Monday, February 25, 2008

Debs Medical Journal

Part I
My name is Deborah and I have uterine fibroids.

There I said it. Whew. That's a load off. I've been debating whether to say anything about it or just keep it to myself but then, I decided to blog about it so here goes.

This post is going to detail my issues with the female reproductive system. If you are in any way squeamish about this sort of things, I promise, you will NOT want to read this. You have been warned.

I have known that I have had uterine fibroids for a very long time. My first inkling that something was wrong was the Winter of 2002. I've always had heavy menstrual periods but this was decidedly abnormal. I went from the usual every hour or so tampon bit to tampons and pads. I couldn't keep up with the flow and eventually I moved to two tampons and a pad (I know, OMG, right?). But this seemed to keep things under relative control.

Until the day, I found myself bleeding and bleeding and bleeding and bleeding and no amount of tampons would stop it. I bled all over the toilet seat and the floor. I finally stuffed in two tampons a pad and stuffed giant wad of toilet paper between my legs on top of the pad so I could get back to work.

That's right. I did not immediately go to the doctor. I did not leave work. I went back to doing data entry as if nothing had happened. I cleaned up the bathroom and never said a word to anyone.

But I was frightened. Fortunately, this was the age of the internet. I Googled, this that and the other and found that other women were going through the same thing I was. The most certain bet seemed to be that I had uterine fibroids.

Looking back, I realize that diagnosing your health problems via Google is as smart as it is stupid. It's good way to get an idea of what might be wrong, but it's certainly should be only the beginning of what a person should do. But I took what I read online as gospel.

And then my periods stabilized to some degree. I'd have one month of a normal period and the next month would be a crazy bleeder. At the time I didn't know how my body worked this out, but now I think I do. From what I can feel (yes, I can now feel my fibroids), I'm pretty sure that one ovary has a monster of a uterine fibroid hanging over it. Ovaries take turns at ovulating each month. I think when I ovulate from the one without the fibroid, I have a (fairly) normal period. But when I ovulate from the one with the fibroid, my period, quite literally, would be a bloody mess.

And things went on like this for three years. One month good, one month bad. But the bad months started getting worse. At first my periods were of normal length with excessive bleeding. But then the bleeding started lasting longer. Like 2 weeks. Anyone who lives with me, knows that even in the best of times, my temper can be formidable. Me PMS-ing for two weeks a month made life with me unbearable.

I was also physically tired a lot. Fibroids cause pain and pressure, even when they're small. But they feed on blood and my body was giving them plenty. They only got larger and by the time I finally decided to see a doctor in June of 2004, my largest fibroid (I have more than one) was the size of the 4 month pregnancy.

Part II

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