"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Seeking A Second Opinion

by - Saturday, June 04, 2011

After all these years and three surgeries later, I have finally sought a second opinion after being dealt the final straw. Constant back and bladder pain isn't normal, neither is having difficulty dealing with these issues on a daily basis. I am so glad that I have at last found a doctor who completely agrees and is actually concerned about the pain I'm in. I was beginning to lose hope of ever finding a compassionate gynaecologist who could respect that my body doesn't respond well to treatments. Every gynaecologist that I've seen (and I've seen a fair few) have failed to take my pain seriously in the slightest.

After all of my surgeries I still haven't found relief or answers and the communication between the public health system and doctors is pretty much non existent as I've just discovered. My last surgery was done through the public system. I didn't even get to see the surgeon and all they do is write scribble and send it back to your referring doctor. Well, one very important thing about my surgery failed to be noted down. I was informed by some doctor the next morning after my surgery that my bladder was stuck to my ovary by an adhesion and that they separated it during surgery. I asked if that was why the endometriosis pain was worse and if it had anything to do with why I was in so much pain and went into retention when I woke up and he clearly stated yes. Was that scribbled in the surgery notes? No. So I'm babbling on about my bladder issues and my gynecologist doesn't even know a thing about my surgery and cannot connect my current symptoms.

I'm so tired of being placed on a lengthy waiting list for the same shit to happen. I decided that I wasn't happy with how I was being treated. I felt as though my pain was just palmed off as non-important pop some pills and you'll be fine. I want this dealt with. This pain is now affecting me daily. It's interfering with work- it's crippling my life. I shouldn't have to take panadiene forte daily to get by and after stressing this to my specialist I still couldn't get through to her thick head. She couldn't even fathom that  treatments have done nothing for my bladder symptoms. Had it been noted down what was seen during surgery I may not be in the state that I'm in right now. I have never felt like throttling someone until now. Living life feeling like your bladder hasn't emptied properly and feeling as though you're on the verge of an infection with constant back and stomach pain isn't a way to live. I'm exhausted.

To add to my stress, the pain has progressed to my shoulder blades, upper stomach and chest. This has been going on for months now. I know my own body well enough to know that something isn't right. This isn't normally what I experience with endometriosis. Being placed on another waiting list and left in pain isn't good enough so I made an empowered decision to switch doctors and get a second opinion. I was a little hesitant about seeing another male gynaecologist as I didn't like the first one that I saw before I was diagnosed but the other two women I've seen over the years are hopeless, and being in persistent pain I thought it was worth a shot.

It was well worth it. He took my concerns seriously and acknowledged that the amount of pain I'm in isn't acceptable. I expressed my frustrations of failed treatments that did nothing for my bladder pain and symptoms to be informed that hormonal treatments won't and never will help with the associated bladder problems. Bingo. That explains why I'm constantly having trouble. Why I'm being told this now after all the pointless treatments I've tried makes me feel furious and yet less frustrated at the same time.

(image via weheartit.com)

After he quizzed me on all my previous surgeries he stated that he wasn't happy with me heading for surgery again on the public system because he thinks that they probably didn't even remove the adhesion that attached my bladder to my ovary correctly the first time round. So to get this sorted, I have no other option than to go private and have him do the surgery himself. I walked out of that appointment with a date for surgery and a sigh of relief in knowing that this pain is finally going to be investigated properly.

Surgery is scheduled for the following Monday, which I'm pretty happy about. I'm not so happy about the cost though. It's going to eat through most of my savings that I had to get my craft studio set up so I'm very disappointed but thankful that I have the money to get treatment, so I guess I shouldn't complain. The last few weeks have been very tough but I guess I'm coping okay... I've realised if I don't move around too much the pain is much more manageable but I am needing to take extra pain killers to get me though the night, so I'm really looking forward to surgery and at the same time I'm stupidly freaking out so much so that I had an anxiety attack the other night when I realised how close it's getting. Considering the pain I went through after my last surgery with going into retention twice after having my bladder ripped from my ovary I think it's fair that I'm freaking out about it happening again. It also doesn't help knowing that first period post surgery (after experiencing it three times already) is horrendous either, but at least I can rest assured that I have an experienced surgeon who I will be hearing from directly, who has given me his word that he will try and fix this.


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