When the nurse called me the message she left had such an urgent tone it had me worried. I didn’t know what she had to tell me. I’d been working on getting all my proper screenings done for over a month so I wasn’t even sure what results she was referring to in her message. I called her back. She takes this big inhale and I’m thinking, ‘Oh shit! Whose gonna take care of my kid!?’ Then she exhales and says, “Your results came back. You have an enlarged uterus due to fibroid tumors.”
I think I completely threw her off guard when I laughed out loud. I said, “I thought I was dying and all you were calling to tell me is I got fibroids!” She laughed with me, “Had you and the doctor discussed this before?” To which I explained, “Hon, we been chasing these suckers for over a decade now! So from this point forward I’ll just tell people I ain’t fat I got fibroids!”
She laughed and we disconnected the call. I really thought something major was wrong with me. I wish she hadn’t left such a closed lip message urging me to call the office immediately. I would have at least gone to lunch before placing the return call.
See…like I told her fibroids aren’t a new diagnosis for me. I’ve had them the entirety of my adult life. Fibroids run so frequently in my family I can count on one hand the number of women on both sides who DONT have them and not use all my fingers.
When I was first diagnosed in my 20’s I thought it was an ending. I had the worst cramps imaginable. They would require bed rest for days. And I don’t even want to talk about the menses (mostly cause it’s gross and I’m eating).
I tried all these natural remedies to address the cramping. I took homeopathic treatments. Then I went on a vegetarian micro-biotic diet. I also used to do a caster oil treatment that required a hot water bottle, this stinky salve, and ace bandage. Then I read about transcendental mediation and prescriptive breathing. So I tried that too.
The breathing exercises helped with the cramping. In truth, it helped but I was still bed ridden for a day. I don’t know that the diet helped with anything other than making me irritated because a girl needs her protein.
I also walked and did abdominal workouts. Strengthening my core was key. I found that if I had a regular exercise regime my menses cycle was reduced and severe cramping lasted only a morning instead of two days.
Then in my 30’s I wanted to do more aggressive treatment because…babies. Not that there was any indication that the fibroids would prevent or inhibit a pregnancy. I had so many medical procedures, if Blue Care gave out frequent flyer miles I would have gone to Istanbul! But after multiple ‘non invasive’ treatments like HSG (Hysterosalpingogram), I was ready to just be done with the roids!
My doctor and I looked at all the options. I researched Uterine Fibroids Emmibolization (UFE). But I just didn’t like it as an option for me. I’d known a woman who had had UFE and she was completely content. She said it was an outpatient procedure for her and that she felt no discomfort but had immediate relief from her fibroid troubles. I just kept thinking…babies. So I x’ed that option.
Next choice was a hysterectomy. But…babies. So that wasn’t really a choice.
We also talked about a laparoscopy. I liked the idea of only having a slight incision near my belly button and thought if the fibroids could be sucked out via a slight tube, cool. But because I usually over planned I signed the paperwork for a myomectomy. It was a more invasion procedure requiring an abdominal surgery to remove the fibroids. I thought I didn’t want my doc to go in laparoscopically, discover nothing could be done and then have me wait weeks before we proceeded with the myomectomy.
Turns out that was a good choice because when she went in she discovered fibroids about the size of a 20 week fetus. I was hit. There was no way to remove them without abdominal surgery. So a myomectomy it was.
My doc and I got real close during this process. We’re like war veterans. Seriously, when I go in for my annuals we hug and talk about war times before anything else gets done. Today we laugh about it but we spent a lot of hours with me balling my eyes out in her office. A lot of hours.
So why am I talking about fibroids today?
Cause it was a fat day. You know a day when nothing fit the way I wanted it to. I kept trying to camouflage my belly and nothing was working so I finally gave up. Then before I was about to smash my mirror to smithereens I remembered, “I’m not fat. I have fibroids!”
And then I ate dessert!