Bev has recently given the following excellent advice: "Become your own BEST doctor!!!" Learn as much as you can about your adhesion-related disease (ARD)! You will discover that the more knowledge you have about ARD the less you will fear it; and BEST OF ALL, you will begin to learn how to make better choices as to what your next step will be. This knowledge about adhesions will eventually give you peace of mind; and you will find that the time, which you spent learning about adhesions and adhesion related concerns, will be worth its weight in gold. You will be empowered once you know what the causes adhesions and/or endometrial implants (scar tissue) are...and what you need to do. More importantly, you will begin to understand that what you do about your adhesion problems will make all the difference in the world to you!!
The most important fact you will learn is: Surgery after surgery IS NOT the answer!!! Each surgery will cause even more adhesions to form; and as a result you will begin to experience even more pain. Then at some point your doctor may tell you: "Adhesions don't cause pain; you need to have a mental health evaluation."..."There is nothing more I can do for you...you are going to have to learn to live with it."..."You need to get into pain management."..."I will not do another surgery for you unless you have an emergency bowel obstruction."
Or maybe your doctor will say; "This is not within my specialty. You will need to see a gastroenterologist (or whatever other specialty)...which starts a pattern of you being juggled from one medical specialty to another...without answers and without success...which creates a real state of confusion for you. Eventually, after seeing sooooo many doctors, you don't know what to do! Because by now you have lost faith and trust in the medical profession. It is at this point that you finally start thinking, "Maybe it is all in my head. Maybe I do need to get a mental health evaluation."
At some point, before you have reached the actual stage where you are questioning your own saniety, you will notice that you are having family and relationship problems. People, who have been friends for many years, eventually are no longer in your life. So many times you have been told that all of your tests were normal or negative!! If you think you are confused by this, it is quite possible that these people are confused as well or they may no longer believe you either...that you are really suffering severe chronic pain.
And if they don't believe you, how is your immediate family going to believe you? You start to recognize that your relationships within your immediate family has changed. Your spouse is drawn into doing tasks, which you are unable to do; and as a result you no longer feel a special intimate bond with your spouse. Your children? You eventually find them doing for you, what you as their mother should be doing for them!! As a result of not getting the right kind of help for the adhesions, which are causing your chronic pain, your life has become very dysfunctional. BUT you can either become consumed by this dysfunctionality or you can make a decision to do something about it. You do have a choice here!!
What choice do you have? Instead of wasting money and precious time by having "surgery after surgery" with whatever surgeon happens to be handy, you will learn that the most important step you can take is to seek the *best adhesions specialist* you can find!!!!
Not every surgeon wants to do surgery for a patient, who has adhesions!!! Not every surgeon has patience, which is soooo necessary!! Not every surgeon has the skill and experience needed for adhesiolysis procedures WHY? Because adhesion surgeries are very difficult and risky surgeries for the patient. Adhesion surgeries require great skill on the part of the adhesion specialist; and probably most important of all, adhesion surgeries require unlimited patience on the part of the surgeon. I have actually viewed a video of a 10 hour adhesion surgery, which which Dr. Harry Reich did for Deb in April 1999. In viewing her video, it was absolutely impossible for me to see her individual organs!! Her abdominal/pelvic cavity looked like someone had sprayed Crazy Glue over ALL of her organs!!! One year later Deb is adhesion-free and pain-free!!
What surgeon wants to spend 10 hours doing a surgery for the complex situations that adhesions cause??? What insurance company wants to reimburse a surgeon for a procedure, which can take as many as 10 hours to complete??? What hospital wants to provide time in the operating room for such a long surgical procedure...especially when we know that some doctors don't even acknowledge that adhesions do cause pain??? How many surgeons will agree to do surgery for a bowel obstruction...unless it becomes an emergency situation??? It has been my experience that doctors expect their adhesions patients to have an emergency bowel obstruction before they will do surgery!!!
I previously said that you have a choice! That choice is yours alone to make!! You are the one who is suffering!! I encourage you to seek help from a surgeon, who specializes in helping people who have severe adhesion problems!! An adhesion specialist has had advanced training in laparoscopic microsurgical techniques. He has logged thousands of hours in doing laparoscopic surgical procedures!! Their experience has taught them what techniques and skills are required by them in order to give their patients the best possible chance to become as free from adhesions as possible. It is true, however, that NO surgeon can guarantee that their patient will become completely adhesion-free!! But with an adhesion specialist doing your surgery, you have the BEST POSSIBLE CHANCE to get your life back !!!
Some of these adhesion specialists will suggest a second look laparoscopy for a patient whose adhesions have been particularly severe...as was true in Mary Pomroy's (Canada) case. This procedure is done generally within 10 days of the surgery itself. This procedure is an additional way that adhesion specialists are able to help their adhesion patients.
This may seem like an expensive step to take; but when you add up all the unsuccessful surgeries, which you already have had, you will find the adhesion specialist to be a real bargain!! Think of all the pain you have had to live with over the years as a result of all of the failed surgeries you have gone through!! Think about how ARD is affecting your relationships: your spouse's life, your children's lives, and most importantly your own life!!
I am aware of several surgeons who qualify as adhesion specialists; because they have been having success with the adhesion surgeries, which they have done. Their location? California, western Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New Jersey, Scranton, PA, and Duisburg, Germany. For more information about them, you have my permission to write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . There may be other adhesion specialists throughout the USA; but I have not heard about them yet.
Incidentally, as a result of having lived with the chronic pain of adhesions for more than 30 years, what I have written is actually from my own erperience!! I am planning to seek help from one of these adhesion specialists; but I have not made a definite decision yet as to whom it will be.