It took years for me to stand up for myself and truly make my own choices with my health. I seemed to have picked up the belief that you do what the doctor says if you want to get better. I’m not sure if it’s because I was a young teenager when I was diagnosed, or if being from a smaller town where alternative medicine options or an abundance of second opinions were not available, but I believed you just did what the doctors suggested.
It was after my 4th Laparoscopy surgery, about 12 years after being diagnosed with endometriosis, I started to think something wasn’t working for me. My own little Dr. Phil moment…”How’s it working for ya?” Previously laparoscopy surgeries had taken my physical pain away, but not this time. The endometriosis specialist I was seeing suggesting another Lupron shots. Lupron is an injected drug designed to decrease estrogen hormones and essentially put women through menopause. The goal of with the drug is for endometriosis tissue to shrink, therefore leaving patients with less pain. A splendid theory! (I currently have another post started about Lupron, so we will get to that later) The specialist then discovered this would be my 3rd go round with Lupron, and ordered a bone density test. FOR REAL?!? One of the side effects of this forced menopause, as many women experience with actual menopause, is loss of bone density and osteoporosis. My head was spinning…I’m 27! Bone density test? Like, we aren’t sure if I have enough bone mass to handle another round of shots?!? Not ok. I knew the hormone treatments were harsh, but Osteoporosis!?
I never before considered the side effects, I just wanted the pain to go away.
Aaron, my husband, has been with me for 15 of 17 years of the endometriosis. (We are highschool sweethearts…ahhhh) Over the years he played a supportive role with my health, but never said much about what choices I should or shouldn’t make. Up until this point, medical decisions were between my parents and I. On this particular day he spoke up. He told me he always hated what Lupron did to me. And says, “Do you know what that stuff looks like? A toxic hot pink, magenta, nuclear concoction. There is no way that’s good for you! It’s got to be terrible for your body!”
This was the first time I said “no” to treatment options. “What else can we do?”