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My Endometriosis Story | Girl Talk Tuesday

I’ve been debating writing this post for a long time.  I often talk about my battle with endometriosis, but I haven’t ever told my whole story.  I was never sure if this was a blog post topic or if it was more of a YouTube video topic…  Maybe it’s a bit of both?  Either way, I think it’s time I tell my story since I just experienced yet another cyst just this past week.  Also, because I’ve seen so many of you sweet girls comment that you’re living life with this nasty disease too.  This post is to let you know, you are not alone!

A word of warning: I’m discussing my medical experience and giving details.  If that’s not something you want to read about, keep it moving to another post.

My Endometriosis Story | Girl Talk Tuesday Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

My Endometriosis Story | Girl Talk Tuesday Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

My Endometriosis Story | Girl Talk Tuesday Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

My Endometriosis Story | Girl Talk Tuesday Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Let’s back it up to a young and sprite Angela.  I was a late bloomer and didn’t start my period until I was 15 years old.  It was not long after that I began this monthly nightmarish cycle and the nasty cramps reared their ugly head.  I would get cramps so gnarly I would be curled up in a ball on the floor sobbing.  I remember one time they were so bad my mom almost took me to the ER.  I have a fairly high pain tolerance, but these cramps would knock me off my feet.

It wasn’t long after I got my first period that I experienced my first ovarian cyst.  I walked around bent over holding my right side for days before my mom forced me to go to the doctor.  I was terrified at the thought of seeing a gynecologist.  I was young, immature and incredibly freaked out at the thought of a doctor examining my private parts.  My doctor quickly sent me on to the hospital for testing and that’s where the real nightmare began.  I had no idea what I was in for and the experience scarred me for years.  The nurse explained I needed an emergency ultrasound and in order to do so, I would have to get a catheter.  I freaked out of my head.  The bad part wasn’t the catheter going in, the bad part was it coming out.  It was awful.  I’d never experienced anything like that and it was all done just to say I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured and you can go home.  It was because of this experience (plus feeling like I had been manhandled) that I refused to see a gynecologist for a long time.

After that, I experienced years of bad cramps and irregular, heavy periods that would sometimes last for 10-15 days at a time.  I had all the signs of endometriosis, but I just thought I was another teenage girl with bad periods.  I mean you hear that from all your high school girlfriends, right?  We all would complain about our cramps and compare our flows, so you just think that you’re experience is no different that anyone else’s.

Let’s speed ahead.  The summer after my 23rd birthday, I noticed some irregular swelling down there.  I figured it was yet another yeast infection (I would get a yeast infection any time I took antibiotics).  The swelling quickly increased though.  I went to my mom and she took one look and said, you’re going to the gynecologist.  I probably stamped my feet and yelled no way…  But I knew she was right.  So off I went.  I had my gynecological exam as an adult, and it was no where near as bad as I had psyched myself up for.  She determined that my swelling was due to a Bartholin’s Gland cyst.  She then gave me my first ultrasound in many years and found a massive cyst on my left ovary.  Due to the size of the ovarian cyst, she sent me along to a specialist.  I was referred to Dr. Stephen Mooney in Akron and he remains my best medical experience to this day.  Dr. Mooney examined me and said we need to operate soon, so we scheduled my first laparoscopy surgery for the ovarian cyst plus removal of the Bartholin’s Gland Cyst.

The Saturday night before surgery (it was scheduled for Monday morning) I began vomiting uncontrollably.  Dr. Mooney told my mom that if she took me to the ER, there was nothing they could do for me because my surgery was already on the books.  My abdominal pain was so severe that I didn’t care, I forced my mom to take me to the ER.  They ran a couple of tests and said that the cyst had not ruptured but instead became so large that it twisted itself and laid up against my stomach causing the pain and vomiting.  They sent me home to wait it out.

Monday morning rolled around and it was show time.  During the surgery, they removed a total of 7 cysts. One the size of a baby’s head on my left ovary, multiple on my right ovary and cysts in various places like my fallopian tubes.  Dr. Mooney was able to diagnose me with endometriosis because of the type of cysts, which he called “chocolate cysts”.  He said I was basically a mess on the inside.  The Bartholin’s Gland cyst was removed and packed with cotton.  Because I had three incisions on my abdomen along with the huge incision from the Bartholin’s Gland cyst, I couldn’t walk.  My dad had to carry me around the house the first two days at least.

When I went back for my post-op appointment, Dr. Mooney removed the packing from my Bartholin’s Gland Cyst and the nurse had to hold me down to the table…  The area became badly infected and the packing was horrific to remove.  I wasn’t out of the woods yet, I needed a high dose of antibiotics to clear that infection before I could return to work.  I think I missed a total of 8-10 weeks throughout the course of this first round with endo.

Dr. Mooney put me on birth control after that first surgery, saying that due to the severity of my endometriosis, I really didn’t have a choice but to start it.  If you want to learn more about my birth control history, read this post.

After that, I returned to normal.  My periods were less painful and I had normal cycles for the first time in my life.

Speed ahead to two summers later.  I started having symptoms of IBS.  By this time, Matt and I were dating long distance.  We traveled to the Hamptons and I got terribly ill while there.  We took a helicopter from the Hamptons to New Jersey to then fly home to Ohio.  I was so sick prior to getting on the helicopter that I took a Phenergen for the nausea and slept on Matt’s lap the whole helicopter ride.  What a waste of a once in a lifetime trip.  As soon as we landed in Ohio, my mom took me to the ER and they hooked me up to an IV with Morphine because I was having horrible upper right quadrant pain.  After running a ton of tests, they ruled out gall bladder and everything else under the sun.  They sent me home with a diagnosis of IBS.  I was referred to a gastrointestinal specialist and started down that road.

The gastro doctor prescribed new meds and completely changed my diet.  Nothing would give.  The abdominal pain was relentless.  Finally I went back to Dr. Mooney and he said it was time to do another laparoscopy.

Welcome to endometriosis surgery #2.  This time Dr. Mooney found that my ovaries had grown attached to the wall of my back.  He advised that my IBS was most likely due to the endometriosis and he was so right.  After that surgery, my intestinal symptoms were basically gone.

I always stayed up on my appointments with Dr. Mooney.  When I moved to LA in 2011, I was so upset to leave my favorite doctor behind.

Since being in LA, I’ve been to three doctors for my endometriosis.  I’ve never found the level of care or experience that I had with him.  When I was home in Ohio back in March, I went in to see him for a check-up.  I wish he would magically move his practice to LA!

I’ve been off birth control since February of 2016.  I have experienced a lot of my old symptoms of irregular periods and cramping.  Dr. Mooney is under the impression that another laparoscopy will be in my near future, and when/if that does happen, you better believe he’ll be doing my surgery.  I have done more hours of research than any one person should, on the topic of endometriosis.  I’ve tried so many supplements and life changes.  I try my best to avoid soy, which is claimed to be a big culprit of the disease.  I have been on folic acid for many years.  But most recently, I started a supplement called MacaHarmony, which was referred to me by a woman working in the supplements department at Whole Foods.  After researching the supplement, I started it and within the first month I had my first regular period in more months than I could remember.

If you think you are suffering from endometriosis, first off…  I’m sorry.  I know your pain and I know how helpless you can feel.  Something I think a lot of people don’t realize, just because your mom didn’t have it doesn’t mean you don’t have it.  My mom never had endometriosis or surgeries like this.  My aunt and cousin both had it, but that was the only connection to the disease I had.

Do your research.  Listen to your body.  Find a great doctor.  If you don’t feel comfortable with the doctor your seeing or the answers you’re getting, seek a second opinion.

One resource I would highly recommend for my endo sisters is Nancy’s Nook on Facebook.  It’s a fantastic group of women who support each other through this journey.

My endometriosis journey is unique.  We all have different symptoms, different treatments that are needed and different roads to recovery.  I’m not a doctor and my story should not be taken as advice or direction for your treatment.  Seek medical attention before taking any supplements.

Leave a comment below if you too have suffered from this nasty disease that too many of us women have.  Please share what has worked for you and feel free to also share your journey. ❤️

Shop This Outfit:

Top : Free People Valencia OTS Top (Nordstrom Sale!)  //  Jeans: Free People  //  Nail Polish: Essie “Bordeaux”

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Amazon Prime Day Deals are Here!

It’s Matt’s favortie sale day of he year…  It’s Amazon Prime Day!  If you caught yesterday’s post, then you know how much the Lanter house uses Amazon Prime and you know what our favorite products to shop for are.  Today some of our favorite past Amazon purchases, and some we plan to purchase today, are available for great prices!

Amazon Prime Day Sales Angela Lanter

 

iRobot Roomba Vacuum:  I first learned about these magic little robotic housekeepers when my Mawmaw got one years ago.  We now own two of them and I’m obsessed.  The one word of warning, if you have white walls or white trim, the robot will hit them and leave behind marks.  Matt remedied that by adding some foam on the outside of the robot so when it hits the walls there’s no evidence left.  You’ll save $125 today!

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker:  We purchased this speaker two summers ago in Alabama and we still use it on basically an every day basis.  The sound output is incredible and the bass is deep.  We use it around the pool or I carry it around the house while I’m doing work, listening to music or podcasts.  You’ll save $70 today!

Clarisonic Mia 2 Facial Cleansing Brush:  I’ve been a Clarisonic user for years.  In fact, I purchased my Mia 2 while we were living in New Orleans 4 years ago…  And that baby is still going strong!  If you want to see how I use my brush in my everyday skincare routine, check out my Get Unready With Me video.  Today you’ll save $59!

Makeup Eraser:  Another product I use on the regular and I talked about in my Unready with Me video is my Makeup Eraser.  I love it so much that I bought one for both my mom and my mother-in-law!

Calvin Klein Undies:  My favorite underwear hands-down are my CKs.  I’ve become so spoiled by them that it’s one of the only brands of undies I’ll now buy.  I talked all about them in my underwear blog post.  The problem is…  They’re not cheap.  Today these undies are 30% off at checkout!

 

Shop These Amazon Prime Day Deals:

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4 Lessons from 4 Years of Marriage

If you know me, I’ll use any excuse to talk about marriage and relationships.  Perfect example: Girl Talk Tuesday Love Series.  I love being able to pour into other’s lives, especially about things I’m passionate about…  And I’m passionate about marriage.

In honor of celebrating four years of wedded bliss with Matt this week, I thought why not share four lessons I’ve personally learned in those four years of marriage.  I partnered with Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry to bring you this post today.

4 Lessons from 4 Years of Marriage angela lanter hello gorgeous

4 Lessons from 4 Years of Marriage angela lanter hello gorgeous

4 Lessons from 4 Years of Marriage angela lanter hello gorgeous

4 Lessons from 4 Years of Marriage angela lanter hello gorgeous

4 Lessons from 4 Years of Marriage angela lanter hello gorgeous

Let’s take a look at each lesson I learned in each year of marriage.  That way if you’re a newlywed, maybe you can relate based on where you’re at in your marriage.

4 Lessons from 4 Years of Marriage

  1. Leave and Cleave.  If you were raised in a Christian home, then you are well familiar with this verse.  If not, then let me explain.  This reference comes from the Old Testament, Genesis 2:24 to be exact, and the verse directs a man to leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife.  This verse isn’t just meant for men, it goes both ways.  At first read, you think, of course I’m leaving my parents, I’m moving in with my husband, duh.  Or maybe you left your parent’s home many years ago.  This direction is not only saying to leave physically, but that you also need to leave emotionally.  I’m not saying that you can’t have an awesome relationship with your parents, but your relationship with your spouse has to trump every other relationship in your life in order to be successful.  You can’t call home and complain to mom about every little thing your husband does.  You can’t run home to mom & dad every fight you have and expect your husband to be okay with that.  Once you commit to marriage, you chose to stick it out and work it out.  Your parents (friends and other family members count here too) can’t easily forget every time your husband hurts you, they can sometimes hold on and begin to resent him.  Because you love him, you’ll forgive him and move on, then your parents begin to have bad feelings towards him.  If you would keep your fights between you two, when you work them out, no one will be left angry.  You can make up and move on with your lives.  But if you bring your parents into every fight, there’s a good chance problems will start after they feel their little girl was hurt one too many times.
  2. Learn each other’s love language.  I’ve talked before about the five love languages and how much I believe in them.  You can easily take a short quiz online to find out your or your significant other’s love language is.  One of my primary love languages is gifts.  I love giving and receiving gifts and Matt knows that about me.  The gorgeous necklace featured is from Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry.  This beautiful cross necklace is so special because of the faith that Matt and I share.  This necklace is a sideways cross design made of diamonds and 10K white gold.  I really enjoy dainty pieces for everyday wear and think this was the perfect gift idea for our wedding anniversary!  Click here to see more necklace options, there are hundreds of fine jewelry options to choose from at all different price points.  You’re sure to find the perfect piece to celebrate any occasion.
  3. Learn when to keep quiet.  This is one of those things I wish I knew before I had gotten married.  Many a fight would have been avoided if I could just have been smart enough to stay quiet.  In the heat of an argument, sometimes words are out of your mouth before you’ve had a chance to even think about them…  And once they’re out there, there’s no taking them back.  After a few years of marriage, I’ve learned to slow down my thoughts and my words when I’m angry.  To just stop and think a minute before I speak.  Sometimes, it’s just better to shut up than to keep throwing gas on the fire.  Walk away, take a breather and think about what it is that you’re really fighting about.  Once you both have cooled down, come together and discuss it like the rational adults you are instead of fighting like toddlers hurling around insults.  Getting down and rolling around in the mud never solves anything.  Instead, a calm conversation when you both have your wits about you will get you to a place of healing so you can move on.
  4. Put your spouse first.  Even over yourself.  I think most married couples understand that your spouse needs to come first, but so many struggle with putting their spouse before themselves.  Let me give you a practical example of what this would look like.  Putting your spouse first means doing something that they want even though that’s not at all what you want.  Maybe it’s something major like a move for a job (Heaven knows I’ve been there!) or maybe it’s something smaller like letting your spouse have the remote.  Each day is a new chance to serve your partner.  Hopefully, your spouse will in turn want to serve you…  But if he doesn’t, unfortunately that’s the thing about love; it’s selfless.  True love doesn’t keep a tally of how many things you do for someone, then expect they do that many things for you.  Instead, it’s dying to yourself daily and looking for ways to show your love in a real way to your husband.  Instead of feeling unappreciated or unloved, take a step back and look at the practical ways your husband shows you he loves you…  Maybe it’s by working hard to provide a paycheck for your family, maybe it’s taking care of the lawn or maybe it’s something as simple as always being sure you have gas in your car.  Don’t let the little things go unnoticed and make you resentful.  Instead, recognize the little things and understand that’s his way of taking care of you.

If you’re also married, please leave a comment below and share some of your wisdom with us.  So many of my gorgeous girls are unmarried and this is a chance to speak to their hearts about ways to work on their future relationships.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry. The opinions and text are all mine.

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