Well this post will be different from my normal upbeat posts full of love and sunsets and activity. While those posts will return, I wanted to write a bit about my experience this last week AND over the last 6-8 years with endometreosis. Funny thing that word. I thought it was something other people got and was for women that just had some weird stuff going on in their insides. I really didnt even know what it was or that i had it, till about 6 months ago.
One thing i did know was that I have had SEVERE mentrual cramps and at times if i missed my period due to high training or when i had just started doing triathlon in my early 40's I was so overjoyed. I know this isnt a good thing. Getting your period is GOOD. As much as we say that tongue in cheek i know its a good sign that my body is healthy, i am feeding it, there isnt an energy imbalance and in many studies ( which I can find and state if you want them) there is a correlation with women who are irregular or ammenorheic and injuries, especially injuries to the lower leg and feet. ( ie Plantars) So everytime i was balled up and literally unable to pedal my bike or had to get off the trainer to lie down, I knew that this was good for me, isnt it? Recently the " get off the bike to lie down and groan " had gotten more frequent. Even when i didnt have my period. This had also happened when i was Time Trialing or at a race when i was doing a very hard ( well I was racing) effort I felt like i had cramps even when i didnt have my period. It was the strangest thing, and it never happened when i was running or swimming.
Lets back up for a second. I have never had kids. I think that means i am more at risk for this. None of my family has it, that is also a risk factor if mom or sisters have it. I really had no other symptoms they list online ( you know, the BOX OF TRUTH) other than a ton of pain the day before and days 1-2 of my cycle. I dont bleed alot. I wont go into what they say alot of Endo sufferers have, go google it. But the point is every 27 days i would start to get really anxious and try to not plan things for those days. If i had a race? well that was totally a huge bummer. I was more worried about this than the race. I used to dose up on Celebrex, that didnt work AT ALL. When i started seeing an OB instead of listening to my MD ( who by the way is really a well respected sports med MD internist, shame on her) who just wanted me on the pill and NSAIDS for the rest of my life, I got a new Rx for Ibuprofen. This really was a miracle for me. IT actually cut the edge. So all last summer ( summer of 2013) i would dose up to 2400 mg of Ibuprofen starting 2-3 days before my period. That is alot of Advil. I have horse pills that are 800 mg ( 4 advil) and i would use my pill cutter so i could spread it out so i hopefully didnt Kill my stomach lining. It got to the point i didnt even need to eat, i never got an upset stomach. MAybe i just am eating pretty often anyways but so far i never had any issues with that. ( tick tock, i hope i still dont)
Ironman 2012 at Wisconsin before i had the above protocol i had my period. Rich was dying. I got off the bike 3 x, I wanted to quit. I am just amazed when i look back at that. Best of the US race in 2010 I had my period, got it race day. I grimaced that entire run. I think i nearly passed out when i finished and i remember thinking that if that run had been longer than a 10k i could NOT have done it. No way. I guess maybe this makes me sound all gritlike and superwomanesque. That isnt my point in writing this. My point, I think is to share this in case any of you have been told you just have to suck it up and deal with it. and maybe my point is that i decided that i didnt care if this interuppted my training for Ironman bc my entire life was being affected by this.
So when i finally got the clue to go see an OB ( remember no kids so i dont really have an OB) but i went to see Donna Block who delivered my nephews and is a great surgeon. My MD said " She is a surgeon she wants to cut," and yes I Get that. But i also know that Donna knew right away. Over 6 mos ago she said " we should do a laproscopy, we put you to sleep and...." I stopped listening at the general anestheisa part. I was not into that AT ALL. no way jose.
I got the information and promptly started doing the ibuprofen and this past summer of 2013 most my races fell on good days, i seemed ot get my period on monday! Or tuesday! not the weekend. Thank you body. Also maybe in the summer things just seem easier, yet i still had a few days of " ugh, glad i only have to swim today...or glad i dont have a big work day." It really is russian roulette. So i kept up the NSAIDS, never leaving home without my horse pills. OFten wondering what my stomach or liver or insides was thinking about this. Also wondering if when iw as really training hard for shorter courses if somehow i would injure myself bc i was doped up on Nsaids 4-5 days of a 27 day cycle.
But i was doing good. I made it thru the season, and i ran the 10 miler and no issues ( as i said, the calender was in my favor)
So what made me change my mind? Well this fall I must have forgotten to get on the Nsaids on time and i had an episode that rocked my world.I had just met Mike and he was over, I had just started back with JH and had a ride that was not that hard but it really seemed to drain me. I figured it was a holiday weekend ( Thanksgiving) and i had eaten alot of pie andstuff i dont usually eat. ( We will get to the Gluten free stuff later) and i also was tired. Mike and i then went for a 20 min t run, nothing hard. Outside, remember when we used to have days above -25? well we did. And then i got home and i felt really really awful. I got my period and knew. I then got faint. I dry heaved I tried to eat, i couldnt. I lay on the bed in a ball and said to MIke " welcome to my world every 27 days." at that point i didnt want to take any Nsaids bc i had nothing in my gut and i knew that whatever gel or OSmo or Skratch i drank wasnt enough. I have NEVER FELT SO awful and I said " maybe you should take me to the ER." Then i thought clearly. " They will just drug me. " SO, being the resilient person i am i went to the small stash of Oxycodone that Rich told me " dont get rid of this, it has good street value." and i took a half a 5mg pill. IT worked wonders. Dont come looking for them ihave them well hidden.
I have never had to take narcotics before for my period and that was the exact day i knew that i didnt want to deal with this anymore and i went back into see Donna, Dr. Block and got this procedure planned. OF course my next cycle was fine. Fine meaning painful but not like that one i described above.
Background done and if you are still here i will write next post about the procedure and what they found and how i feel. I am really uncomfortable but i know this was the best thing to do. Dr Block told my sister " nobody should be this uncomfortable." Amen to that.