My name is Jessica, and I'm not going to shut up anymore.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yes, I had ass surgery.

Sweet baby Jesus, I can't believe I'm saying it out loud.

But yeah. I just had ass surgery a few weeks ago from, what I believe, is due to chronic, long time effects of endometriosis. Including constipation, mostly. And possibly having abdominal pain that made it difficult to have a bowel movement without straining so hard.

Why am I telling you this? Because it's important. It's important that I confess what's going on with my body so that YOU DON'T FEEL ALONE in your own journey, struggles, frustrations. We are endosisters in this, together.

So about this surgery: it was a sphincterotomy and a banding of hemorrhoids that had been causing me a lot of discomfort over the last 2 years or so. Yes: I said 2 years. You see, because I've been so focused on having/dealing with endometriosis, I had neglected other parts of my body. For example, I have TMJ disorder, too. My right jaw joint is completely dislocated and does not "recapture." The other side is degenerative as well--which leads to chronic neck, head and jaw pain. But either way, getting back to the subject, sometimes being so focused on one health condition helps you either forget or, unfortunately, neglect other issues that you're also dealing with. And here's something I find helpful to mention:

Endometriosis can influence other parts of your body. (Yes, I've said it before: 'it's all connected.') But besides that point, endometriosis can correlate to other inflammatory diseases and conditions. According to "The Pains of Endometriosis" published by Berkley, Rapkin & Papka in The Science Journal:
 In some women, pain can be exacerbated by the co-occurrence of other severe chronic pain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, repetitive kidney stones, vulvodynia, temporomandibular syndrome, migraine, and fibromyalgia."

In my case, I believe that years of irregular and difficult bowel movements/problems have contributed signficantly to having a severe anal fissure and hemorrhoids. In fact, in my post-op session with my GI specialist, he made it clear that "that fissure was NOT going to go away on its own." Which makes me wonder: in what other ways our our bodies being affected that we're not even aware of. And further more, why am I so comfortable talking about my uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, but talking about my butthole is so seemingly "off-limits." Many of us diagnosed with endometriosis end-up either having bowel adhesisions, deep penetrating endometrial tissue in our bowels and growth in the pouch of Douglas or posterior cul de sac. Which means that our reproductive system is affecting, directly, the efficacy of our gastrointestinal tract.

I confess that I had surgery on my behind because, on one hand, I feel like an old lady. I've had 3 major surgeries in the last year. My PCP even remarked, at one point, "Jessica, your medical history looks like that of an old lady." SERIOUSLY? Okay, how about this: Fuck you. Yep. I said it.

But to keep it real, please don't neglect your other bodily functions because endo "might" get in the way. I almost ended up canceling surgery because my abdominal pain had returned and I was worried (and still am) that I may end up with another laparoscopy within the next year. I'm worried that I might force myself to make decisions about my reproductive organs that I don't want to have to make sooner than later--like either have kids NOW or think about the fact that I may become infertile within the next few years while I wait, quietly, with a Mirena implant and NuvaRing regimen.

Finally, I want to tell you today that my butt is doing better. So far. It's nothing like endo pain, but still: no one wants to feel like you're pooping razor blades. Nope. No one wants to know about that. But the point is this: don't feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk to your PCP or specialist about what's going on "down there." Because our "down there" is all connected. And I truly believe that until you can start to balance your WHOLE body health, focusing on one problem will not allow for another to go away. Was I nervous to have someone voluntarily cut an incision into my sphincter? Hell yeah! Was it worth it? Hell yeah!

I hope that--for many of you--your journey is either on a good, healthy path or you feel confident that your road to recovery is bright and full of opportunity. For others, we take 5 steps forward and 3 backwards. That's kind of how I feel right now. Yes, I'm considered a medical "success," but it worries me that I may have other (side-effects) of endo that I'm not ready to deal with yet. But fear only gets you so far--and by "so far," I mean no where.

Bottom line: don't ignore your bottom. Don't feel embarrassed to talk about it. Don't feel ashamed to have issues down there. And if you do, find A SPECIALIST who will listen, treat you with the utmost form of care and concern, and understand that you are an Endo Warrior, not just a(n old) lady with butt problems.

Cheers to you and your lady parts!