What a month.
I went into a doctor appointment March 1st bound head to toe in nerves, fully anticipating bad news. The pain had come back, but this time on the left side (my “good side”) and therapy was no longer helping the scar tissue on the right. So my PT sent me back to my specialist.
It all felt familiar and that was more than enough to have me spooked. I know the pain too well.
I didn’t know what to pray, so I didn’t care to pray. I was locked in survival mode, prepping myself for what I thought was going to be a crushing verdict just weeks before the wedding.
It would happen like this.
I let fear ooze and told myself I was just being “realistic.”
“What are you most afraid of?” My best friend asked a couple days before my appointment.
“Never-ending pain and infertility.”
“What are you hoping your doctor will say?”
“I don’t know.”
The thing is I really didn’t know. On the one hand, it would be great to hear a report of perfect health. But that wouldn’t explain the pain and I needed an answer for that. But I couldn’t imagine any answer that would be okay. I didn’t know what good news would look like.
But lo and behold, I got good news.
During the ultrasound, my doctor saw no signs of endometrial cysts or adhesions. Just a bucket-load of scar tissue acting like really messy, painful glue.
“Your ovary is stuck to your bowels and your uterus.”
Well, that explains everything.
Any time anything happens in my pelvis, something’s getting upset. Cyclical uterine cramps and contractions now pull on my bowels and ovary, ovulation now triggers pain in my bowels and uterus, and any bowel activity tugs on my ovary and uterus. Not to mention the ball of scar tissue that still sits on my right hip flexor muscle.
My pelvis parties hard. But it’s just scar tissue. Not endometriosis and that is good news. My doctor also talked with us about the bummer fertility results I’ve been getting.
He leaned back in his chair and glanced down at my file. “Yeah, they’re not great.”
He’s always been frank and I’m thankful for that. But he also gave me and Trev a 6-12 month window to try on our own before we’ll need to jump on IVF. He said I essentially have the reproductive capabilities of a 40 year old. But 6-12 months is a nice little window—more good news as far as I was concerned.
He also theorized that breaking the pain cycle I seemed to be lodged in might take care of my constant discomfort. They had been working with a new kind of treatment and receiving a lot of positive feedback. Success rate was high and he thought it might be a good fit. That was a no-brainer for me.
For the first time ever, I left that office completely elated. It was a serious hope-high. I was beaming.
“I can’t believe I’m going to not wake up in pain anymore.” I shook Trev by the shoulders.
My first conscious thought every morning is the recognition of pulsing pelvic pain. I no longer remember what it’s like to wake up and not feel that. And I can’t describe to you what it was like getting the news I could be done with that.
The medicine did disrupt the pain cycle, but it would only give me a couple hours relief at a time and I still found myself greeting every morning with a heating pad.
So I slowly slumped back into survival mode. I started to feel like hope was a dangerous thing—that I had let myself get too excited and I shouldn’t allow myself to imagine relief because it’s not going to happen. I settled into my own strength again. More silence. More fear. Less trust in whatever the heck God might be doing.
What are You doing, anyway?
A week later, I was hit with a horrible cycle. Worst one in a long time. My medicine didn’t work—nothing worked. I just crumpled up in bed while the cramps latched on to all of my scar tissue and tugged tugged tugged—the muscles in my pelvis responding with spasms, sending jolts down my legs. And while the pain folded me in half, Trev had to remind me to breathe.
He had never seen it like that and it was a hard thing to watch.
Then the onslaught of discouragement ensued. The melancholy. The physical exhaustion. The usual.
At that point I was ready to throw in the towel.
But a few days later, something shifted. It was last Wednesday (3/22) and I was running errands for work. Super wiped out—super done with this whole thing, frankly—when I had a thought.
It’s been three years of this. I’m not about roll over just yet.
And suddenly everything felt more like a battle that I could participate in—not just a 3 year wave of pain that kept bowling me over. Then I brought myself back to 2015 when I had to shove needles in my legs and pop Vicodin every day just to function. And I was reminded of the joy that accompanied the suffering in that time. The joy that comes exclusively from God when he is let in to a heart wrecked with fear and pain and exhaustion.
So I reached out. Not in an epic burst of strength and resolve, but in a feeble, tear-rimmed admission.
“God, I need your help.”
It was a perspective change on a dime. And a little swell of hope again.
I’m writing this because I know somebody was praying for me that day. That afternoon. What happened was not me, it was somebody being faithful, somebody praying on my behalf and God delivering on it. If that was you, thank you. And be affirmed. He heard you and He responded loud and clear.