Life With Adhesions

A little blog to help people understand what it is like to live with adhesions!

My Story – Part Two

on February 15, 2012

So, after we got back all the test results which showed that nothing was wrong (ironically that’s what we were hoping for) my doctor was pretty convinced that they were indeed adhesions.  The next step was to see a gynaecologist to do an investigative laproscopic surgery to see what was going on in there to cause all the pain that I had been having.  My doctor put in a request and we waited.  About 2-3 weeks later, I followed up with a call to the gyno’s office and was told that the soonest that I would be seen was 6 months to a year (that’s just for an appointment, not including the wait time after that for surgery).  When I complained and said that it was an emergency, she said, “Oh yes, this is our emergency list”.

I was devastated, and had a few tears at work in the bathroom and then plodded through the rest of the day until I could get home to tell my husband.  By this time I was in intense pain all day long – taking Tramadol every 4-6 hours with barely any relief.  I felt desperate and out of hope!

We regrouped and called my doctor back who said she would make a bunch of calls and try to get me in sooner.  Unfortunately, she had no luck on her end – she was getting told the same thing.  My condition was not life threatening and not an “emergency” so I would just have to wait.  This was not acceptable  to my husband, so he started doing some research and found a private clinic in Vancouver that we hoped could help us.  My doctor gave us her blessing and wished us luck and faxed all records and procedures to the clinic for us.  My husband had explained my problems and pain to the clinic and they booked us in for an appointment next week with a gynaecologist.

We were excited and hopeful that I would be seen by a gyno and hopefully “cured” within a short amount of time.  The day of our appointment, we got in quickly to see the gyno and explained my story – he was very sympathetic and confirmed again that it was probably adhesions.  We had some worries about my liver and so we had also booked an appointment with the general surgeon just incase he was needed for my operation as well.  After our meeting with the gyno we sat back in the waiting room, waiting for the GS feeling pretty hopefully – the gyno had told us that the wait for surgery wouldn’t be very long and we were ecstatic.  That feeling would soon turn to disappointment as we were led into the office of the GS.  He took 5 mins to hear my story and then left the room to confer with the other doctor.  He then came back in and said that he was sorry, but my BMI was too much for them to operate on in a private clinic and that they couldn’t help us.  He refunded our money for his visit ($500) and sent us on our way.  We couldn’t believe that we had flown all the way there ($1000 for tickets plus the hotel room) to be told that I was “too fat” to be operated on.

To say I was heartbroken can’t even begin to describe what I was feeling! I was devastated, crushed, hopeless, and feeling pretty bad about my body and body image at that point.  However, we regrouped and came on home and my husband promised we would find someone willing to do something for me.

We got back and continued on with life – me, pushing through the days just to be able to make it home and crash into bed in so much pain.  Hydromorphones became my friend when I got home and couldn’t stand the pain anymore.  I was able to push through to Easter and then decided that I just could not continue working anymore and that I needed to take some time off.

My husband did some more research and got in touch with a medical broker who eventually set us up with a Medical Outreach Co-oridnator in the states.  At this point, we were willing to try anything, do anything, pay anything just to get me some relief.  We got in touch with this amazing woman and she helped to connect us with a doctor in Kalispell, Montana.

Within a month or so, we had an appointment and were on our way to the states (11 hours away).  My wonderful gyno there assured us that he was going to help and that the weight was not an issue.  We put all of our faith in him and took the journey.  To say that driving 11 hours was a breeze in intense pain would be the exact opposite of what it was.  However, we arrived there and couldn’t wait for the next day when I would get to see my doctor and then the following day when I was actually booked in for exploratory surgery.

My doctor there is amazing!  He spent about 4 hours with us going over my files and test results and actually listening to me and my problems.  He suspected adhesions as well and even possibly endometriosis and told us that it would be about a 1 1/2 surgery.  I consented to the worst case scenario (a hysterectomy and laser adhesion removal) and hoped for the best.

The surgery ended up taking 3 hours and he ended up doing a hysterectomy, removed my appendix and used a laser to remove adhesions from my abdomen and off of my liver.  You see, I had surgery for removal of my gallbladder about 13 years earlier and surgery for my tipped uterus about 8 years earlier and the result of these surgeries had caused the scar tissue (adhesions) to form inside.  I still don’t know why it took so long for them to hurt – all I know is that they were ugly in there!

After the surgery, I was hopefully and all I could do was sit back and wait and see.  It was well worth the money we paid out of our pocket to go to the states for the surgery.  As my husband always said whenever I complained that it was a lot of money and felt bad about spending it all on me, “How much is your health worth?”

This is where I would love to say my story was over – but it was just another turn in the winding path.  Stay tuned for part three…

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