Recovery was not a walk in the park for Rachel. Post surgery complications made her life rather difficult and her family and friends decided to take her back to India again.
She shares her experience below:
While we were in India, it was Zulekha’s birthday and we had a little celebration at the apartment.
When I was well enough to travel, we came back to Kenya. I wasn’t getting any better and I had to be readmitted at Nairobi Hospital. I was in adult diapers due to secondary fistula and I kept getting high fevers due to the infection from the kidney stents.
I was on antibiotics for more than 10 weeks before friends and family decided that I go back to India for the removal of the stents and catheter. Upon going back to India I was found to have severe jaundice & infection from the stents which the body was rejecting.
Below is an excerpt that I wrote after my second visit to India.
25th November 2015
To my family and friends who made it possible for me to see this day.
It’s great to be back home where everything is so familiar, friends and family, food and mostly language isn’t a barrier because you are spoilt for choice with at least Swahili or English to choose from.
We thank God for his mercies last forever and ever. He has remained faithful and if you seek him he shall not let you down. Numbers 23:19
We got back from India on 18th November. The two procedures were successful: removal of the DJ Stent and Ureterotomy.
I could barely walk after 12 hours of travel, but God’s favor was with us all the way, I managed the trip with no incidences despite the state of my health. The chills, fevers and the pains were somewhat controlled. All I kept reciting was Psalms 23.
Upon our arrival at Columbia Asia Hospital, within five minutes, we were whisked into the Chief Urologist clinic and I spared no details of my journey of the past 10 weeks post surgery in Kenya. The doctors were very concerned and a myriad of tests were carried out, CT scan, usual blood and urine tests including Culture Tests (read what culture tests are for and their importance). I was admitted the very next day after the results were availed. I was also found to have severe jaundice because my liver was straining from the medication.
The initial procedure to be carried out was just removal of the stents, cystocopy, however, this changed. Dr. Manohar, the Chief Urologist, later explained that I had suffered infection (Klebsiella Pneumoniae) from the DJ STENTS, which is a normal occurrence sometimes with such procedures. This he mentioned should have been picked during my admission in Nairobi hospital in by having culture tests done and immediately the stents should have been removed. Additionally, the removal of the Catheter was premature causing my urethra, bladder distress.
I had to be on IV antibiotics for 12 days to clear the infection even after the procedures. Amazingly, I was discharged from hospital after two days, and five days later, I could comfortably walk, sit, eat; I was recuperating well. Daily visits to the clinic were for IV injections at the ER and simultaneously check ups on my recovery. Jeremiah 30 :17
Doctors treat But God heals .
God is faithful as I could can now walk, sit and pass urine without moaning, screaming and crying because of excruciating pain. I could now sleep on my tummy or either side and sleep through the night without chills and fevers and endless trips to the bathroom notwithstanding the spasms from the DJ Stents. I could now control my bladder and the trip to the bathroom didn’t have to be an emergency. I could now eat without throwing up after every mouthful. Psalms 126:1-6
The liver infection was taken care of by the supplements to rejuvenate it. I chose not to worry about it.
I have now discarded the use of Adult Diapers because my bladder is now back to normal.
The only medication I came back with were supplements.
One more thing, removal of the ovaries reduces the aggression of endometriosis as the disease thrives on hormones. However this hastens menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and also low libido. These symptoms shouldn’t worry you, again diet and exercise will carry you through. research on the same. In extreme symptoms, there are supplements too that can help. Please note, not HRT (hormonal therapy) as these may predispose one to breast cancer. Cranberry tablets should be considered. Again, read and seek advise where necessary. So, when you see me on a very cold morning flapping a few pages of the newspaper seeking cold air against my face, just open the windows for me 😂😂😂, it’s what my friends call menostop. I promise to be happy always. Proverbs 15:30.
My medical follow up is every three months for urine culture tests, liver function test, CT scans to ensure the kidneys, ureters and liver are well healed.
I have chosen to give details some of it not so pleasing (gory details) for those out there with terminal illness or going through a similar condition as mine. I have learnt the following in the last few months:
- Support systems are important, be it family or friends. NO ONE can walk this kind of journey alone, you will easily give up and die. Treat people well, care for them and when you need them they will be there.
- He’s a forgiving God and always faithful no matter who you are, don’t let the devil cheat you that you are only going to God during distress and you shy off renewing that relationship with him. 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Don’t give up, never give up. 1 Corinthians 10:13
- If your body doesn’t feel right, see a doctor, ask questions and always seek a second opinion. Don’t ignore health issues, I have had friends, family who have lost their lives when they could have lived if the problem was nipped at the beginning.
Endometriosis has no cure but you can continue to have quality life with lifestyle changes, diet and exercise. Basically lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, have three colored fruits everyday, additionally eggs, fish, nuts like ground nuts and almonds. Cereals such as beans, green grams are recommended. Meditation is also key, yoga too.
Once again, my family and I are so so grateful for standing and walking with us during this difficult period. We were and are still overwhelmed by your support both financially and spiritually. Your prayers were not in vain.
God is good all the time and that is his nature!
God bless you abundantly! Numbers 6:24 -26
How are you doing now?
I am well and do not have any pain at all however secondary menopause has kicked in and the effects can really put one down, the hot flashes, mood swings, depression, low libido and lubrication, tiredness and lack of energy. Though supplements and gels really do help. I have gone through the anger -denial -acceptance process however I still cannot get myself around expectant mothers and new born babies, I get very emotional.
My children are all grown up now: 10, 12 and 20 and have been very supportive through the years. They have been through a lot as well since my marriage was equally on the rocks but we have since re-united.
Lifestyle changes had to happen, no wheat though I have cheat days but rarely, this was advise from the doctors. I also do lots of vegetables and fruits. No soda at all, fresh juice mostly and no junk. A little exercise and I have to maintain a certain weight. Oh and an egg every day.
They say Yoga is a very good relaxant and if practiced will help with the menopausal effects
But most of all I thank God for the quality of life I lead right now.
Rachel’s story has brought me to tears. She has reminded me that God is good, and that is His nature. Thank you for being vulnerable with us and letting us into the most painful and private times of your journey with Endometriosis.