Monday, November 9, 2009

On a Personal Note

I really debated about writing this post because I try to keep this blog as fun as possible. But, this is our family's blog and more than anything it's meant to keep mine and Andy's parents up-to-date on the happenings of our lives. Mostly, I keep it about the kids, but today it's going to be about me. I got some news today, not great, not terrible but news nonetheless.

For several years I've dealt with ovarian pain. I had cysts in my younger years, which are pretty common. After I had Ava I began having terrible pain on my left side. After several doctor's visits and ultrasounds I was finally told that my ovary was fused to my uterus, that when I was put together after my Ava C-Section, my ovary was moved too close to my uterus and they stuck together. I was told it was pretty common. When I became pregnant with Jax, I was worried about the pain the stretching would cause, especially since my doc told me it would only get worse. But, it didn't. For nine months, I had relief from the pain, which should have been a red flag, but with so many other things happening with my body at the time, I didn't even think about it.

Fast forward to several months after Jax's birth and the pain began again. It's gotten increasingly worse the past few months and in the last few weeks it's begun to radiate into my back and at times, is almost unbearable. So, I made a doctor's appointment just to check in.

I went in last Tuesday and my doc ordered an ultrasound for Friday. That's when I found out there's no way to diagnose an ovary fused to a uterus via ultrasound. Huh? So, how did my old doctor know that was the problem? The ultrasound tech informed me that he probably didn't, but after several ultrasounds which ruled out other issues, just deduced that was the likely culprit. Great...

So, today, I met with my new doctor (who, honestly, is the best doctor I've ever had) to go over the results of my ultrasound. Turns out the problem is much more serious than an ovary and a uterus that love each other too much. I have endometriosis. Basically, the tissue that lines my uterus is growing OUTSIDE my uterus on my ovary and fallopian tube. The biggest concerns with this condition are infertility and an increased cancer risk. The GOOD NEWS is that I'm young and the condition is treatable. Increasing hormones will often do the trick. So, he's put me on birth control pills. In a month, he'll check things out and see how effective they are. If necessary, he can increase the dosage. Other options are hormone injections (which would basically put me through menopause for six months) or surgery, both of which the doctor and I would like to avoid. The reason I didn't have pain when I was pregnant was that my body naturally increased hormones, so it basically healed itself. My doctor said really, the best things for endometriosis are pregnancy and breastfeeding, neither of which I plan on doing any time soon. So, birth control it is.

As for the cancer risk, he says I just need to be vigilant about checkups. There is occurance in my family, so I need to be especially cautious. He's given me a diet that should help, it's pretty basic and a no-brainer -- lots of fruits, vegis, fiber and lean meat, and minimal SUGAR. I know these things, but avoiding sugar will be ALOT easier now that it's doctor's orders.

I know this is very personal and may be a little uncomfortable for the men-folk, but it's something that's happening in our family right now. Not to mention, I just really want to say, to women especially, to listen to your bodies. You know better than any doctor if something doesn't feel right. If necessary, get second, third, fourth opinions. I had SIX ultrasounds and THREE doctors before this problem was finally diagnosed. Even after I was told my ovary was attached to my uterus, I still felt a little uneasy, like there was something else wrong but I thought, "No, I'm just being paranoid. My doctor knows best." I am so grateful for my new doctor, he is so kind and takes so much time with his patients. He listened to all my concerns and tested for several possibilities before ordering the ultrasound. I know it was no coincidence that he is my doctor. Had I waited longer, who knows, maybe the diagnosis would be much different. I am so grateful to finally have health insurance again, and through it, I was able to find an amazing doctor. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who is aware of me and knows my needs better than I. I am thankful for Andy and Dusty, who last night, gave me the most amazing priesthood blessing. Never have I felt the Spirit more strongly. I am thankful for my two amazing children. The risk of infertility is high with this condition, however, it's not definite. Plenty of women have children after being diagnosed. However, if, I am never able to have children again, I am totally content. We have been so blessed already. Iif our family is meant to grow in the future, then we will again count our blessings and thank our Heavenly Father for His tender mercies toward us.


Laun and Catherine said...

I am glad that you know what it is. I hope all goes well. Sorry about all of that. I will pray for you.

Candace said...

Bekah, I am so glad you did put a personal note for yourself. I am sorry you have to deal with this, especially the pain. I was just realizing that you two may not have family around here, with the exception of Dusty, and I hope that I can be of some assistance. I sent an email yesterday so check your spam box in case it went in there again! Also, you have to let me know who your doctor is because your post has made me want to get something checked out. Thank you and please, do let me know if I can help out!

Brian and Janette said...

I'm glad you posted about this and I am SUPER glad that you have a good Dr. who is attentive and kind. It sounds like you're keeping a great attitude about it all...great job! Wishing you the best with all that this may entail.

On another note, I tried to vote for Ava, but I think the email must have gone to my junk folder and then I didn't scan it carefully enough before I emptied my folder! Uggh!