Friday, January 6, 2012

Another Surgery, A New Goal

Two important dates are coming up for me this January. First, it is my 23rd birthday this January 16th. I am rather excited, I admit, especially because it is even a national holiday this year. Why is this important? The next date of importance was intended to fall on the 17th of this month. But I refused and rescheduled because I did not want to be lying in the hospital the day after my birthday and (even worse) performing surgical prep the day of my birthday. And yes, that is correct, I am getting another surgery this month. It will be my fifth procedure, third surgery, for my wonderful (insert sarcasm) illnesses.

Through one of my favorite endometriosis resources (Endo-Resolved) I found an excellent new doctor in Ogden, Utah. His name is Dr. Jeff Arrington and he is an endometriosis specialist. For those who don't know, although women's specialists are pretty common, finding one who specializes in endometriosis is extremely difficult. Especially because, more often than not, common OB/GYNs will claim to specialize in endometriosis simply because they are experienced in studying female parts. Unfortunately, endometriosis is a complicated disease and very difficult to treat. This is the seventh doctor I've found on my journey to treat my endometriosis. The sad thing is that some of my previous doctors were talented, intelligent doctors who did have experience treating endometriosis; however, none of them could successfully treat mine. Often they would shrug their shoulders and say, "well, you're a difficult case."(And some of my doctors were rude and mean and treated me like I only wanted attention and/or drugs.)

I am only 22 (going on 23) and already my endometriosis has done its absolute best to ruin my life... And although I am young and the disease has not had a chance to progress to the state it often reaches before diagnosis, it's progressing aggressively. Even on Lupron, which is supposed to chemically force my body into menopause, I was still producing endometrium and experiencing almost all of my normal symptoms. And I'm sure I'm not the only lady with this disease that has this unsettling aggressive form. Heck, I'm sure that I am lucky compared to some. But the problem is that, seeing as I have this unmanageable disease, I need a doctor that actually knows what s/he's doing.

Enter Dr. Arrington. I am so excited about this doctor. From what I've read and watched, he is one of the most knowledgeable doctors out there when it comes to surgically treating endometriosis. Largely because it is the primary focus of his practice. An actual endometriosis specialist!

Hopefully, in the future, more and more doctors will make treating endometriosis the focus of their practice and not just a feature. Because, as it is now, the current model for standard treatment is like having an acne dermatologist treat skin cancer. Endometriosis is too complex of a disease to be treated by the same doctors who deliver babies. And I'm not saying that to insult any doctor or to play down the miracle of birth. I'm trying to say that pregnancy and endometriosis are very different medical issues and should be treated by their own specialists. Pregnancy is a normal function of the female body, whereas endometriosis is a horrible dysfunction/disease of the female body! We need our own doctors!

As I was saying though, Dr. Arrington is an endometriosis specialist and is performing his unique brand of laparoscopic surgery on me January 24th. Whereas most OB/GYNs laser off endometrial implants (those nasty colonies of endometrium-like cells), Dr. Arrington scraps suspects layers of tissues completely off. This reveals hidden, deep tissue colonies that are often missed by traditional surgery. I am completely confident in his abilities, for several reasons: (A) I cannot find a single negative review of him online (all positive), (B) he's got amazing bedside manner, (C) he says he can eliminate symptoms in 70% of patients, and (D) he's an amazing surgeon--he is even capable of doing a hysterectomy completely laparoscopically. Although I am never excited for surgery, I've got to say I am as excited as possible for the possible benefits of this procedure. I'll talk about the surgery more in posts to come, but that is not what prompted this post.

My first Tri--I'll be there again soon
Now, there are two titles in this blog post. To be honest, I was not originally intending to write about my surgery much. But I realized that the goal I wished to post about would not make much sense unless I explained the surgery and situation that prompted this goal. Last surgery I had was a traditional endometriosis surgery, which was endometrial implant laser removal and also required polyp and tumor removal. I did not heal well at all from this surgery, was in the hospital for two days, and felt awful for months. I could barely walk for weeks. Now that I am getting a special surgery, I want to have a better recovery. And what is the best ingredient for speedy/efficient recovery? Exercise!

My goal, for better recovery, and an easier recovery, is to exercise every day up until my surgery. Whether that be yoga, biking, swimming, dancing, whatever, is not that important. I just want to exercise every day. It will improve my muscle tissue, improve blood flow, cell regeneration--I will be a exercising-healing machine.

Exercise is a great way to improve the health of cells (the building blocks of our bodies). By improving blood flow, you improve the delivery and circulation of oxygen, nutrients, etc.--everything the body needs for efficient growth and regeneration of cells. By exercising every day, I hope to build a network of nutrients/ingredients for cell health throughout my body. If I am successful, by the time my surgery arrives, my body will be in prime condition for repair.

I am completely, 100% sincere about this goal. I dislocated my shoulder recently, and still I've been exercising daily. Nothing will stop me! And to hold myself accountable, every week I will update my site with pictures and numbers recounting my goal progress.

So wish me luck! Hopefully my experiment will go off without a hitch and you will all hear my success story come the end of January.


  1. Good luck!! I'm happy you found a specialist that can really help you. Healthy blessings~ Pamela xo

    1. Thank you, I'm really happy too :). I hope it goes well, and healthy blessings to you too. Thanks for reading!

  2. How did it turn out? I'm 17 and haven't found relief from my endo. We're looking into Dr. Arlington

  3. We are also considering this Dr, did you ever get surgery from him? What was the result?

    1. Kevin, things have been a little crazy with all the changes on the site, so I appreciate your patience for my response! My surgery went great, and I will be doing a follow-up post on excision surgery in general. I had a lot of improvement, and he was the first surgeon that actually *decreased* the amount of endometrium between surgeries. Unfortunately, I have a lot of scarring and inflammation, so I may have benefitted less than someone without those issues. Still, I would highly recommend him.


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About The BedRiddenHead

I want to be happy. And this site is about that chance. How to strive to thrive in the body I've got and maybe turn my experiences into something worthwhile.

This site aims to help educate and reach out to people all over that struggle with pain or illness. To try and make something helpful. I work as a medical research writer, my background is in neuropsychology and biology, and I want to share what I learn in a way that is easy to understand. I am not a doctor. I'm definitely not your doctor. I am just some lady who wants to make someone's (anyone's) life a little bit better. Whether you have endometriosis, a chronic injury, a struggling friend, or just want to learn something new, I hope to make a place that has what you are looking for.

Thank you for stopping by, I wish you strength in your health and happiness.