AxSpa and Hysterectomy
Last updated: January 2023
When it comes to diseases that include a lot of inflammation, we often see a lot of co-existing illnesses. My struggles started at 18 when my menstrual cycle suddenly took over my life, shortly after I had begun taking hormonal birth control. I began to experience incredibly painful periods, I missed school because of the pain, I missed social events with friends and made intimacy nearly impossible. A few years later I was diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis. I would only be given painkillers and birth control for my disease.
Fertility struggles and pain
After struggling with fertility and really complicated and dangerous pregnancies, I began to experience more widespread pain, in the weeks following the birth of my first son, and it never went away.
Having children is what pushed me to advocate for my health, and after many battles of gaslighting from medical professionals, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. At the time my menstrual cycle had returned after the birth of our second daughter, and after near-death experiences, I decided on an emotional level that a hysterectomy was what I needed to begin to fight my way back to health.
I was so fortunate to have one of the top endometriosis specialists in our area hear my physical and emotional challenges of endometriosis, ankylosing spondylitis, medical trauma, and having two small children. He agreed to the hysterectomy and to this day it's one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, even though a very difficult one to make!
The difficult part about the hysterectomy was having to stop my biologic treatment, 2 weeks pre-op, and 2 weeks post-op. I had just begun my biologic journey and was amazed by how great I felt and when I had to pause treatment, it was just awful. Post-recovery on the day of surgery was when I realized how much pain I had been living in. The pain was not only from my uterus, but it proved how much the biologic medication had improved my “normal amount" of pain in my spine.
Recovery and beginning injecting again
Recovery was difficult until I would begin injections again, since a lot of my recovery was laying down or resting, which we all know is arthritis’ worst enemy! Unfortunately, some biologics will not respond as well if there's a break in use. However, returning the biologics helped my fatigue hughly and I really think the hysterectomy recovery would have been very difficult otherwise.
Has changing your diet helped manage your pain and flares?