Saturday, April 28, 2012

The emotional part of all this.

Last night, Hubs and I were at dinner and apparently someone sitting near us had a baby because I caught the very faintest whiff of a brand new Pampers diaper. Those of you who've used them know the scent I'm talking about. It's hard to describe to those who haven't, but it's a smell I remember from my childhood when my siblings were first having their babies and I remember being excited about growing up and having my own babies someday. I would always use Pampers because that's what you were supposed to use, right? Anyway, as I sat there last night and caught the scent in the air, I burst into tears.


I'm done with having babies - have been for fifteen years, mind you. I don't want any more babies and haven't for quite some time, but I guess the finality of it all hit me knowing that this surgery takes the choice of having one out of my hands. Not that my bum uterus could handle another pregnancy even if I did get my tubes untied, but the option was always mine, you know?

Thankfully, Hubby just held my hands while I cried and nodded in understanding. He's a super trooper like that.

Now, fast forward to this morning when I woke up to the fourth period I've had since the middle of last month. The woman I am today, kinda wants to strangle that emo bitch I was last night.

I'm so fucking over this already.

20 days and counting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


My regular doc (my kinesiologist) suggested I take an immunity booster (Immucore) which is what I normally take only when I'm starting to feel under the weather. It'll put my immunity system levels where they should be so I don't get sick before my surgery and it'll also help me fight any possible infections that stem from the surgery. Then, after the operation, I'll go back on the Surgical Health Formula supplements which help rebuild healthy tissue after trauma. He also wants me to take a nutritional test after the surgery to see what my body is the most lacking in, so we can take care of that before it gets out of hand.

He tried to treat some of the symptoms (including the cramping) I've had, but I don't think the adjustments took. I'm in a pretty good amount of pain tonight and what had tapered off period-wise has returned. Can't seem to catch a break there. It's frustrating.

I did, however, pick up my Vicodin tonight and will be sleeping under the influence of it tonight.

My emotional stress is still high. Although I'm not as depressed as I was these last few days, I'm still dealing with outside influences that make my blood pressure rise -- the last thing I should have happening right now.

But I digress and continue to take it day-by-day. All I can do.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This week's update on the girly parts

I finally talked to the doctor tonight for a few minutes and he's set a tentative surgery date for May 18th for a full hysterectomy. He said at my age, if there wasn't a real need for the left ovary to come out, he'd leave it in, but since there are cysts there now, too, it probably needs to come out. I agreed, arguing that I don't want to go through another surgery in a year when those cysts have grown and are causing me pain, too. I'd much rather deal with turbulent hormones that can be treated holistically, nutritionally and, as a last resort, medicinally than have to recover from yet another surgery.

He's still trying to work with the hospital in getting me in sooner than May 18th, but because he's only allotted a certain number of days in the OR, he's got to take what he can get. So, at the very latest, that's when my surgery will be. If he can get something sooner, he will. 

He's cautiously optimistic that he can do this laparoscopically, but has told me, "don't be surprised if you wake up with an abdominal incision." If they can do it lap/vaginally, then I'll be in the hospital probably overnight and have about a 3 week recovery period. If they have to do a full abdominal surgery, I'm looking at probably 2-3 days in the hospital and at least six weeks recovering. Considering the last surgery was laparoscopic and it took me six weeks to fully recover when they told me 2, I'm not overly optimistic and plan on allowing myself most of the summer to get back up to speed. This means my 5k's will have to wait and that's fine. I'll get to them when I can.

In the meantime, I'm dealing with the third period I've had in less than six weeks. The cramps aren't the level 10 they were last week, but after three days at a level 4, I'd gladly take 8 hours at a 10 and be done with them. This is like Chinese water torture. The doctor prescribed me stronger pain pills, so I'll go pick those up tomorrow. I don't want to take them, but at least I've got them to take if things get worse.

I'm dealing with a lot of emotional issues regarding this surgery that I wasn't counting on. While I've been pushing for this procedure for years, it is a major surgery and there are always risks involved. I'm sure that my biggest issues revolve around the fact that I lost my mom at such a young age. Granted, that situation was much different than this is, but there are so many semantics that are the same and I'm scared. The hard part is hearing from everybody, "you'll be fine," and not being able to trust that completely. That's the great thing about anxiety - it trusts nobody. And by "great," I mean shitty. I haven't really stopped crying since Friday and at this point, I'm pretty much impossible to be around.

I'm also learning who I can lean on and who I can't as this surgery approaches. I'm discovering who is on the selfish side and who would give me their own uterus if I needed one. Here's the thing, I have a major problem asking for help. If it's offered, I'm slowly learning how to accept it, but I will almost never outright ask for it. What bothers me, though, is people who say "If you need anything, let me know" and then can't (or, more likely the case, won't) step up when they're asked. If you truly can't help, I understand. Not everyone is able to help and I respect that. But (and I'm really trying to choose my words carefully here because I'm so upset right now), if you've offered specific help and then you withdraw that offer when we ask you about it, then you shouldn't have offered to begin with. I'll leave the details out because at this point, I don't even want this person's help, but suffice it to say, my feelings were very hurt tonight by a member of my own family. Thankfully, I'm blessed with the most amazing friends on the planet who will, undoubtedly be there for me as I recover from this. 

That being said, I am withdrawing from a lot of people right now. Some of it is because I'm tired of having my feelings hurt. Some of it is because I just don't have the extra energy to deal with other people's drama. Some of it is because I don't want to bring other people down with the depression I'm dealing with. But mostly, it's because I absolutely cannot get sick right now. A sinus infection, the flu, even a cold could mean my surgery gets postponed until June. I just can't wait that long. The only reason I'm waiting until May 18th is because that's the best date they can give me at this point. I don't plan on going anywhere to visit friends and family until after my surgery. Hell, if I can get out of going to the grocery store, I'll do it if it means I don't get sick. I'll Skype and email and Tweet and FB as I feel up to it, but again, I make no promises that I'll be in a good mood. I'm trying to find silver linings on a daily basis, but I suck at this "fake-it-til-you-make-it" shit, so consider yourselves warned.

So there's this week's update. My gyno's nurse is supposed to call me tomorrow with information about the surgery as well as get me an appointment with a internal medicine doctor for a pre-surgical check-up. I'm sure my BP will be a concern of theirs, but I refuse to worry about it right now. I've got too much other stuff on my mind. As I know more, I'll update you here.

Thank you to those of you who have been concerned, have offered to help and have been praying for my health. I appreciate you more than you know. You're all invited to my Uterus Bon Voyage party. ;)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More stuff about my vajayjay (High Overshare Risk)


Instead of answering a hundred questions in a hundred different places, I figured it was probably best if I just put everything down here so we're on the same page. It'll be a medical history of sorts, so if you're not into listening about the graphic detail of my lady bits, you're free to go now.

Okay...who's still with me?


Most importantly, I do not have cancer. It seems like an important thing to announce, so there ya go.

Also of importance:
1. My blood pressure was only slightly high today (stress about all this is probably the culprit as it's been fine the last several weeks).
2. My gynecologist is quite supportive in taking the aggressive approach toward me overcoming the issues I've been dealing with for so many years.

That being said, aside from getting to wear pretty shoes, being a woman sucks big ones.

I'm sure most of you are aware of the surgery I had in February due to a tumor on my right ovary. It wasn't cancerous, but it was a big one and both the tumor and the ovary had to be removed. My doctor assured me that while there were small cysts on both ovaries, the likelihood of it happening to the other side was minute. He looked over everything while he was in there and I was given a clean bill of health. I spent the next six weeks recovering.

About a month later, I woke up to a bed full of blood. It scared the hell out of me. I had an endometrial ablasion five years ago that had eliminated my periods, so to wake up bleeding from my 'na was alarming to say the very least. The nurse I spoke with on the phone said it didn't sound life-threatening, but I should be seen by a doctor soon. The ER PA determined it was probably just a period but to keep an eye on things if the bleeding got worse or I had any pain. Within a couple days, the bleeding tapered off and what pain I had went away. Fast forward a couple of weeks, during what would have been my ovulation period and I had quite a bit of cramping. Fortunately, I had some prescription pain killers my doctor had given me after the surgery, so I took one every once in a while and muddled through.

Then yesterday came.

Like in February, I woke up with severe cramping. I spent the morning doubled over in pain and finally succumbed to the pain killers that I've been stubborn about taking. They didn't touch the pain. Not even dwindling it from a 10 to a 9. The pain persisted for almost eight hours despite the medication I tried. (and I tried it all.) Finally, late in the afternoon, I started bleeding and within ten minutes, the pain subsided enough that I was able to control it with medicine. And, like last time, the bleeding has tapered off to almost nothing. During the height of my pain, however, I decided that I was done with it.

I was scheduled for my annual exam in May, so I called my gyno and bumped the appt up to next week. The nurse called me back and reminded me that I had an appointment today for a follow-up from my last ER visit. Thank God!

My main goal in today's appointment was to discuss the possibility of a hysterectomy.

This is where I tell you to shut up. Not you....YOU. You with the judgments and the suggestions and the alternatives and the stories about how hormonal I'll get and how this'll send me into menopause and how I'm too young for that and...and....just stop.

In my defense (and, by the way, this is the only time I'll defend this choice to anyone, so make sure you listen), I've been dealing with defunct reproductive organs for fifteen years (twenty, if you count my miscarriage in 1992). Heavy periods. Absent periods. Cramps. Irregularity. Clotting. Hemmoraging. You name it, I dealt with it. This was not a decision I came to lightly, however it is one that I've pushed for since my daughter was born in 1997. That's when my tubes were tied and my uterus was closed for business. I knew my mother's and my sister's histories with these issues and if I could possibly prevent them, I was totally prepared to do so. Nobody listened. Five years ago when I pushed for a hysterectomy, nobody listened. Instead, I was given birth control and told to try that for a few months. It didn't work. The only compromise my gynecologist (at the time...I see a new one now) was willing to give me was an endometrial ablasion. I took it. And for five years, it did was it was supposed to do. But since that five year mark passed last fall, I've had nothing but pain and problems. Painful periods, mid-month cramping and spotting, pain and spotting after sex and, as I found out in February, ovarian cysts. This hasn't been some flighty "Oh, I think I'll have them remove my uterus today" decision. I've thought about it for most of my adult life. So, thank you for your concern, but I'm asking you to keep it to yourself at this point. You should all know by now how I approach my health, so to purposefully make a choice that makes me reliant on traditional medical treatment should tell you how serious I've taken this decision.'s appointment.

It was supposed to have been a follow-up, but they decided to get next week's exam out of the way today. When I explained the problems I've been having since my surgery, the doctor agreed that having a hysterectomy isn't out of the question.  After the exam (one he couldn't even complete because I was in so much pain with the poking and prodding), he decided that it was probably not a bad idea to pull out the plumbing. He did send me for an ultrasound, however, so "we know what we're dealing with and aren't going in blind like last time." He said when he got the results from everything back, he'd give me a call and we could discuss our options and how we're going to approach this (referring to the type of surgery it'll be, etc), which should be by Friday.

The ultrasound tech found quite a bit of junk. First off, she identified a fibroid on my uterine wall. She said it wasn't more than a few centimeters and probably wasn't causing the problems I've been having, but it was something to keep an eye on. She mentioned that because of the ablasion the lining did look a little rough. And, much to my surprise, she discovered a cyst on my left ovary that has grown fairly rapidly since my surgery in February when I was assured it was nothing. 

I'm angry.

I'm so angry right now. (You may want to look away if profanity offends you.)

I'm so pissed that my doctors didn't listen to me in '97. I'm pissed that they didn't listen to me in 2006. I'm pissed that they could've removed all this shit back in February. But not one person, with their medical fucking degrees, said "Oh. You know, she might know her body better than we do. I mean, we've got a Chilton's manual for how her engine is supposed to run, but she is the person who drives this car every day and probably knows what's going on." NOBODY for ONE fucking second stopped and said "This girl, who seems to know quite a bit about her body and the medical terms we've thrown at her over the years, do you think she might actually know something here?" NOBODY!!!

I'm also scared.

Not for myself and going under the knife again (that's a panic alllll its own - and not likely one I'll be sharing so publicly). I'm scared for what this news could mean for my daughter. How much of this mess is genetic? My mother's not even alive to ask what she had wrong that sent her for a hysterectomy at 36. Will this affect my baby girl? Will the path that my mother and I both have taken mean she's destined to take these same steps twenty years from now? I shudder at the thought.

I consider myself a pretty optimistic person when it comes to situations like these, so to feel these emotions so strongly right now is unfamiliar to me. I usually grab the bull by the horns and dare it to jerk away. Hell, usually I'm the bull. But having just come off this other surgery less than four months ago and heading into one that I'm sure will take twice as long to recover from has me feeling pretty hopeless. I hate that feeling.

But I plug on. And I'll get through it. I always do. I'm just not sure where the strength is gonna come from right now. My tank is pretty empty.

Although, if I have to look at the bright side, at least I won't have to start training for that 5k any time soon. :\