It took Sherry a long time be diagnosed with endometriosis as her first surgeon missed the diagnosis and it was her gynaecologist who finally diagnosed and removed the disease
This is Sherry’s story …..
Hi, I'm 33, and very thankful for a place to tell my endometriosis story. Its a sad tale that hopefully will make the medical community more aware of this disease and push forth a worthy cure. Certainly Lupron, which is medically-induced menopause, isn't the answer to endometriosis.
I spent years on the pill, so I had no idea I had endometriosis until after I went off it.
At that time, I had been married for 6 years. We went through a rocky spot a year prior, but through marriage counselling and communication, things had markedly improved and we were almost ready to have children.
Immediately off the pill, the pain and the hormonal imbalances began. Within the first two months, I had such severe side pains and an inflamed appendix that I received an emergency appendectomy.
It turned out that it was not appendicitis, but my appendix was irritated by what my surgeon identified as 'popped ovarian cysts' surrounded by a lot of scar tissue.
The ER surgeon never said 'endometriosis' but she was concerned about the abundance of scar tissue. Shortly after that, my hormones went completely out of whack and I suffered through a severe, inexplicable depression.
My husband went long stretches of time away from home, travelling for work, and I found myself often alone and scared. He became my blame for my depression. I became so unrealistically terrified that somehow the same issues that brought us to counselling before would come back again to haunt our marriage, and his absences at the home only reinforced my suspicions and doubts about our future.
Six months after the appendectomy, we began divorce proceedings. I thought my marriage was the cause of my depression, but I found myself still embedded in an unexplained depression, complete with even more pain. I did not, for whatever reason, make the correlation.
My primary physician went through a number of possibilities, getting scarier with each diagnosis such as: acid reflux, panic attacks, celiac disease, and possibly but unlikely colon cancer. I had GI scopes, CT scans, and met with GI and bowel disease doctors.
All were inconclusive. My gyno finally diagnosed it a year after my divorce as endometriosis through a laparoscopy procedure. Sure enough, I had grade 3-4 endometriosis, which he could only remove the portions not affecting major organs. Having an answer was only part of the prognosis. The other part is dealing with it. He wanted me to do lupron for 6 months.
I did it for one month, and could not handle the side effects, especially the depression. I went manic during that month, and often thought of suicide. The other side effects didn't help either. I ended the Lupron treatment after also realising how much Lupron can cause bone density loss.
Having the severe depression plus coming from a family with genetic bone issues, I decided that it was too dangerous for me to continue it. After ending the lupron treatment, I felt much more grounded and a little happier, but my hormones are still out of balance.
I take pain killers regularly, sometimes smoke the occasional joint just for pain, and talk myself through daily issues when I'm feeling depressed- to figure out if it is just the hormones or if it is something else about me that I can change.
I have also started seeing a therapist to help talk about my issues and help me come to terms with the decisions I made. Exercise and a healthy diet does help, too. I notice it when I get 'off the wagon' and indulge in a little too much chocolate or bad food.
Just before I got the diagnosis of endometriosis and with it the high likelihood of infertility, I started dating a man who is kind, considerate, supportive, but also wants to someday start a family.
In all honesty, I think I want to go back on the pill until menopause as I have resigned myself that children are pretty much out of the question. As badly as I wanted kids, I do not think that it will be as powerful of a motivator to keep me suffering through the lupron-induced depression again, especially for 6 months.
For those who don't live with this disease, its so easy to dismiss it. For those that have lived through it, they know exactly what we're saying when we discuss it as a day-to-day struggle to live with. I greatly hope that they can find a cure for it.