Out of the frying pan?

*DING DING DING* Round Two!

As a woman, I am no stranger to doing things I don’t want to do. But as a woman with endometriosis, I am also no stranger to pain or discomfort. So when I was told I needed to have monthly hormone injections again as part of my treatment to try and get this condition under control, I should accept it easily, shouldn’t I?

No.

There is not a single part of me that wants to accept this treatment. Not a single ounce of me that is OK with it.

In April, following 2 surgeries and almost a year after we decided to start trying to conceive, my consultant told me I should go back on the zoladex injections. I was devastated. It was proving too difficult to manage the pain and the ‘trying’ part of conception was near impossible with the levels of pain I was experiencing. I was in bed every day, my GP had introduced a pain patch and periods were horrendous. And the cherry on the cake? I’d still not managed to conceive.

But I was doing all the right things; I was taking the vitamins, I had the ovulation sticks and the fertility tracker and I was even taking my temperature to monitor my cycle. Still- nothing.

Reluctantly, I agreed to go back on the menopause-inducing drug.

“What’s it like? It’s like being impaled by a javelin and expected to be grateful for it!” 

The night before the first injection I sobbed. It was so unfair. The resentment welled up inside me until it spilled out in fat, hot tears. And those tears fell in abandon that first month. I have a hard time swallowing them, even now.

It wasn’t the pain of the injection, it wasn’t even the nasty side effects or the fact that it would 100% prevent conception. My resentment lied in the treatment itself. The fact that I was given no alternative; it was either this injection or agony every day. Rock meet hard place. Neither was what I wanted. I felt like an animal, backed into a corner. Have you ever had to do something everything inside you rejected?

I’ve never felt so out-of-control of my own life, of what happens to my body. And the doctors never ask what I want! Like this was the only option and I should be happy about it.

No.

And worse, when I spoke about it, about my feelings and how much I hated this treatment, some responses was one of indifference: “Well, which would you rather have? Agony, pain and being in bed every day or an injection and a few hot flashes?”

NEITHER! Is that too much to ask?

I know from the outside it looks like a ‘done-deal’, a no-brainer. I rebel against everything about it.

Today, I have had my 4th injection of this cycle. Last time, August, I upped my dose from a 3.75 (monthly) injection to a 10.8 (3-monthly) injection. The difference? It’s a much bigger needle, but one stab lasts 3 months. I decided this would be an ‘easier’ option when I started to have panic attacks prior to the injection due dates and appointments.

I am 7 months into this cycle. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in a long, long time, I feel exhausted; mentally and physically. The hot-flashes are enough to cause spontaneous combustion and my mood swings are enough to give me (and my husband) whiplash. I don’t even get any relief using HRT as I had to stop it after it caused chest pain and SVT.

But, I haven’t had a period in 7 months and the endo pain has abated. And I am so thankful of that.

 

 

 

 

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Zoladex vs Endometriosis

On 20th November 2015 I had the first of my Zoladex injections to help relieve the symptoms of Endometriosis. I look at this as the final straw. The last option to my growing list of failed attempts to control pain, manage my symptoms.

“Zoladex (goserelin) is a man-made form of a hormone that regulates many processes in the body. Goserelin overstimulates the body’s own production of certain hormones, which causes that production to shut down temporarily.”

Less than a week later I go through a bad flare-up, extreme cramping, agonising pain and bloating. Having to take all my strongest pain medication and struggling to stand. I literally didn’t know what to do with myself, I was having to take heavy pain killers along with sticking heat pads all over my abdomen and back. However, I was told later that this was “normal” and is called a ‘post-zoladex bleed’. This can sometimes exaggerate the symptoms of endometriosis. I was also told that this settled down after a while…

And it did. The first month came and went, I was just heading into the second month, second injection, when the hot flushes started. As the injection works, it imitates menopause. The zoladex injection is like a chemical menopause, shutting my ovaries down so the endometriosis cannot grow or fluctuate in any way – hence, no pain. Or that is the idea.
For a couple of years now I have been listening to my mum (who is mid-menopausal FYI) whine about hot sweats and lack of sleep and mood swings, each time earning an eye-roll from me. I will NEVER roll my eyes at my mother again. EVER.
These hot sweats come and go all day, and they are ferocious and spontaneous. I wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though my blood is boiling beneath my skin. That awful feeling when you get stuck in a jumper that’s too tight? (I felt it briefly last year when I found myself, regretfully, stuck in a dress) I feel that for a split second, when waking with a hot sweat, feels a though I’m suffocating as I’m much too hot.

This is still happening to me. But it’s the lesser of two evils I suppose. Volatile body temperature or constant pain?

So I’m 2 thirds of the way into my course of 3 Zoladex injections. My last one was 18th December; each one isn’t as bad as the last. Although I’m left bleeding, sore and bruised after every injection, it doesn’t hurt as much. I figure I’m used to being a human pin cushion. I haven’t had a period in nearly 3 months now, I’ve had very little bloating and a minimal amount of pain. The only complaint I have are the side effects of the injection.

This tells me that the ultimate treatment, the only thing that can really help me (in the long room) is a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy will push me into early menopause, effectively doing exactly what the zoladex injection does and is a more long-term plan. I’ve finally found something that seems to work. But before I commit to menopause permanently…

 

…2016 is my ‘HAVE-A-BABY Year’

 

Happy New Year!!

 

A xo

 

*I’d love to hear about the treatment you’ve used for Endometriosis… comment below

*Any ideas to naturally boost fertility?