My first post in a while will be long, so it may have to be done in two parts. I am waiting on three guest writers who are not quite ready so I figure I may as well share my fibroids story. First off, what are fibroids? I am sure many people know, but I didn’t…and I had them.
Fibroid tumors are composed of renegade muscle cells that come together to form a fibrous “knot” or “mass” within the uterus.
Fibroids are tumors, which can be a very terrifying word, but fibroids are benign tumors and are usually never life threatening. 70% of women will have these growths during their reproductive years and black women seem to be more susceptible. They can range from an annoyance in a woman’s life to downright painful and life altering in every negative way possible. Some women experience very heavy periods, bloating or appearing pregnant, painful cramps during periods and yes, even depression and lethargy. Some women even start to have panic attacks just thinking about their cycle and what it they will have to go through each month. Fibroids can cause infertility. This can be devastating for a woman trying to start a family. Personally, I experienced a number of symptoms from this alien like invasion in my body. I had the excruciating cramps where I could not even get out of bed and go to work. It felt as though someone was punching or stabbing me in my stomach. I looked pregnant as my belly would balloon out during my cycle and didn’t really go away after my cycle. I had to stop wearing jeans because I could not do up the buttons. I also had to pee A LOT! It turns out the biggest fibroid was putting pressure on my bladder. I had nerve pain in my lower back that shot down into my leg and into the second toe on the right foot. I wrote a post about my “toe woe” at one time, writing about how difficult planking was because of the pain. Little did I know what the cause was back then.
I first discovered these growths back in March 2017. I had always noticed my belly getting bigger, but I just resigned to life as a middle-aged woman. I would simply have to avoid cake more often than not, and hit more ab exercises in the gym. That was life and a part of getting older, wasn’t it? A middle-aged spread. We can’t have the flat stomach of a 25-year-old forever. (unless you’re Elle MacPherson.) As for my back pain? I was stretching religiously every morning which did alleviate the pain a bit. I thought painful periods was just something I would have to go through until menopause. Anyway, back in March I was on vacation in Pittsburg with Andy and his church band. I was lying in the hotel bed and felt my lower abdomen. I immediately felt lumps. Two lumps for that matter. One about the size of a plum right under my belly button; the other the size of a grape on the right side (the exact side where I was experiencing nerve pain.) Naturally, I was alarmed and asked Andy to feel the area. Sure enough, he felt it too. Large lumps that felt as though they were swimming in my lower abs above my pelvic region. I tried not to worry on vacation, and booked an appointment to see my family doctor as soon as we got back to Toronto. I also stayed away from doctor google. (very important for my peace of mind.)
When my blood and urine work came back clean from my doctor, he sent me to have a very thorough ultrasound of my abdomen, pelvis, uterus and lower back. The results were conclusive. Fibroids. And they were large and rapidly growing. Okay, I have a diagnosis, but now what? Tomorrow I go over my treatment options with the best OB/GYN in the biz! Well, he was my life saver anyway.