Friday, April 3, 2009

Contractions, Infection, and Stations

It's a -tion kind of day.

I never wrote about this, for no particular reason except that I had just started my blog at the time (last Spring after my surgery), and I had lots of other thoughts that I wanted to write about.

However, some of you have talked about severe abdominal pain as a result of your endometriosis or pelvic adhesions, and thank GOD, that small part of my IF journey is over.

Shortly after my surgery, perhaps May or June of last year, I started to experience some severe, and I mean severe, abdominal pain. But not the kind of "pain" one typically thinks of when they think of "pain." Instead, it was like the most intense, sharp menstrual cramp in the world. It literally would feel like my insides were TWISTING and CONTRACTING, until suddenly it would pass. Usually right afterwards, I would have a bowel movement. Sometimes, the pain came while I was having the bowel movement, and it was so bad, that I'd have to stand up from the bowl (sorry for the tmi here, but I'm trying to be as detailed as possible). I literally would need to stand, change position, walk, or double over whenever this pain would come... much like I've seen women do during labor.

I spoke to my Dr about it, and told her it was not related specifically to any time of my cycle. Rather, it would come and go maybe 2-3 random times, sometimes pre-Peak, sometimes post-Peak. This, plus the fact that it was always coupled with a bowel movement, made her think it was not gynecological, but a digestive issue. She told me to start drinking prune juice. And this worked. What we concluded was that there were some "kinks" leftover from surgery near the bowels, and whenever a large bowel passed through the area, it needed to work past the kinks, hence causing the pain. When I told her, "You'll think I'm crazy, because I have no idea what contractions feel like, but I swear, I was having contractions!!" She replied that this was most likely exactly what was happening!

I haven't had these pains in about 4 months, probably since my antibiotic therapy. But I am actually glad that I got to experience that type of physical feeling, if that makes sense. I remember those times moving around the bathroom, standing and sitting, literally yelling out loud, "Jesus, please help me!!" (I know this sounds so silly and overdramatic, but it was really BAD!!) If I never get pregnant, or never go through labor, at least I can say that my quest for a baby DID include the physical pain of contractions! Is that weird for me to say?? I'm just so glad that I did get to feel that (but also SO glad that I am not feeling it every cycle anymore)!

I did email Dr Toth the other day, because unfortunately, the beautiful all-red periods that I had while having the uterine washes have gone back to TEBB :( The only exception to this was last month, when I was on Zithromax (from Dr Toth) and Diflucan (from my NaPro Dr for post-Peak pasty treatment)- - with the combination of both antibiotics, my period was an AMAZING 7-day, all red, only 1 day of brown spotting. So, this leads me to believe the infection is not eradicated.

He responded today that yes, unfortunately in the recent past he has seen more and more cases of CT that are resistant to his initial therapy regimen. He says to combat this he recommends increased doses of Zithromax over the course of the pre-Peak phase, and then if that shows improvement in my cycles, a follow-up course of uterine washes. I actually really want to do the uterine washes again, because I just want to KICK this darn INFECTION! (He has always said, in all of his books, that vertically transmitted infection is much more resistant than horizontally transmitted pathogens. Darn it.) So, by this point I am already on CD 14, so I will begin this new regimen next cycle, and possibly go in for uterine washes #2 in May or June. It will be less expensive, since DH does not need the prostate injections. Hopefully with the big checks DH's job is supposed to be getting soon, we can handle this unforseen expense.

Tonight I am taking part in the Living Stations :) I volunteered to be a part of it, hoping I'd get an acting part (I love to act, and haven't done any since college), but I will be one of the 2 narrators instead. I'm looking forward to it- one thing I just love about my parish is how they do Stations during Lent. Every week the Knights of Columbus put on a Lenten meal right before the Stations, and then each week the Stations are a different theme: traditional, Marian, Family, Teen, and Living Stations. Living Stations is my favorite, because it takes each Station and develops a monologue for either a real or a fictional character from Jesus' time. For example, one of the fictional characters last year was a carpenter. On the station of Jesus falling for the 1st time, the carpenter took the stage and began working on making a crucifix. He talked about how he had heard that this crucifix was going to be used to crucify another carpenter- and this made him feel guilty. He wondered what it was that the carpenter was guilty of. He wondered if he should not make the crucifix, because his craft was not meant to bring death, but to help them build a life.

I wish everyone a very fruitful, meaningful Holy Week. Truth be told, Holy Week is my favorite week of the entire year.


Sew said...

I am all to familiar with those types of cries to God! :) The ones where you lamaze type breath to pass a bowel movement. Who needs contractions, I was giving birth out of the wrong hole!!!

Mine weren't exactly like yours because I was passing a bowel screaming Hail Mary's!!! hahahahaha

The endo was narrowing my bowel and needed to be removed. But when I went in for the slight bowel obstruction, my bowel was kinking.

I hope a bowel resection isn't in your future. I am so glad you are able to drink prune juice and it's okay. :)

More uterine washes????

prayerfuljourney said...

What does an uterine washing entail? I've never heard of it. Gosh...I get bad cramping around cycle time or usually pretty soon after ovulation..but I don't think it has it my bowels. Sometimes it's painful but thankfully most of the time it's fine. I had some problems before I got on the thyroid meds. I would go maybe once every two or three days. Eating fiber didn't always help. I wish you lots on luck on this journey and prayers. just seems like if it isn't one's something else. Does it ever end? Blessings.

E said...

I can't beleive that you need more washes, so sorry! I did feel great when my uterus was squeaky clean. You really have some very caring doctors. What a blessing! I haven't had endo pain, but some of my menstrual cramps have been horrible and the cramping after the SHSG was horrible. Offering it up doesn't seem to work every time, just cries for healing!

Kathryn said...

I've had extreme & very unusual cramping. Been going on a long time. Docs only treated symptoms not the source. I've never heard of anyone having issues even vaguely similar to mine, but the pain is very like what you are describing.

Much too much to go into detail here. You're welcome to email me if you wish. Don't know that my story would help you much at all, however.

Jeremiah 29:11 said...

Those living stations sound great! Glad that you got to participate. :)

Hafsa said...

The living stations that you described sound awesome, I'm glad that you got to experience it. I'm also glad that you no longer have the pain you described, that sounds terrible.

Life In Mazes said...

Holy Week is my favority time of year too! The live stations sound amazing. Hope that it turned out great.

Fertile Thoughts said...

I am sorry to hear you haven't been able to kick the infection completely. How did you know that it was gone all the way. Dh and I had to take an antibiotic for some infection we had. I am not sure what it was though. Dr. H just thought we were passing it back and forth to each other through bd. Also, I am so sorry that you have had to experience such awful contractions like that. Although I understand what you mean. I really think it sounds like contractions too. When I had my miscarriage (TMI ahead) I remember pushing while sitting on our couch screaming God help me so it sounds very similar to what you experienced. Gosh, women have to suffer so much physically. UGH! That’s amazing that since you’ve been taking the antibiotics you haven’t had them. YEAH!
The living stations sound great. I have never heard of this before. I hope you have a great time  I really haven’t had the best of Lents this year so maybe Holy Week will be better. I still have to get my act together ;)

the misfit said...

In a weird way, I think valuing having been through contractions makes sense. And I've had the endo-pain-with-bowel-movement fun too, but not like that. I will tuck that prune juice idea in my back pocket, though, in case I do.

Karey said...

When I had my first endo attack at age 20 I was lying on the bathroom floor of a dorm room thinking I was about to give birth! It would have been like one of those "I didn't know I was pregnant" shows on Discovery! Seriously, I've always said that if I am ever lucky enough to give birth, that I will bet that first endo attack was pretty close to it. So I know EXACTLY what you mean about contractions.

Hope the living stations went well :)