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Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Endometriosis Story by Tamia Jordan, M.Ed.




Story by Tamia Jordan, M.Ed.

My earliest memory of just knowing something was off was in 1999. I remember being told by physicians, “you’re healthy as a horse,” “you’ll have to pay another copay (as in I’m not using this visit to investigate your concerns),” and whole host of other silly things. Then, in 2007 (8 loooooong years later), when I was finally diagnosed with uterine fibroids they were huge. Now I’m a petite person and I was told they were the size of a five-month pregnancy.
So I knew I had to have surgery but I put it off as long as possible. Then in 2010 (eleven looooooong years later) I had my first myomectomy (an open one) during which I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I guess the hard part is that all that time, in all those years, was not all bad. However, the times that were bad were excruciating and debilitating and scary as hell and life altering in the sense that I made life decisions based on my fears of my future physical condition.
 
It’s also worth noting that, due to the size of my fibroids, my first surgery didn’t go so well. Now I don’t recall as much as those who were not on serious drugs at the time might recall. But I do recall, very vividly, the statements the doctors made to me as they rolled me into an emergency second surgery late that evening. I won’t go into all that here, but know that I knew that saving my life was the primary objective. So when I woke up in ICU the next day, I had a ton of questions because I didn’t know what all they had to do.
Thankfully additional internal stitches and five blood transfusions and platelets were enough. So then I spent that day and the next in the ICU with amazing professional care and with friends visiting and playing games all the while I was getting hangry (hungry + angry – I’m especially #2) as hell cause they would not feed me until certain physiological conditions were met.
 
To date I’ve had three-ish surgeries in four years: an open myomectomy w/ an appendectomy because apparently I’d had an appendicitis but missed it due to my freakishly high tolerance for pain** (what can I say, I didn’t feel well the week before, but I kept it moving #EndoWarrior), a laproscopic myomectomy in 2012, and a hysteroscopic myomectomy in 2013. (I say three-ish because my first surgery resulted in my need to have that second surgery that same evening.)There is so so so much more to this story that I’ll have to post a part two at some point but for right now I want to shift focus. I’ll be honest it’s because I don’t want to think about the pain**, the fear, or the ridiculous crap some licensed physicians did or did not do to me. But it’s not just that I don’t want to talk about it. I also wish to shift focus because, as I sit here and reflect on the past and the stress that fibroids and endo have been, I am also very conscious of a parallel tale…
 
…And this will sound absolutely crazy: I am unbelievably grateful to endo and even for past days of excruciating pain.** Why the hell?!: Because that pain taught me how to lean. And I am extremely grateful to endo, and for those days of past excruciating pain,** for showing me beyond a shadow of a doubt who in my world can and will support my weight when I’m leaning:
 
I’m thankful for the people who allow(ed) me to call, even in the middle of the night, when I wasn’t feeling well.
I’m thankful for those who have been willing to take me to and from the doctor when I could not take myself.
I’m thankful to those who have held my hand on my way into surgery and who have been there when I woke up.
I am thankful to the ICU angels from surgery number 1 (and 1b). Seemingly a prerequisite to being an ICU nurse is to be one of the best people on earth.I’m thankful for my friend who taught me to meditate and who continues to meditate with me from time to time. Sometimes meditation is/was the difference between me leaving the house for the day or surrendering to pain for the day. Meditation is wicked powerful friends.
I am thankful to my kitty cat, Grace Anne, who just knows how to take care of me when I’m not well. #PetOwnersGetThis
 
 
I’m thankful for and to the people who cooked for me and cleaned for me or just sat with me.
I am thankful that I have a somewhat flexible job and an understanding team and supervisor.
I am incredibly thankful that I have good health insurance. And I am thankful that, going forward, I cannot be denied health insurance due to my pre-existing condition thanks to The Affordable Care Act.
I’m thankful to all my doctors and all the surgeons. The latter many of whom I will never know.
I am thankful for an amazing encounter with a phlebotomist who transformed my experience with blood draws.
I’m thankful for my newest doctors at the Boston Center for Endometriosis. They performed my last surgery in July and have a different, positive, energy around these issues than I’ve experienced with other doctors in the decade previous.
 
I am thankful to Lisa and Laura and Dr. Z. I am thankful for CBT because “I’m not always in pain.” I am incredibly grateful for the many people in my life who never make me feel like I am a burden. I am thankful for and to those who gave me cash to take a taxi when I had to go home, bringing me peanut butter (because PB&J is my power pellet) when I ran out and couldn’t get it for myself, sending me quotes and words of inspiration and cards and flowers and cookies, driving me around town when I just needed to get out, driving my car when I couldn’t drive it home…
 
And on and on and on and on and on and on…
Now do I wish that I’d been able to discern these things on my own without the help of endo? Absolutely! I’m not crazy and I’m not going to lie and say, “I wouldn’t trade this…” …cause I would trade it for some things. But I will say this: endo separates the cowards from the brave. It can bring you to your knees and really show you what you’re made of. Also endo sifts out the ride-or-die from the punks. It has a way of showing you who is going to be there for you no matter what. And it provides a thorough answer to the question, “What would love do?”


Tamia Rashima Jordan, M.Ed. is originally from Hackensack, NJ. Having lived in NJ, VA, VT, and NC she has happily settled in Boston, MA where she is Director of Student Activities at Berklee College of Music. She attended the University of Virginia and graduated with a BA in Government and African American Studies. She received her M.Ed. in Higher Education Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont. An educator first, tamia is also an event planner, a published author, and a blogger of her own site tamiarashima.com where she writes about the intersections of pop culture and her life and various identities. tamia is on the Executive Committee of the Center for Church and Prison where she actively works to end the epidemic of mass incarceration and mitigate the disturbing results of the War on Drugs. She also works to create more options for returning citizens to thrive. In her free time Tamia is a proud Black Girl Nerd who loves music, films, fantasy novels and the beach.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

This Is My Endometriosis Beginning by Cherese Spand








Article by Cherese Spand

My name is Cherese.  I was 34 years old living through complications of stage IV Endometriosis. I was initially diagnosed when my daughter was about three years old through a laparoscopic procedure. I was 21 at the time after that procedure; I was placed on two rounds of Lupron, which is an injection given into the fatty tissue of the Buttocks. Each shot stops your cycle for 3 months. In those 6 months I was forced into an extreme case of menopause terrible night sweats mood swings at the age of 21. Since the maximum recommended dosage is 6 months that came to an end. My symptoms were extreme pain with periods vaginally and rectally no cramps just loads of pressure and stabbing pains. After Lupron; I was placed on numerous cycles of birth control pills for years. My last straw was the Depo-shot which barreled me up to over 45 pounds of weight gain after almost two years. I was OK for about 1 1/2 years and then my cycle became increasingly more painful every month. 

Honestly not knowing much about Endometriosis at the time I thought that I was mostly cured due to the fact that I had the Lupron and have controlled Nature synthetically. When the exact opposite was true. I was continuously having extreme pain on my left side despite being on the pill of and on. At this point I have no health insurance so no more frequent visits or prescription plan for my pills this lasted for three years until I reached the age 31 and then all Hell breaks loose. I started having crippling abdominal pains to the point that no pain medication would relieve it. I was having severe bouts of not being able to use the bathroom for days at a time when 3-4 times per day was a normal occurrence for me. Paired up with pain and rectal bleeding.
At that point in time, I was losing about 10 days minimum due to being sick all the time. And just when I felt better the cycle was starting all over again. Trips to the emergency room started I felt like my insides were pulled out beaten with a meat clever placed back in and set on fire while being stabbed with a sharp metal object. I don’t want to be so blunt but when you tell people you have Endo they say “Oh really?” and/or “Just have a baby.”

WHAT!!!! Get pregnant on top of this. NO!! So now my mission begins a hunt for the right Dr. after 10 trips to the ER and they cannot find anything on any of my CT scans or X-rays. They start to think I am absolutely out of my mind and so does my husband. You are complaining of pain uncomfortable all the time now and we cannot find anything. It must be in your head. I went from Pelvic Specialist, Gynecological Cancer, and IVF you name it I went there. All I heard was!!” We can get you pregnant for 10,000. I used to specialize in Endometriosis but not anymore”, “Let’s put you on the pill for 3 months and see how you respond.” I believe this is all in your head mind over matter have you been to a psychiatrist?” I was at my Wit’s end. If I had one more smart comment or Rectal exam that left me in tears and in pain for 2 days I was really getting ready to lose it. Now at this point my stomach had started swelling to the point where I looked like I was about 7 months pregnant. My emergency room visits were too frequent I was tired of going. But now something was different the swelling that I had during my period did not leave this time. 

I was not able to digest food or drinks. This trip to the ER in January of 2009 was in the middle of a snow storm. I had to get to the Hospital none of the drugs they gave me that time worked at all just made me completely Sick and groggy. This CAT scan showed that I had some type of Masses and the largest was 7 CM big. Once this cycle was over I started my search again to where I could be seen. I went back to work and was not able to be on my feet for extended periods of time. So I had one of the other Stylists helping me with my clients. When she asked me what was wrong?  I explained to her and she told me to call the CEC in Atlanta. I called and sent my Medical records down for review I had no idea this place even existed.
After about a week I received a call from the Dr. and he stated that he believed; I would be a candidate for the center due to all I was enduring. I called to schedule an appointment; they gave me the first available date of April 15, 2009, which was 2 months away. I prepared for our trip to Atlanta. I was one of the worst cases in his history. Over 100 points of Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, my uterus was not able to be saved as it was encrusted. I also had my Gallbladder removed as well which was fused to my liver with adhesions. I stayed with for a week and then came home for my 12 month recovery. I returned home to start bleeding two weeks later. 

I was advised to return to cauterize the areas. But was not strong enough to travel. As the months went by the pain was unbearable. I did not understand once a surgeon operates, no other surgeon was willing to see you. I would then get a monthly period that the doctors here were calling Vaginal Bleeding. Go figure! I ended up becoming ill again unable to function and having severe abdominal pains and bloating. I went in for an Ultrasound the Endo had attached itself to my vaginal cuff (where my cervix used to reside) and had grown into my bladder bowel and rectum. 

My Recto- Vaginal septum had a nodule the size of a lemon. I called one of the advocates for our cause and was referred to a Specialist here in NY. Thank Goodness he accepted my case. I underwent another excision surgery I had a colorectal surgeon assisting. This time I had a bowel and rectal resection, Bladder urethra all excised and my right ovary removed. This was the beginning of a very long recovery and many complications. Let me say that I was in the hands of awesome highly skilled Specialists and the severe complications had nothing to do with their techniques. My journey will continue, as I am now 37 years old and have a more to add to my Endo-story.

Connect with Cherese Spand at:
https://www.facebook.com/cherese.spand
 



www.millionwomenmarch2014.org/#sthash.lshqYyqb.dpuf

 www.MillionWomenMarch2014.org

Click on link to register or for more information
- See more at: http://thecertainonesmagazine.com/this-is-my-story-of-endometriosis/#sthash.lshqYyqb.dpuf



Click on link to register or for more information
- See more at: http://thecertainonesmagazine.com/this-is-my-story-of-endometriosis/#sthash.lshqYyqb.dpuf


Article by Cherese Spand
My name is Cherese.  I am 34 years old and am living through complications of stage IV Endometriosis. I was initially diagnosed when my daughter was about three years old through a laparoscopic procedure. I was 21 at the time after that procedure; I was placed on two rounds of Lupron, which is an injection given into the fatty tissue of the Buttocks. Each shot stops your cycle for 3 months. In those 6 months I was forced into an extreme case of menopause terrible night sweats mood swings at the age of 21. Since the maximum recommended dosage is 6 months that came to an end. My symptoms were extreme pain with periods vaginally and rectally no cramps just loads of pressure and stabbing pains. After Lupron; I was placed on numerous cycles of birth control pills for years. My last straw was the Depo-shot which barreled me up to over 45 pounds of weight gain after almost two years. I was OK for about 1 1/2 years and then my cycle became increasingly more painful every month.
Honestly not knowing much about Endometriosis at the time I thought that I was mostly cured due to the fact that I had the Lupron and have controlled Nature synthetically. When the exact opposite was true. I was continuously having extreme pain on my left side despite being on the pill of and on. At this point I have no health insurance so no more frequent visits or prescription plan for my pills this lasted for three years until I reached the age 31 and then all Hell breaks loose. I started having crippling abdominal pains to the point that no pain medication would relieve it. I was having severe bouts of not being able to use the bathroom for days at a time when 3-4 times per day was a normal occurrence for me. Paired up with pain and rectal bleeding.
At that point in time, I was losing about 10 days minimum due to being sick all the time. And just when I felt better the cycle was starting all over again. Trips to the emergency room started I felt like my insides were pulled out beaten with a meat clever placed back in and set on fire while being stabbed with a sharp metal object. I don’t want to be so blunt but when you tell people you have Endo they say “Oh really?” and/or  “Just have a baby.”
 WHAT!!!! Get pregnant on top of this. NO!! So now my mission begins a hunt for the right Dr. after 10 trips to the ER and they cannot find anything on any of my CT scans or X-rays. They start to think I am absolutely out of my mind and so does my husband. You are complaining of pain uncomfortable all the time now and we cannot find anything. It must be in your head. I went from Pelvic Specialist, Gynecological Cancer, and IVF you name it I went there. All I heard was!!” We can get you pregnant for 10,000. I used to specialize in Endometriosis but not anymore”, “Let’s put you on the pill for 3 months and see how you respond.” I believe this is all in your head mind over matter have you been to a psychiatrist?” I was at my Wit’s end. If I had one more smart comment or Rectal exam that left me in tears and in pain for 2 days I was really getting ready to lose it. Now at this point my stomach had started swelling to the point where I looked like I was about 7 months pregnant. My emergency room visits were too frequent I was tired of going. But now something was different the swelling that I had during my period did not leave this time.
I was not able to digest food or drinks. This trip to the ER in January of 2009 was in the middle of a snow storm. I had to get to the Hospital none of the drugs they gave me that time worked at all just made me completely Sick and groggy. This CAT scan showed that I had some type of Masses and the largest was 7 CM big. Once this cycle was over I started my search again to where I could be seen. I went back to work and was not able to be on my feet for extended periods of time. So I had one of the other Stylists helping me with my clients. When she asked me what was wrong?  I explained to her and she told me to call the CEC in Atlanta. I called and sent my Medical records down for review I had no idea this place even existed.
After about a week I received a call from the Dr. and he stated that he believed; I would be a candidate for the center due to all I was enduring. I called to schedule an appointment, they gave me the first available date of April 15, 2009, which was 2 months away. I prepared for our trip to Atlanta. I was one of the worst cases in his history. Over 100 points of Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, my uterus was not able to be saved as it was encrusted. I also had my Gallbladder removed as well which was fused to my liver with adhesion’s. I stayed with for a week and then came home for my 12 month recovery. I returned home to start bleeding two weeks later.
I was advised to return to cauterize the areas. But was not strong enough to travel. As the months went by the pain was unbearable. I did not understand once a surgeon operates, no other surgeon was willing to see you. I would then get a monthly period that the doctors here were calling Vaginal Bleeding. Go figure! I ended up becoming ill again unable to function and having severe abdominal pains and bloating. I went in for an Ultrasound the Endo had attached itself to my vaginal cuff (where my cervix used to reside) and had grown into my bladder bowel and rectum.
My Recto- Vaginal septum had a nodule the size of a lemon. I called one of the advocates for our cause and was referred to a Specialist here in NY. Thank Goodness he accepted my case. I underwent another excision surgery I had a colorectal surgeon assisting. This time I had a bowel and rectal resection, Bladder urethra all excised and my right ovary removed. This was the beginning of a very long recovery and many complications. Let me say that I was in the hands of awesome highly skilled Specialists and the severe complications had nothing to do with their techniques. My journey will continue, as I am now 37 years old and have a more to add to my Endo-story.
Connect with Cherese Spand at:
https://www.facebook.com/cherese.spand
- See more at: http://thecertainonesmagazine.com/this-is-my-story-of-endometriosis/#sthash.lshqYyqb.dpuf
Article by Cherese Spand
My name is Cherese.  I am 34 years old and am living through complications of stage IV Endometriosis. I was initially diagnosed when my daughter was about three years old through a laparoscopic procedure. I was 21 at the time after that procedure; I was placed on two rounds of Lupron, which is an injection given into the fatty tissue of the Buttocks. Each shot stops your cycle for 3 months. In those 6 months I was forced into an extreme case of menopause terrible night sweats mood swings at the age of 21. Since the maximum recommended dosage is 6 months that came to an end. My symptoms were extreme pain with periods vaginally and rectally no cramps just loads of pressure and stabbing pains. After Lupron; I was placed on numerous cycles of birth control pills for years. My last straw was the Depo-shot which barreled me up to over 45 pounds of weight gain after almost two years. I was OK for about 1 1/2 years and then my cycle became increasingly more painful every month.
Honestly not knowing much about Endometriosis at the time I thought that I was mostly cured due to the fact that I had the Lupron and have controlled Nature synthetically. When the exact opposite was true. I was continuously having extreme pain on my left side despite being on the pill of and on. At this point I have no health insurance so no more frequent visits or prescription plan for my pills this lasted for three years until I reached the age 31 and then all Hell breaks loose. I started having crippling abdominal pains to the point that no pain medication would relieve it. I was having severe bouts of not being able to use the bathroom for days at a time when 3-4 times per day was a normal occurrence for me. Paired up with pain and rectal bleeding.
At that point in time, I was losing about 10 days minimum due to being sick all the time. And just when I felt better the cycle was starting all over again. Trips to the emergency room started I felt like my insides were pulled out beaten with a meat clever placed back in and set on fire while being stabbed with a sharp metal object. I don’t want to be so blunt but when you tell people you have Endo they say “Oh really?” and/or  “Just have a baby.”
 WHAT!!!! Get pregnant on top of this. NO!! So now my mission begins a hunt for the right Dr. after 10 trips to the ER and they cannot find anything on any of my CT scans or X-rays. They start to think I am absolutely out of my mind and so does my husband. You are complaining of pain uncomfortable all the time now and we cannot find anything. It must be in your head. I went from Pelvic Specialist, Gynecological Cancer, and IVF you name it I went there. All I heard was!!” We can get you pregnant for 10,000. I used to specialize in Endometriosis but not anymore”, “Let’s put you on the pill for 3 months and see how you respond.” I believe this is all in your head mind over matter have you been to a psychiatrist?” I was at my Wit’s end. If I had one more smart comment or Rectal exam that left me in tears and in pain for 2 days I was really getting ready to lose it. Now at this point my stomach had started swelling to the point where I looked like I was about 7 months pregnant. My emergency room visits were too frequent I was tired of going. But now something was different the swelling that I had during my period did not leave this time.
I was not able to digest food or drinks. This trip to the ER in January of 2009 was in the middle of a snow storm. I had to get to the Hospital none of the drugs they gave me that time worked at all just made me completely Sick and groggy. This CAT scan showed that I had some type of Masses and the largest was 7 CM big. Once this cycle was over I started my search again to where I could be seen. I went back to work and was not able to be on my feet for extended periods of time. So I had one of the other Stylists helping me with my clients. When she asked me what was wrong?  I explained to her and she told me to call the CEC in Atlanta. I called and sent my Medical records down for review I had no idea this place even existed.
After about a week I received a call from the Dr. and he stated that he believed; I would be a candidate for the center due to all I was enduring. I called to schedule an appointment, they gave me the first available date of April 15, 2009, which was 2 months away. I prepared for our trip to Atlanta. I was one of the worst cases in his history. Over 100 points of Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, my uterus was not able to be saved as it was encrusted. I also had my Gallbladder removed as well which was fused to my liver with adhesion’s. I stayed with for a week and then came home for my 12 month recovery. I returned home to start bleeding two weeks later.
I was advised to return to cauterize the areas. But was not strong enough to travel. As the months went by the pain was unbearable. I did not understand once a surgeon operates, no other surgeon was willing to see you. I would then get a monthly period that the doctors here were calling Vaginal Bleeding. Go figure! I ended up becoming ill again unable to function and having severe abdominal pains and bloating. I went in for an Ultrasound the Endo had attached itself to my vaginal cuff (where my cervix used to reside) and had grown into my bladder bowel and rectum.
My Recto- Vaginal septum had a nodule the size of a lemon. I called one of the advocates for our cause and was referred to a Specialist here in NY. Thank Goodness he accepted my case. I underwent another excision surgery I had a colorectal surgeon assisting. This time I had a bowel and rectal resection, Bladder urethra all excised and my right ovary removed. This was the beginning of a very long recovery and many complications. Let me say that I was in the hands of awesome highly skilled Specialists and the severe complications had nothing to do with their techniques. My journey will continue, as I am now 37 years old and have a more to add to my Endo-story.
Connect with Cherese Spand at:
https://www.facebook.com/cherese.spand
Click on link to register or for more information
- See more at: http://thecertainonesmagazine.com/this-is-my-story-of-endometriosis/#sthash.lshqYyqb.dpuf
Article by Cherese Spand
My name is Cherese.  I am 34 years old and am living through complications of stage IV Endometriosis. I was initially diagnosed when my daughter was about three years old through a laparoscopic procedure. I was 21 at the time after that procedure; I was placed on two rounds of Lupron, which is an injection given into the fatty tissue of the Buttocks. Each shot stops your cycle for 3 months. In those 6 months I was forced into an extreme case of menopause terrible night sweats mood swings at the age of 21. Since the maximum recommended dosage is 6 months that came to an end. My symptoms were extreme pain with periods vaginally and rectally no cramps just loads of pressure and stabbing pains. After Lupron; I was placed on numerous cycles of birth control pills for years. My last straw was the Depo-shot which barreled me up to over 45 pounds of weight gain after almost two years. I was OK for about 1 1/2 years and then my cycle became increasingly more painful every month.
Honestly not knowing much about Endometriosis at the time I thought that I was mostly cured due to the fact that I had the Lupron and have controlled Nature synthetically. When the exact opposite was true. I was continuously having extreme pain on my left side despite being on the pill of and on. At this point I have no health insurance so no more frequent visits or prescription plan for my pills this lasted for three years until I reached the age 31 and then all Hell breaks loose. I started having crippling abdominal pains to the point that no pain medication would relieve it. I was having severe bouts of not being able to use the bathroom for days at a time when 3-4 times per day was a normal occurrence for me. Paired up with pain and rectal bleeding.
At that point in time, I was losing about 10 days minimum due to being sick all the time. And just when I felt better the cycle was starting all over again. Trips to the emergency room started I felt like my insides were pulled out beaten with a meat clever placed back in and set on fire while being stabbed with a sharp metal object. I don’t want to be so blunt but when you tell people you have Endo they say “Oh really?” and/or  “Just have a baby.”
 WHAT!!!! Get pregnant on top of this. NO!! So now my mission begins a hunt for the right Dr. after 10 trips to the ER and they cannot find anything on any of my CT scans or X-rays. They start to think I am absolutely out of my mind and so does my husband. You are complaining of pain uncomfortable all the time now and we cannot find anything. It must be in your head. I went from Pelvic Specialist, Gynecological Cancer, and IVF you name it I went there. All I heard was!!” We can get you pregnant for 10,000. I used to specialize in Endometriosis but not anymore”, “Let’s put you on the pill for 3 months and see how you respond.” I believe this is all in your head mind over matter have you been to a psychiatrist?” I was at my Wit’s end. If I had one more smart comment or Rectal exam that left me in tears and in pain for 2 days I was really getting ready to lose it. Now at this point my stomach had started swelling to the point where I looked like I was about 7 months pregnant. My emergency room visits were too frequent I was tired of going. But now something was different the swelling that I had during my period did not leave this time.
I was not able to digest food or drinks. This trip to the ER in January of 2009 was in the middle of a snow storm. I had to get to the Hospital none of the drugs they gave me that time worked at all just made me completely Sick and groggy. This CAT scan showed that I had some type of Masses and the largest was 7 CM big. Once this cycle was over I started my search again to where I could be seen. I went back to work and was not able to be on my feet for extended periods of time. So I had one of the other Stylists helping me with my clients. When she asked me what was wrong?  I explained to her and she told me to call the CEC in Atlanta. I called and sent my Medical records down for review I had no idea this place even existed.
After about a week I received a call from the Dr. and he stated that he believed; I would be a candidate for the center due to all I was enduring. I called to schedule an appointment, they gave me the first available date of April 15, 2009, which was 2 months away. I prepared for our trip to Atlanta. I was one of the worst cases in his history. Over 100 points of Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, my uterus was not able to be saved as it was encrusted. I also had my Gallbladder removed as well which was fused to my liver with adhesion’s. I stayed with for a week and then came home for my 12 month recovery. I returned home to start bleeding two weeks later.
I was advised to return to cauterize the areas. But was not strong enough to travel. As the months went by the pain was unbearable. I did not understand once a surgeon operates, no other surgeon was willing to see you. I would then get a monthly period that the doctors here were calling Vaginal Bleeding. Go figure! I ended up becoming ill again unable to function and having severe abdominal pains and bloating. I went in for an Ultrasound the Endo had attached itself to my vaginal cuff (where my cervix used to reside) and had grown into my bladder bowel and rectum.
My Recto- Vaginal septum had a nodule the size of a lemon. I called one of the advocates for our cause and was referred to a Specialist here in NY. Thank Goodness he accepted my case. I underwent another excision surgery I had a colorectal surgeon assisting. This time I had a bowel and rectal resection, Bladder urethra all excised and my right ovary removed. This was the beginning of a very long recovery and many complications. Let me say that I was in the hands of awesome highly skilled Specialists and the severe complications had nothing to do with their techniques. My journey will continue, as I am now 37 years old and have a more to add to my Endo-story.
Connect with Cherese Spand at:
https://www.facebook.com/cherese.spand
Click on link to register or for more information
- See more at: http://thecertainonesmagazine.com/this-is-my-story-of-endometriosis/#sthash.lshqYyqb.dpuf
Article by Cherese Spand
My name is Cherese.  I am 34 years old and am living through complications of stage IV Endometriosis. I was initially diagnosed when my daughter was about three years old through a laparoscopic procedure. I was 21 at the time after that procedure; I was placed on two rounds of Lupron, which is an injection given into the fatty tissue of the Buttocks. Each shot stops your cycle for 3 months. In those 6 months I was forced into an extreme case of menopause terrible night sweats mood swings at the age of 21. Since the maximum recommended dosage is 6 months that came to an end. My symptoms were extreme pain with periods vaginally and rectally no cramps just loads of pressure and stabbing pains. After Lupron; I was placed on numerous cycles of birth control pills for years. My last straw was the Depo-shot which barreled me up to over 45 pounds of weight gain after almost two years. I was OK for about 1 1/2 years and then my cycle became increasingly more painful every month.
Honestly not knowing much about Endometriosis at the time I thought that I was mostly cured due to the fact that I had the Lupron and have controlled Nature synthetically. When the exact opposite was true. I was continuously having extreme pain on my left side despite being on the pill of and on. At this point I have no health insurance so no more frequent visits or prescription plan for my pills this lasted for three years until I reached the age 31 and then all Hell breaks loose. I started having crippling abdominal pains to the point that no pain medication would relieve it. I was having severe bouts of not being able to use the bathroom for days at a time when 3-4 times per day was a normal occurrence for me. Paired up with pain and rectal bleeding.
At that point in time, I was losing about 10 days minimum due to being sick all the time. And just when I felt better the cycle was starting all over again. Trips to the emergency room started I felt like my insides were pulled out beaten with a meat clever placed back in and set on fire while being stabbed with a sharp metal object. I don’t want to be so blunt but when you tell people you have Endo they say “Oh really?” and/or  “Just have a baby.”
 WHAT!!!! Get pregnant on top of this. NO!! So now my mission begins a hunt for the right Dr. after 10 trips to the ER and they cannot find anything on any of my CT scans or X-rays. They start to think I am absolutely out of my mind and so does my husband. You are complaining of pain uncomfortable all the time now and we cannot find anything. It must be in your head. I went from Pelvic Specialist, Gynecological Cancer, and IVF you name it I went there. All I heard was!!” We can get you pregnant for 10,000. I used to specialize in Endometriosis but not anymore”, “Let’s put you on the pill for 3 months and see how you respond.” I believe this is all in your head mind over matter have you been to a psychiatrist?” I was at my Wit’s end. If I had one more smart comment or Rectal exam that left me in tears and in pain for 2 days I was really getting ready to lose it. Now at this point my stomach had started swelling to the point where I looked like I was about 7 months pregnant. My emergency room visits were too frequent I was tired of going. But now something was different the swelling that I had during my period did not leave this time.
I was not able to digest food or drinks. This trip to the ER in January of 2009 was in the middle of a snow storm. I had to get to the Hospital none of the drugs they gave me that time worked at all just made me completely Sick and groggy. This CAT scan showed that I had some type of Masses and the largest was 7 CM big. Once this cycle was over I started my search again to where I could be seen. I went back to work and was not able to be on my feet for extended periods of time. So I had one of the other Stylists helping me with my clients. When she asked me what was wrong?  I explained to her and she told me to call the CEC in Atlanta. I called and sent my Medical records down for review I had no idea this place even existed.
After about a week I received a call from the Dr. and he stated that he believed; I would be a candidate for the center due to all I was enduring. I called to schedule an appointment, they gave me the first available date of April 15, 2009, which was 2 months away. I prepared for our trip to Atlanta. I was one of the worst cases in his history. Over 100 points of Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, my uterus was not able to be saved as it was encrusted. I also had my Gallbladder removed as well which was fused to my liver with adhesion’s. I stayed with for a week and then came home for my 12 month recovery. I returned home to start bleeding two weeks later.
I was advised to return to cauterize the areas. But was not strong enough to travel. As the months went by the pain was unbearable. I did not understand once a surgeon operates, no other surgeon was willing to see you. I would then get a monthly period that the doctors here were calling Vaginal Bleeding. Go figure! I ended up becoming ill again unable to function and having severe abdominal pains and bloating. I went in for an Ultrasound the Endo had attached itself to my vaginal cuff (where my cervix used to reside) and had grown into my bladder bowel and rectum.
My Recto- Vaginal septum had a nodule the size of a lemon. I called one of the advocates for our cause and was referred to a Specialist here in NY. Thank Goodness he accepted my case. I underwent another excision surgery I had a colorectal surgeon assisting. This time I had a bowel and rectal resection, Bladder urethra all excised and my right ovary removed. This was the beginning of a very long recovery and many complications. Let me say that I was in the hands of awesome highly skilled Specialists and the severe complications had nothing to do with their techniques. My journey will continue, as I am now 37 years old and have a more to add to my Endo-story.
Connect with Cherese Spand at:
https://www.facebook.com/cherese.spand
Click on link to register or for more information
- See more at: http://thecertainonesmagazine.com/this-is-my-story-of-endometriosis/#sthash.lshqYyqb.dpuf
Article by Cherese Spand
My name is Cherese.  I am 34 years old and am living through complications of stage IV Endometriosis. I was initially diagnosed when my daughter was about three years old through a laparoscopic procedure. I was 21 at the time after that procedure; I was placed on two rounds of Lupron, which is an injection given into the fatty tissue of the Buttocks. Each shot stops your cycle for 3 months. In those 6 months I was forced into an extreme case of menopause terrible night sweats mood swings at the age of 21. Since the maximum recommended dosage is 6 months that came to an end. My symptoms were extreme pain with periods vaginally and rectally no cramps just loads of pressure and stabbing pains. After Lupron; I was placed on numerous cycles of birth control pills for years. My last straw was the Depo-shot which barreled me up to over 45 pounds of weight gain after almost two years. I was OK for about 1 1/2 years and then my cycle became increasingly more painful every month.
Honestly not knowing much about Endometriosis at the time I thought that I was mostly cured due to the fact that I had the Lupron and have controlled Nature synthetically. When the exact opposite was true. I was continuously having extreme pain on my left side despite being on the pill of and on. At this point I have no health insurance so no more frequent visits or prescription plan for my pills this lasted for three years until I reached the age 31 and then all Hell breaks loose. I started having crippling abdominal pains to the point that no pain medication would relieve it. I was having severe bouts of not being able to use the bathroom for days at a time when 3-4 times per day was a normal occurrence for me. Paired up with pain and rectal bleeding.
At that point in time, I was losing about 10 days minimum due to being sick all the time. And just when I felt better the cycle was starting all over again. Trips to the emergency room started I felt like my insides were pulled out beaten with a meat clever placed back in and set on fire while being stabbed with a sharp metal object. I don’t want to be so blunt but when you tell people you have Endo they say “Oh really?” and/or  “Just have a baby.”
 WHAT!!!! Get pregnant on top of this. NO!! So now my mission begins a hunt for the right Dr. after 10 trips to the ER and they cannot find anything on any of my CT scans or X-rays. They start to think I am absolutely out of my mind and so does my husband. You are complaining of pain uncomfortable all the time now and we cannot find anything. It must be in your head. I went from Pelvic Specialist, Gynecological Cancer, and IVF you name it I went there. All I heard was!!” We can get you pregnant for 10,000. I used to specialize in Endometriosis but not anymore”, “Let’s put you on the pill for 3 months and see how you respond.” I believe this is all in your head mind over matter have you been to a psychiatrist?” I was at my Wit’s end. If I had one more smart comment or Rectal exam that left me in tears and in pain for 2 days I was really getting ready to lose it. Now at this point my stomach had started swelling to the point where I looked like I was about 7 months pregnant. My emergency room visits were too frequent I was tired of going. But now something was different the swelling that I had during my period did not leave this time.
I was not able to digest food or drinks. This trip to the ER in January of 2009 was in the middle of a snow storm. I had to get to the Hospital none of the drugs they gave me that time worked at all just made me completely Sick and groggy. This CAT scan showed that I had some type of Masses and the largest was 7 CM big. Once this cycle was over I started my search again to where I could be seen. I went back to work and was not able to be on my feet for extended periods of time. So I had one of the other Stylists helping me with my clients. When she asked me what was wrong?  I explained to her and she told me to call the CEC in Atlanta. I called and sent my Medical records down for review I had no idea this place even existed.
After about a week I received a call from the Dr. and he stated that he believed; I would be a candidate for the center due to all I was enduring. I called to schedule an appointment, they gave me the first available date of April 15, 2009, which was 2 months away. I prepared for our trip to Atlanta. I was one of the worst cases in his history. Over 100 points of Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, my uterus was not able to be saved as it was encrusted. I also had my Gallbladder removed as well which was fused to my liver with adhesion’s. I stayed with for a week and then came home for my 12 month recovery. I returned home to start bleeding two weeks later.
I was advised to return to cauterize the areas. But was not strong enough to travel. As the months went by the pain was unbearable. I did not understand once a surgeon operates, no other surgeon was willing to see you. I would then get a monthly period that the doctors here were calling Vaginal Bleeding. Go figure! I ended up becoming ill again unable to function and having severe abdominal pains and bloating. I went in for an Ultrasound the Endo had attached itself to my vaginal cuff (where my cervix used to reside) and had grown into my bladder bowel and rectum.
My Recto- Vaginal septum had a nodule the size of a lemon. I called one of the advocates for our cause and was referred to a Specialist here in NY. Thank Goodness he accepted my case. I underwent another excision surgery I had a colorectal surgeon assisting. This time I had a bowel and rectal resection, Bladder urethra all excised and my right ovary removed. This was the beginning of a very long recovery and many complications. Let me say that I was in the hands of awesome highly skilled Specialists and the severe complications had nothing to do with their techniques. My journey will continue, as I am now 37 years old and have a more to add to my Endo-story.
Connect with Cherese Spand at:
https://www.facebook.com/cherese.spand
Click on link to register or for more information
- See more at: http://thecertainonesmagazine.com/this-is-my-story-of-endometriosis/#sthash.lshqYyqb.dpuf