Girl it really is Endometriosis!
Although I had never had surgery before, preparing for the surgery wasn’t nerve-wracking at all. In fact, my doctor was surprised I wasn’t anxious or scared to have surgery. He said some people literally cry when he tells them they need surgery, even more, when they realise it’s just a few days away, in his words “you are very brave”. For me it wasn’t bravery, I so badly wanted the pain gone that I didn’t even dwell on how scary surgery could be. It was more of a how soon can we get it done and over with situation for me.
I went through the usual surgery preparations. You know getting donors, doing some more tests, especially for the anaesthesiologists, signing agreements, amongst others. The surgery was eventually done. Phew! Remember I mentioned we didn’t know for sure that I had endometriosis? Well, it was confirmed after the surgery that I indeed have it. Not just that, but they left it completely untouched! They removed the fibroids and ovarian cysts and left the endometriosis lesions UNTOUCHED! Yes, I’m shouting.
The doctor said it was formed like a carpet and that if he had touched it, I would have bled out. He didn’t think it wise to try to remove it. So here I am, a year and eight months later, writing this with endometriosis comfortably chilling on the walls behind my uterus, and possibly in my lungs.
Of trials and errors
I was mostly relieved of the extreme constant pain; the pain caused by the fibroids and cysts. The constant mostly bearable and occasionally excruciating pain caused by endometriosis however remained.
I started discussions with my doctor about the best management options. The most he could offer was hormonal medications, which mostly double as contraceptives. These and pain medications are basically what is used to manage endo, aside from surgery. The challenge however was that I reacted badly to the prescribed one. I tried a couple of them and they made me depressed and gave me hormonal acne, headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, and muscle cramps among others. I was relucted to try any more hormonal medications regardless of how promising the doctor made them sound.
I decided I wanted to see other doctors so I asked my doctor to give me a medical report, especially a report from my surgery. After weeks of unsuccessfully chasing him for it, I gave up and decided to just try to see another doctor without any doctor’s report. And that my friends, began an unending journey.
I was bent on not going to just any gynecologist. I wanted one who specialises in endometriosis. I searched, and searched, speaking to friends, friends of friends, medical professionals, and strangers even, but nobody knew of an endometriosis specialist in Ghana. I eventually heard of one practicing at LUCCA specialist hospital. Imagine my excitement! I had some personal issues to sort out so I took a couple of weeks to deal with those before finally calling the hospital to book an appointment. Guess who the universe starved of luck; Me! I was told the doctor had left the country but another one was coming from the US in three weeks. I specifically asked if she was an endometriosis specialist as well and they said yes.
To be continued