The walk-in clinic doctor said it was diverticulitis.
My general practitioner said I needed to add more fiber to my diet, drink more water.
Upon first visit, my OB/Gyn said that I needed a hysterectomy.
"I'm only 27."
Upon second visit, my OB/Gyn said we could treat my symptoms with anti-depressants (they mask pain), hormone therapy (induced menopause) or laparoscopic surgery.
Hormones were out of the question, messing with my hormones messes with my migraines and they are bad enough on their own. Anti-depressants to "mask" the pain didn't feel like the right option either, since pain is the body's way of alerting you when something is wrong. I wasn't about to have a hysterectomy at 27 for the pain, unless I absolutely had to, so I opted for the laparoscopic surgery.
"When you wake up, you'll have either one tiny incision in your belly button, or more on your abdomen, depending on what I find in there," he said.
"I trust you."
This was the doctor who had delivered my first baby. He had been with me throughout the past two years, another pregnancy and now . . . this.
Coming out of the anesthesia fog and looking down to see only a little bandage covering the incision on my iodine-stained belly button, I was relieved. I still have a chance, was the first and the last thing I thought before closing my eyes again.
A few days later at my post-op visit, my doctor pulled my husband aside and said, "Imagine tying a rubber band from your big toe to your testicles." Brett's face was horrified. "Now, imagine walking."
The scar tissue from my c-section with my first baby had created an internal bridge from one of my ovaries to my uterus. I found the photos the other day, the scar tissue's tentacle-like arm reaching out from one organ to the other . . . choking it.
Every time I think about it, I am uneasy. Uneasy because it took visiting three doctors to diagnose me. Uneasy because I was given the option to have a hysterectomy for something, in hindsight, that could have responded to other treatment. Uneasy because had I had that hysterectomy . . . I can't go there.
Sometimes we just have to trust that the right decisions are going to be made - by ourselves and our doctors.
And sometimes, that is damn hard to do.