What is an overweight, middle aged, mother to do when she gets that phone call that doesn’t surprise her? That medical phone call that confirms that something is not quite correct. The guilt of putting it off going to see the doctor until the pain just was too much to bear. I digress. Let me tell my tale of woe from the beginning.
Tuesday I went to my OB/GYN or for you squeamish males my “female” doctor. I have been experiencing heavy menstruation, or that time of the month for you men folk. Let me explain the bloody details further. I have had 4 children. My first was by cesarean section, this is an incision in the stomach or in my case it was what is referred to as a bikini cut and the baby is removed from the uterus/womb, my younger children were natural child births. I gained a significant amount of weight from my 125 pounds pre-pregnancy body to this almost 46 years old body. I am not a spry 22 year old. My body is Mature. My periods have never flowed heavy. I actually was average. I bore this burden as any other female. Hated the week of rampant hormones, emotional outbursts, outlandish cravings, and the feeling of water weight gain that I swore made me look like an obese hippo. So when my periods became a tad bit heavier I was not overly concerned. I went on with life like any mom. Taxing children to and from school, extracurricular activities, friends’ homes, picking up friends and chaperoning overnights and in my free time attending college. Fast forward several years. Pain in my lower back has become intense pain, especially during that time. I found the bloating a little more unbearable, worse than being a hippo. The pain in my lower back, which emanates from my right hip, intolerable. My vision had become blurry. I was always drinking something which of course had me in the bathroom more than usual. My first instinct in a new building was to locate the bathroom, every bathroom.
There were other little hints that I attributed to other ailments not understanding they were part of a bigger picture. Burning in my feet which because I had heel spurs was just something I had to live with. My vision was blurring, something I thought was age related. The hip pain, I have an ailment for that too. Arthritis. I have seen several doctors and it has been confirmed by all of them. So I am not crazy. Another pain that I was going to have to live with.
This is all acerbated by my experience growing up. I had no female influence that I felt comfortable to discuss this type of problem. Well, what was normal for a girl on her period.
I lived with one parent. A male parent. Now my father did the best he could do under the circumstances and I think he did better than a mom, but I am kind of biased about this. We had the talk of where babies come from and it wasn’t the sugar coated kind of talk. Which was not as bad or awkward as I recall. Plus I had sex education in school in the sixth grade. I had it again in health class as a sophomore, but this did not discuss what a normal period should be. It discussed the use of the uterus. The internal workings of this organ did not interest me much as a twelve year old nor at the age of fifteen. Having all these puzzle pieces meant nothing to me. These symptoms were masked in pain and tolerance. I soldiered through my warfare of heavy periods. Bloody pads and ruined clothing thinking this was my new normal. Until 2 weeks ago when the pain was horrendous. Unbearable does not even tout the extreme amount of pain I am in. I would rather go through child birth than endure this pain any longer. Hence my visit this past Tuesday to my doctor. Of course this was after an intense phone call with the nurse. And my please don’t blame me explanation.
My big picture turns out to be sugar levels and thyroid levels are off and fibroids in my uterus. Wait…Fibroids?!! What in the name of science are fibroids? According to Womenshealth.gov, (https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/uterine-fibroids.html) “Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus (womb).” Tumors!! Is that cancer? (I already know what you are thinking) So before I panicked I read a little more of the paragraph. “Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous).” Now that the big C word is out of the way I continued my research. Which according to the website is quite normal for a woman of my age to have fibroids in the uterus. Not only does it affect 20 to 80% of women in their 30s and 40s it is treatable from the minor case to the most severe. Medications to reduce the size of the fibroid to a hysterectomy. There are different types of fibroids and as many ways to treat them.
I have another doctor’s appointment on Monday for the treatment of my sugar and thyroid levels. I will handle each problem one step at a time. Once these levels are under control then I will see to the fibroids in my uterus. With any luck I will have a bon voyage party for my uterus. I will celebrate my uterus with a wake. I will expect bloody puns, distasteful jokes, and utterly poor taste with play on words. I no longer need this organ. It has served me well. I have children, who by their very nature drive me to insanity. I wouldn’t trade them for a million dollars. My uterus is like my appendix. A useless organ. I wonder if I could donate it?