Friday, 25 October 2013

Endometriosis: Prostap Month 1 Medical Menopause

Endometriosis is so challenging! 26 & this will be my 2nd time of going through the Menopause with Prostap! Great! I thought it would be useful to document my time and experiences on it. My first course was two years ago when I stayed on it for 6 months. This time it's been suggested to start on a 3 month course and then it will be reviewed. The overall aim to find out if it is Endo or adhesion's that are causing all my pains.

**Please remember these are my own experiences. It may be totally different for someone else. As with Endo, I'm sure you know by now, what works for one person may not for another**

Prostap is a hormone medicine that prevents certain hormones from producing. Therefore, it puts women into a medical menopause as it will temporarily shut down your ovaries. Its active ingredient is Leuprorelin Acetate. Similar drugs to Prostap that work in the exactly same way are Zoladex and Lupron. Side effects may vary.

My Prostap Diary: Month 1

Day 1: Prostap is given as an injection which is put into your fat and not your muscle. This helps it to spread and not cause any spasms in the muscles. I had the option of having it in my stomach or my bottom. Chose the bottom. I immediately felt a sharp pain where it's inserted and that same sharp pain for some time after. Felt a bit woozy on my way home. Had pains around incision site all day. Aching, throbbing pains shooting down my legs. Few stabs around my ovaries but nothing major. Headache but not persistent and a slight breast pain. Slept most of the day, felt very fatigued.

Day 2:  Didn't sleep much last night so been extremely tired all day. I had lots of naps throughout the day! I've had pains in both my ovaries, felt different to my usual Endo pains so it must be the Prostap, doing its job and shutting them down. Also had a really strange burning sensation in my back. Cool to touch but felt like it was on fire. Never experienced it before so unsure if it's related to the injection or not? The worst symptom I've had today was headaches. Felt as if I was hungover, really fuzzy with sharp pains shooting across the right hand side of my head every now and again. The nurse did warn me of these due to changes in my hormone levels.

Day 3: Headache again all day. Pounding. The cramps I was having started to increase. By the evening breakthrough bleeding started which explains the cramping. I've been so tired all day.

Day 4: Breakthrough bleeding has got heavier and cramps are still present. Also had stabbing pains near my ovaries and around my bellybutton.

Day 5: Breakthrough bleeding still happening. Cramps increased today. Woke up at 9:30am after a very restless night. Done some dishes, tidied up etc but my back pain became unbearable, even just standing. 12:30pm I went to rest in bed. The cramps came on so strong I wasn't able to move. Stayed in bed until 7:30pm. Hot flushes really bad today, even had to change my clothes because they were wet from sweating.

Day 6: Bleeding is more like a full on period today. Extremely heavy, bright red and with massive clots. If I'm being honest, it scared me a bit. Cramps and vaginal pain along with bleeding increased. Hot flushes all day. Night sweats! So much, even my hair was soaking!

Day 7: Period type pains, aching in my stomach. Still on quite heavy although cramps are not as continuous as yesterday!

Day 8: Still on today. It's October 1st and I'm sweating with hot flushes!

Day 9: Aching all over today and so so tired. Although, pains not as high as the last few days.

Day 10: My stomach has swollen massively today. Even clothes which are 2 and 3 sizes bigger than what I am will not fit me! Felt so down. Had a little cry. A day of feeling so fed up and depressed.

Day 11 - 17: Few aches. Insomnia has kicked up a level. Hot flushes are in full swing still. However, only small pains between these days. Still quite tired. Was a bit hormonal on day 15, quite angry and frustrated for no reason but it died down quickly. Still having breakthrough bleeding but not as heavy as the first week. Good news, I managed a night out! First one in ages that I lasted all night, even danced (!!) and didn't have to go home early. Was very surprised.

Day 18: Back to really heavy bleeding today. My back and stomach have been hurting all day. Pains increased towards the end of the day. Small cramps started at bedtime.

Day 19: I've been bleeding so heavy all day and felt sick. Joint pain in my knees. It was my Mother's 50th birthday party tonight. The biggest symptom I had was hot flushes! My face was literally soaking! Struggled with pain in my knees towards the end of the night. But, again, I made it through the whole night.

Day 20 - 21: Such bad pains in my knees. I've found it so hard walking, especially up and down the stairs. I've had to take it one step at a time. Sitting down and standing back up is also agony. Small cramping in my stomach today.

Day 22: Didn't feel too bad in the morning/afternoon. No major symptoms or side effects. However, this evening when I was coming to bed I had a bit of a funny turn. I felt really sick, dizzy and then had massive stabs starting in my ovaries and shooting up my stomach.

Day 23: I had a bad back this afternoon. Had another funny turn feeling dizzy and sick. Took a nap.

Day 24: Been really tired today but overall no major pains.

Day 25 - 28: Between these days, I've had no energy at all and taken loads of naps! After being out of bed for a few hours, I've ended up falling asleep again. Had another episode of feeling sick, dizzy and faint. Have noticed hair loss. Loads of my hair is coming out in big bulks of strands when I'm brushing it.

This month has been extremely up and down. I'm hoping when I have my second injection, it won't be as bad as the drug is already in my system. You can notice from the diary that I had a few good days in the middle. Not pain free. But better than I have been. Although, due to all the other side effects I'm not sure yet if it's been effective or a massive benefit. Keep your fingers crossed for month 2!

(Read Month 2 by clicking here.)

A good website listing many of Prostap's side effects is available here if you are worried about any of them or want more information.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

'The Emotional Causes of Endometriosis' - MY VIEW

Earlier this week I read a post called 'The Emotional Causes of Endometriosis'. To say I was a bit shocked at the content would be an understatement. The author of this blog, Elle Griffin, says she is a Natural Fertility Expert and Feminine Vitality Coach... In the introduction of this post, she states "you are not the cause of your hormone imbalance and thus have no reason to blame your body for your endometriosis." However, what comes next is the complete opposite. 

The 'theory' that is put forward, is that having Endometriosis is our bodies way of sending us a message, warning us of our self inflicted turmoil, which in turn, is causing all our pain. That if we allow our minds to be in conflict with our heart, we are ultimately bringing on this awful and sometimes cruel disease ourselves. If we just listen to our bodies messages, then we will heal ourselves and cure our endo. Wow! Just wow! Forget the tablets, forget the endless doctors appointments, multiple operations and hormone treatment. Our mindset alone is what will rid us of this chronic pain. If only it was that simple!

I'm 26 years old. Living at home with my mother and have no children. So, according to this 'theory' I'd be put in 'The Dependent' category. Meaning I'm clinging to my childhood, struggling to "grow up" and possess childlike qualities. I "eschew the duties of adulthood including moving out, getting married, or having a baby." Being within this category states I am so dependent on others (instead of myself) for love and attention, that my womb is doing the same thing and looking "outside itself for the same feelings of nourishment." This is the reason why endo tissue is found outside of my womb... REALLY?! Women with jobs/careers, you're not safe either. Within 'The Business Woman' category, women suffer with the need to work but the want to be a housewife or succeed in other areas apart from your career. So your womb is doing the same. Trying to seek happiness outside of itself. You would think that's enough garbage, right? Wrong! The 'Reluctant Mother' category is up next, women who "struggle to accept whether or not they want kids" are accepting motherhood when they don't want it. Doesn't the author realise that Endometriosis is one of the biggest causes of infertility and some women will not even have this choice?! Guess not..if the woman just accepts her true feelings of not wanting children, her emotional mindset would be balanced and therefore endo will be healed. Hooray! Yeah right...

I find it truly offensive to myself and all other Endosisters to suggest that our own emotions have caused this. That because we have taken our "sacred uterus for granted" we brought on endometriosis. It is a real, physical, debilitating disease! It is not psychological! It is not all in our heads! For someone to come along, without having done any research or provided any accurate facts, is just irresponsible, misleading and so ill-informed! I am all for believing that having a positive attitude will help us to cope/deal with endometriosis more effectively. Holistic approaches towards our health and well being I believe can have many positive impacts. But the suggestion that negative mindsets are a cause of endometriosis and positive mindsets will heal it, is just absurd to me and belittles what every Endosister goes through on a daily basis! 

One response to the post states  "I don't see how it is misleading unless the reader wants to be misled." I certainly don't want to be misled yet I still find it awfully misleading! Some people may be more susceptible than others. What about some women or young girls who have just been newly diagnosed with endo, or those who have been suffering for years and are desperate to find some answers? I for one have been at both those points, spending hours online researching, trying to find out why this has happened, what brought it on and how I can manage it! I worry articles like this may be taken seriously which could lead to further problems for Endosisters, further delays in treatment or progression of the disease.

I've read the authors own words on her 'Health Journey Page' where it states what she has been through and how she reached this point. It has no mention whatsoever of Endometriosis. She says she cured herself of hormone imbalances and bad periods. Massive gap between that and Endometriosis, don't you think?

Everyone is fully entitled to their own opinions. But when it comes to health conditions, especially those that can be as serious as Endometriosis, please do your research! It may not be life threatening, but for many it is life changing. Don't belittle it or us!