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Back from Bombay: Before and After

© Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND, MSW

Back in high school I started having gastrointestinal problems. After high school I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and colitis. I've been dealing with it for ten yrs. Is just flares up during periods of high stress... like looking for a job. It's been bad again this past year. It's hard to tell if it's colon or gynecologic pain.

I had surgery for endometriosis twice. The first time was two and a half years ago. The laparoscopy showed localized endometriosis up behind the top of the uterus. I had laser surgery. I started having problems again within three months. They gave me DepoLuprin for six months, which gave me menopausal symptoms and panic attacks. I've had problems w. anxiety since. Then they put me on birth control pills to suppress my periods. It didn't help. About eight months later I had the same pains. They gave me a double dose of the pill for another sevento eight months. I had a second laparoscopy in March of this year. The endometriosis was worse... all over the inside of my pelvic cavity. I had laser surgery again. I've been getting Depoprovera shots every three mos. The next one is in Jan. After surgery, my colitis was worse. An eight inch ulcer was found in my lower colon in a colonoscopy in August, 1993.

Anxiety has stayed with me (3). I have mild agoraphobia. One year ago I tried to get on a bus but couldn't do it. I felt totally out of control. What if I get sick? The same thing happened at Christmas. What if I'm out with friends and my ulcer acts up? I get nervous going out with friends (3). What if I get sick?

It was worst when I went to Los Angeles in June for a week. I'd never been there. My doctor had prescribed Zanax for me as needed. Just knowing I had it was a relief. My teeth chattered from nervousness and tension. I had to reassure myself. The last to years I've been up and down. I'm very frustrated.

My parent divorced about three years ago. My mother remarried recently. Her new husband is hot and cold with me and my brothers. I'm pretty easygoing. It takes a lot to anger me. I'm pretty reserved when I first meet people. Then I'm very open. I'm demanding of myself. I can lose perspective on what's reasonable. I think, "If I don't do ____, I'll get fired." It's hard for me to say "no" (3). I'm trying to learn to do it.

In high school I was involved in lots of activities... tennis, cheerleading. I was extroverted and had lots of friends. I got good grades. I placed a lot of demands on myself and beat myself up when I didn't do the best. I was busy from 7:30 a.m. till bedtime. I don't recognize immediately that I'm good at things (2). "I should always do better. (3)" I'm starting to realize there are things I can do well. Not thinking that I'm good enough (3).

People say I'm intimidating... guys. I don't feel that way at all. People say I come across confident, knowing where I'm going, what I'm doing, but I don't feel that way inside (3). I used to be a real doormat. I never used to confront people. If someone treated me badly, I'd take it and wonder what I did wrong. I still struggle with it.

I feel tightness in abdomen. It's almost like I have to bend over because it feels something will snap (3). I wake in the middle of the night w. sharp uterine pain (3). Sometimes a dull ache (2). Sex causes my uterus to hurt (2). It's better with the hormone shots. My periods have always been very painful (3). They used to be so bad that I had to take Tylenol III with codeine. I'd be doubled over with pain... on my side curled up. Without the shots, the menstrual pain starts about half a day before my period and lasts one to two days. I get a sharp (3), really deep, cutting pain (3) across my abdomen. I don't get periods with the DepoProvera. I still have an adhesion of the right side from my laser surgery. It's painful after I eat (2).

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About The Author
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, MSW is a licensed naturopathic physician board certified in homeopathic medicine. She graduated with a degree in ...more
 
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