage that will need correcting.
The husband has been handling the baby sleep shift since she was born, which means I’ve seen him in bed less than half a dozen times in the past year She’s just about through the night with no complaints though, so. My big girl is doing fine as well, and is enjoying school and her friends. Art style is coming along nicely, as is her writing of words and the like.