Celiac anniversary


My final meal of Gluten Tour 2016

Tomorrow marks a year since I’ve ingested gluten intentionally. Since then, I got diagnosed as Celiac through endoscopy, was forced out of a job, started my own business out of necessity, bought a home and started renovating, paused working to have a laparoscopy where they sorta kinda diagnosed endometriosis, Trent moved us and renovated during my recovery, started work again and picked up Amazon delivery driving, went to the ER for cysts a few times, stopped accepting doula and counseling clients, and had expert excision lap surgery. Remember the “2016 is the worst” meme? At least I got to ride out the end on painkillers.

Gluten was the tip of the iceberg. At times, I’m overwhelmed by how much I want enchiladas potosinas from my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant or I’ll weep upon seeing an ice cream cake. But really, my quality of life dramatically improved when I went gluten-free and while it’s incredibly inconvenient and more expensive, I don’t miss gluten that much.


One month post-excision surgery


My husband sleeps on my gurney after setting the mood with LED candles and playing “The Sinking of the Titanic” by Gavin Bryars

Adapted (with typos) from a post to Nancy’s Nook Endometriosis and Education group on Facebook:

3.5 week update from excision with Dr. Devin Garza.

History: Pelvic pain and painful periods started in 2014 and increased. Cyst discovered via ultrasound. Lap to drain 7 cm endometrioma in August 2016 with original OB/gyn. Surgeon stated she saw signs of possible endometriosis. Went to ER in October 2016 for possible ruptured cyst. Surgeon recommended letting cyst dissolve and getting pregnant. 7 and 3 cm cysts discovered on ultrasound in December 2016 and surgery was recommended. That’s when I started researching on the internet and found Nancy’s Nook, which changed my life and gave me hope.

I immediately made an appointment with Dr. Garza three weeks out (he was out of the office). I had one more ER visit for pain and the clinic was kind enough to move my appointment up. Dr. Garza already had my files, answered my questions and we scheduled surgery for two weeks out.

I was in surgery for 2.5 hours and woke up in the most pain I’ve ever felt after surgery. My urethra was on fire in addition to abdominal pain. (Dr. Garza says I may have a reaction to latex catheter). I was crying, deep breathing, gripping the gurney, and was given 9 doses rotating Dilaudid and morphine over an hour until I could leave recovery.  [Editor’s note: I requested that the nurses cut out my vagina.]  (I was taking opiates and Tramadol for a month prior and I’m very small. Dr. Garza said they may have underestimated my tolerance to pain medication. Please mention this going into surgery if you’ve been on opiates). I was released after another hour outside recovery.  [Editor’s note: a nurse said to me, at least childbirth will be easy compared to this.  I’m going to hold you to that.]

Two cysts were removed from my right ovary, a smaller cyst from left ovary, endo removed from pelvic wall, and Dr. Garza separated left ovary from Fallopian tube. He gave us neat surgery photos!

The first 48 hours were extremely painful because I react to the surgery gas. My pain was not controlled on recommended medication. It was mentally difficult on myself and husband.  [Editor’s note: I begged my husband to kill me.]  Urinary urgency, blood in urine, and burning led me to call the office. They got me in same day to see another provider and prescribed antibiotics but five days later the lab results came in negative for infection. (Possible reaction to latex). They refilled the pain medication and after 48 hours, the pain was tolerable and I could sleep. The office was responsive about answering questions via telephone (huge blood clots are normal). On day 5, I felt energy again.

At two week check, I was no longer on pain medication and Dr. Garza cleared me for all activities. I immediately had my period which was the heaviest I’ve ever had and I needed Tramadol for the first two days. Now I have no pain and am starting pelvic floor physical therapy again. I have more energy than I’ve had in at least a year and a half, I feel more articulate, experience less aphasia, and my circadian clock has adjusted to where I wake up earlier and sleep less. I’m so hopeful at this point although I know the nature of endometriomas. I will forever be grateful to Nancy, this group, and its volunteers. Thank you for giving me a chance at having my life back.