[Warning: This post is full of stuff about woman parts, birth control and menstruation references. If you’re not cool with vaginas and the fact that they are just another organ which can do stuff like bleed, then stop reading here. You can catch the next post, which will probably be vagina free. Have a great day!]
In the middle of the night a bit more than a week ago, amidst great bouts of dull pain, I would begin a journey demonstrating just how awesome my body is. I sit here today writing this after the ever-so-painful removal of 20 staples from my lower abdomen. I feel three thousand times better.
Some years ago, when changing from a normal copper IUD to a Mirena, the doctor discovered two, 5 cm fibroids on my uterus. Their growth, and subsequent distortion of my uterus, explained the inability I had had recently trying to find the string to check the correct placement of my device. I was told that they were no problem. All would be fine with baby making, carrying, and delivering when the time came. So I made a mental note of them and moved on.
Fast forward to the time when baby making, carrying, and delivering became something to desire versus something to avoid, and my new doctor told me that there was a problem. Ultrasound doohickey in hand, sliding over my jellied belly, she said, “I can’t see your uterus because of your gigantic fibroids. These are going to have to be removed.”
The game had changed.
I am/was a woman with uterine fibroids. They are (mostly) benign tumor-like growths in the uterine wall. (You can read more about them on the Wiki here.) Often you know they’re there because you start to have pain, heavy bleeding, cramping and other types of things. I didn’t notice any of that because they sort of coincided with my new copper Paraguard IUD, which for me, caused lots of extra bleeding and cramping. All that was attributed to my teeny-little copper friend.
But now my doctor wanted me to get sliced and diced so that we could have a baby. I didn’t really agree with that. But I didn’t know what else to do. Good thing my neighbor and friend is a doctor. She advised I get a second opinion.
My second opinion was one that I jived with much better. She opted first for an MRI (or MRT here in Germany). More info, less invasion… and no cutting.
My MRI showed that I had 2 pretty huge fibroids. Those little 5 cm guys from years before had eaten their Wheaties and gotten all big and strong, essentially doubling in size, now at 9 and 10 cm.
I was told that their placement, like backpacks riding on my uterus, was optimal as far as fibroids were concerned. However, due to their size and location, there was no telling what could happen if/when we succeeded in starting a baby in there.
And the doctor gave me a choice: cut it all out, face the risks, and try for a baby OR see what my body and nature decide.
Ha! That was a no-brainer.
I opted to see what nature decides. (Husby wasn’t thrilled about that one. But hell, it’s my body, damnit.)
You see, I didn’t have any noticeable symptoms. I had some small discomforts, but nothing that caused me to stay in bed all day during a period or have limited mobility. It was almost easy for me to make the decision not to decide.
But my body finally decided.
And on the day of my emergency trip to the hospital, 7 fibroids, weighing in total about 3kg, were removed from my uterus.
I was in the hospital hooked up to machines, with antibiotics and fluids being pumped intravenously through my body, for 7 days. One lovely day for each lovely, smooth muscle mass.
But the things that are most amazing to me about my amazing body, is that for years, I carried around within me a uterus swollen to the size it would be at 6-months of pregnancy. All my organs smushed themselves into abnormal positions to accommodate the growth. My belly expanded and my weight increased, all without stopping a beat of my normal push forward in life. In that time I learned to love and appreciate myself in ways that I did not previously know were possible.
And here I am, less than two weeks after having my belly sliced open and my fibroids carved out, able to walk, albeit slowly, get in and out of bed by myself, live, love, and laugh.
My tummy has flattened a bit, my weight has dropped, and I assume all those smushedie organs are unsmushing themselves because my body is amazing. My body is strong. And, who knows, maybe at this time next year, my body will be recovering from passing those traits on to the next generation.
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