Saturday, March 26, 2011
What are Adhesions?
Adhesions are "fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs, often as a result of injury during surgery" as defined by Wikipedia. They are basically the same as scar tissue. The difference is that scar tissue does not attach to things that it shouldn't. Adhesions can basically take over your entire abdomen, causing extreme pain. They do this by growing and attaching themselves to organs and the abdominal wall.
I was diagnosed with adhesions after having a partial hysterectomy a few years prior. I had survived cervical cancer and thought I was out of the woods. I was growing adhesions like crazy, but I thought the pain was coming from a large cyst that had developed on my ovary. Not that the cyst wasn't painful, but I was dealing with the beginning of a whole new existence. They went in to remove the cyst and found that all of my abdominal organs had been taken over by adhesions. I had never even heard of adhesions.
My doctor said that everything was fused together and he had to bring in a general surgeon to remove the adhesions before getting to the cyst. He cleaned everything out, including both ovaries and I was back on the highway to good health. Well...also the highway to menopause, but that's another blog!
There was a small amount of fallopian tube cells left inside me and guess what? I grew another cyst within just a couple of weeks. I went to a general surgeon who saved the day. He went in to remove the second cyst and found that adhesions had taken already taken over my colon from just four months prior. They had also taken over my appendix, so he went ahead and took that too! He inserted an adhesion barrier. It was a film to help block the adhesions from being able to grow and attach to anything.
I went home feeling "cured". I thought surely this was it, I wouldn't be in anymore pain. The surgeon told me he did not expect to ever see me again. He had done a thorough job and everything will be fine.
It's not fine. I now live with abdominal adhesions everyday. The barrier did not work for me. I am a super grower! You see, it's a vicious cycle...surgery causes adhesions, and the only way to completely get rid of them...surgery. To make matters worse, I have encountered the harsh reality that some doctor's don't even believe that the real pain I am experiencing is real. I actually had one doctor tell me, "I'm not giving you pain pills, so just stop trying". Was I really being treated like a drug addict off of the street? I left there devastated, crying my eyes out. I did not return to that doctor, unfortunately it seems there are more of these doctors than the ones that understand and treat adhesions.
That was the day I knew I needed to make sure no one was ever treated like this. It was the day I knew that I had found my purpose. I am now unable to even get up long enough to do my own chores. I am unable to keep myself fit..even unable to be a "wife" to my supportive and loving husband. I am unable to work except for the few things I can do at home (sitting on my laptop all day). My job has kept me on the payroll for the hours I can log in to my work computer from home. Unfortunately, this may not last very much longer and it does not pay the mounting medical bills that have grown so much that they now have their own table. I know that there are many people just like me. Please help me bring awareness and understanding about adhesions and the pain they cause. Please help me so I can help others.
If you are able to donate, thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul. I am happy to list your donation and even link to your site to let others know of your good deed. If you are unable to donate, trust me, I understand. Just please help me by passing this on...either way, thank you!