Updated: Oct 10
My most transparent story about suffering from endometriosis.
July 27, 2017
I made it home from surgery and am on the mend. Thank you all again for your thoughts and prayers. I'd like to tell you about my experience so that it will shine a light on those who are also suffering from misdiagnosis. This is quite a long read and I don't normally post such personal issues on FB but it's important and I'm not apologizing for it!!
June of last year, I started experiencing nausea that would come and go throughout the day. I didn't think much of it and did my best to eat between episodes. Then, in November of last year, my husband and I were cooking Thanksgiving dinner for our family when I collapsed from excruciating pain and cramps in my lower left abdomen. I didn't go immediately to the doctor because I was on my period and I just dismissed it as being a bad case that month. The cramps and nausea continued even after my period. And in January I could feel a large painful knot where my left ovary was. I was also experiencing severe constipation. That is when I decided to go to the doctor.
My PCP at the time saw me and said it sounded like a hernia and that it didn't seem urgent. She scheduled me a CT scan later in the week and results came back that I did not have a hernia. I had ovarian cysts, ranging in different sizes and she told me to take Ibprophen and they will go away on their own. I wasn't satisfied with this so I decided to make an appointment with my OBGYN to discuss the extreme pain I was feeling with these cysts every single day. She advised me to get on birth control pills to trick my body so I wouldn't develop any more cysts. I wasn't satisfied with these orders either as birth control pills come with their own set of side effects. Following both doctors orders, I carried on miserablely for the next 6 months with excruciating pain every single day, sometimes missing work and having nausea so heavy that it made me get sick several times, sometimes right after a meal. I only felt good 1 week out of the month. I lost a total of 45 lbs in those 6 months, dropping down to my current weight of 115 lbs. The pain interrupted EVERYTHING in my life. I was miserable, depressed, and desperate for relief. Something else just had to be wrong, this couldn't just be from the cysts.
At the end of May I woke up from sleeping with pain and cramps so bad, I was vomiting and shaking uncontrollably. I called my OBGYN and she was on vacation for the next 2 months!! The doctor on call, advised me to go the ER for a sonogram thinking that the cysts might have ruptured. After several phone transfers to get me in, I accidentally got transferred to the doctor that was on call. His nurse answered and asked how they could help. I told her a brief summary and she checked the books and gave me an appointment immediately that same day and saved me an outrageous trip to the ER!! This was a miracle as you know it's very rare to get into any doctor same day that isn't at urgent care and I wasn't one of his patients!! I saw him and he immediately apologized and said he truly sympathizes with me. He said my pain level was simply too extreme for cysts and performed an exam and ultrasound. He immediately told me that I would be a great candidate for a hysterectomy because I do not want any children and because there is a chance I had endometriosis but that can only be diagnosed through surgery. He told me to think about this and weigh my options but it basically boiled down to the next 30 years. Could I live like this for the next 30 years? Absolutely not.
So I proceeded with a total hysterectomy on July 27th! When he came in to tell me his discoveries, he was blown away. He said that I had the worst case of endometriosis that he has ever seen in 5 years. He said my ovaries, tubes, and uterus looked as if E6000 glue had been poured all over it because the webbing of endometriosis was attached to my intestines and rectum as well. It was one gigantic mass. Thankfully, the surgery was a super success and he was able to remove all of it!! He told me again that there was no way I could continue living like that and he was so sorry I had been fighting this for an entire year.
So I write this to encourage you to be your own health advocate. Take charge of your life and find a doctor that you love. And more importantly, don't dismiss symptoms and ignore pain like I did. Get those second opinions and make sure you and your doctor are on the same page every step of the way!
Big shout out to Dr. Ornelas for being the most amazing doctor I have ever met and the incredible nurses and professionals that took the best care of me and my situation. There are no words to describe my deepest gratitude. It takes a very special person to be in the medical field and I was blessed to have the best at Shannon. Thank you all for being miracle workers. And a special thanks to my family, friends, and clients for being there for me, for sharing their personal experiences with me, and spoiling me with love and gifts. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support throughout my ordeal! Can't wait to get strong and back in the salon! Thanks guys!