A doctor’s visit the summer of 2014 had confirmed what my head and my body had already known but my heart was not ready to receive…The heavy periods, feeling tired and craving ice cubes… that I had fibroids.
Now if you are not familiar with what fibroids are, fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. As I am not a medical professional, this link includes a very informative fact sheet about what fibroids are http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/uterine-fibroids.html#a .
You see, this wasn’t my first time dealing with fibroids. I had previously had a myomectomy, fibroid removal surgery, in 2009. That surgery resulted in the removal of a fibroid the size of a grapefruit from my uterus.
This time around, after an ultrasound, it was discovered that I had 7 fibroids. Not wanting to rush, my doctor and I decided it would be best to control the bleeding and growth of the fibroids with birth control pills. However, this plan did not work. While on the pill I had breakthrough bleeding / spotting that lasted for 3 months. I was constantly told that my body was getting adjusted to the pill and that the bleeding would stop. But I finally had had enough. Enough of coming home daily falling asleep as soon as I got home, feeling uncomfortable, and being too drained to go out with friends . I needed to get my life back.
I returned to my OB/GYN to further explore my options! It was then that I decided that it was time to have the myomectomy. As much as I tried to prevent a second surgery, I knew I couldn’t continue to function in this way… it had to be done. My OB/GYN referred me to a surgeon who specialized in women’s reproductive systems. I met with him and we set the date just before Christmas!
In the end my doctor removed 12 fibroids. This was no surprise to me as I was told by my surgeon that when they perform the surgery they usually find more fibroids than what were initially detected thru the ultrasound. I took the necessary time off and really took the time to heal and rest my body! Today, about 4 months later, I am so happy that I had the procedure done. I have regained my life and my health!
Here are some things I think are important to consider and wanted to share after my experiences:
Before the surgery:
- Have a knowledgeable doctor. Luckily my surgeon is one of the top doctors in our area. He is very experienced and truly knows his stuff! His experience and knowledge made me feel that he was very capable to perform my surgery.
- Get a second opinion… or a third opinion. Always explore your options. Every surgeon does not have the same surgical experience. If you do not like what a surgeon says they can do… go see someone else.
- Check with your insurance to make sure you will not have to take on a lot of debt to have the surgery. You may have to pay off your deductible or pay some money up front. It is better to know this ahead of time so you can be prepared financially.
After The Surgery:
- Take time off to heal. It is in your best interest to REST after the surgery. Work can wait. Family members will have to step up. You may be eating delivery because you get tired standing for a long time. But take the time to heal. Your body will thank you in the end.
- You will need to have some help while you heal! Maybe this will be your parents, family or spouse. Make sure it is someone who is VERY patient because you may not be able to do very much for days after the surgery.
- Make the necessary health/stress/exercise changes. Stress, weight and food choices are leading causes of fibroids. Talk with your doctor about any necessary health changes you may need to make.
- Your goal is to get healthy. Don’t concern yourself with the cut or wounds you will have after the surgery. Heal, get healthy & get your life back. And have some babies!!
- Make sure your doctor does a follow up. The follow up is to make sure you are healing properly, to check for scar tissue that may have formed after the surgery and to check your fallopian tubes.
And one last thing!! It is very important that you get checked early. I began to see symptoms about 3 months before I made my first appointment with my OB/GYN. I have heard stories of women who have waited years before they finally got checked. It is important that if you in fact have fibroids you and your doctor have a plan of action, either to “wait and see” or to remove them. I would encourage you not to go this alone and to seek an experienced professional’s opinion and guidance.
I really hope my experience has touched and helped someone! If you have any other questions please feel free to comment below!
Here are some resources for you:
My surgeon: Dr. Paul MacKoul — http://www.innovativegyn.com/
Some great accounts on Instagram:
KatTheFibroidShrinker and her blog at https://katthefibroidshrinker.wordpress.com/