Endometriosis is a chronic condition that’s chronically misunderstood. Unfortunately, those doing the misunderstanding are sometimes medical health professionals. When I say I’m lucky to have found my gynaecologist first-go, I’m not being flippant. I did my research — read patient reviews and investigated qualifications — but so do a lot of people who wind up receiving sub-par care for this shithole of a disease.
I’ve since learned a lot more about what endometriosis is and what the industry standards for treating it are. If I had to shop for a gyno now, I’d have a lot more questions. What follows is a bunch of them.
Quick caveat: I’m not a medical professional. The following advice is the result of living with this disease, talking to specialists, and a lot of painstaking research. I’d encourage you to do your own reading, talk to your own specialists, and educate yourself about endometriosis. If you’re unsure about a course of treatment being offered to you, get a second (or third, or fourth) opinion. Doctors aren’t infallible, especially when it comes to this trashfire of a condition. But neither are randoms on the internet (like me).
The following questions are ones I’d be asking if I were shopping for a gynaecologist right now. I’m hoping they’ll serve as a jumping off point that encourages you to be proactive in your own treatment. Because, unfortunately, that’s the current endo landscape right now.
Do your research, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and trust wisely. You’re Fox Mulder and the truth is in your uterus, pals.
In 2016 I had to leave a job I loved because I was too sick to work. I’ve since had two surgeries, cultivated an essential but bank-draining team of medical specialists, and developed a truly spectacular tolerance to painkillers.
For me, Endometriosis has been a nuclear bomb dropped on my life.
Scientifically speaking: Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when cells similar to the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) decide they’re strong independent cells that’re gonna strike out on their own and make it big, Mama! Endometriosis growths are commonly found in the abdominal cavity of sufferers – getting up close and personal with your abdominal walls or your local organs. Some cells dream a little bigger though, migrating into organs like your bladder or bowel.
In severe cases, the inflammation from endo growths can cause your organs to stick to your abdominal walls (or each other). Think Shelob’s cave from Lord of the Rings but the web is scar tissue.
Oh but wait, there’s more.
Going on medication for mental illness can be a difficult choice, but for some of us, it’s the best one we can make. I’ve been on meds for going on 5 years now and while I don’t regret the move, there are some things I wish I’d known before embarking on the journey. Here are 4 of them.
Friday, 400mg of Ketamine
I write this from a 400mg Ketamine/early morning haze. It’s 6am, which is only a time I’m functional at right now because hospitals are some warped otherworld in which apparently 5am is a thing that exists.
I’ve been stuck four times in my belly with a needle over the last five days, and it’s certainly feeling it.
How is everyone? I’m high!
For those not religiously stalking my online presence (and why NOT?), you might not know I’m around twenty-four hours into a five-day stint in hospital. While here I’m being stuck, prodded, and infused full of drugs to help deal with my ever-reliable buddy ol’ pal ol’ mate, chronic pain.
This involves a few fun procedures but the one I want to talk about today is the Ketamine infusion. Because those are the medicinal waves I’m riding right now, my dudes.