So i realized maybe you have no idea what Endo even is. I know i didnt. I thought, until I looked it up, that it was just stuff that was in your insides ( ie uterus) that was inflamed or not healing right. So that when you had your period you were more uncomfortable. What i found was way more...hmm. icky, for lack of a highly professional term.
From our good friend Wikipedia:
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity, most commonly on the membrane which lines the abdominal cavity, the peritoneum. The uterine cavity is lined with endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones. Endometrial cells in areas outside the uterus are also influenced by hormonal changes and respond in a way that is similar to the cells found inside the uterus. Symptoms of endometriosis are pain and infertility. The pain often is worse with the menstrual cycle and is the most common cause of secondary dysmenorrhea.
So with that, you can see, its not as simple as my brain had thought.
I left off with the surgery. So to skip the parts about me being nervous about General Anesthesia, and my sister and I playing with all the contraptions on the waiting pre surgery room..." hey lets try this one on my finger, what is your pulse? Wait its 99? that is high. " " No Elizabeth that is your pulse ox/ % you want it close to 100" we had some giggles on that one. We didnt hook take each other's temperatures, and i nearly died when they asked for a urine sample when i hadnt eaten or had anything to drink in 12 hours. amazing how nervous pee is easy to produce ( think pre race).
When i was walked into the OR ( yes i got to walk in there, looking into all the other surgey rooms and seeing people passed out, i sorta wished i had been rolled in. All i remember was i lay down, the started an IV, they put on a BP cuff and then i was babbling ( nerves again) and said I would rather be doing an IM. The nurses ate that up and as i told them " oh no you swim first, otherwise you drown, its 2.4 swim then 112 bike then 26.2 run, " and one nurse was bowing to me. Then i woke up at 1030 in recovery. I walked into the surgery at 0730. Nothing like some Tri talk for them to say " lights out sister."
When i woke up it was a few hours later and my Belly HURT. I am not sure what they gave me but i made the Anesthesioligist repeat after me that i was 123 lbs and that he wouldnt give me gas for a 150 or 175 lb male. I also made sure that my MD didnt inflate me too much. See they pump you full of Co2 so they can see your insides better. I had heard that the gas pain in your neck and shoulders is intense for 48 hours after the surgery. I had a little bit of that pain but It really was no worse than feeling like i had sore shoulders after swimming. It was really not bad at all compared to the cramping. I also learned soon after that i had some bonus organ removal. My guess was my tubes. But phew, those were intact. I just lost some weight in my RLQ ( Right Lower Quadrant) my appendix was inflamed. So who needs that. Fine by me, now i know i wont ever have an emergency Appy.
As soon as i got home ( and starting looking up all the cute Dankso clogs the nurses had on) i remembered not to do anything big in the next 24 hours. Dont get married, Dont sell my house, Dont go buy $500 worth of cute clogs. I love Dansko I used to wear them in the clnic. As an aside friday night i couldnt sleep so i did buy Mike three pair of jeans, And i did buy myself some shoes and a sweater. Oops.
I also emailed my Osteopath, here is what he said :
My understanding of endometriosis is that it starts with a problem with peristalsis in the fallopian tubes. Instead of a smooth peristaltic wave from the fimbria end toward the uterus, the wave is chaotic and somewhat spastic. This results in a backwash of endometrium into the abdomen where it implants, and then bleeds on a monthly cycle.
The peristalsis issue is at least partly related to blood sugar balance. If you have any carb intolerance at all, then this is likely a factor in the initiation of endometriosis. Other factors are a whole manner of environmental toxins that muck up the normal signaling in the fallopian tubes. Detoxification is what is needed in this case, and a very clean diet free of xenoestrogens.
Once the endometrium has implanted, it is up to the immune system to clear it out. I think that sometimes the backwash issue is ongoing and it overwhelms the body's ability to clear it out. Other times it seems that the body just tolerates the implant though it is not at all normal to do so.
We can talk about strategies to try to handle all of this.
** last time i saw him we discussed eatling less sugars while training. I think i may have to try this. I Also know we tried eating Sardines for brekkie and i was like GAG. nope. Cant do that.
You can bet we are talking about this. While i know i am going to be healing and better in the months to come, I also want to do what i can to avoid this recurring. IF that means some diet changes then so be it. I can do that:) I sorta feel like i have to. As much as I can say "oh it wasnt THAT bad," I then have these flashbacks of times where it WAS that bad.
The first night of camp 2013 in Tucson. Period Day 1, me up roaming the condo all night, crying, doubled in pain, not wanting to wake the entire condo, wishing and praying it would go away. Thankful that we werent climbing lemmon that day, i wouldnt have made it. I was a wreck. Stuff like that. The next day we made it up Lemmon just fine. I was fine. But hello russian roulette.
So its now Wednesday, my surgery was last friday. I left the house today. What a thrill. I cant tell you how funny it is to not be totally stir crazy and to actually be feeling like this is the right thing to do. I miss training, but in the big scheme? I hope this is a small speed bump.
What is the prognosis? Well I can start training 10-14 days post surgery. My plan is to start moving more prior to that as my body feels. They said i would have trouble bending over, or reaching. nope. And that i may be quite sore in my incisions ( yes) but they feel secure. The worst is that i have alot of cramping. And I have been taking Ibuprofen for that an it helps. No swimming obviously and i am guessing i will walk before i run and soft pedal before i look at watts.
As far as prognosis for life? not Triathlon? :) Hopefully with some dietary changes and with the addtion of a Mirena ( yup, tell all here) I will have less and less symptoms. If i were one who knew my sisters and mom went thru menopause early on i would have skipped the IUD but mid 50's and still going strong for my sisters means i dont want to deal with this for another 5- 6 years. I know the Mirena has its own challenges in the first 3 mos, but it surely cant be worse than what I have dealt with over time. Plus i am not a fan of OCP's for anyone my age or even after 40. Just my opinion.
I was thinking that i had wished i had done this sooner, but then had an A-ha moment. The last 3+ years i spent taking care of Rich. Doesnt mean thatI couldnt have done this but honestly I had no energy to take care of me in This Manner. So i am glad i was brave enough to do this NOW. Finally.
Ok so What did i leave out? :) not much. I missed the third Polar Vortex and hopefully the last. Its 12 deg out and it feels like its 70:) I am trying to eat more protein but honestly I lived on soup and graham crackers for 4 days. Thanks especially to ER and Angela whose daily emails keep me laughing and thinking that this is ok. And of course thanks to my family and Mike for making me laugh ( now that i can without pain) and for reminding me that sleeping till 1130 then 930 then 9 am even without drugs is a good thing:) Dreamy i know. Wow. Who knew i could sleep like that.