So for the last 5 years I have been living with uterine fibroids. My good friend who is a doctor was not surprised and wrote it off as being very common she said: men get prostate cancer, women get fibroids and that's the way the world works.
So I kept at it, and kept doing what I could do.
In 2009 when I was first diagnosed I had no health insurance so Chicago Women's Health (best clinic ever), checked my blood work and found that I was anemic. If my levels were any lower they would have sent me to the hospital for an IV. My uterus was the size of a 3 month pregnancy. They suggested birth control and iron supplements. I started with the iron supplements but resisted the birth control for months until I realized that herbs and special yoga poses were not enough to alleviate the pain. I started the birth control pills several months later and in about 6 months things were moderately normal.
In 2010 I arrived to Carbondale to finish up my degree at SIU. I did about 20 minutes of yoga on a Saturday morning and then about 15 minutes of hooping..then I hit the floor. I was over come by an incredible amount of pain that paralyzed me.
I staggered back to my car and suffered for about 10 hours after that self medicating at home however I could.
I could have gone to the ER, I probably should have, but after years of no health insurance the fear of a hospital bill (even with the student insurance I was forced to purchase at the time) was too frightening to face. I did go to the doctor and after finally getting my first ultrasound they found a large ovarian cyst. The doctors assumed that I ruptured it and it would heal on its own in about 6 weeks, the same amount of time that a surgery would take to heal. They offered surgery and of course I said: no.
They were shocked that I had developed this large cyst after already being on birth control for 9 months..I was told: "this shouldn't happen". But it did and what was I to do, but slow down all of my activity.
Those of you that have known me for a long time KNOW what an active person I am and yes...these issues have been holding me back for the last 5 years.
During the rest of my time at SIU, I had an ultrasound once a year and agreed to go on a more aggressive type of birth control: Seasonale. It's a pill that you take for 3 months straight and then get your period, so you technically get 4 periods a year.
I didn't like the idea of altering my hormones that intensely at first, but my periods were soooo debilitating.
I missed work, I could barely function and needed at least 1,600mg of ibuprofen to function.
In 2011 my good friend Kelly E.F. recommended a good doctor and this doctor suspected highly that I also have endometriosis, it does run in my family (mother's side).
She offered me surgery in order to diagnose endometriosis and of course again, I said NO.
They kept finding the other smaller fibroids too over the years, one was big, but not big enough for them to worry.
So I kept going doing what I could and 2012 was probably one of the better years although I was never 100%.
In 2013 I finished school and moved back home to Las Vegas to be with my family, work, figure out what was next etc. My condition has been worsening slowly since last Fall. It is such that I can no longer hoop or take multiple yoga classes in one day. The pain is so great that I can honestly say when the Affordable Healthcare Act went into effect I signed up ASAP. I have been without health insurance since May 2013.
I have had to pleasure to connect with a great clinic here in Las Vegas that specializes in minimally invasive surgery. I met the doctor through my mom and have had a chance to get to know her. After one of my mom's visits, I pulled her aside and shared what I was going through, when she told me that they would accept Obamacare or whatever insurance I had, I was ecstatic!!
On my first visit this new doctor was (is) quite confident that I have endometriosis, I sound like a text book case she said.
So another ultrasound was ordered.
I got the results just before my birthday and I have had a hard time wrapping my head around it all.
Yes, the possibility of endometriosis is still here and they would like to operate to see and clean up excess scar tissue etc.
They discovered 4 small fibroids and one extremely large one. To give you an idea the size of the uterus is 7cm. They've detected a fibroid tumor that is 4.2 cm and is pedunculated. I had to look up the word, it means it has developed a stalk or stem and is hanging off of the left side of my uterus, the left side is the side that hurts the most.
So yea, that's my story..at a time when my good friends are having babies grow inside them, my body is growing tumors...aarrggghh. lol...I have to laugh or I'll cry.
So surgery is now unavoidable.
Also worth adding that with these pedunculated tumors the tumor can sometimes twist and cut off its own blood supply. When that happens it starts to die, my doctor suspects that this is happening inside me because of the pain.
I'm back to needing about 1600mg of Ibuprofen a day and self medication with herbs that are far more gentle on my stomach. I have also been given hydrocodone and acetaminophen, but sadly it's not really working. Either that or I'm building a tolerance, so I stopped using those for now so that I DON'T build a tolerance and the stuff can actually work when surgery time comes.
I know that in my circles of friends many of us are holistic types that will do anything to avoid Western medicine and surgery etc., so before anyone tries to suggest I don't get this surgery please try to understand that a life of pain is not a good life to live.
I can only do so much activity before I have to lay down or sit. I have been functioning at about 30-40% of my normal self.
I can't run, hoop or do much of any activity that is strenuous. Basically all the things I love.
THE GOOD NEWS: I now have great healthcare, thank you Obama. And I'm scheduled for surgery May 22.
I have decided to have all 5 tumors removed and of course whatever else they find when they go in. I've never had surgery.
I'm scared, but I'm ready to live my life again.
I'm ready to hoop, I'm ready rock, I'm ready to run again.
I've been really scared to go public about this but, I'm human...and there you have it.
They said I shouldn't teach yoga for 6 weeks after, I don't know if I can hold out that long...we'll see.
Seasoned Yogini, Massage Therapist, Dancer, Lover and Animals, the divine feminine and so much more!! This blog contains my musings, stories of challenges, inspiration and the other things that make me human in this realm. NAMASTE