I was finally told by my fertility specialist (the one who had done the past two surgeries in order to try to preserve fertility because other doctors would have rather just done a complete hysterectomy to save time) that he could no longer be in charge of my care because I was outside his realm of expertise. He suggested an oncologist because he believed them to be some of the best laparoscopic surgeons and best capable of removing the adhesions. I saw a great oncologist who listened to my story and who had actually been present at my last surgery. He said that as much as he would like to be able to help me, his specialty was cancer, not adhesions, and that there had to be someone better qualified to be in charge of my care. He was the first one to put me on narcotic pain medicine. I had been avoiding it at all costs because I was in college at the time and needed the mind clarity to do well. However, my blood pressure had begun to rise as a result of the pain and I gave in and accepted the medication. Of course, it did what I was afraid it would do and clouded my thinking.
After some research, I finally found my current doctor. He completely lived up to his online reviews. On the first visit, between the exam and time in his office, he spent anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour with me. He thoroughly went over all post operative records from the other doctors and quietly listened to my symptoms. I told him how I could no longer even sit through a two hour college class without having to stand up and walk around to relieve the pressure and also the effect the pain relievers were having on me cognitively. He was the first doctor EVER to tell me “Of course you’re hurting! You have too much going on inside of you not to be. Your insides are completely stuck together with adhesions.” Do you have any idea how relieved I was to not hear once more that there was absolutely no reason for my pain or that I was some other doctor’s problem? I wasn’t crazy! He told me that he wanted to try to avoid another surgery, but that we would come up with a game plan to try to make life manageable. We did a pretty good job for about two years using medications, trigger point injections, and physical therapy. I did have to quit school, though, which broke my heart. Being very close to my last year, I was simply unable cognitively to handle the ever present research paper that seems to be a part of every upper level class. Having to leave school without finishing for the second time in my life almost broke my heart, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.
My life since then has been pretty bleak. I spent a good year in bed. Mainly because of pain, but partly because I was depressed having realized that I had finally became completely useless as a member in society. I couldn’t keep my own house clean. Only on rare occasions was I able to cook a decent meal for myself and for my partner. He had to work all day and then cook his own meals too while I wasted away in the bed.
I finally agreed to go to a pain clinic. Up until that point pain specialists scared me. I truly thought of them as legalized drug dealers and wanted no part of it (that’s what you get for watching too many documentaries on TV about the pain clinics in Florida). I finally agreed, however and was pleasantly surprised that his goal was also to get me off of the narcotic pain relievers by using different types of nerve blocks so that the affected sets of nerves were unable to transmit the pain signals to the brain. It took a while for them to find the correct set of nerves, but when they did I actually had a whole good month. For once in a very long time I was able to do basic housework and even spent some time planting a garden in my back yard. The problem was that I only got a months worth of relief. I recently had another procedure done that is supposed to give about 6 months of relief, but it can take up to six weeks to work. It has been two and a half weeks and I am still waiting. Hopefully it will work soon.