Endo Battle Story: Dawn Wagoner

endometriosis story dawn wagoner

I had just moved to Indiana with my then husband…it was August 2005 and I was 26. I was late, so upon taking a pregnancy test, realized I was pregnant. This definitely wasn’t planned, as we had already had 2 boys ages 4 and 2. Things seemed normal…then tremendous cramps started.

I was extremely tired, did not have the energy to do anything, and migraines had started to flare up again.

We ended up in the ER one evening for what I thought was a simple migraine. That same night, I had learned that there was not fetal heartbeat, and that I had lost the baby. So they schedule a D&C, which scared the crap out of me. Even after the surgery, I would have severe pain, pain so strong all I wanted to do was crawl into a ball and not move.

At first I was told that it was due to scar tissue from the D&C. I wasn’t buying it. I decided to see a different doctor to try to figure out what was causing all of the pain, the lethargy, the not wanting to even be awake mood.

I went to a doctor in Washington, IN and explained my symptoms and what was going on from the severe pain to the not wanting to move my body. His first thought was cancer, as when I was 16 I had precancerous cells removed from my cervix, and I had also had an aunt succumb to ovarian cancer.

After ultrasounds and MRIs, it was determined that cancer wasn’t the answer. He decided to do an exploratory surgery to see what was going on. He burned off numerous endometriosis tumors, and was even ‘kind’ enough to print pictures for us so that we could see what was going on…this was October 2005.

He warned me that it would possibly come back, and I could receive a shot every month to try to keep it at bay. I went with the shot…every month, I religiously went to his office to get a huge needle stuck in me to try to help. I was still in pain, was still feeling lethargic, I honestly had days where I was in so much pain I didn’t want to be alive.

I dealt with this until January 2006

We had other personal issues come up in December (we had lost my sister-in-law and almost lost our 2 boys in a fatal car accident) so I had put my health on the back burner to be there for my now ex-husband and my kids.

I tried to fight through the pain…was given very strong pain medication just to get through my days.

Finally in January, I made an appointment and asked my doctor what other options there were, as this road wasn’t helping. His response was “A hysterectomy is your only option” I was floored…I had just passed my 27 birthday…and he was telling me that the only ‘fix’ was to have a hysterectomy. I was hysterical. I had discussed it with my then husband…we had wanted more kids…but he was tired of me being in pain all the time, and honestly so was I.

I even talked to my mom…hoping that maybe she would know of another option. Finally, I decided that a hysterectomy was what I had to do; so we scheduled my surgery for February 7, 2006.

Was I About to Lose What Made Me a Woman?

I was terrified…I felt like I was losing the main thing that made me a woman.

I felt like everyone would think less of me, including my then husband, and my family. I tried to cancel my surgery more than once. Needless to say, February 7, I checked into the hospital, and got through my pre-op, and was taken to surgery. They had removed my uterus and my right ovary. He stated he didn’t remove both so that I wouldn’t have to be put on hormones.

Had I known then what I know now, I would have told him to take me back into the OR and take the other ovary as well.

The pain subsided, at least I thought it did.

By this time, I had been on pain medication so long, I was addicted to them, so if I was ever in real pain, I never truly knew as I was always medicated. After a few months (and losing my mom in a car accident in the process), I took myself off of the pain medication, and actually went about 2 years without any pain or symptoms.

Return of the Pain

The end of 2008 beginning of 2009…then pain returned. I fought through the pain, as at this time, I was a single mom working as an EMT, and wouldn’t miss work. It got bad enough that I passed out while on duty, and had to be checked out.

I was told that since I still had an ovary that the endometriosis could have returned, but it would take exploratory surgery to confirm it, or I could opt to just have the ovary removed.

I wasn’t about to go through 2 surgeries, so I opted to just have the ovary removed.

August of 2009, I had my final surgery. I still have cramps every now and then, and have been told that endo is still a possibility. That part has me truly confused since I literally had everything removed. I haven’t gone back to the doctor for my cramps, I am just dealing with them when they come.

Endometriosis is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. It is a pain that I would never want to see someone go through, or deal with as long as I have and as long as other have.

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