Thursday, June 30, 2011

Doctor, Doctor, Mr. MD

I took your advice. I shaved my legs. I painted my nails. I gathered up all the information I have regarding my own medical history.

I arrived at my doctor’s appointment 30 minutes early with extra glossy lips and a clip board in hand. I typed up a 3-year account of my menstrual cycle and a list of all my recent supplements. I filled out the medical history form the office had sent me prior to the appointment. I even brought in all my supplements (except the royal jelly, which requires refrigeration) and my copy of the Making Babies book, neither of which were necessary.

I felt as prepared as I would ever be. And I figured I knew exactly how this would go down. By the end of the appointment, I would have doctor’s orders for six weeks worth of blood tests, and in two months, I would be back in his office for the results. I was wrong.

John and I met with the doctor in his office. He looked through my medical history and asked me questions. He is soft spoken and kind, and we liked him right away. It helped that we were referred to him by dear friends, so we already felt a level of trust and confidence in him that we wouldn’t normally feel toward a stranger.

After our initial discussion, we went to an exam room. Let’s just say it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had. By the end, I felt nauseous and faint. But the worst of it didn’t last long, and it was worth it. I now know some important things I didn’t know before. First, there are multiple cysts on both my ovaries. Second, the doctor believes I have endometriosis and PCOS.

The PCOS part wasn’t a surprise, and because I suspected PCOS, I never really thought about endometriosis. It didn’t occur to me that both might be at play. So, after peeling myself off the exam table and getting dressed, John and I met back up with the doctor in his office. This is where he gave us his professional recommendation, which is to have a laparoscopy as soon as possible.

One thing he said, which I really appreciated, was the importance of having this surgery for my overall health (not just to improve the likelihood of pregnancy). Not getting pregnant is what got my attention, but it is a symptom of something else.

My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday morning. I'd appreciate prayers and good thoughts, and any pre-surgery advice.

UPDATE: Laparoscopy was moved to Thursday. 


  1. This is still insane to me. And it's kind of insane that it never occurred to me that you (or I) might have endometriosis. But even though this is all still a surprise, I can't tell you how excited I am for you. If your doctor does find endometriosis in there, not only could it explain a whole host of other issues, but clearing it out could welcome a whole host of new possibilities.

  2. Major hugs sweetheart.

    I've had that surgery twice to remove cysts from my ovaries. (In my case, one giant cyst each time.) In all honesty, the surgery isn't bad at all.

    You'll have three or four small incisions, the largest being just below your belly button. The other 2-3 will be below that area. You'll be knocked out the entire time, and when you wake up you'll be sore.

    They'll probably give you vicodin, and take this advice: Take the pills on a schedule for the first 48 hours, irregardless of how good you think you feel. TRUST ME. After that, go ahead and start weaning yourself off. And maybe TMI, but eat lots of fiber. The pain meds stop you up in a major way, so if your doc offers a stool softener, take it.

    Your doc will likely tell you to take a week off of work. (on disability.) Make sure you have some upright chairs WITH ARMS around for you to sit on. It may help to have a kitchen chair next to your bed to help you get in/out. Also, lots of pillows.

    You'll be sore and you won't want to move, but make yourself. Take small walks around the house. Rent a bunch of fun movies. Either make some meals in advance and freeze them or make John bring you home goodies every night.

    And when the doctor tells you its OK -- usually in 48 hours -- take the shower. It will be one of the best you've ever had. Just call John if you drop the soap. ;)

    Any other questions, feel free to call or e-mail me. <3 you kiddo.

  3. Answers are answers, even if they are found through surgery. Best of luck!

  4. I have my everything crossed for you. i found out in jan that i have endometriosis. my dr mentioned the laparoscopy too, but said it's not as common these days and they usually save it for women who have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. since i'm not yet at the "trying" stage, i just keep it under control with birth control. who knows how my situation will be once i start getting to work.

    keep us posted. <3

  5. Lisa here... glad you have some ideas of what may be keeping you from making a baby. I've not had a laparascopy, shocking, I know. I've not heard many bad things about them, so I hope they give you some good drugs, and take them!

    Good luck, and I hope the results are what you're after!

  6. I'm really happy for you that you have some answers - and the good news is that both things are absolutely treatable. I'm sure things will go well on wed. and then you'll be well on your way! Good luck!

  7. A friend of mine has been following your site so I just started following, too, and learning a lot from it. Amazingly, I just had a lap on Wednesday. They did find endo, so I was glad I had the procedure. Be prepared for shoulder pain afterwards. Ask about it. Weird, I know. But I had knife-stabbing shoulder pain for two days, and it's because they fill your abdomen with CO2 which wants to escape your body. Your shoulder shares a major nerve with your diaphragm, and it's quite common to experience severe shoulder pain after a lap. For me, I had like every side effect possible, including the shoulder pain, and it wasn't until the shoulder pain went away (i.e, last night) that I started feeling better! Obviously I'm a stranger to you, and this is my first comment ever. But after being introduced to your site by a friend only two or three weeks ago, and reading just now that you're having the same procedure I had only a couple days ago, I thought I HAD to comment!

  8. Thanks, everyone, for the advice and well wishes! The laparoscopy was moved to Thursday. I will, for sure, keep you posted.

    Suzanne ~ I'm so glad you've joined our conversation. That shoulder pain sounds terrible, but I hope the surgery makes all the difference for you!

  9. Chocolate ice cream. Have some in the house. It will give you something to look forward to. Pray, of course. And, know that you are deeply loved and courageously brave. I love you!

  10. I have had two laparoscopies myself, and wish someone had told me in advance about the referred shoulder pain (Suzanne is awesome!). The good news about it is that some people don't get it at all (bc they suck out all the gas that would press on your diaphragm), and for those of us who do (I did one time but not the other), it only last for about 48 hours while the body reabsorbs what is left of the gas. So, good luck...somebody you don't know in Seattle will be sending good thoughts your way on Thursday. I hope everything goes well!