If you’ve been following along, you know that I saw a specialist in February in my quest to track down the cause of my Abdominal Pain. This was after spending the previous 6+ months on the Dr Merry-Go-Round stopping at every one of my local Drs and picking up a couple of new ones in the process. Every Dr has had a different idea of what might be causing the pain but none of them have been right. The one I spent the most time with was my GI doc who finally decided that it might be Endometriosis and sent me to see my Gyno (where I’d started in the first place). She initially scheduled me for an appt with a Pelvic Pain specialist in Birmingham (2 hours away), but since I’m impatient I asked her to just go ahead and do the Exploratory Laproscopy to see if it was Endo. My feeling at the time was “if it’s not Endo let’s at least just go ahead and rule that out.” There was Endometriosis, but as I found out once I got to the specialist, it was on the opposite side of my abdomen from the pain. So, while I guess the surgery wasn’t a total waste, it was a waste in a way since we didn’t solve the problem while we were in there.
Fast Forward: After looking at my records, the specialist recommended that I head to PT, saying that he felt the pain was likely a combination of Scar Tissue, Muscular pain, Endometriosis & Fibro. As we were wrapping up he said the words I least wanted to hear: “If things aren’t better when you come back in June we’re probably looking at another surgery…”. With that in mind, I really wanted things to get better. When his first choice for PT didn’t work out so well, I headed back to my favorite PT place that really “gets” Fibromyalgia and deals with Fibro people regularly. They know not to push too far but that they still need to push enough.
I’ve been there a few weeks now and initially I was getting worried that they weren’t even going to try to do much with my abdomen, and seemed overly focused on my back (which granted is totally out of whack). I get where they were feeling that perhaps my Abdominal pain was actually being caused by my screwed up alignment, but I had a feeling it was the other way around… and now they do too. After the therapist got my back more or less straightened out on my second visit, I returned her focus to my main reason for being there. I shared with her what the Dr had said and made it clear just how important it was for me to get this pain issue under control, because I really didn’t want to head to surgery again. After working on it a bit, she’s come to the same conclusion as the first PT place and the Dr… she believes it is scar tissue with some muscular pain (likely from my lack of exercise due to the abdominal pain). She’s worked on it manually, she’s used the manual stim (basically a combination of TENS and Ultrasound) to try to work on breaking up the scar tissue. But, the end is that she can’t get to the main scar tissue without killing me, she can only get around the edges (and even that’s pretty damn painful). She can feel the scar tissue and (like me) can identify exactly where the painful area begins and ends. But, the more she does the more pessimistic she gets that we’ll be able to fix the problem via PT. During my last visit she flat out said “You’re probably going to end up having to have surgery for this…” Those were so not the words I wanted to hear. We’ve still got about a half dozen more visits we can do, but I can see her bubble bursting as she’s gone from very hopeful to “not so much”. My next visit she is off and I’m with someone else, and she even commented “good, maybe they’ll have an idea of what to do with you.”
The only good thing I can say is that if I have to have surgery again, at least this time I know what to expect and can do a lot more to prepare before-hand (which might speed up my recovery).