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fibroids

hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

What trumps a surprise uterine biopsy? A surprise poor man’s D and C. It’s not the same as a D and C in the hospital under anesthesia. My doctor’s words, not mine. It’s fall and the week before my birthday, so I must be waiting for biopsy results. Remember last year’s biopsy wait and see? It was the worst. I went in for my annual exam and ended up with a surprise biopsy. Damn uterine fibroids. Get off my lawn.

This year, I had a 28 day period and nobody knew why. Was I menopausal? Am I perimenopausal? Are my fibroids just the worst? Is it endometriosis? No, I’m not menopausal. Dr. says probably another 6 years before I’d start any kind of natural menopause. Perimenopausal? She said nothing of being there either. Not endometriosis, at least not that she mentioned.

What I did have was a surprise ultrasound to see if my uterine fibroids had grown. Last year, my uterus was the size of a 10-week pregnant woman’s due to the size of the uterine fibroids. This year, since we’ve come to the conclusion that a 28 day period for a severe anemic is not something I can withstand longterm without transfusion…a hysterectomy it will be. Yep, those days of being adamantly against it have given way to just wanting to be able to function in the upright position without feeling like my insides are falling out.

Well, talk about a surprise. The doctor and I were both surprised with the ultrasound results. It was my third time taking off my panties in one office visit and I was getting scared. But when the ultrasound tech nonchalantly asked me, “When was your last uterine biopsy?” I began to get a little squirrely. I asked, “Why? Do you see something?” To which she replied with her best poker face, “Oh, no just wondering. “

READ ALSO: The Menopause Spectrum

I knew that was bullshit. It felt like the day they told me they couldn’t find a heartbeat with my last pregnancy. I wasn’t getting a good vibe. It was hour 3 at the gynecologist’s office and I was beginning to really freak out. She sent me back up to my doctor’s office.

My doctor came into the room like a frantic ball of nervous energy and very quickly told me, “Debi, I need you to get undressed and on the table. Your entire, now, 12-week pregnant sized uterus, is full of blood and we need to empty it and do another biopsy.” As you might remember, last year’s biopsy was very painful and traumatic. A biopsy is not anything you want to be sprung on you.

Then all the blood began to rush from my head ( apparently to my uterus) and the room was spinning. All I heard was biopsy, cancer and uterus full of blood. Remember last year when I complained about my 5 days of heavy bleeding each month and it got me a biopsy and an entire year of horrible, no good unpredictable, heavy periods? Well, now if my options are cancer or menopause…. I’m praying for menopause.

If you’ve made it this far, the next part is going to be TMI so if periods, uterine fibroids and cancer are not your thing, leave now.

My doctor was so frantic, that it felt frenzied. I felt like she was acting under a code blue and I was an unwilling participant in the shit show that was about to happen to me in stirrups.

She put my legs in the stirrups. Asked me to please scoot down and then bright lights and speculums. The deepest one you can find because I have a deep cervix. There was no pain medication of any kind administered.  After trying several speculums, she finally found the one that fit.  I can hear her opening it up. It made me feel like I was about to get a tire changed. She is apologizing the entire time. My fibroids were recoiling while drowning in a uterus full of blood. My imagination is running rampant.

But worse, my gynecologist is talking to herself out loud and I am practically in tears. “I wasn’t worried about cancer but there is just so much blood!” “I’ve never seen so much blood in a uterus!!” “We’re going to do another biopsy.” “You might faint!” “Do you feel faint?” “Hold on to something, this is going to hurt….” “Oh but it’s dark blood, so it’s old blood so I’m not as worried. “ “Sorry, just talking out loud.”

hysterectomy, uterine fibroids, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological issues, perimenopause , uterine biopsy, cancer, poor man's d and c, D&C

WTF??????

Then she proceeded to insert a giant syringe about 12 inches long and 2 inches around in diameter in through the speculum opening and began to vigorously and aggressively suck the blood and clots out of my womb. If my uterus were a hotel, I imagine that scene out of the Shining when the walls are bleeding and you can hardly see anything.  It was very painful. A surprise D and C is not ever a surprise that you’d want. She referred to it as a “Poor man’s D & C.” I dug my fingers so deep into my arm to stop from screaming that I am covered in bruises.

She emptied 5 full syringes of blood and clots into those cups they make you wee into to check to see if you’re pregnant. I was getting more and more faint with each syringe. Meanwhile, she is calling my attention to it, “Debi, look! Can you believe this? This is incredible.”

I felt hollow. I felt like someone had roto rootered my female reproductive organs. To be honest, I felt violated.  I understand she was doing her best impression of a caped crusader to eliminate the blood from my uterus and shrink it down to as close as possible to normal sized but I could see the vigorous movement of the syringe through the top of my pelvis and worse, I could feel it. It felt like labor pains or those pains you get right after you give birth and your uterus is shrinking down. Either way, it was PTSD traumatic.

READ ALSO: When Cancer’s on the Table

And now, aside from scheduling a hysterectomy that I don’t want to have but have to have and advocating to keep my ovaries so that I don’t go into early menopause and worrying that my uterus will be too big and robotic surgery will give way to a full stomach incision removal, I have to wait to see if I have cancer. Happy birthday week to me.

They’ve put me on meds to stop the bleeding but I’m still bleeding. Right now, it’s a wait and see, try not to throw up from nerves sort of week. I can’t think of anything else and all I want to do is distract myself. Did I mention that the Big Guy is out of town for work? Yep. He volunteered to stay home and cancel but I’ll need him when I have the surgery. I’m just praying it’s not cancer because I don’t want to be alone if that’s what they tell me.

Right before I left with my insides feeling like swiss cheese and my world flipped upside down, I was taking solace in the fact that she said, “It’s all dark blood, I’m not as worried. It’s probably just the fibroids and nothing more.” Then she stopped me as I was leaving, all the color left from my face and said, “If the results come back as cancer, I’ll have another surgeon in there to check your lymph nodes.” And all I could hear was Charlie Brown wah, wah, wah, wah and my mind has been in a very dark place ever since.  I hate the waiting.

Being a woman is hard enough with the whole world trying to stick their noses in our uteruses without having it turn on us and having to worry that the very thing that brings life into the world may in fact, take ours.

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endometriosis, fibroids, colposcopy, menorrhagia, hysterectomy, uterine fibroids

My birthday is next week. I’m turning 30 for the umpteenth time and hoping my fibroids don’t want to be part of the celebration. This month’s period has lasted….captains log day 28…TMI alert* do not pass go* if you are squeamish….I am on day forth box of super tampons. P.S. I’m anemic and I have 3 fibroids. I got one each time I was pregnant. I only have 2 kids so that’s another kick in the vagina.

My point is, and there definitely is one, I went in for my yearly gynecological visit last October, as some of you may remember, I was complaining about a “heavy 5-day period”. I was so stupid. My doctor did my pap, wham, bam, thank you ma’am and noticed, “Hey, Debi, you are spotting and I know you’re a freak so I’ll just do a biopsy. No Bigs.”

Yeah, my doctor and I are all extra like that. We’ve been through a lot together. I’ve howl cried in her office and went straight up looney toons the day of my D & E and refused surgery until they brought an ultrasound machine down to my prep room one last time…just to be sure. I’m sure that I looked as squirrely as I felt. She gets me.

READ ALSO: Why I Won’t Get an Elective Hysterectomy to Cure my Uterine Fibroids

I’m a super advocate for my own health and she knows I’m a little too smart for my own good. Forget WebMD, I consult actual doctors in my circles and ask them all the questions before I bring it to my gynecologist. I research. I weigh odds. I am a freak. She isn’t wrong.

Anyways, that biopsy caused a domino effect. I started a period, right after I had finished a period. Then, I went three months without a period. 3 months is forever in no period days.  I felt like a puffer fish. Then, she told me to start birth control pills to start my period. It worked. I started my period and it lasted forever. It finally stopped and then it kept starting again. Breakthrough all day, every day.

I stopped the birth control pills. I had a couple months of regular 4-7 day periods. Now, let me tell you my period always still comes every 28 days. Whether my period lasts 3 days or 15 days, on day 28 I will start my period again. Linings will be shed. My period somehow always sinks up with my vacations.

READ ALSO: The Gynecological Misadventures of a Millenial-ish Mom

If I am traveling, you can bet money that I will be on my period. It’s been like that since I got pregnant on an anniversary trip to New Orleans in which I got pregnant. I think either God’s got a wicked sense of humor or my body doesn’t like children.  Either way, if it even gets a whiff of a possible travel date…cramps start.

Anyways, we traveled a LOT this past summer and my period proves it. My period refuses to miss out on a good vacation. July’s period lasted for 2 weeks of heavy fibroid bleeding. It crossed the threshold from July into the first full week of August (I was traveling to the beach so of course, I needed to be bleeding in order to attract all the sharks.) Then we got home from the trip, 2 weeks later (28 days from the start of my last period. Wait isn’t that how the zombie apocalypse is supposed to start? Am I patient zero?) I started again and it hasn’t stopped yet. Wait. I have an appointment tomorrow with my gynecologist, I’m sure I’ll stop today. But it’s ok because Saturday is day 28, so I should do something special tomorrow like celebrate with some marital relations.

It’s become so bad that I had to raid my teen’s feminine hygiene products. Let’s just call it even for my disappearing box of tampons when they were toddlers. Seriously, sometimes it keeps me up at nights wondering where the heck all that cotton went. I never did find them. Is it shoved up into my teenaged girls’ noses still? Is this why we have all the sinus issues?

Maybe I should start a new blog called have uterus will travel. Or maybe broken uterus, who dis? Or Menstruation Never Interrupted? All I know is I can’t wait to see my doctor and find the root of this problem. Fingers crossed its hormones and not cancer or some sort of infection that’s gone untreated. Of course, my mind is going to the worse possible case scenario because that’s who I am. I expect the worst and hope for the best.

There’s been talk of a hysterectomy to alleviate the anemia inducing hemorrhaging that we call my period. I was adamantly against that course of action this time last year but after the last 28 days of a near-death slow bleed out, I’m seriously reconsidering it but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared because I am. Not only is my vanity taking a hit that I will be missing parts, I’m literally nervous about being cut open again but I don’t think I can continue on like this. The anemia is taking its toll on my health. My vision is blurry, I’m perpetually exhausted and there is anemia induced anxiety. It’s a thing. Who knew iron was so important?

READ ALSO: When God Shivs You in the Lady Bits

Plus, the pica is embarrassing. I am a grown woman who is currently chewing ice like it’s my job because when you are this iron deficit, it is. You crave it like air. Yes, I do take iron but apparently, I need to up the dose. In case you were wondering if I’m just over here chewing on ice, bleeding out and ignoring the situation. I’m not but thanks for the worry. Still, I just reached my hand into my cup and grabbed a piece of ice like an animal in front of a group of adults in public and so now, I’d say it’s a problem.

So here I am, somewhere on the menopause spectrum with no official diagnosis but here’s hoping tomorrow they give me a diagnosis and something to stop this never-ending period. If you are the praying sort, I’ll take them. If you only believe in positive juju, I’ll take that too. Hell, at this point I’m so desperate, you can do a stop menstruating dance for me and I’d be grateful.

endometriosis, fibroids, colposcopy, menorrhagia, hysterectomy, uterine fibroidsLadies, have you ever had something like this happen? What did you do? Have you had a hysterectomy? Do I believe all the rumors? Am I going to gain 30 pounds, grow a mustache and get a grammy paunch? Because I’m going to tell you, I’m not ready for all that. Why else do you think that I ’m turning 30 for the umpteenth time?

Do you struggle with fibroids or endometriosis?

 

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gynecological misadventure, gynecological visit, mammogram, pregnancy, miscarriage, fibroids, mammogram, menopause, millenials

A gynecological misadventure is never fun, especially when they involve surprises and words like fibroids, pregnancy, menopause, miscarriage and mammogram all in the same visit. Last week, I had my “yearly” exam and mammogram because women’s reproductive health is my jam. And, I discovered the meaning of life or at least solved one of life’s great mysteries, why women start getting mammograms at 40 and not 25.

As the mammogram tech, the same lady who did my first mammogram last year, gingerly fondled my breast as she positioned and repositioned my very pliable breasts I realized, had I not given birth, breastfed and subsequently fallen victim to gravity, there is no way that she could maneuver my breasts into this machine. Mammograms are not a young woman’s game. Then I laughed because I remembered that I used to be known for my breasts and my legs. How’s that for irony? Broken and Broken. Check and Check.

Pert breasts could never do what these ever so gracefully aged, slightly used breasts can do. No way my 25 year old tits cold be placed into a machine as an entity in and of itself, separate from my body, as if I could remove them.., place them in the machine, walk out of the room and come back after pressing the imaging button. No way!!

Mature breasts have lived more and while they may be slowly creeping into my armpits because my hatred of bras has increased almost as much as my newfound love of full-coverage panties, they still have some life in these old girls… even if they are 3 inches lower than they used to be. You know the story, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

I thought my advanced maternal aged” pregnancy at 31 made me feel old, well… you can imagine what being referred to 3 times (by 3 different medical professionals) as menopausal at “my age” made me feel like?

It was like suddenly my lady bits dried out, shriveled up, got arthritis and no longer functioned. I felt old, like my uterus suddenly needed a walking cane. Like the fruit that were my loins had suddenly rotted on the vine. Hey ladies… Don’t you worry about my bits, they’re working just fine, every 28 days just like clockwork and my ovulation could give any 27-year-old a run for her money. The shark week force is still strong with this one. 

The gynecological inner workings of my lady bits were insulted and then my ego was grievously injured. Shot through the uterus. Menopausal? Jesus! Had my moisturizer stopped working? This was more embarrassing than the fu man chu incident of 2005!

I knew this exam was different because for the first time in my lifetime, the doctor didn’t have to grab for the world’s deepest speculum, you know the one that feels like my uterus is in my throat? Nope she was able to use the “regular” speculum, just like she uses on everyone else. Whomp whomp. In a weird way I took pride in that crazy deep cervix of mine, it made me feel special like a gynecological unicorn but alas, now I am “average”.

I balked. “Wait? Is something wrong down there?” My doctor, whose sense of humor is just as randy as my own, replied, ” No, sometimes this just happens to women when they get “old”. Their uterus begins to fall.”

Not “older” that bitch said “old” and then she giggled, signaling to me that she was in fact giving me a hard time. I mean, I’m not Michelle Duggar, my uterus should be firmly in place and this lady wants to play Chicken Little with jokes about my uterus falling! Did I mention she’s only 3 years younger than me? Hey now!

Luckily, she quickly followed that by, “It’s hormonal. At different times of the month it can feel differently.” That didn’t give me any relief. And then while doing the physical exam, she gave me the head tilt and ” Hmmm?” Not a combo I like to see at my doctor’s visit.

Wait! What’s going on? Is my fucking uterus actually falling? Nope, she followed with this, ” Well, your uterus feels about the size of a 10-12 week pregnant uterus.”

Dumbfounded.

Silence.

Silence.

Gynecological misadventure number 1; possible pregnancy.

If you thought an accidental pregnancy at almost 40 was scary, you can’t even imagine what one today would do to me.Whispering as all the color and blood rushed from my face, “What? I’m not pregnant! Am I?” I hoped she had the defibrillator near by. Obviously being “menopausal and of the reproductive age of retirement ” I was going to have a heart attack any second now. Then, my brain, “Booyah bitches! Who you calling menopausal now?” Strangely, momentarily, I felt reproductively vindicated.

Wait? Was I one of those morons who didn’t know they were pregnant until they went into labor? 147 IQ, you failed me. Oh God, senility is setting in, maybe I am menopausal?

Then she tilted her head the other way and said, “Hmmm” again as she manhandled my uterus.., “Nope! Have you been having regular periods? When was your last one?”

Gynecological misadventure number 2; a possible miscarriage!

“26 days ago. I’m starting again on Thursday.” In my brain, ” oh dear Jesus, I’ve had a miscarriage again.” Holding back tears, saying a rosary in my head.

More uterine fondling, this time it felt personal. She tilted her head back in the other direction, “Hmmmmm, nope!”

Silence

Silence

Waiting

Jeopardy music playing in my head.

“Probably just fibroids!”

Just fibroids?” Que loca? There’s no such thing as just tumors in your uterus.

“Just tell the front desk to schedule you for a ultrasound and we’ll take a look next time.”

Gynecological misadventure number 3; cancer?

I tilted my head, “Hmmmm, Nope!”  I suddenly staged a sit in of one. I refused to leave the building without knowing whether I was dying or not. Damn you webmd. Just like the 108-degree bronchitis fever incident in 2009. I’ll sit here forever. I’ve got nothing but time, lady. She knows that I’m was just crazy enough to do it.

Needless to say, I was seen immediately for my transvaginal ultrasound. Suddenly, I found myself pantless in stirrups having trouble breathing. Then I remembered the last time I was in this room, on this table, I was told, ” I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” The day that all I could do was cry.

Gynecological misadventure number 4; fibroids?

As a middle-aged tech, at least 10 years my senior explained to me that fibroids are common in women who are “menopausal” I nearly lost my shit. If only I could breathe. Then she showed them to me, my fibroids. All 3 of them. I had gotten my first one with Bella, a second with Gabs and I’m assuming a third with the pregnancy I lost. I wanted a tattoo to commemorate the baby I lost but instead, I got fibroids as a parting gift.

So, I go upstairs and wait to see my doctor again. She confirms that I’ve got the fibroids (guess its better than hemorrhoids?) but it’s nothing to worry about. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I quietly asked her the question that we’re all dying to know the answer to, “Am I menopausal?”

Gynecological misadventure number 5; menopause?

She giggled, no hmmm or head tilt this time, “No, you have no symptoms and you are still regularly menstruating and ovulating. Some women do start the process at 35, though. But no, you’re not menopausal.”

I felt like she should have handed me a damn t-shirt saying as much. I felt reproductively spry. Then, I gave her a hug bye and said, “Can you pass the word along to the rest of your staff and… I’ll take that referral for a vasectomy for my husband now. You know since obviously, I’m still fab, fit and fertile!” My uterus is a millennial even if my breasts are looking middle-age ish these days. Damn you breastfeeding.

And we both laughed.

Have you ever suffered a gynecological misadventure or (any doctor for that matter) and how did you handle it?

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