A few days after surgery I read through my discharge notes. I had given them to my boyfriend after we left the hospital and forgotten about all about them. The first few days I was too overwhelmed to think about anything other than managing the pain and trying to rest. I was already finding it hard to comprehend my diagnosis of Endometriosis, so reading the paperwork I was handed when I was leaving hospital hadn’t crossed my mind. Amongst some medical jargon the notes detailed where they had found patches of Endometriosis; on both my ovaries and my uterovesical fold. I didn’t know what that really meant but finding out it was on both ovaries was like a kick in the stomach. Most of my pain had been to one side so I thought even if one ovary was damaged at least I would have one good one. I broke down, fearing that my dreams of having a family might be jeopardised if both ovaries were affected. The realities of the diagnosis began to kick in.
It’s weird because if you ever asked me growing up, I had no interest in having kids in future. Even right up until my early 20s I found the idea of a baby growing in your belly to be a bit freaky. One day it was like a switch clicked and I was suddenly SO broody all of a sudden. I think being in a serious relationship made me think about having kids too. Now I’m one of those annoying people that point out cute babies to whoever I’m with. I really hope to experience having kids and every time I see a pregnant woman, it makes me think ‘I want a baby bump!’. That being said, babies weren’t on the horizon for me and my boyfriend just yet. I am really enjoying my career and that does require me to maintain my current figure. I guess I always just took fertility for granted. In your teens the focus is on not getting pregnant so you think when you do want to start a family it will just happen. It has definitely been a reality check.
I had elected to undergo a hysteroscopy and dye test while under anaesthesia for the Laparoscopy. This is where they check inside your womb for any abnormalities and inject dye to see if your fallopian tubes are blocked. If you have endometriosis the lesions can block the fallopian tubes which can affect fertility. This came back clear so that was at least some hope to cling to. I also had the Mirena coil fitted as it was recommended by my doctor. It can help to reduce heavy periods and since I had tried several types of the contraceptive pill with no improvement I thought it was worth a try. I later went to my GP to ask for some clarification on what the notes meant as I hadn’t a clue what my uterovesical fold even was. They actually were not sure either but after a quick google they told me it is a ligament between the womb and the bladder so that could well explain my bladder pain.
My mum flew over to London to help look after me for a few days which was so lovely. It was great to have her to keep me company while my boyfriend was at work. I was really nauseas and dizzy for a few days and my symptoms had all intensified due to all the initial inflammation so I couldn’t do much by myself. Being able to talk about my worries and have her to listen to my fears was really comforting. There is nothing like the support of your mum when your not well, whatever your age. I ended up being off work for three and a half weeks in the end. I think my recovery was slowed down due to the having Diathermy (lasering of the tissue) to treat the Endometriosis that was found.
I didn’t want to rush into work too soon and end up setting my recovery back so I slowly built up my strength by going on short walks and being more active gradually. My work can be pretty physically demanding, sometimes involving long hours standing or changing outfits over a hundred times in one day. I also had a super swollen abdomen so I had to wait for this swelling to go down. Typically, my first job back was shooting lingerie! It was pretty difficult sucking in as my stomach muscles were still a bit sore. My surgeon kept her word and my incisions were so neat that at least I didn’t have to worry about the scars being overly noticeable. I was so happy to get back to work after nearly a month off! I would definitely advise planning on having some family or close friends help you after your op. I am so thankful that my mum visited and my boyfriend was so good in the weeks following. He made me lovely meals, looked after our kittens and made sure I never had to bend or lift a thing. Having someone to talk to and help you process your feelings is also very important.
Until next time,
Please note: I am not a medical practitioner and am not offering any medical advice. Everyones journey is different and I am just sharing my personal experiences with Endometriosis. If you feel like you or someone you know if suffering with symptoms of Endometriosis, I urge you to visit your GP.