Day 28: #BlogLikeCrazy – Two Abs and A Few Fibroids (Part 1)
I procrastinated greatly with writing today’s #BlogLikeCrazy post.
As I’ve pondered on the topic, I realized I had no clue where I wanted to start.
There is a lot to unpack with this topic.
Not to mention, I am not where I imagined I’d be on this journey and writing this blog makes that a reality.
It took an extremely long time for me to become comfortable discussing and disclosing that I had fibroids.
I began drafting a blog entitled, “Surgery Was Easy,” on November 20, 2019.
My intent was to document my journey with fibroids as I pursued a holistic medicine approach.
That DID NOT happen so, I’ll start from the very beginning.
I am going to walk you through a very personal and specific story that has completely changed and challenged the trajectory of my health and my life.
So, buckle up and sit tight because this may be a longer one.
On June 25, 2019, during my annual lady visit, I was informed, by my (new) gynecologist at the time, that I possibly had uterine fibroid tumors.
She cautioned me of their common but noncancerous existence while ensuring me that I had nothing to worry about considering the fibroids were causing no health issues.
(It’s crazy how we can become so comfortable with things that do not present an immediate danger, but I’ll come back to that later.)
Her attention was drawn in after discovering my uterus was sitting a bit higher than what it was supposed to.
Prior to this visit, I noticed a bulge developing in my stomach, but I accounted it to my questionable eating habits and love for sweets.
In humor, I often referenced the bulge as my “food baby”.
But turns out, the developing bulge, that also had a few questioning whether or not I was pregnant, actually wasn’t associated with my poor eating habits at all.
After two unexpected ultrasounds, during my annual visit, I received confirmation of the existence of several fibroids within my uterus.
I was stunned.
At the time, I had no idea what fibroids were and because of my lack of knowledge, I had no idea what questions to ask to receive more information.
I remember feeling scared, rushed, and ill-informed after the diagnosis was received.
So much so, that I texted someone whom I knew had their own experience with uterine fibroid tumors.
After a quick conversation with her, I gained more insight on what additional information I needed to know.
So, I called the doctor’s office the next day asking for more information.
I struggled with the thought of my doctor wanting to confirm that the fibroids existed, but after doing so, she provided NO additional education and I needed to know more.
I remember calling back to receive more information like it was yesterday.
My initial question was simple, “How many fibroids do I have?”
She took a deep breath and said to me, “Sweetie, your uterus is full of them, but you have four that are pretty large”.
My heart dropped.
I asked myself, how could something so “out of place”, blend in with my body for so long with no issues.
I’m sure you’re reading this and probably wondering what uterine fibroids are.
So, I’ll pump the breaks for a bit to provide a little background.
Uterine fibroids are growths that occur within the uterus and often appear during childbearing years.
Fibroids are not associated with cancer and almost never develop into cancer.
The tumors range in size and can distort and enlarge the uterus.
Unfortunately, they are often undetectable by the human eye and are discovered during pelvic exams or prenatal ultrasounds.
The symptoms of fibroids can include pelvic pressure or pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, extended periods, frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, leg pains, and backaches.
The causes of uterine fibroids are unknown; however, they are found most commonly in African American Women.
Risk factors include race, heredity, diet, alcohol consumption, vitamin D deficiency, and early menstruation.
It is said that fibroids are not dangerous however, they can lead to complications such as anemia, infertility, and pregnancy loss.
Which can be dangerous if you ask me.
There is little scientific research or evidence on how to prevent them, but “unofficial” studies have shown that making healthy lifestyle choices can help decrease the risks of fibroids.
Hence, my attempt at a holistic approach.
I’m sure you can imagine how reading and researching fibroids sent me down an emotional spiral.
I remember my one and only concern being whether this would affect my ability to become a mother.
The thought of something like this preventing that was terrifying.
Which is made the subject as a whole very difficult to discuss and even more difficult to process.
The more I researched, the more I realized that there was very little I could do.
I had two options, change my entire way of life, or have surgery.
For a while, I decided on the unlisted option of doing nothing.
It was a lot to process.
I knew surgery was not something I wanted to run to.
Which is why I began the blog in November of 2019, “Surgery was easy”, because I thought it was.
I was wrong.
Neither option was an easy one.
In processing what my next move would be, I also replayed a conversation with my previous gynecologist.
The gynecologist whom I had seen for at least 10 years, who had retired earlier in the year.
I remember having to get an MRI with contrast for another doctor I was seeing at the time.
When reviewing my MRI, the doctor asked me if I had given birth.
I said no, he then informed me of my enlarged uterus and stated that I may want to bring that to the attention of my gynecologist.
Later, I did.
My gynecologist was very dismissive and at the time, I didn’t think anything of it.
I wasn’t sure where to go from there, and I was young, so I let it be.
After all my research, my recollection of my previous doctor dismissing my concerns of an enlarged uterus sent me into an emotional rage.
I had seen this man for an extended period, how could he have not known those fibroids were there?
I questioned what else he may have missed; I questioned his ability to provide quality care.
I was angry.
The doctor whom I had entrusted years of my health said nothing and the new one decided the best option was to do nothing.
I was angry.
Although I never spiraled “outloud”, I was hurt to come to the realization that something was going on with my body and I was ignored by someone who taken an oath to do no harm.
I had so many questions, so many feelings, so many emotions.
For a while, every time I thought the situation of events, I cried.
I questioned God. I cried to God. I prayed for a miracle.
I didn’t want surgery and holistic medicine was much harder than what I thought.
So many emotions, so many feelings, so many questions.
This is only the beginning of this story.
There’s more to come and I can only hope you’ll stick around for the ride as we wind down on #BlogLikeCrazy.
Until Next Time, #KeyInspires.