Today Aimee from Chronicwriter.net shares how she treats her endometriosis. Please remember that Aimee and I are not medical professionals and cannot give medical advice. We are just sharing our experiences and opinions. Check out Chronicwriter.net and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Warning: This post contains graphic photos from surgery.
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I was diagnosed with Endometriosis after a traumatic 11-month battle involving numerous trips to A&E, hospital admissions and acute pain management. I received this diagnosis on my birthday; 16th January 2015 via a laparoscopy.
My endometriosis was initially treated with excision during my diagnostic laparoscopy. My surgeon freed the adhesions from my organs and pelvis and removed the endometrial tissue. I was then advised to have the Depo Provera injection, which as a contraceptive would stop my ovaries from releasing an egg therefore avoiding a period, and the damage it caused. Within a month of having this injection, I knew it wasn’t for me. It severely affected my mood, which given my recent and life-changing diagnosis only caused me to feel desperately low. I didn’t have another injection when this wore off 3 months later. Instead, I was put on Cerazette, a form of contraceptive pill AKA the ‘mini-pill’. However, this didn’t seem to be strong enough to stop the bleeding and oddly, I began to spot/bleed every day. My doctor then prescribed Norethisterone in an attempt to stop the bleeding. So, at this time I was taking 4 tablets a day just to control my cycle and prevent a period.
After moving GP surgeries and finding a new specialist, I finally found relief with Zoladex injections. Whilst on the zoladex injection, my periods stopped completely and the pain abated. After a few weeks, I started to notice menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes and irritability, trouble sleeping. Although annoying, these symptoms were much more manageable than the severe pain I experienced during menstruation. However, it is not possible to conceive whilst on this treatment. Therefore, I decided to stop having the monthly injections, to try and conceive (naturally).
It wasn’t long before my symptoms returned and the only treatment was to try and manage the pain as best as I could while trying to conceive. During this time, I had to have a 2nd surgery, which revealed multiple cysts and this led to having my right ovary removed due to a borderline cancerous cyst. A year later, I’m still having severe pain, no sign of pregnancy and I have scheduled a nurse appointment to go back on the zoladex injections. I am devastated that I’m back to square one and my life seems to be falling apart again. But I am hopeful things will improve once I start the treatment.
Whilst on the zoladex treatment, my pain abated and my periods stopped. I was able to do more, and my quality of life improved. I’d gotten my life back, even if it was for a short time. I was so grateful to not be in pain every day. Without this treatment, my pain management includes Fentanyl Patches, Tramadol and Diclofenac, along with Cyclizine for sickness. This isn’t always successful, but there are no other options at this time. I also find that heat wraps, hot baths and a TENS machine can help.
Once I start the injections again, I’m hoping for a good few months to recover and rebuild my strength; I feel so drained. I’ve been battling pain for over a year now, whilst trying for a baby. My consultant has advised that it is unlikely that I will conceive naturally, and so will need to consider IVF. Which can coincide with the zoladex. It’s just IVF is so expensive and I’m not entitled to a free cycle with NHS funding.
Currently, I’m struggling to find some relief, even with my prescribed meds. I am on the waiting list for an appointment with a bowel specialist and the endo has caused my bowel to adhere to my womb. I’m facing another operation, to include surgical intervention on my bowel and to remove the active endometriosis. Due to the positive effect of the zoladex, my specialist has suggested that eventually, I will need to consider a full hysterectomy.