Friday, February 29, 2008

My Most Serious Health Concern, Part 1

I have a disease called endometriosis, which makes a nasty mess of the uterus. I was originally diagnosed by accident.
One June morning in 1995 right after I graduated from college, I woke up in terrible pain. My friend Angie once told me that when you have appendicitis it hurts so bad that you know. Well, I knew. My stomach hurt so bad on my right side that I could barely move. I called my doctor’s office, and woke up my sister to come with me. She didn’t have her driver’s license and couldn’t drive me. (Sidenote: she got her driver’s permit and started taking lessons right after this so that she could drive in an emergency.) So, I ended up driving myself to my doctor’s office, and then, for some mysterious reason I had to drive myself to a doctor’s office across town to see another doctor… Beth came with me and had to listen to me groan and moan the whole way. (definite incentive for her to get her driver’s license)
My parents met us at the second doctor’s office and then drove us to the hospital. At this point it pretty much becomes a blur. I remember seeing them in the waiting room after the doctor pushed my stomach and made me scream. And I remember them putting me into the car in the parking lot.
The next thing I remember is waking up and feeling horrible. While the doctor had me open he looked around and discovered I didn’t just have appendicitis. I also had endometriosis, diagnosed by cysts on and around the uterus. In fact, at first they didn’t even think I really had appendicitis. But after tests were done on my appendix, they realized that yes, it was diseased, and yes, it would have ruptured.
I had a REALLY nasty reaction to the anesthesia and ended up staying in the hospital for several days. And I was sick for about two months. (In fact, I showed up at Southwestern seminary a couple months later still recovering from the surgery.)
The surgeon had called in an OB in the middle of my surgery (which added time and FREAKED my parents out) and together they took this silly little video of my insides. I met this OB for the first time a couple weeks after my surgery and he let us see the video. He told my mother and me that I had a very mild case of endo and that I really didn’t need to be worried about it. That I should see another OB in a year, but that this wasn’t anything I needed to be worried about.

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