January 3rd, two months exactly to our wedding day, I found myself laying on an operating table about to undergo uterine resuspension, endometriosis excision and a dilation and curettage procedure (commonly known as a D&C), marking my fourth endometriosis-related operation in nine years. We were hopeful this operation would not only be my last or second last, at the very least but would also aid in conception.
Two weeks before our wedding, I had my six-week post-op where we discovered the uterine resuspension had failed. It was no fault of my surgeon or the sutures. Turns out, I had a rare uterus which moved back and forth, like a pendulum, causing immense pain. This operation was meant to help with conceiving and yet weeks before our wedding we found ourselves discussing the realities of the removal of my womb, fallopian tubes and left ovary.
As I was already on medical leave from work due since mid-November, our wedding (March 3rd) was the first time I was outside my apartment amongst friends and family for more than an hour or so. Won’t lie, pretty sure the adrenaline from the excitement of marrying my person and the cbd/thc kept me standing upright instead of the classic endo-hunch, until the early hours of the morning. I know it’s cheesy but photographs like the one captured above, help remind me there is light when it’s dark. A few days after this was taken, I collapsed walking along the picturesque Wickaninnish Beach in Tofino on our honeymoon. My hysterectomy was scheduled shortly after, for the end of July. My fifth surgery in nine years.
During the four months leading up to my hysterectomy and during my recovery, I remained beached on the couch watching countless hours of Netflix and whatever cooking shows I could find on YouTube. On days where I was strong enough and had the energy, I would find myself in the kitchen creating a new recipe. Those were the days which I clung as my health endured more hurdles.
I started back to work the day after my thirty-fifth birthday, which happened to be seven weeks after my hysterectomy and almost eleven months of being stuck in my apartment due to chronic excruciating pain, nausea and bloating. For a few weeks, I started to gain a fraction of my normalcy back again. I was even able to wear jeans! Granted they had an elastic waist, but when your choices have been nightgowns á la Little House on the Prairie or the same couple of sweatpants — jeans are a welcomed variety.
When it started to become clear my chronic nausea and bloating were not simply symptoms of my hysterectomy recovery, I began to feel myself retreat. Hence the silence on this blog. I knew what was happening. I’ve been on the wrong side of the statistic before and yet I was naïve enough to think I wouldn’t be one of the women who still experience chronic endometriosis symptoms after my hysterectomy. Currently, we are unsure if there are new endometriosis lesions or if the endometriosis is affecting my nervous system or if there is something else causing this havoc. In order to help shed some light, I have been referred to an Internal Medicine specialist whom I am meeting in a couple of weeks. I am skeptical of how the appointment will go as I have been dismissed by so many other specialists in the past. In order to help combat the feeling of worthlessness I have felt in the past, Ciarán accompanies me adding his support.
It has been said, the first year of marriage can be the toughest and while Ciarán’s and my first year can certainly attest to that, we have weathered each hurdle which came our way. Challenges have made it so things are not always easy but we continue to raise one another up when it gets hard. He is my incredible partner in life and I look forward to facing all the adventures and challenges we will overcome in the future.