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A Post-Hysterectomy Apocalypse: How I Found My Endo Specialist

A Post-Hysterectomy Apocalypse: How I Found My Endo Specialist

partial hysterectomy

After years of being in pain, ignored, and misdiagnosed, I was done playing games and wanted a serious gynecologist.

I wanted an Endometriosis specialist. Not just someone who had heard the term in passing, but someone who knew what it was and how to treat it. Because I live around 90 minutes away from a healthcare and medical mecca, this meant I’d have to visit the Cleveland Clinic. (The clinic is world renowned for a number of specialties, but I was shocked to find Endo was so well-known that there is an entire department devoted to it. Not only did the clinic have a department, but it was equipped with several well-known specialists who are familiar with Endo treatment.)

I wanted someone who was going to listen. I wanted someone who would be more than willing to take on my ongoing health challenges.

I eventually received an appointment, but because I was a new patient, it took a couple of months to see the new gynecologist who not only knew the term “Endometriosis,” but specialized in handling and treating its various symptoms.

She didn’t just listen – she heard me.

That’s right: My new OBGYN listened AND heard what I said. She empathized with what I was going through, noted my signs and symptoms, and referred me to an endometrial excision specialist.

While she said she could treat most endometrial symptoms, she told me that my medical background (a partial hysterectomy) was a major red flag that I needed to have the Endometriosis properly removed. She said she would be there for the surgery, but only to assist the excision specialist who also listened AND heard the things I said. It was like I’d found the Endo gold mine of doctors.

They didn’t dismiss my complaints – they actually wanted to address them for the long term.

The original partial hysterectomy surgery was six years earlier and left me with one ovary (in hopes of avoiding hormone replacement therapy because I was so young when it was performed).

This time, however, I wasn’t so lucky. Various scans and tests showed that my remaining ovary was no longer functioning. It was covered with Endo and cysts and it desperately needed to be removed. In addition, I had the special skill of growing an endometrioma. (This is a tumor-like mass that is filled with Endometriosis.) It grows extensive blood vessels and becomes self-sustaining. This lovely little ball had grown through my vaginal cuff and made sex unbearable. Every time I had sex, the Endo tumor would be angered and bleed in retaliation.

But those fabulous Endo-specializing ladies removed multiple spots of Endometriosis and the endometrial tumor, which was the source of my pain and the excessive bleeding. They cleaned up all my Endo sites and sent me on my way.

I followed-up several times with each of them and finally obtained my clean bill of health. I was pain-free once again, but this time it would be a little different – I had no female organs left, so I was asked to undergo hormone replacement therapy to keep menopause symptoms under control. I happily agreed to take the little pill – especially if it meant I would no longer suffer mood swings and night sweats.

Now, I no longer see a local gynecologist. I only see my Endo specialists at the Cleveland Clinic. While the local docs might be great for routine things, I have found my health issues are anything but routine, therefore I only rely on specialists for my care now. My mental and physical health is far too valuable to leave in the hands of those outside of my gold mine of care.

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