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So I got this idea for an informative page from my new blog friend Ella (Sick and sick of it). She has fibromyalgia and knows what it’s like to be in chronic pain.
This information page is about adhesions, the illness that I deal with every day. I hope this helps my readers to better understand the pain that I am in and the daily journey that goes along with it. I would like to add that all of this information is from a great website- www.adhesions.org. The information I will provide was written by Dr. David Wiseman and can be found in it’s entirety here.
What are Adhesions?
An ADHESION is a type of scar that forms an abnormal connection between two parts of the body. Adhesions can cause severe clinical problems. For example, adhesions involving the female reproductive organs (ovaries, Fallopian tubes) can and do cause infertility, dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and debilitating pelvic pain. Adhesions involving the bowel can cause bowel obstruction or blockage. Adhesions may form elsewhere such as around the heart, spine and in the hand where they lead to other problems.
Adhesions occur in response to injury of various kinds. For example, non-surgical insults such as endometriosis, infection, chemotherapy, radiation and cancer may damage tissue and initiate ADHESIONS. By far the most common kind of ADHESION is the one that forms after surgery. ADHESIONS typically occur at the site of a surgical procedure although they may also occur elsewhere.
Chronic pelvic pain and/or associated intestinal disturbance are a major cause of misery for thousands of patients. Often in constant pain, the patient experiences loneliness, hopelessness, frustration and desperation with thoughts of suicide. Family and work relationships are strained to the limit. Although ADHESIONS are often (but not always) the cause of this pain, treatment for adhesions is not performed either because the surgeon does not believe that adhesions can cause the problem, or because lysis of adhesions is considered too difficult or futile.
Adhesions are an almost inevitable outcome of surgery, and the problems that they cause are widespread and sometimes severe. It has been said by some that adhesions are the single most common and costly problem related to surgery, and yet most people have not even heard the term. This lack of awareness means that, excluding infertility, many doctors are unable or unwilling to tackle the problems of adhesions, many insurance companies are unwilling to pay for treatment and many patients are left in misery.
Adhesions and Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP)
ADHESIONS are believed to cause pelvic pain by tethering down organs and tissues, causing traction (pulling) of nerves. Nerve endings may become entrapped within a developing adhesion. If the bowel becomes obstructed, distention will cause pain.
Some patients in whom chronic pelvic pain has lasted more than six months may develop “Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.” In addition to the chronic pain, emotional and behavioral changes appear due to the duration of the pain and its associated stress. According to the International Pelvic Pain Society:
I hope that this has been informative and has helped everyone understand a little bit better what I deal with on a daily basis. Feel free to repost or share this post with others, especially if they have chronic pelvic pain. Some people try different doctors for years before adhesions are found during surgery. I want to point out here that some people who are found to have adhesions only have a few and have little to no symptoms. When the adhesions begin to get out of control, so do symptoms. I personally deal with the pain from the adhesions every minute of every day. Mine have gotten to the point where surgical intervention is no longer an option. For many people, however, adhesions can be treated with laparoscopic surgery.
Emotional stress can be caused by any type of chronic pain. For more information about this subject, check out the American Psychological Association site by clicking here.
Please help spread the word about this debilitating invisible illness.
updated Nov. 30, 2013