Stage 2, originally written October 2013.

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October 2013

So this is it. The diagnosis: Stage 2 endometriosis. I'm slowly coming to terms with this reality. Stage 2 (out of 4) is considered mild. I gave up birth control pills two years ago which makes me nervous it was aggressive. The good doc succeeded in removing all areas of endo that he found so my pipes are clean, so to speak. He found the endo on my bladder, both ovaries and near my cervix. I'm hoping beyond all hope that this was the cause of our infertility this past year. I'm on strict orders to try naturally for the next three months. After that, I'm to call the office for a second consultation. I really don't want to make that call. I'm not sure what the next steps are to be but I'm quite certain they come with pretty hefty dollar signs.

On a positive note, we were told not to "try" this month so it's been a refreshing break from the roller coaster. Whaddya know!? I really still can act and feel like a normal human being in the absence of all that baby-making pressure.

As for the surgery itself, the hospital staff was amazingly sweet to me and tried as best they could to keep me calm beforehand. Like any surgery where anesthesia is involved, time seems to disappear. One minute I was awake having IV's put in and the next I was being ushered out to the car. The pain afterwards was about what I expected. I was able to slowly walk around on my own. I had a little bit of an injured animal swagger going on but I think I played it off cool. I kid. I kid. On a serious note, getting up and down from a sitting position was a bit of a challenge. The worst part was the bloated feeling I experienced which lasted 3 days for me. It wasn't necessarily painful, just uncomfortable. Oh, and meds + sleep are apparently a dangerous combination. I experienced one of the most frightful nightmares I've ever had. It was as if my body had felt the pain of the surgery and my brain was reconnecting the feeling later in my dream. I woke up hysterically sobbing. Poor husband didn't even know what hit him. After about a week, I was able to function more normally. I'm still careful about over-stretching. I had some very uncomfortable muscle spasms after sneezing, but besides my bruised and dry, flaky stomach, it's been a week and a half and you probably wouldn't even know I'd had surgery. Ok, well unless you actually saw the incision sites which still look like scabby cuts. I'm very eager to have this whole ordeal behind me, which brings me to my new found fear of it returning.

I really, really, REALLY do not have to go through another one of those surgeries. No one likes surgery, no matter how mild or severe. So I'm trying to do everything in my power to avoid it. From the little bit of research I've done, it appears that there are two paths you can take to try and prevent endo from reoccurring or getting worse. One option is hormone therapy, which is off the table since we're trying to conceive. The second option is to make lifestyle changes, ie. change your diet. And man, this is no easy walk in the park. The list of foods to avoid are long and plentiful, including but not limited to dairy, wheat. Dairy and wheat?! No more.... cheese?!?! I practically lived off of cheese. Cheese consisted of a very large portion of my protein and fat intake pre-laproscopy. So what have I done now?

I'm eating only granola or other gluten free cereal and experimenting with using coconut milk instead of the organic whole milk I was drinking before the surgery.

Instead of my yogurt and deli meat sandwich I previously had for lunch, I've switched to salad with fruit and nuts.

For dinner, I'm still trying out organic chicken pot pies, trying to use rice instead of pasta and avoiding anything which contains wheat.. which is hard, hard, hard. No more pizzas. No more pasta. Although, I have purchased some gluten free noodles and gluten free bread. I'll have to let you know how those go down. Somehow I'm thinking they're going to be gross imitations of the originals. For pizza, I've discovered some gluten free (cornbread crust) varieties, but I still can't quite get into the dairy free versions. I've succeeded in cutting out wheat almost entirely but dairy is proving a bit more difficult.

Everything is organic. I'm buying organic as much as possible, whenever I can. I was doing this previously anyway but now I'm trying much, much harder.

Speaking of organic, I came across a USDA certified organic tea brand which creates a red leaf tea, supposedly helpful for creating a good womb. I'll take it! I'll take that good womb :) Tea time it is.

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