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  • Writer's pictureDr. de Castro

My Endometriosis Surgery

It's a story that's been in the making since January of 2019.

If you've read any of my previous posts, you know I've been dealing with different gynaecological issues since I was a teen. These all culminated in November of 2022 when I had surgery.

Little back story, if you don't know. The winter I moved back home from chiropractic school I was dealing with some serious pelvic pain. Different then the menstrual cramps I was used to, these started happening ALL. THE. TIME.

Finally, one day at work, I couldn't take it anymore, and drove myself to urgent care. As soon as I told them I had known cysts, they brushed me off and told me to get another ultrasound.

So I did, and when I followed up with my family doctor she said the words, "I think you might have endometriosis"

Now, as doctors go, mine was pretty progressive. You can only diagnosis endo with surgery. But from my symptoms, family history, and she she saw, that's what went with. I started birth control as I was desperate for relief, and was put on the list for an MRI.

Fastforward to May 2020, MRI completed, pain somewhat manageable...but after doing my own research I decided I wanted to meat with an excision specialist (a gyn surgeon who specializes in cutting out endo lesions). So I got referred to Dr. Thurston at the South Health Campus.

In Summer of 2021, I finally got to have my first appointment (via phone, thanks C*vid) and in September I got to meet her in person and what put on the list. She let me know they would look for endometriosis...but I also had a 7cm fibroid that was going through something called cystic degeneration on my left side that she wanted to removed. (YES PLEASE)

And so I waited...and pain started coming back. I switched to an IUD because the side effects of the pill were not pleasant. And I waited some more.

Finally. In September of 2022, a full year after I'd first met my surgeon. I got the call. November 8.

On the day, it snowed like crazy, and I had to be there to check in at 6am. So naturally I was up at 4am...without sleeping much. And off we went to the hospital.

The period leading up to when I went under the anesthesia was actually quite nice. I was nervous...of course, but the nurses were great, and I got to meet with the whole surgical team. I was wheeled to the doors, then walked myself into the OR and up onto the table, and within minutes, I was out.

Now...the aftermath. Not my favourite. I still get anxiety when I think about it. I remember waking up around 1pm, back on the day surgery ward, and thought "ok, I'm awake, I'm sure they called Justin (my partner).

2 hours passed.

I was worried, the roads were icy, is he ok? Finally I asked...and they had forgotten to call him. Luckily he had decided to come back to this hospital on his own, and walked in minutes later.

The pain was manageable, but O.M.G the nausea. It was truthfully the worst part. I couldn't shake it. My oxygen alarm kept going off and my heart would race. I just couldn't seem to regulate for hours. Finally I got up and went to the bathroom (big success ofter an pelvic surgery) and promptly vomitted. The next time I went to the bathroom, I begged to go home, despite the nausea. They said I could if I walked a lap. So I did...cue the puke bowl again.

But finally. at 9:30pm. I got discharged. I was the last one. I was miserable, Justin was sore from the chair in my room...and I felt like all of that could have been shrunk down if I had just had more attention...but alas, I did not.

All I could think about was how I hoped I never had to do this ever again. The pain was manageable. In the following week I only needed a stronger painkiller then Tylenol 3 times. Did I cry a few times from frustration...yes. It sucks not being able to sit up or turnover on your own.

But I can say, 3 weeks later, I'm feeling pretty good. My incisions are now scars and I'm back at work treating mommas and kiddos. I get sore, I swear I can feel where they cut the fibroid from my uterus, but I get through the day without pain medication. If anything, I'm just tired!

I'm cautiously optimistic to see how I progress. I follow up in January with my surgeon and am looking forward to being cleared for all activities, getting back in the gym, and making healthy choices again to manage this chronic disease.

Surgery is scary...but sometimes, it's the option we need. I got my confirmed diagnosis of endometriosis, and they removed the lesions they found. And now, we wait and see!

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