Let me preface this post by saying, it’s a long one. If you got the time, I got a story.
Continuing from my last post, I had uterine fibroids and these suckers seemed to love their new digs. Thriving and growing inside me, and inviting a few free loading friends to join them as they multiplied and partied up a storm in their new home each month. These were certainly unwelcome and I had to find an answer to get rid of them once and for all. In late Spring I had my first appointment with Dr. R, a reputable and experienced OB/GYN. I liked his office immediately. His staff was friendly and welcoming, and his office clean, yet comfortable. Dr. R was a young dude, but seemed mature beyond his years. He listened to all that ailed me, examined my stomach region and pelvis and did a pap just to rule everything out. He wanted to see me in three weeks.
Three weeks passed so swiftly and I recall the day clearly. It was early June and nice and sunny. My second visit with Dr. R. He was late getting to his practice due to a committee meeting at the hospital, and I remember twiddling my thumbs anxiously, moving from Women’s Health, People and Shape magazines aimlessly. Flipping through the pages, but not reading a word. The soft voice of Dr. R’s administrative assistant on the phone, Celine Dion on the radio and a pit in my stomach. I was feeling nervous.
Just then Dr. R raced through the door pass the waiting lounge. His young nurse came out with a chart, “Charlotte,” she smiled, ” come on in. Dr. R will be with you in just a minute. Take a seat.” She opened a door and out-stretched her hand to offer me a seat. I looked at all the charts on Dr. R’s wall. A variety of posters for ladies in various stages of their lives. The dangers of smoking and drinking while pregnant, birth control pills, menopause and hormones, a diagram of the female reproductive system and of course, staring me in the face, a poster about fibroids. Dr. R knocked and entered, stopping my train of thought as I read a pamphlet on estrogen treatments. I quickly stuffed the pamphlet in my purse for no apparent reason. After exchanging pleasantries, Dr. R apologized for being tardy and immediately got on his computer. “well Charlotte,” he smiled. “your pap came back negative. I’m pleased with that.” So was I. Believe me. So was I.
After asking me to lay back on his examining table and gently pressing on my lumpy stomach, Dr.R prescribed me a three-month course of medication call Fibristal. This medication was meant to shrink my fibroids (who I had nicknamed Max and Lina by this time. Lina was the big one near my bladder. Max was the itty bitty grape-sized one. Don’t ask. ) I remember leaving the office that day filled with hope. My pap was clear, and I was on a treatment plan. “Well Max and Lina,” I said as I popped my first dose of Fibristal that night, “y’all don’t gotta go home, but you got to get the hell outta here!” Dr. R wanted to see me again in October to see if the medication was working. I also had to get another ultra sound before then.
The summer came and went and Thanksgiving came in a dash. That Thursday before the long weekend, I was sitting in the same room with Dr. R. He explained that the fibroids had shrunk from my ultrasound results, at least by two centimeters. I could see and feel the Fibristal was working. My stomach began to go back to its natural state and the nerve pain lessened. I could also wear jeans again, although I kind of loved wearing all the tights. Dr. R was pleased with the results, but explained that when I stopped taking the medication it is likely they would grow again was what he could deduce from their initial size . They were smaller but they were still a good size. He brought up the option of a laparoscopic hysterectomy. From our previous discussions, Dr. R knew that I didn’t want children, so could this be a viable option for me? I have read the fibroids may shrink or disappear during menopause, but did I want to wait another five years or so?
I went home and discussed this option with Andy. He was very supportive and said that I should think about it to be free from pain at last, but the ultimate decision would be mine. Big decision. To uterus or not to uterus? That is indeed the question. I thought, why house these tumors, go through pain every month and keep my uterus if it truly had no purpose for me? I mean, I love kids. I work in a kindergarten program in a public school. I have nieces and nephews coming out my ears. I am always with kids and it’s amazing, but….Around my early to mid thirties I decided that I did not want bear paws, little voices wailing “Sam said I’m a poopy head” and snotty noses after the work day. So I decided, let’s go for it. Let’s get rid of this bane to my existence once and for all. I signed the paper work and made up my mind. Dr. R said my ovaries were in good health, so I could keep those and avoid me going into early menopause. Works for me. I will hold off on even more chin hair and night sweats as long as I can.
My surgery went extremely well and I’m feeling good 5 days post surgery. I no longer need pain meds, but I am just a bit sore. What I could not believe was that immediately after surgery I no longer had nerve pain on my right side anymore. As the nurse helped me hobble to the washroom to pee, I made note of the feeling in my back. NO PAIN! Because it was done through a laparoscopic process, which is a lot less invasive than the original method of a hysterectomy , I don’t have a huge incision and a lot less surgery pain. Thank you Dr. R and all the amazing staff at Ajax-Pickering for taking such great care of me on surgery day and easing my anxiety. Honestly, my stay was so pleasant and it was because of the care of the doctors and nurses. Dr. R, you gave me my life back and I know I will be in fine form after recovery doing all the activities I love to do. Middle age spread my arse! Sorry there are no photos in this post. I wasn’t really down with showing my groggy face in my blue hospital gown, my pre or post surgery stretcher or all the band aids on my stomach, but I do want to thank-you.
Thank you to Andy for accompanying to every single appointment and holding my hand through all of this. Thanks to my mom and all my family and friends for your well wishes, support and prayers. Even the connections I made via social media have been so supportive. Most of all, I thank my great Lord above for looking out for me like He always does. Thank-you to you. The people/person reading this. You have allowed me to share my journey.