Endometriosis and Ulcerative Colitis – A new diagnosis Part 1

Well ladies, I have to first apologise for not being online for quite some time. The last post I wrote about skipping my periods still holds true, months later. But in addition to my endometriosis and the journey of skipping my periods I now have a new diagnosis which had led to my hiatus recently.

Here is what happened, but lets start at the very beginning (there may be some repeat from historical posts). Back in 2007 I had my gallbladder removed because of what we thought was gallstone pain. The gallstones weren’t exactly that big but the pain was unbearable, so out it went. Following the surgery I had a pain that developed – an ache really, and a tenderness – where my gallbladder should have been. It became flared over the years from foods but not really to any level of consistency.

Ok now circa 2012 I had my first endo surgery; a laparoscopy endometrial surgery to laser the cells in and around my uterus. I had stage 2 endometriosis that was hypothesised to exist since I was 14 but had no circumstance to remove it until 10 years later. Out it went too. And I was lucky… no pain for 5 whole years.

Lets now continue from where we left off last time. Confirmed thoracic endometriosis, stage 3 endometriosis, lesions near my diaphragm on the left side of my body, adhesions on both my tubes, and pressure on my sciatic nerve. My surgery is on the books for March, and I am currently skipping my periods. As was warned by my specialist, bleeding occurs quite frequently from over exposure of the veins in my endometrium due to (over) thinning of my lining. Great fun, let me tell you.

Yay, we are now all caught up to three weeks ago.

Three weeks ago I was on a work/vacation trip with my boyfriend in San Diego. I had a major endo flare near my diaphragm that really put a buzz kill on the trip. I wasn’t able to drink red wine, or eat too much food. I was in so much pain and exhausted from both the travel and the flare up. And yes, as you know, you just keep going. You make the most of the vacation and you walk on. I did… fairly successfully,… but was thankful at the end of the trip to be back home with my heating pad. Hold on to your hats ladies… this is where the fun begins.

That night I was curled up in bed and started to feel that lovely feeling of period-induced diarrhea. Great! Not only am I in pain, I may also be on my period. Ugh! I rushed to the bathroom, did my thang, and went back to bed. And then… an hour later, again. And again. Ok this is not normal. Did I catch a bug on my trip? I texted my boss who was with me in San Diego. Nope, he was fine. I texted my friends we visited in LA. They were fine too. My boyfriend was fine. I hadnt had a meal on my own that would have poisoned me. Soon I wasnt able to keep anything in. I stayed home from work the next day in anticipation that this 24-hour bug would work itself out of my body. 36 hours… 48 hours… I was now no longer able to stand up, I had excreted every little bit in my body.

I had no choice but to make my way to the hospital. I was sure this was a bug but wasn’t sure what the doctors could do for me. I was merely hoping they would hook me up to an IV and help me regain some energy through a drip. It was pretty impressive how quickly I was seen by the doctor, and they quickly did the routine culture panel. Sadly the results wouldn’t be back for days so I was sent home under the banner that I was infected by a virus and all I needed was rest. “If it gets worse, come back. But keep taking Pepto and it will slow things down”. Oh I took Pepto but no slowing down. In fact, it was getting worse.

***

Two days had gone by – my whole weekend – and no sign of getting better. Was I willing to go through this whole emergency room wait time again? What was my option? I not only had diarrhea at this point but tremendous abdominal pain from constantly excreting. I was frustrated and literally had no option. For the first time in years I called an ambulance. I didn’t know what to do when they arrived. I was able to stand, so I wasn’t dying. But I couldn’t do much else.

They walked me to the ambulance and sat me in the back seat. Bump, bump, bump… we finally get to the main entrance and wooooop. My head was spinning. They bring me a wheelchair, wheeled me in and “…….” that’s me throwing up everywhere! Probably the best thing that could have happened to me as it appears puke is an indicator that Im actually sick. Woohoo! I get quick access to a bed, a drip, and a warm blanket. For 6 hours!

In my stream of consciousness I managed to phone my mother in Toronto – across the country – and asked her to help. She was on a flight, almost landed, and would be with me in no time. Just as she showed up, they carted me into a room to conduct a colonoscopy. It is probably key to note that I was not at the same hospital as two days before, and the culture results still weren’t in. The colonoscopy results would also take days but visualising my colon on the screen would at least help to see how much of my colon was swollen. The answer = the whole colon. It was spotlessly clean given the frequent bowel movements for the last 6 days, but very swollen and very angry.

(ok out of respect for your reading time, I am going to stop here and resume in another post so you have the option to keep reading or not)

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