Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Endometriosis: It's here to stay

So, its the time of my AF again.. and again the pains are back. Truthfully speaking, even though my period was due this week, I have been spotting and bleeding for the last two weeks already which I have been a bit concerned about. This used to happen before I was diagnosed. Over the last few days, everything has seemed to rise up a level. Swollen stomach, cramps, leg pain, hip pain, backache, cystitis, pain underneath & bleeding.

I know this scenario oh so well!

I honestly thought after my second laparoscopy in February, I wouldn't be in this situation again. I didn't expect to be totally pain free, however I at least thought these days would be behind me. But they're not. I have come to the conclusion Endo pains are always going to be present. Two op's later I'm better, but not right.

Endometriosis still manages to surprise me... following no rules or boundaries...


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

IBS Newbie

Since having my lap and adhesions removed from my bowel I have still been experiencing stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating. This has now been put down to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). It feels as soon as I'm starting to get over one thing, another blocks my way! Grr... Anyway, I called out to my followers on twitter for help and advice regarding IBS and I got floods of replies. (BIG THANKS to all!) I thought I'd share some tips I was given on here as IBS is closely linked with Endometriosis and if it may help one person scrolling through my blog then great! Im still an IBS Newbie so have also done a bit of my own research.. If anyone has any other tips please feel free to add to comments below!

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition of your digestive system which can cause bouts of stomach cramps, abdominal pain, bloating, urgency to go to the toilet, excessive wind, diarrhoea and constipation. It can affect 1 in 3 people. Women are more prone to get IBS which is probably related to hormones. It cannot be cured but changes to your diet, stress levels and fitness levels can help.

Tips from Tweeters & my own research

  • Keep a food diary to see what foods trigger your symptoms and what doesn't
  • Take a daily fibre supplement
  • Drink Peppermint Tea -- this was suggested in nearly every tweet! Peppermint helps aid digestion which in turn will help to balance your stomach
  • Wheat, gluten and dairy may trigger bloating
  • Increase fruit intake, possibly in a smoothie form to help incorporate it into your daily diet
  • Medications such as Buscopan or Mebeverine - both of which I have received from my Doctor
  • Black pepper can help to soothe cramps, relieve wind and stimulate a sluggish digestive system.
  • Eat your biggest meals earlier in the day, keep evening meals light
  • Herbs/Supplements - Calcium can help diarrhoea. Linseed can help constipation. Artichoke can help digestive trouble

Foods to EAT
  • Fish, Green veg, Rice, Porridge, Yoghurt, Bananas, Chicken, Bran, Potatoes, Brown bread

Foods to AVOID
  • Spicy foods, Crisps, Biscuits, Fried and fatty foods, Onions and Leeks, Fizzy drinks, Caffeine, Cheese, Chocolate, Pulses (beans and lentils), Eggs, Alcohol, White bread, Sweets and desserts. Sauces - ketchup, pickle relish, soy sauce, chutney, and barbecue sauce.

I understand there may be some variations in the food list above as everyone is different, but this was a standard guide in a recent newspaper article.

To start off with I have made a food diary and cut out all caffeine, drinking peppermint tea by the bucketful instead! I have also cut out wheat and chocolate from my diet. Will see how this goes then will move on to the next. I think it's going to take a while to find out all my triggers but hoping it will be all worth it in the end!

Websites that list triggers and further information on IBS

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Battle Of The Swollen Stomach...Part 2

13th June last year I wrote my first post on 'The Battle Of The Swollen Stomach'. It was one week before my 24th birthday and I was beyond frustrated of still having an swollen stomach due to Endo.
So to be writing this post today I'm extremely excited. Today is 4 weeks since my 2nd lap... and within the last 3 weeks my stomach as gone down 4 inches!! Woooohooo! 

Two weeks ago it had reduced by two and a half inches. This week I measured it and another inch and half has gone! Before my 2nd lap and at the height of the swelling I looked like I was carrying twins! I'm well and truly shocked as I never thought this day would come. My 25th birthday is now 3 months away.. Imagine if by then I'll have a 'normal' stomach and a whole new wardrobe, excluding baggy tops to hide my stomach?!

This time last year this would have been a dream. Now... I truly believe it will happen.

I look forward to a flatter stomach, healthier, happier me :-)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Endometriosis: Did I speak too soon??

Yesterday I posted how I was feeling upbeat, positive and ready to start living. Today I feel the complete opposite. I'm very emotional, feel quite low and fed up! Why does recovery have to be so confusing. One day your feeling good and on the mend, the next you feel back at square one. I'm frustrated this is how I felt before the op. I'm frustrated some symptoms I'm having are similar to before. Yes I know some symptoms are healing but still its hard to get your head around when they start up again. I'm pretty positive some ladies who read this today have felt or are feeling this way. I take comfort in knowing I'm not an emotional wreck and going mad...this is normal in recovery...isn't it? My rollercoaster ride is on a low at the moment. However, I'm sure tomorrow it'll be climbing back up! My fingers and toes are crossed anyway.


Sunday, 4 March 2012

My Endometriosis - A Year On...

So, its been just over a year since my 1st laparoscopy... and 3 weeks after my 2nd. As you can imagine this last year has been a rollercoaster!! Physically and emotionally. No way would I have believed I'd be having two operations within one year. To be brutally honest, it's taken a lot out of me including most of my energy, my social life is practically non existence and its hit my confidence pretty hard. My early twenties have been filled with pain, tablets, injections, operations and a bundle of unwanted hormones!!

However, 3 weeks after lap number two im starting to feel more positive. I have full confidence that my new consultant removed all endometriosis and adhesions this time. I was so surprised to find out the adhesions had stuck to my bowel and twisted it into a loop. It's shocking what endo is capable of doing. I've literally been stuck in a rut over the last few years. If I had a good day I'd make the most of it. The next day I'd be in agony. The amount of times I've had to say no to going out is hard to recall. Now, I'm on the road to recovery...I'm looking forward to saying YES to go out with friends and family... I'm looking forward to living again!! :)