Ok...so yes, I am still in bed. This would be a great time to start a book or go through my magazine stack, but of course it's so easy to instead be online. While I'm at it, I feel compelled to talk a bit about health and share my recent experience. Those who've been around know I don't share a ton of personal details, but our health is supremely important so I must.
You know I'm always talking about my stomach, my stomach, my stomach. It felt bloated a lot of the time, not just during my menstrual period. I just figured it was a part of getting older. Of course I was so happy when I discovered how well drinking ACV worked for me. In the past few months I haven't been drinking it as regularly and you may have recently noticed that I looked like I'd gained weight again. Well, in addition to the bloating I have just felt like something wasn't 100% right. I didn't have any overt symptoms, but I've felt like this for a year. I thought it was something womanly related, so I looked for a new OBGYN. That's a long story, but basically I felt like the one I'd had for a few years was pressuring me to have kids. As in...she read me the riot act about how she didn't want me crying across from her desk if I waited too long to have them. Yikes, right? I found someone else to go to, but he sucked. I'm not even going to repeat that story.
I ended up finding yet another doc and her office has been phenomenal. I had all of the regular, yearly tests earlier in the year and still didn't feel 100% in my body. I could not explain it with any specific symptoms so I thought these feelings of things not being quite right must be symptoms of getting older. I tried some accupuncture for overall health/well being and stopped going to *that* lady because she kept telling me how tired I was (no s*** sherlock). And I also felt she was angry in her life, if that makes sense, and I just didn't want to be around that subconscious energy. Well, after not finding any overt symptoms of anything wrong and no holistic solutions to my feeling of imbalance, I started having pregnancy symptoms each month -- frequent urination and some spotting. I also had some abdominal pain, which I thought was Mittelschmerz. FINALLY I had these symptoms around a time that I could not possibly be pregnant. And I had enough abdominal pain to ask for an appt at the gyn office. I was happy. Something concrete to take to the doctor.
I was sent for an ultrasound and told I had a fibroid. A pretty big one. The nurse practitioner told me don't worry, it wasn't cancer. Cancer? That had never, ever crossed my mind. And I wasn't upset by the fibroid news. I was so happy!!! I *knew* something was off and was so happy to know what it was. In short, I had it removed on Thursday. What was amazing was to learn about all of the women in my life (over 5 of 'em) that have had fibroids removed. My aunt had to stay in the hospital for almost a week after her operation. Another friend stayed in for a few days. And I think yet another friend stayed in for a couple of days. I've been friends with her for over 20 years and didn't know she'd had the surgery a couple years ago. Lucky for me, my OBGYN has perfected the surgery and I didn't have to stay in the hospital. I was able to go home after a 4-hour recovery.
I gotta, say G Money (the hubs) & I feel like she downplayed everything just a bit during the pre-op appt compared to how the actual surgery day was. We thought I'd have more mobility & less pain. And we thought the recovery was 1 hour before going home, not 4. But those are small things. I'm guessing the doc didn't want me to overprepare for this or have a negative mindset. I *am* happy that I chose to make a lot of breakfast & dinner burritos and do some other things I almost passed on because I was running out of time. G Money has really stepped up with putting meals together. And a friend brought over some food today, which was really nice. Part of my lesson in this, I believe, is for me to accept help from others. With a graceful gratitude as opposed to 'you didn't have to do that...' I just give thanks.
Other things I've learned are -- to share my experience with others. I cannot believe how many women in my life that have had this, but I didn't know about it. I don't know if they just kept it to themselves or I just didn't hear the information clearly when they shared it. I am pretty sure they just didn't tell me. I'm not saying we should be standing in the grocery line sharing our latest health experiences, but discussion should be more free, imo -- esp about womanly things. ;-). I also was reminded, for the umpteenth time, to trust my instincts. I *knew* something was off in my body. I didn't go looking for symptoms because I didn't want to freak myself out. I just paid attention to what my body was doing and I shared it with my husband so he could remind me if I forgot things I'd mentioned. He's got a good memory. I wrote some things down...the spotting & what not, but it still never added up to anything until I had the strong abdominal pain. What I say to you is don't slough anything off. Trust your feelings. I didn't feel 100% taken care of by the doctors I had, so I'm glad I didn't settle and was led to the right one.
If you're having issues you can't quite box or put your finger on, you don't have to go looking for symptoms on the web if you don't want, esp if it will make you paranoid. That was my personal concern. However, consider opening up dialogue w/someone in your life as a good first step. I can't think of anything that I came across that says to be on the lookout for fibroids. I imagine I passed some of this information in magazines but never thought anything of it. I had one OBGYN from awhile ago do a yearly exam on me and say "no...you don't have any fibroids." I didn't ask her to check & see if I had any. I had no idea that she was probably/basically guessing. She never had me go for a sonogram, so one could have actually been forming from that time. I just trusted that she -- as the doc -- knew what she was talking about. If I had been engaged in conversations from time to time w/my friends about these things, I might have discovered mine sooner. I do believe the timing for this was perfect for what's going on in my life so I'm not upset that I have probably had them for awhile. I'm merely suggesting that yes, doctors are powerful, but our health begins at home. And maintenance includes having conversations about the topic.
BTW, Mindy from Mindy Loves to Garden just shared her spinal surgery experience. Yay, Mindy! So glad you're better than new. ;-)
That's it for now. The next cycle of Vic is kicking in. I'm sure there's something else missing/I wanted to say/have learned, but that's it for now. Mainly, if you have some health tips or an experience you want to share, please chime in. Esp if you think it can help others.
5/15/10 - ETA Links - I am a believer of combining Western medicine, alternative therapies and my intuition. I don't think any one source has the solution and it was a combination of things that worked for me. Myomectomy was right for me because of the desire to have children. I also feel that changing my diet and lowering my stress helped quite a bit. But hey, I still had my Vicodin days until the fibroid was removed.
* Baby Center - Lots of personal experience shared in the question threads. Very helpful to read if you have fibroids and want to preserve your fertility. Also, helpful if you have fibroids and are pregnant. Search fibroids on the site.
* Easy Home Remedy - Suggested herbal remedies for fibroids.
* Fibroids: Is Food a Factor? - Dr. Weil answers.
* Heal your fibroids naturally - I'm a fan of Western, Eastern and holistic medicine. The ideas in this article are holistic and spiritually oriented.
* Help For Women With Fibroids - Contains some suggested, natural remedies & other info.
* Med Help - An online community where you can ask questions and read discussion. Type fibroids in the search key and a list of results will pop up.
* Uterine Fibroids - A personal case history. Easy to read.
* Uterine Fibroids - Discusses hormones & fibroids, the liver & fibroids, and more.
* Uterine Fibroids - Explains the 4 types of uterine fibroids: subserosal, intramural, submucoal, penduculated.
* What Are Fibroids? - A good, basic intro to fibroids, in plain English, from the University of Virginia Health System.