It literally just hit me. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Something that is going to be with me for the rest of my life. If missed it, I had a laparoscopy performed on January 22nd in which they were able to officially diagnose me with endometriosis. It was an “expected” diagnosis… for the most part. My doctor was pretty convinced I had endometriosis when I consulted with her in the Fertility Clinic. I had very irregular cycles and “that time of the month” was extremely painful for me. We also had been trying to get pregnant for 1 1/2 years at that point and weren’t quite sure what was going on. She may have been convinced, but I on the other hand, was extremely worried I was having my very first surgical procedure and they were going to find absolutely nothing.
Sometimes it’s okay to be wrong. I was wrong and it gave us answers and for that I’m very grateful. That is, obviously why we decided to go forward with the procedure, after all. After 3 failed medicated timed intercourse cycles with the assistance of our fertility clinic and 2 failed IUI (intrauterine insemination) procedures, there had to be something going on. I guess you could say I was in a little bit of denial. I knew the problem was all me– Cory had a semen analysis done and all of his numbers came back perfect– but I wasn’t quite ready to know why I was the problem. You know?
But now that we have the answers, I pray that we have the luck and the strength to continue on and get pregnant on our own or with the assistance of fertility treatments again. But I find it so odd and shocking that I, of all people, have this incurable illness.
For those of you who don’t know, endometriosis is where the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus in other parts of the body. For example, when I had my laparoscopy, they found endometriosis on my ovaries and in other places throughout my abdomen. It’s a pretty strange phenomenon and doctors don’t know why this happens and there is no cure for endometriosis. The only treatments recommended currently are birth control pills to suppress estrogen which endometriosis seems to favor, which obviously doesn’t work out well for those of us struggling with infertility related to endometriosis, and a laparoscopy with laser treatment to remove the endometriosis. The latter is done frequently or infrequently, depending on the severity of the endometriosis found and the symptoms that are present.
What symptoms do women with endometriosis experience? Pain. Lots and lots of pain with menses and/or throughout the month, pain with urination or bowel movements, and with some infertility is the first sign that something is wrong.
There’s a whole lot of uncertainty with this diagnosis and of course, being the Type A person that I am, uncertainty isn’t really my friend. I’d prefer to have a plan in place, to know when we are going to get pregnant, know when I would need to have another laparoscopy and get that all just jotted down in my planner. But, unfortunately with this beast, that just isn’t the case.
We’ll just see what this all has to hold for us.