Many women suffer the painful effects of endometriosis. As stated in this article, It Hurts! more than 6 million women in the USA suffer from endo.
While most women who suffer from this condition become accustomed (later accepting) to the misery after enduring a battery of medical tests-even surgery-many remain in the dark when it comes to a subsequent enemy that often lurks in the shadows: adhesions.
Speaking from experience, my own daughter suddenly became ill at 13 years of age. Debilitated by abdominal and pelvic pain, nausea and vomiting, a year would pass before we received a diagnosis: Crohn's disease. At the time, I had never heard of this illness. Determined to help my daughter, I began studying the illness. Over time, I came to believe Melissa had been misdiagnosed.
Little did I know, my suspicions would not be welcomed by the physician. In the beginning, my questions were answered with questions. "What have you been reading?" "Why would you think that?"
"Do you not accept the diagnosis?" "Don't you want what is best for your daughter?" "Why can't you understand your daughter is sick?!" On and on....I quickly learned I was not allowed to think outside the CROHN'S box.
So, I took her to other doctors. More and more tests were performed. Years passed. Melissa, unable to live a quality life, became weary of going from one doctor to the next. I couldn't blame her-I was weary too. It was much worse for her, however, due to the pain and misery.
During all this, we were aware she was dealing with ovarian cysts, but we were told to ignore them. As long as the cysts ruptured on their own, (though painful) this was just part of being a...gulp....
so settle your little hysterical self down and keep taking the prednisone for the.....
Undeterred, we continued to fight for Melissa. We ditched the gastroenterologists and began going to OB/GYN's. I had decided maybe, just maybe, she had endometriosis. In 2002, we found an OB/GYN who agreed to do laparoscopy surgery (all other doctors had refused) and have a look inside just to see what was going on. The surgery went much longer than we had been told, so my husband and I were getting rather anxious when the surgeon finally came through the doors holding a pile of photographs.
"Have you ever heard of adhesions?" he asked. "No," we both replied. He thumbed through the images and continued, "I didn't find endometriosis, but what I found was probably worse. This girl is covered up in adhesions! I've freed them up, so she will do fine now."
"You mean. She. Will. Be. Well?" I couldn't believe my ears!
"Yes, she will be well. A few days to recover and all will be fine!"
Little did I know then, those would turn out to be famous last words.
In the moment, however, I was beyond elated. My daughter would be WELL! Thirteen years had passed! She was twenty-six years old-it had been one long, hard fought battle! And now, to hear the word WELL.
When Melissa woke from surgery and I told her the good news, she barely gave a ho-hum. I kept trying to explain, but her emotions were flat. She said nothing. Later, she would tell me how, in that moment, she didn't have the heart to tell me that nothing had changed inside. She felt all the pain she had always felt.
I'm happy to report, our story did finally come to a good ending. Melissa IS well now and has been for eleven years. But, the journey to get to the bottom of the adhesions issues was not an easy one.
Since that time, I have listened as many women who do have endometriosis are unaware that adhesion formation may be the actual cause of the pain and suffering they are enduring. I have heard women share how their insides look like cement from the adhesions the endo has caused, yet they continue to look for a doctor who can help them with the endo, never realizing the frozen abdomen is playing a huge role-and sometimes the ONLY role-in a life that has been swallowed up in pain and suffering.
For more information: Images Awareness