Hello all, I’m new to these forums and just signed up because I am in a relationship with a woman who has Endometriosis. Since this is my first post, it may be a bit long as I try to give some info, so please forgive me.
I am a 40-year-old male, and my S.O. is 39, and we have been in a long distance relationship for about 4 years now. She has Stage 4 Endometriosis, and has had a number of surgeries over the years to remove cysts, and ended up accidentally having one of her ovaries removed about 2 years ago during one of the surgeries because the surgeon didn't even know that was her ovary and couldn't identify it because of all the endometrial mass wrapped up around it, and only found out that it was her ovary afterwards when they did a biopsy. Her doctor has her on medication to stop her periods to help with the endometriosis, which effectively puts her into medically induced menopause, which unfortunately comes along with all the side effects of menopause (i.e. mood swings, hormonal acne, hot flashes, sweats, trouble sleeping, etc.) Even with those meds, recently she got her period the last few months, and it was very heavy, and lasted a few weeks, and at times she's getting spotting. Even with the meds, she still suffers from a lot of pelvic and back pain, and her latest exam shows a lot of endometrial growth also attaching to other organs. During her physical back in April, they found 2 cysts in her ovary from her ultrasound that she did for her yearly physical, and in her pelvic area that showed up from an MRI. The specialist also told her that her pelvis is frozen, and when she did a hysterosalpingogram her fallopian tube is blocked and the dye didn't go through. Her specialist strongly recommended she has a hysterectomy, and I know this is very difficult for her. The specialist said he does not want to remove her remaining ovary because she's still young, the only way he'll do that is if when he goes in there and it's really damaged, of he finds endometrioma or cancer cells, only then he'll do that; so he'll only remove her uterus; and that will just help, but she'll also have to be on birth control pills. Right now she's just waiting for the surgical coordinator to call her back to schedule the surgery, but the specialist told her with the amount of endometrial growth inside her, the surgery is very difficult and is a very complicated compared to a surgery someone with cancer would have, and she has to be prepared for the risk involved.
So with all of this that she's going through, and not being able to really be there for her in-person the way that I want to due to the LDR situation, I know she is feeling very scared, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, and a whole host of other emotions, and I want to know how best I can be understanding and supporting for her? I have a few questions to try to better understand, and would appreciate advice from you ladies who are afflicted with endometriosis, or have been in the past, as well as Partners of those who are suffering with Endo.
For the last few years, her mood can go from being okay, to getting very irritated and upset for small things. She has gotten very irritated and moody and feels very down and overwhelmed and just wants to be left alone, and that will last for days, even weeks at times. Are mood swings common with endometriosis? Does it really affect your mood so drastically like that?
I'm sure also adding to it is also the fact that since she started taking the meds a few years ago, she hasn't been able to get a good nights sleep for the longest time due to the hot flashes and sweats waking her up throughout the night, and lack of sleep and exhaustion would really affect anyone. Plus, also the additional hormonal changes in her body due to the medically induced menopause has really got to be affecting her even more.
What is the usual recovery time after a having hysterectomy, and what would help her through her recovery process? What can I do to help her emotionally throughout all of this?
She and I do want to have biological children of our own together with each other in a few years when we are able to be together in-person, so if her ovary is not removed during the hysterectomy, would it still be possible for her and I to have our own biological children via surrogacy? If so, what's the usual cost for that?
She is absolutely the love of my life, and I want to do anything and everything I can to be supporting, and understanding, and be there for her however I am able to be. Thank you all in advance for your answers, and your advice.