Day 29: #BlogLikeCrazy – Two Abs and A Few Fibroids (Part 2)
My fellow readers and friends informed me that I left you guys with a bit of a cliff hanger on Part 1 of Two Abs and a Few Fibroids.
While I do apologize for leaving you hanging, it was absolutely my intent to leave you wanting more.
* Inserts Smiley Face *
I would be less of a Writer if I spilled all the deets at once.
And before we jump back in, I would just like to say thank you all for your kind words and support. It truly means the world to me.
As I’ve written more and more, especially through #BlogLikeCrazy, a little more of me is spilled onto the pages with each post.
It is my prayer that these words and stories are not just a part of your memory but a reason for you to act.
Black Women are ignored, mistreated, undervalued, and too often unheard, especially in the world of healthcare.
We must fight 10x times harder in all that we do and honestly, I’m tired.
As I continue to tell my story today, I am reminded of how we must come together, MORE.
Black Women suffer disproportionally from fibroids, infant and maternal mortality.
We have aunts, sisters, cousins, and friends, who’ve struggled with infertility and complications in getting pregnant with little to no information as to why.
None of this will stop or change if we do not begin to speak up and talk to one another about our struggles.
We must be more intentional about building a supportive community for one another.
I’m no sacrificial lamb, but I will use my gifts and influence to tell my story and my journey as God sees fit.
I understand that this journey, this story, this life, is BIGGER THAN ME.
As I fight pasts my fears and discomfort, I pray you continue to hear my heart.
Okay so, where did I leave off?
I received my fibroid diagnosis in June, I closed on my home in July, I went through a temporary friendship break-up in early October, and I celebrated my 30th birthday in November.
The last 6 months of 2019 were a world wind of highs and lows.
So, the processing of my diagnosis in ALL that chaos was just an added blow.
As I celebrated my 30th birthday, I experienced of the heaviest cycles I had ever seen before in my life.
I was also in an unusual amount of pain and popped several ibuprofens in between tequila shots.
As you can see, I didn’t die, so we will skip over my temporary lapse in judgement.
Upon my return from my 30th birthday celebration, I decided I’d reach back out to my doctor at the time.
Because of the amount of pain, I experienced and was still experiencing, I wanted to have a more serious conversation about my diagnosis and any recommendations on next steps.
So, I called to schedule an appointment and to my unpleasant surprise, I was denied.
It turns out, I had a past due bill of $137.
The doctor refused to schedule an appointment until the bill was PAID IN FULL.
Honestly, with everything else going on, I completely forgot about the bill but that didn’t matter.
The bill was too “past due” for payment plans, despite being a long-time patient of the clinic (over 10 years), and never having any issues before.
I was extremely upset that my health was only as valuable as the $137 unpaid medical bill for a procedure I wasn’t expecting.
I called my mom in frustration and began the hunt of finding a new doctor and other alternatives.
In case you’re wondering, I never paid that bill, and it never went to collections.
I’ll let that sink in.
In December of 2019, on some random day, I remember crying in my director’s office about my situation.
She was one of few Black women in my office so our relationship and conversations were far beyond “just work”, despite her being my boss.
She recommended a holistic doctor who she believed could help.
About a week or so later, I met with the holistic doctor and had a very long and extensive conversation about the causes of inflammation in the body.
As you can probably imagine, most of the inflammation we experience within the body is in direct correlation to the food we eat.
The hormones in chicken and beef, all things inflammatory as it pertains to dairy, the cloggy horror stories of pork, the deadly fried foods, and sweets…
It’s very difficult to deny that most of the immediate products we have access to are no good for us.
So ultimately, the plan that the holistic doctor recommended involved herbal supplements, lots of juicing, lots of fruit and vegetables, and NO MEAT.
Now, if you KNOW ME, KNOW ME, then you know I LOVE CHEESE, ALL things sugary, and CHICK-FIL-A.
But I convinced myself that I would give the program my best efforts because I KNEW I didn’t want surgery.
After all, “Surgery was Easy”, right?
Diet + Exercise were key players to my healing and so I began that journey.
Many wondered where my consistency in the gym spouted from, and this is it.
I remember finding myself highly annoyed every time someone asked, “what are your goals?” or “why are you working out?” as if the desire couldn’t just be a healthier lifestyle.
In my early gym days, the health and wellness of my body was literally all that mattered to me.
With the help of a friend, I started to go to the gym regularly. It was the easiest part of this entire process.
The diet on the other hand…
A HUGE uphill battle that I was not mentally ready to climb.
For two weeks, I began to wean myself off meat and slowly started juicing and consuming natural herbs to help heal my body.
The juicing was time consuming, expensive, and tasted TERRIBLE especially once the herbs were added.
I spent most of December trying to figure out how in the hell I was going to make this work because the program was about 90 days and 14 days in, I had so many questions on what in the world I was thinking.
After failing to transition into the vegan life, I went back to doing nothing for a time.
I continued my search for a new gynecologist and eventually set off to Birmingham to speak to a “specialist”.
I failed to do all the necessary homework before my visit. The “specialist” was a surgeon, and he was hyper focused on performing a myomectomy.
Considering my distrust for white male doctors, due to my previous experience, after my visit, it was an automatic no for me.
Upon learning more about the myomectomy, I was TERRIFIED.
The surgery was a major procedure with a six-week recovery time AND forced a C-Section in the event of pregnancy due to the surgery incision from the myomectomy.
Completely uneased about that process, the JOURNEY CONTINUED.
Later in 2020, I found a new gyno, one who was a Black woman who also performed the myomectomy procedure.
Although surgery was not on my mind, it was nice to have someone who looked like me as an option.
I continued to watch and wait.
When it was time for my annual lady visit, we scheduled an ultrasound to check the size of the fibroids.
I don’t know how, but I DO KNOW, the good Lord began to work even the smallest miracle on my behalf.
Because in a year’s time, one of the larger fibroids had begun to shrink.
I decided to get a second opinion on the myomectomy from the doctor who looked LIKE ME.
After our conversation, I still was uneasy about the procedure but moved forward to schedule the surgery.
In January of 2021, the doctor’s office called to schedule my pre-op appointment, and instead I cancelled my surgery.
I just wasn’t quite at peace with the decision which meant, it wasn’t right.
So, I continued to watch, wait, workout, and do nothing.
At this point, I had become super consistent in the gym, I cut a few things from my diet, I randomly yoni steamed, and began to drink more water, it wasn’t perfect, but it was progression.
Fast-forward to 2022, I noticed my body starting to change again. (Kiki being outside had consequences…)
The eating habits and the alcohol consumption did me no favors.
We’re back at my annual lady visit time and after performing my exam my doctor seemed concerned and we scheduled another ultrasound.
It had been two years since my fibroids were checked.
I knew my body was changing again, in the wrong direction, and had already been two steps ahead.
Later that week, I took another trip to Birmingham to discuss a noninvasive procedure to remove my uterine fibroids.
After bloodwork, a pelvic exam, ultrasounds, and a very detailed conversation with ANOTHER doctor who LOOKED LIKE ME, I finally felt at ease.
It had taken three years, but I finally found a doctor who took the time to HEAR ME.
Nothing about our conversation felt rushed, she presented me with several options, which included two noninvasive outpatient procedures.
And, for the very first time in my journey, I felt like the thought of surgery wasn’t so daunting.
I was still very much scared, but I felt more informed to make the best decision that I needed to make for my health.
Unfortunately, my uterus has gotten bigger, again. With the larger fibroid measuring at nine centimeters.
Although I was more at ease, it still took a month of praying and contemplating on what my next move would be.
On my birthday, I knew it was time to make that call.
I informed my family and friends of my decision to move forward with a Laparoscopic Myomectomy.
I am still nervous, but my heart is at peace.
My journey of two abs and a few fibroids is not over, but until surgery, this is where it ends for now.
Whether you are a man or a woman reading this post, please use this as a gentle reminder to mind your business.
The assumptions I’ve experienced due to the appearance of my stomach, and the questioning from those wanting explanations on why I’m working out, are the most frustrating parts of this.
So, hear me when I say, MIND YOUR BUSINESS. Your nosiness is offensive!
Until Next Time, #KeyInspires.