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02 August 2001 @ 08:49 pm
Mod post, intro  
Hi, I'm your moderator!

I started this community for young women who are faced with the difficult choice to have a hysterectomy.

I've had pain and problems since I first started my menstrual cycle (at age 9). After nearly 10 years of pain, digestive problems, relationship issues, sick days and lost jobs, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis. Prior to that diagnosis, I saw gastroenterologists, physical therapists, OBGYN's, and psychologists. I had plenty of ER visits, where they told me it was everything from pelvic inflammatory disease to gas. I did alternative treatments - homeopathy, naturopathy, diet changes, herbs, vitamin treatments, Reiki, massage, yoga, acupuncture and exercise. I had several laparoscopic surgeries (often simply referred to as 'laps') in an attempt to excise the endo, but I was still in pain, everyday.

I had painkillers that made me act like I was drunk. They didn't cut down on the pain, but they made me not care. At the same time, they made it difficult to drive, work or function normally.

At the end of my rope, I asked my doctor if he would consider hysterectomy for someone my age. He informed me that he would not, and there was no further discussion. At the suggestion of an endo website, I contacted a Dr. David Redwine, a specialist in the field, and sent him my files so he could evaluate my case. He agreed to do the hyst, but cautioned that he could not guarantee pain relief. I had the procedure in January 1999, and I was completely pain free for a year and a half.

When the pain returned, it started in my lower back, and after having had the hyst and not having to deal with endo pain for over a year, I went to the doctor to try to figure out what it was. It came with nausea and the pain was severe, so he assumed it was kidney stones. I had some tests done, which indicated there were none. After a few weeks, the pain spread to my abdomen, and it was then that I recognized what it was... endo. I was crushed, and began again a daily regimen of pain meds and dietary restrictions.

I see many women in endometriosis communities who feel that a hysterectomy is a 'magic cure', and I'm here to tell you that (at least for me) it isn't. I know some women who have been greatly helped by this procedure, but I know too many others who haven't. It is a very personal and difficult decision that every woman should make for herself. Once you've made the decision to go through with it, it is often difficult for women of child-bearing age who have no children to find a doctor who will do it.

I couldn't find any support communities just for women who have had or are going to have a hysterectomy, so I decided to make one of my own. I figured we could use all the help we could get, and could learn from each other.