So I want to post about healthy things. I want to post about how running yesterday morning felt easy. And I want to post about how I bought a bunch of fresh groceries on Sunday that I'm planning on working into recipes this week.
But I'm not going to.
Instead, I'm going to tell you a gross story about my lady bits. Guys? It's totally okay to bail out here. I'll see you tomorrow. :)
So I've been bleeding for weeks. Last Tuesday I got concerned and called my OBGYN's office only to find out that it was my Nurse Practitioner (the lady I've been seeing for 7 years)'s day off. It was her nurse's day off too. So I left a message on the main nurse hotline and got a call back.
The instructions given to me that day were shady at best. Basically, it was like "Um...yeah - just continue with what you have been doing." When I asked how long I should bleed before calling back, she suggested another 9 days.
Three days later (last Friday) I decided that I couldn't handle it any more. So I called in, spoke to my Jeannie and she told me to come in right away. They were going to do a blood test on Friday to see if I was pregnant (or maybe having a miscarriage) and then do a hysto-something or other Monday morning to see if I was had uterine polyps.
Friday, they took my blood and then began the weekend waiting game.
Typically, I focus my worry on things that are the next step. I see marriage as the next step in my life plan. I want to wait until I'm married to have kids; to even start to try to have kids. While I know it is a possibility that I might not ever have kids, I'm more concerned with my next step of never getting married.
But this past weekend everything got jumbled up and mixed up in my brain. All of the sudden I'm asking myself questions that I really hadn't started asking myself yet. Do I want kids right now? I know that it wasn't probable that I was pregnant (at least not after weeks of bleeding) but there was still this hope inside, you know? I got a warm feeling inside - and knew that I do want to have Joe's kids. Suddenly, I started looking at couples with babies in the restaurants differently. THAT could be me in less than a year.
So when I went in yesterday morning for the hysto-blahbedy-blah, they took my blood (to check my cholesterol, etc.) and then put me in the ultrasound room to wait for a few minutes. There were pictures of babies EVERYWHERE - and honestly, it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Here I am not sure what the heck is happening, not aware of what could happen and I'm surrounded by pictures of things that I know that I want more than just about anything else.
The ultrasound tech came in and gave me a vaginal ultrasound - which is bizarre and then took a crapload of pictures, printed them out, and said in a calm voice that she would be back.
Great. Something was definitely wrong.
Jeannie (the Nurse Practitioner) came in the room and said, "Well, Anne...you really like to overachieve, don't you?"
And my breath caught in my throat. Was I pregnant with twins?
No. Apparently, I have a huge uterine fibroid.
Remember those "yo' mamma'" jokes from the 80s?
My fibroid is so big, it takes up the entire left side of my uterus.
My fibroid is so big, it's bigger than a softball.
My fibroid is so big, it doesn't fit on an ultrasound film.
My fibroid is so big, they're not entirely sure how they're going to remove it.
And yes, now my fertility is completely at stake.
So great. Here I am, sitting in a chair with a paper gown over me, and a hundred little baby eyeballs staring at me learning that I have a huge mass inside me.
The surgeon called me last night - he said that I could go ahead and keep training for my 10K. He said that they were going to call in a consultant from a company called "Conception" here in Denver to make sure that when they remove the fibroid, they'll try to stay away from my fallopian tubes and hopefully not impact my fertility (which right now, is non-existent - no room for a baby in my uterus). They're doing this because apparently it's rare for someone my age to have a fibroid this big - which means that they don't have a lot of experience removing these from someone who still wants to have kids.
He plans on doing it laparoscopically (where they cut near my navel and do it all video-camera style) but if I start bleeding too much or if it is bigger than what they thought, they'll have to cut through my tummy and get it. He needs to meet with the ultrasound tech to get some more information about where she felt it was growing from. There can be many different fibroids and sometimes how they remove it is contingent on where it's growing from. Since mine is so big, they can't really tell where it's origin is. So I may have to have an MRI to find out where it is and what they're in for.
The plan is to remove all of it - so it's less likely to come back. That may mean cutting out more of the muscle in my uterus, making it weaker and thus taking a vaginal birth (if I ever do get pregnant) off the table. The surgery will probably be a few weeks from now.
Honestly, I'm scared. I'm freaked out that I won't be able to have kids later. I'm freaked out that something that big has been growing inside me and I didn't know it. I'm thankful that it's not cancer. I'm thankful that I have someone that can take care of me after the surgery. I'm thankful that I don't live in a place where I have to shovel snow or do hard chores to earn a living. I'm thankful that I have health insurance.
But mostly it's sort of surreal because it's calling into question my health, my future, my future birthing plans (if there were ever going to be one) and just how committed Joe and I are.
It's a lot to take in right now.
So last night, I cried a lot. I thought of a zillion "what if" questions. I worried. I got scared. Joe and I ended up going out to one of my favorite restaurants. I had two glasses of wine and half my entree (duck, coconut rice, pears, and swiss chard - delish!).
On the way home, we stopped at our local frozen yogurt store where I had the "mini" size.
I didn't over eat. I didn't stuff my feelings.
But I still feel like crap.
And THAT is what is going on in my life right now.