Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Coming to terms

Now that the rush of the holidays is over and my period has started, everything about my adenomyosis diagnosis is hitting me like a ton of bricks. I thought I'd been handling it very well up until the past few days. I've been focusing heavily on the nuts and bolts of the disease and trying to be as proactive as possible about my treatment options, even to the point of scheduling an appointment for a second opinion. The problem is that I haven't really let myself feel anything about it. It really is a terrifying thing. I have a disease that will not go away. Even the most benign of the pharmaceutical treatments are ones that can make it worse for me with my mental history and how I react to hormones.

After I had my first hospitalization for major depression, I educated myself as much as possible about my diagnosis and the medications I've taken over the years. I've read up on alternative treatment options, hell I even had a course of ECT trying to treat the worst of it. As scary as mental illness was and is, it's nothing compared to how I feel about the adenomyosis. Perhaps because it's so tied in with my fertility. I spent many years convinced that I was not going to be able to get pregnant. We had been sort of trying for three years before Michael was conceived (ironically, right before I started charting my BBT to see if I was ovulating). Now that I have this, every fiber of my being is screaming to get pregnant now, that I may not have another chance. I know that isn't the case, but it's really hard to not listen.

The other hard thing to deal with is the pain. All of my post-partum periods have been painful, the cramping and back ache starts about a week before and lasts until my period is over. Before I knew about the adenomyosis, I attributed this pain to the fact that I'm having real periods and have been ovulating nearly every cycle. Now, it's like I can visualize those rogue cells in my uterine wall multiplying and spreading. Nearly constant pain is dificult enough on its own, knowing that it's this disease that's causing it makes it much harder to deal with on a mental level.

I spent most of the morning curled up in bed around a pillow and a heating pad while John took care of Michael. I can't live like this - I have a life, a child, and a husband to take care of. I do not have the luxury to sit around and feel sorry for myself, I have a small child who depends on me. I had a good cry this afternoon and will probably have another tonight when John gets home. When the boy wakes up, we're going to walk out to the shopping center and get knitting stuff (I have an AC Moore's gift card burning a hole in my pocket) and then we'll stop off at Ikea for a cheap dinner and walk home. I'm also planning on stopping at Lowes or Home Depot to get the materials so I can make myself a spindle and possibly some extra dowels to make my own knitting needles. Crafts march on...