This journey discovering that Essure was the true source of all of my pain and problems has been filled with highs and lows. While it was great to FINALLY KNOW why I have been feeling the way I have, it was quite upsetting to learn that the way to fix the problem was to have a hysterectomy. (yes, I could have chosen to just have my tubes removed, but since one of the issues I had was that for a while I was having my period for 2 weeks at a time, the doctor was okay with taking my uterus also so I would never have to deal with heavy periods again)
Once surgery was scheduled there was the high of knowing that all of the symptoms I have been having would soon be gone, but there was the low of knowing that the recovery from the surgery would be a long one.
I am not going to lie . . . there was also the low of knowing that if back in 2009 we had made a different choice (like having my husband have a vasectomy) then I would not be going through this right now. Yes, I know that hindsight is 20/20. It was really nice when my husband and I had a long conversation where he said that if he could go back in time he would have had the vasectomy. I could also see it in his eyes when he entered the recovery room after surgery . . . he felt terrible.
Then there was the high of finding the online support group Essure Problems . . . it was so wonderful to know I was not alone. Over 16,000 women who can also relate to what I am going through. But then it is also hard to hear the stories of these other women suffering who cannot do anything about it because they cannot afford the surgery. To tell you the truth, I have NO IDEA how much this whole thing is going to cost us . . . but whatever the dollar amount, it will be worth it to not be in pain every day.
This group of women have also inspired me to share my story to warn and educated other women. I am also so happy to learn that the FDA is now (FINALLY) going to investigate this product. I know that this road will also have highs and lows . . . the high of knowing they are looking into it, but since we don't know what will come of this there could be a high or a low with the outcome of this investigation.
Something that has been really hard for me are the days that I am feeling good. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain. It is hard because I feel better and I think "I got this. I am feeling better!" Then I start to do more, because I feel like I can . . . then comes the set back of a throbbing pain in my belly button . . . oops . . . looks like I did too much.
Some of the side effects of Essure are depression, lack of energy, no interest in things that you used to enjoy . . . and the biggest one for me was the back pain. If you have enough back pain, it will CAUSE YOU to have be depressed, have no energy and not be interested in things you used to enjoy.
Okay, so the good news is that I can already see a change in some of these things. Just a few days after surgery I noticed I did not have ANY BACK PAIN. It has been years since I have said that! I have to admit, the past few days I have had some pain, but it is more of a "stiffness" pain and I think it is due to the fact that I am sitting in this recliner for so many hours a day. And I can feel my urge to do things come back. I told my husband that I want to work out and do yoga. It was one of those "who are you and what have you done with my wife?" kind of moments. I know I can't do this kind of stuff yet, due to recovering from surgery, but just the fact that I want to is something that I have not experienced in years.
And my craft room . . . how I miss my craft room! I want to spend time in there, but I know standing at my craft table will tire me out. And there is no way I should be moving some of those stacks of paper or pulling out the bins of supplies to get to things. My Cuttlebug and Big Shot . . . I probably should not be hand cranking those. So while I want to, I sit and wait until I know I can handle the activity. I wish I was more of a knitter . . . I could totally do that while sitting on the couch!
Here is a chart that was shared on the Essure Problems Facebook group
I have to keep reminding myself of the numbers shown on this chart. I am only 2 weeks post-op on Monday 4/13/2015. That only puts me "cleared" for walking and getting myself something to drink. I am not even up to the "okay for light housework/cooking" for another 2 - 3 weeks! (and if you know me, I don't cook anyway so that is not really an issue) So why do I feel so bad about working from home a little longer? Probably because while I am sitting her on the couch typing this all up I feel perfectly fine!
I need to remember that I am not Super Woman. I don't have a Fairy Godmother to wave a magic wand over me and make healed overnight. But I also don't like feeling like I am letting someone else down, and that is how I feel about not being at work . . . I feel like I am letting the team down since some of the things I normally take care of are pushed off to others. Why should other people have to do more work while I sit here on the couch and watch movies?
There are some people at work who have called me "The Mom" of the team. Anyone who is a Mom knows that Mommy's don't get sick days. We can have a temperature of 102 but people are still need us to take care of stuff . . . sometimes stuff the COULD do/figure out on their own. I think that is my problem right now . . . I am trying to be "The Mom" and take care of and think of others first and what I need to do is be the patient and focus on me and my recovery. I need to step out of my own body and say "If this was my daughter, would I be telling her to suck it up and go into work/school or would I tell her to sit down on the couch and relax?" The answer is I would tell her to sit down and relax, so that is what I need to tell myself also. If I don't, I am only going to set back my recovery.
So, I am taking it one day at a time . . . enjoying the highs (and the pain meds) and working through the lows (thank goodness for chocolate) I know I will get there . . . at some point. It just may not be as quickly as I would want it to be.