Friday, January 30, 2009

Finally, the pain goes away....

Dr. Thomas Hilgers, “Surgical removal of endometriosis carries with it the best chance for success, both in terms of pain relief and in subsequent pregnancies. However, if the surgeon is not adequately trained to be able to provide a good surgical approach which will remove the endometriosis while preventing subsequent adhesions, the chances for success are quite limited.” - NaproTechnology website

After I returned to Amarillo from my surgery in May I had to wait “3 more cycles” before returning for the laparotomy at the beginning of September. I started measuring everything in how many times I was gonna have to hurt again. You see at this point the pain is so bad that my only relief is pacing the living room floor. I would walk circles around the couch. My pain would mainly occur at night and in the morning. I would tell George, “I know I can just push through this and things will be OK”. I would be so sleepy, but the second I would stop walking it would grow again in intensity. I think my days were not as bad as my nights because I walk around so much. However, if I would be at my desk for very long during that time of my cycle, the pain would come back. Towards the end I was taking vicodin for the pain. It helped those last few months, but the power began to wear off.

Finally September arrived. George and I made the 12 hour car ride to Omaha for a second time. We arrived 2 days before surgery to enjoy some of the city. Tuesday morning we met Dr. Hilgers in the pre-op room to review the surgery. He asked how I had been doing, and I explained things had increased in intensity. He explained what he was going to be doing, what I could expect after and said he would find George right after to tell him how everything went. Now here is something else, after meeting and knowing Dr. Hilgers, this is a man I know will put my health and fertility above and beyond everything else. I never felt that with other doctors I saw. They always rushed me in and out of their office. If something was going to go wrong during the surgery, I wanted Dr. Hilgers to be the doctor that would have to make the decision on what to do...and share that with my husband. However, praise God, everything went well. I was in surgery for 4 hours, and Dr. Hilgers came out and told George it was a 10 out of 10! He got it all. Including the area on my bladder. It wasn’t until after surgery that I realized the pressure I felt when going to the bathroom was actually the growth of endometriosis on my bladder. Since the surgery and removal of the endometriosis on my bladder - no more pressure. YEA! They brought me out of surgery and I spent the next 3 days in the hospital recovering. We headed back to Texas a week after the surgery. I took a month off from work and my Mom came up to take care of me.

Four months later I am better. In fact I almost feel like I am 15 again. I remember being a teen and always so nervous about when your period was going to come. I literally feel no cramping leading up to the start of my menstruation. I have gone from blinding pain where I thought I would pass nothing! Since I chart my cycle every month I know my period follows 13 days after I pinpoint my peak (ovulation)... so I am prepared.

Why did it take so much to finally find help? Why is it that my husband knows more about this condition than his buddy that went to medical school? My story is a common one, and it’s not right.

I have more stories to tell concerning my cycle - low progesterone and PMS, thyroid issues and additional topics. Stay tuned for more follow-ups to how I took control of my own health.

Again, if you want more information visit There are doctors like Dr. Hilgers in all areas of the country practicing NaproTechnology. Should you need more questions answered, feel free to email me.


M--- said...

I'm glad your surgery was successful. I hope your follow-ups are happier and that you'll be able to LIVE again! HUGS!

Sew said...

Oh my goodness! Welcome to the endo club! Or free of endo club because of Creighton! Most of my blogroll are Creighton charters! We have a Creighton fan club forming!

Join us!!

My endo was discovered by Creighton charting within minutes of opening up the introductory packet! I was in surgery within a few weeks where they removed Stage IV endo and I had a double bowel resection because the endo invaded my bowel. I am now on my CD8 of my 3rd cycle after surgery!

AWESOME! I can't wait to read more of your story!!!

prayerfuljourney said...

Welcoming to blogging! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I just started myself Jan 09. Wow...I've read your other blogs and you were in too much pain for too long. I get cramps but so far, I can take Aleve and deal with them. Endo is a possibility....but for now the Napro dr I see is concentrating on my low prog. I guess having low prog can cause cramps too? I don't know. My hubby and I are still trying to figure it all out. The Napro dr I see now does not do any procedures...he does more hormone type of things. I believe my insurance will cover half of med expenses out of network for medical but nothing for infertility. Yet, they will cover pretty much 100% med and infertilty treatments in network. So, that is why I'm trying to find a dr in network. I live in Illinois. My Napro dr mentioned that there's a dr trained under Dr Hilgers in Springfield, Il. He's going to get me a name. If that dr accepts my insurance then that could be a possiblility.
That is wonderful that you are feeling better and no more endo. My sister in law had a partial hystrectomy(?) due to endo close to my age now. She had one daughter before marrying my brother. I wonder if that procedure was truly necessary. Hmmm???? Thank you again for your words of encouragement on my blog. Look forward to blogging with you again. You are in my prayers too. God Bless.

Find joy in every journey said...

Welcome to blogging! I am so sorry your path to healing has been so long! I know that endo can be very painful and I am so glad that Dr. Hilgers was able to help you! I look forward to reading more of your story.

lowly said...

Thanks for the comment! I am looking forward to catching up on your blog!

Life In Mazes said...

Just found your blog! My journey was very similar to yours, in regard to long list of doctors who were not trained to meet my specific needs. I also had my 2nd surgery with Dr. Hilgers in Sept 2008. We were probably in the hospital around the same time. I loved how you were able to recognize that you could trust Dr. Hilgers with your medical care and fertility. I feel the same way and my husband does too! Looking foward to reading more of your blogs!

BusyNothings said...

Hi, Nicole! This is Mandy's friend Rachel, from Pensacola! Our stories sound remarkably similar. I had a (wonderful) surgery in Oregon in 2004 to treat my endo after a (not wonderful) failed surgical attempt in Florida. I have three children now, but am also having lots of returned pain... Mandy sent me here and I have a Creighton meeting set up soon w/ someone up here. Enjoying your blog!

Jazza said...

Hi Nicole :) thank you so much for writing a blog like this. it has helped me just by reminding me that i'm not alone, and i am sure it will help countless amounts of others.

i am 15 and have been sick and out of school so far for the year. the first time the pain started which was probably when i was 14 (although i didn't think much of it at the time) they thought i had an appendicitus. well, i didn't. anyway i started off school for the year again late january, however a few days in, in one of my classes i started getting intense pain and just had to sit there through a double class, (my other peers must of looked at me a bit funny because i kept moving around and trying to keep moving.. so it would of been quite a funny sight i would imagine).

the next time i saw the doctors we came to the conclusion that i most likely had endometriosis (however, my mum was the one to bring this up and ask, seeing as she had it when she was younger)... to be honest, i think if my mum hadn't been as well informed on the subject as she had of been, i wouldn't have been diagnosed with endo for a very long time. it's almost like these days we have to in a way become our own doctors and do all the research ourselves!

anyway, they put me on the pill which i agreed to as i just wanted some relief from the pain. it gave a bit of relief at first but ofcourse not completely and after a while the power has worn off a bit. at first it also caused other problems like nausea and sweats and a bunch of other really fun stuff...

but.. after months for being on the pill, with really no improvement, the doctor has agreed that it is time for a laparoscopy. they were reluctant to consider it at first because of my age, but i am meeting with the surgeon in about a weeks time... and i am hoping and praying that it works out.

but really, i just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story with everyone, and i wish you all the best for the future :) thank you.