Please Help Save Tonya!

Tonya's Story
Click here to read Tonya's story directly from the web site or
           read the text below which I have copied for your convenience.

Adhesions are a debilitating complication caused by abdominal surgery.  Adhesions are the body's natural defense against the gasses used and intrusion of abdominal surgery. They grow on the abdominal wall and organs and anything else they can find and create a binding force to keep everything together. The problem is that they also can cause a lot of pain and can attach to organs and squeeze them or pull them out of their normal place.  Commonly, the intestines can get strangled and blocked.  In Tonya's case, all of the above is true.  I can't stand seeing her suffer so much on a daily basis. She tries so hard to lead a normal life and take care of me and our kids but she can barely get out of bed some days. 

The following text is copied from the Quilt and is the story, in her own words, of how Tonya got adhesions and how it affects her life today.  The story was written for the Quilt, not for this site, so references and other things may seem strange to you but I have chosen to copy it here un-altered.

     I am 36 years old. I had my first and only child when I was almost 31. Little did I know
     that this birth was to change my life forever. The labor was a difficult one of many
     complications and to make a long story short I bled out and almost died. My OBGYN
     actually had to pull the placenta out in order to save my life and that's when I first got
     all of my adhesions. The trauma from the birth of my child set the ground floor that
     has brought me to this site. Shortly after my son was born, I began to feel pulling and
     tearing pains from within. I had told my gyno about this and was reassured that this
     was normal due to the horrible complications that I had suffered giving birth. I was put
     on anti-depressants and told to go home and it would be ok. The pain persisted and I
     repeatedly was sent away sometimes with pain meds, sometimes without. But it wasn't
     until I went in for an exploratory laporoscopy for a possible "appendicitis" and
     possible "hernia" did they find that my insides were covered in what the doctor called
     "cobwebs of adhesions". These adhesions were wrapped around my bowels, ovaries,
     uterus, pelvic floor and anywhere else they could adhere. I had never heard of them
     before and was told very little about them. After the surgery, I was sent home and
     reassured that I would be fine now. But months later, I began to feel the same awful
     pains of tearing and pulling and ripping. This time I became so constipated. I called
     my doctor and he gave me a script for pain meds and told me to up my fiber and wait
     a couple of months to see if the pain went away. Five weeks had passed and I still
     couldn't have a BM. I had called my doctor repeatedly and he said that I must be a
     "little constipated is all that is causing the pain" and wanted me to try some over the
     counter stool softeners. I had tried everything that he told me to do. Still nothing. He
     finally told me to get on Percocet and wait a couple of months to see if the pain would
     go away. Meanwhile, I still couldn't have a BM and was rushed to the emergency with
     an enstrangled bowel. I just about had to have a colostomy bag put in because of the
     adhesions being so bad. That was the first time that my doctor had even remotely told
     me that I indeed had an adhesion problem and still I didn't know the severity. It was
     only 6 months more until I was in surgery again, this time for my gallbladder to be
     removed. I had stones, but what puzzled the surgeons was that I had massive adhesions
     all over my liver and side and had never had surgery there before. This puzzled them.
     Once again, I was semi out of pain and I actually had several months with very little
     pain. It was in August of 2002 that I had my final surgery. This was the surgery that my
     doctors only took an hour to "fix" me as my reports say and little did I know that it
     would be the one that screwed me up for the rest of my life. After my laporoscopy in
     August, I began feeling the burning and tearing and ripping right after the
     surgery...within weeks. This was different for me. I thought that maybe I had overdone
     it and needed to rest more. But as my scars healed and I rested more, I realized that it
     was the adhesions back and this time worse than I've ever known. I have been to many
     doctors, gasteronologists, urologists, obgyns, endocrinologists, surgeons ...even moved
     to a larger city where the doctors have better knowledge of adhesions and I was told
     that I am chronic, there is nothing anyone can do for me. I will not be able to have any
     more surgeries unless it is done by one of the specialist in Germany. I am in chronic
     pain....I can also feel more extreme tearing and pulling whenever I have to pee. It tears
     at my kidneys and sharp pains shoot up around my ribcage doubling me over most
     days. I am now on Oxycontin, Norco and Bextra...that only relieves the pain
     somewhat. I now see a doctor at a pain center every couple of weeks, trying to get some
     relief for my pain that has become a nightmare. I am trying to lead a normal life
     without the use of narcotics, but it's a trade off between feeling the pain all day long or
     feeling the side effects of the pain medications. I am newly engaged and my fiancé has
     been so supportive. There have been times that I have thought about giving up and just
     quitting but my lover gives me hope to hang on and this site has been a source of hope
     for me as well. Until November, I thought that I suffered alone. I never knew another
     soul to have this horrid disease. I met some doctors in Boise that actually know about
     this disease and have advised against any future surgeries unless I have a specialist in
     the field. Since there are only about 4 known in the world I am trying desperately to
     get to Germany to have this one last surgery in hopes that I will be able to lead a
     normal life and take care of my family without pain. I'm getting married in June of
     2003 and I would like to be able to walk down the isle without pain. UPDATE: I was
     told that I needed a hysterectomy due to heavy bleeding and massive cramping. I
     cannot have one due to forming adhesions. So what my doctors did is the Nova Sure
     procedure on January 24, 2003. This was a very painful procedure, but at least I won't
     have to deal with any new adhesions probably. And I won't have the cramping and
     awful bleeding each month anymore. I am now recovering two days later, from the
     Nova Sure Procedure and am feeling much better. I still have the day to day adhesion
     pain, but with God's help, I will get to Germany one of these days and get the surgery
     that I so long to have. I am thankful that I have found this site and made some new
     friends. I am not alone now and I have women (and men) that I can talk to that go
     thru the same things that I do on a daily basis. This keeps me sane and makes me keep
     trying and hanging on to this glimmer of hope that some day the Spray-Gel will come
     to the United States if I am unable to go to Germany. 

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©Beverly J. Doucette. 2004 All rights reserved.