The last two weeks have been sort of hellish. Remember this post? Well, things went into overdrive and I got pretty sick. Lots and lots of bleeding. Honestly, the weekend before last weekend I would have to classify it close to hemorrhage.
ATTENTION!!! If you are a male reader, and do not wish to hear anything about ovaries, cysts, periods, blood loss and uterine dysfunction, this is your warning. Stop here and go read something about war and spitting, or dirt bikes. Just sayin’.
Let’s back up a bit to two weeks ago. I had made an appointment with my GYN doc when the bleeding just didn’t seem to be anywhere near stopping and I thought I was getting an infection. I had been consistently either spotting or bleeding like a hard period since January 15th, with only a 9 day break in between. 3 full months. He examined me, then after I got dressed he came back in and said “I don’t think this is an infection, just old sloughing of your lining. Something has to give Jody. Have you made a decision?” I asked him “If I don’t do anything, when will it stop?” and he replied “When there is no more blood left”. I waved my hand in the air and said “This is my flag. I give up and am ready to go to war on this. Let’s do a D&C and ablation.”
We scheduled it for the following Monday.
Over the Easter weekend the bleeding became intense. Friday, I woke and it was crazy bad. Never have I had anything like that before. I won’t go into detail, but Bill was standing at the sink brushing his teeth and he looked at me with the toothbrush hanging from his mouth and said something like “um, wow, that’s awesome.” Most husbands would have flipped out. Bill not so much. Me? I flipped out. Remember, I am a Labor and Delivery RN. I have seen post-partum hemorrhage and this was pretty much what was going down. It settled down after an hour or so, and then stopped all together. I thought “So that is over. Maybe the bleeding is done now” and carried on with my day.
Saturday there was nothing. The morning went on and I was so excited that I felt better and it looked like a light at the end of a tunnel. Early afternoon I decided to take my mountain bike for a short ride; maybe an hour. Bill thought it was a bad idea, and said so, but I needed to get out of the house. It was a gorgeous day and the ride was just what I needed to get my head on straight. About an hour later, 2 miles from home, I felt that familiar gush. By the time I got to the house my bike shorts with a thickly paddled chamois, were soaked completely. Bill was in the garage and when he saw me he said “Way to go”.
**Pause to add how stubborn I am. Really. It is my biggest flaw or greatest asset, depending on the situation. My head is so hard it can cut diamond. There is a song called “Allison Road” and it describes the vibe between Bill and I on issues like this perfectly. “So she fills up her sails, with my wasted breath. Each one’s more wasted than the others you can bet”. He has learned this over the years and I have learned to see “fire in the Heaven of the eyes I knew” on more than one occasion.**
Back to the horrid story.
From there it never stopped. Just eased up a bit and I spent the rest of the weekend lying around watching TV with my family. I kept saying to myself “You just have to make it to 10:30 Monday morning. Almost there”.
Monday morning the bleeding was the worst. Huge clots. I soaked 5 cloth pads in 2 hours. That is bad guys. I was a basket case and was ready to leave the house 2 hours before we were scheduled to be at the hospital. I told Bill “Now. We leave now. This is over the top. I didn’t even do this after child birth”.
We got to the hospital way early, but they took me back right away to pre-op, prepped me and got me comfortable to wait for the procedure. Gown with warm air flowing into it, a recliner. The experience with them was awesome. That is the way to treat patients and I was so relieved to be there.
I was a nervous wreck. I do not like to take medicine or have procedures done on myself. That’s right, I can dish it out but can’t take it. I know all too well what can go wrong, as I have seen it all. In my head, I had let the fear of dying and leaving my kids creep in. No bueno. As any of you know, one of the biggest fears a mother can have is leaving her small children motherless. Try and discuss this with a rational husband, and you will get nowhere. I just buried my face in my Kindle and watched episode after episode of “Parenthood” to get my mind off of the surgery.
When they took me back, I remember getting up on the surgical table and lying down. The RN was telling me about where he moved from recently, and they asked me what kind of athlete I was. I presume it was in my chart, or something, that I did triathlon as several people asked me stuff like how far I ran etc. It was a great way to distract me a bit. The last thing I remember was saying “Well, you either put something in my IV or my blood sugar is crashing” and I heard the anesthesiologist say “I did that” and the next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room saying “It hurts. I think I need some pain meds….and please check my blood sugar.”
I had a laparoscopy, which revealed a large cyst on my left ovary, which was drained and sent for biopsy. I imagine that was the cause of all the hormone whack out and bleeding. I have an incision in my umbilicus and one in my bikini area. I also had a hysteroscopy, D&C and a uterine ablation. The works. The pain post op from the lap was pretty insane. Not so much the incisions…yes they hurt, but…. the CO2 they pump you up with causes horrible gas pain in your shoulders and epigastric area. I won’t lie. It was terrible. It felt like someone stabbing and twisting dull knives into the front of my shoulders. Tuesday night I sat up on the bathroom floor at midnight trying not to throw up. It felt like someone was pushing all my intestines up through my esophagus. So! much! pressure! My epigastric region had a stabbing pain as well. Nothing relieved it. I had been given a prescription for pain meds, but was afraid taking them would make the stomach discomfort worse, so all I took post-op was Motrin. I am a beast.
The ablation? I have very mild cramps here and there and a very light, watery, pink spotting. If I had not had the lap, I imagine I would be back to 100% by now. Recovery from the lap was what kept me down. Tuesday night/Wednesday was the worst for me. I had to take a laxative Wednesday and that sent me into a gastric afternoon full of dry heaves, diarrhea etc. It was superfine. I am glad to be past that. Way glad.
Today I feel about 80%. Still hurting, but moving easier and feeling less bloated. Almost normal, but slow to get moving in the morning. I had a follow-up with my doctor on Monday and he said I can run again in a week, and surf in two weeks. Biopsy of the cyst showed a benign, simple cyst, thank goodness. I am ready to get back into my daily routine as sitting around watching movies and reading is mind numbing. I want my life back.
I have this behind me now and I am hopeful that things will be more normal in my life again. My doc feels this ablation will buy me some time to get me into menopause and hopefully I will not have anymore bleeding like that. He would have liked to take my uterus out. It was 11cm. Huge. The ablation can be used up to 11cms. Talk about cutting it close. He said I will know by July if this worked the way we hope it will.
Girls, please, please don’t be stubborn like I was. Go in and talk openly to your doctor if you are having issues. Get a second opinion if you must. I trust my doctor with my life and had no need to do so. He is by far the best doctor I have ever had, but I was so hesitant about having surgery done. I was hoping my body would naturally go through the process and get me into menopause. I was wrong. While that may have happened eventually, I finally realized that doing nothing was literally putting my life at risk and everything I loved on hold. I also spent much time on the phone with my mom discussing it with her (thank God she is still with us, as talking to her felt like being 5 again and curling up in her arms), and she informed me that both herself and my grandmother bled like that and had to have D&C’s. She too, was 49 when that happened. She shared openly and freely with me and encouraged me to listen to my doctor. If your mom is still alive, talk to her. Get the family history even if she is reluctant to discuss private issues like this.
To sum it up and put it mildly: menopause…it’s not for sissies.