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Well Herd, it finally happened. After COVID cancellations and a little stubbornness on my end, a little over a month ago, I finally had my surgery to officially diagnose and resect my Endometriosis. If we are being honest, with all the obstacles 2020 has thrown at us, I am not sure I really believed it was happening until I was in the operating room, and they were swapping my HofZ mask out for the one that had the gas that put me to sleep.
All in all the surgery went well. The doctor was hoping for the “best case” as he called it. A quick surgery where they found maybe one small endo lesion, and removed it and I was on my way. Unfortunately, after a two-hour surgery the doctor’s immediate feedback to my husband was that I was “one tough cookie”. Two weeks later in my post-op appointment I was officially diagnosed with Stage 3 Endometriosis.
My recovery has gone fairly well, with only a few bumps in the road including low blood pressure that held me at the surgery center later than anticipated, a 24-hour migraine caused by the anesthesia during my surgery and pain meds, but perhaps the worst was getting my period only 4 days after having surgery on my uterus.
When they told me before the surgery that I could resume normal activities, I thought I would be back to work and riding as normal in two weeks. As I quickly found out, that really meant I could slowly return to normal after two weeks were up. In true equestrian style I would push myself, and then tell Tom how annoyed I was that I was then sore or extremely tired, then rest for a few days, before repeating the cycle. It was last week (week 4 of my recovery) that I finally felt like I was pretty much normal.
The physical challenge of recovering from surgery was not the hardest part for me, it was the cognitive and emotional pieces that went along with it that I have struggled the most with. I’ve known for a long time that something wasn’t “right” with my body. And for most of that time, I have suspected that the cause was endo, but there was something about having that concrete diagnosis that was equal parts comforting, and terrifying all at once.
Picking a plan to help slow the regrowth of my endo has felt extremely overwhelming. It has brought up many old scars from doctors in the past who have not listened to me, and triggered my anxiety in ways I didn’t expect. Talking it out with close friends and family has come with wonderful support, as well as a few strong opinions about what I should do with my body that I didn’t expect. Ultimately, I had to listen to my heart, and my body and choose what I felt was best, listening to and advocating for my body got me here, and I couldn’t turn my back on that now.0