Yesterday was my first appointment at the Women’s Clinic here in Germany. I had been pretty nervous about this for a few days but was trying to mask it by keeping busy (hence the lack of a blog post! SORRY!) Now that my nerves are back together, I’m doing good and can tell you all about this stage of the journey!
So this place is known for it’s specialists in Endometriosis and even though I was nervous I was still hopeful that they wouldn’t get my hopes up right away. Unlike my regular doctor who flat out told me that babies and me weren’t meant to be. Bitch. After the hour long drive we arrive to this massive city and to this massive University Hospital with multiple buildings. I got right into my appointment with maybe a 4 minute wait time which was excellent considering how I couldn’t focus on anything anyways.
After the tests and what not (you’re not getting the details) they told me that they will need to do another laparoscopic surgery. It’s through the belly button which makes me want to barf just thinking about it. Did I ever tell you guys that I HATE belly buttons? They make me gag. Anywhooooo WAY off topic. So another surgery – and if there is a lot of endometriosis they won’t touch anything. They will sew me back up and after the surgery will put me back through the miserable menopause injections called Lupron for 2-3 months to shrink up the large masses. After the 3 months is done, I will go back in for a second surgery where at this time it’s easier for them to zap all the crap out. That’s option number one. Number two is they go in for the surgery and where there isn’t a lot of tissue to remove, they will just zap it out of there and sew me up. Then the baby making process will start.
However, this baby making process is freaking me out a little bit. I’m not sure what is to come after the surgery. There is still the possibility that it will be too difficult for us to conceive naturally. There is the possibility that the fertility processes may not work. There is a possibility that after years of trying we still will come up empty handed. I need to stop waiting for the “bad news” and focus on the positive but thats really hard when the one dream you have could be crushed in one appointment. Luckily, I like my doctor and she will not be harmed if in fact the news is bad. I promise!
So here’s to stage one of the process. Really wishing it wasn’t going to be such a long and winding road. (Queue: Beatles) I guess the part we are waiting to hear is whether or not I have stage I,II, III, or IV of this illness. One and two we can work with…three and four is much too difficult I think and we will consider our other options. Anyone up to be my surrogate?! Anyways, thanks for reading, listening, and following my babble of a journey. I’m super glad I have my Toblerone right by my side through all this, I know it hasn’t been easy for him either. (Thanks Bubs!) It helps me for some reason to just get it out in the open. I’m gonna show this mean old Endo that I’m not scared of it and I will fight it to the death!
I just returned from a doctor’s appointment and feel completely deflated. What better way to heal then to just get it all out there for the world. Yes, I’m looking for sympathy, I’ll admit it.
NOTE: This post is a little long but it’s informative. Just stay with me 🙂
In all the many years I played with Barbie and her 20 children (yes 20) I also envisioned my own life to be much of the same. When someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say something along the lines of Ballerina, or Veterinarian. When someone would ask me how many kids I wanted I would easily say 10. Although the idea changed about my career a million times over, the fact that I wanted 10 kids remained for many many years. I recently changed my number to 5 but that’s as low as I was going until….
When I started getting lower back pain I was about 17 years old (that’s ten years ago, people) I thought it was from wearing high heels every day or from running. I went to a chiropractor and felt fine for a while after that. Gradually, the back pain got worse and stayed for longer periods of time. I then went to physical therapy and to a chiropractor. Also getting massages twice a week. This seemed to help for a while. Then about when I was 25 years old, I needed a frequent visitor card to the local hospital. Where one doctor (very hot doctor) stated that, “In the ER we can’t diagnose you, only make you feel comfortable with drugs.” I did everything to try and find out what it was. Accupuncture, spine specialists, hydrotherapy, nerve testing, you name it…it’s been done.
My last visit to the ER I was pumped up with two doses of morphine and percocet along with some other pain-killer as well. This reason for this visit was the worst. I woke up from a dead sleep with shooting pain in my lower back. The kind that if I laid down, sat up, stood up, walked, or breathed…it hurt. No, not just hurt, literally felt like someone reached inside and was ripping my bones out one by one. There is no description for how excruciating this was. When I made it to the hospital they wanted to put me in a wheelchair but that was so painful to sit. Going to the bathroom and sitting on the toilet was unbearable. For ten years no one had an answer for me. No one could help me. But why was an all-around healthy 20 something having this much pain?
I missed out on so many things due to this. I was bed-ridden for weeks at a time and even had to go to work using a cane. I missed out on wine tours (never been to one due to this back issue ALWAYS happening when one was planned), parties with friends, dinners, family gatherings, etc. For my birthday one year I planned a weekend camping trip with 5 other people. I was in the hospital the night before (see above mishap) and stocked up on serious drugs and did my best to pull through. Although I was in another world I was there and tried to push past the pain.
I decided to try one last thing. I went to my GYN and asked her if there was something that could be causing this back pain from her perspective. We did a few tests which were painful…I won’t share what we did – you’re welcome. Then she said she couldn’t see anything unless she did laparoscopic surgery. As horrified at the idea of surgery I was, I decided this was my last chance. My last hope for an answer. After the surgery, she told me she found endometriosis everywhere. It was attached to my appendix, gall bladder, all over in my uterus. Just everywhere. This “Endo” is scar tissue that you get only when you have your period every month. Not everyone has this, obviously, but I must have had it for years and didn’t know it. But this scar tissue latches on to things and grows. Suffocating whatever it is attached to. You would think I would feel a million times better after the surgery but in fact I had visits to the ER even so. My doc then suggested she puts my body through temporary menopause with a 6 month injection to see what becomes of this.
Fast forward 6 months, the hot flashes are treacherous and the weight gain was unwanted but the back pain was gone. For 6 months I was great. After we were done with the injections, I was good for exactly one year. Almost to the day – one year. This January…it started all over again. Now I’m here in Germany, with back pain so severe I’ve been laying on the couch for 3 weeks. Rarely get fresh air and miss out on everything. I haven’t been to my German classes in 3 weeks, haven’t been able to give English lessons in so long. It’s just been a complete mess.
So…I went to the GYN in Germany. She did a full exam – much to Toblerones dismay. Poor guy! He had never been present for this type of thing before. Ha..as I’m sitting here I’m cracking up at his reactions! After all was said and done she basically told us that my Endo is so severe and extreme that having a child would be very complicated, if not impossible. This was a moment I wished I didn’t understand German at all. Looking at the walls covered in Anne Geddes photos of babies just shot an arrow through my heart.
Ok....maybe not this but close enough
Here’s the thing, I knew this was a possibility but you hear so many good stories about women who have had children despite the odds. But did they all have severe endo? Extreme endo? Odds are, probably not nearly as horrific as mine. Knowing it is one thing but actually hearing it was another. I started crying immediately. I’ve just been so down and out about living on the couch and then to have this on top of it. She said she couldn’t help me, not to mention her sense of humor and compassion were lacking. Reminds me of this (here’s a little laugh for you):
So this also explains why I’ve been lacking on the blog front. I’ve been distraught and have nothing to write about, quite frankly. I can describe the view from my couch but that’s about it. Let me ask you this, how long does it take you to go down 13 stairs? Probably under 10 seconds for the average healthy person, right? Well, yesterday it took me over 5 minutes. Think about that. 5 minutes. That’s a hell of a long time! I walk like a dying pterodactyl!!! My flippers are all over the place just to hold my balance. It’s crazy!
I’ll be going to a specialist for endometriosis about an hour away from home. I hope they can help me. I know the next few months are critical. I need to find the strength to fight. To fight for my dream of having a big family, to fight for a life. I want my own child and as good as adoption and surrogates sounds, I just want my own. I want to have the big belly and I want everyone to come up to me and hug it ( I know most women hate that!). I want the morning sickness and I want the swollen feet. I hate seeing people talk about how pregnant they are, complain, post pictures of their baby bump, the cute clothes, the nursery. It’s so painful for someone like me that has to sit around and watch as everyone is easily getting pregnant (even those that shouldn’t be allowed to) and I get a punch in the face.
I’m not sure what I did in my life to deserve this kind of punishment but I will tell you all something. From here on out, you will be apart of my journey…every step of the way. Please join my journey by becoming a subscriber or a fan on the facebook page! What is new in the fertility world, navigating through a language barrier, and so on. I will fight for my dream…and I will fight for the life of my own child.