I am rough and tough, except when I am not.
**TRIGGER WARNING** I use words like fallopian tubes, ovaries, fibroids, and all things woman stuff. I discuss things that have to do with conception and childbearing that pertain specifically to me. If you do not want to read about that or if these topics are triggers for you, please skip this post and feel free to read or re-read other posts. I seek only to encourage you and wanted to make you aware of what you are about to read. Thank you and take care of yourselves, friends!
The last 2 and 1/2 weeks have been a little bit rough. About two weeks ago, I became ill at work. I had been feeling bloated and not like myself for a couple of days prior, but chalked it up to something related to my cycle. My team and I were working on a project, when I became hot (which is unusual because I am typically always cold), overwhelmingly nauseous. I felt like I could pass out. I excused myself and ended up hunched over on a bench outside of the room.
My colleague asked if I needed a nurse (working at a school has its perks!) and I said yes. I really wanted to save face, but I was not in a position to do so. I did not feel well. By the time the nurses got to me, I had broken out in a full on sweat and my clothes were drenched. I could feel the sweat running down my forehead, down my chest, and down my back. The nurses touched me and talked about how I was burning up and needed attention.
"Tell me where your pain is. Where are you hurting?" The nurse's voice was urgent, yet so sweet.
I feel nauseous and I feel pain in my lower abdomen.
She put her hand around where I indicated the pain was and she began to ask me questions about my cycle.
"Do you remember when your last period was?" She asked.
I don't remember off the top of my head, but the app I use says that I'm about 10 days away from PMS.
I have no idea why I remembered that tidbit, but I thought it was important to tell her.
They loaded me into the wheelchair and got me to the office. I laid on the bed, got all my stats taken, and started to feel better. I got ginger ale with the good ice and fruit snacks. The nurse said I was getting my color back and I could feel myself coming back to life. The nurse said that I needed to get checked out - it could be an ovarian cyst that I was dealing with.
I sat a little in my office to make sure that I was good enough to drive home (my supervisor insisted I stay a little while just in case). I called my husband and headed out the door. My supervisor and colleagues reassured me that I did not have to be at work the next day, but I didn't want to miss anything, especially not the first day of school. I vowed to rest up, let my husband care for me, and be back in action.
I sat at home that night scouring the internet for a doctor. I just moved to the area and was totally out of my comfort zone. Finding a doctor for a routine checkup can prove difficult; finding a doctor to talk about your abdomen and ovary pain is an entirely different beast. I read reviews and prayed that God would send me to the right person. I was able to schedule an appointment for the next day. The nurse practitioner was kind and gentle. She answered my questions and said that it would be best to have an ultrasound which was schedule for the next day.
In case you were wondering, ultrasounds are not like they used to be and it was quite invasive. While the technician could not give me specifics, she did confirm that I had 3 fibroids and that everything else looked ok. She also said that she didn't see a baby anywhere (I was also told that I could be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy). She assured me that I would hear back within a week. It took about that much time for another nurse to call me back and tell me that the doctor looked over my scans. She confirmed 3 fibroids, but said that there was nothing else to report.
She suggested that I go to a specialist since there was no explanation for my episode. I pushed back because I was not satisfied with that answer. I asked the nurse, "But what about the fibroids? Isn't it possible that they could be causing issues, too?"
The nurse said it was possible. I told her that I wanted to speak to the doctor to ask more questions and she said that was a good idea. We have been playing a bit of phone tag since then and I am at a standstill for now. I do plan to contact the doctor/nurse to further discuss this, but I feel like I am at a loss. I also feel like I'm going to have to figure this out on my own. I could bounce from doctor to doctor which may be warranted. I was just shocked that instead of having a real conversation with me about what I was experiencing, the doctor was so quick to send a message to me to go elsewhere. I normally just listen and move on, but this time it is different.
There could be many reasons why what happened did happen - birth control side effects, PMS, digestive issues ... who knows. I know for sure that now I have more fibroids than I had prior to taking the medication that was supposed to keep them at bay. I know that I had pain that brought me to my knees. Now, I feel MUCH better but I have no explanation. It's been tough not knowing. I feel like this is a journey that is just starting. However, I'm ready for it. I realize now that it is imperative to take the lead on your health.
Ask questions. Do research. Talk to your friends with similar experiences. Take time to assess your body and what is happening to it. How do you feel after you eat or drink something? What happens during your cycle or leading up to your cycle? Just pay close attention because all you have is your voice and the information you have gathered. I've learned that I have to be my own advocate. I'm not sure how to do that yet, but I'll learn. You may not know how to do something that you need to do, but you will learn.
I'd love to hear your experiences, if you have any that relate to this post!
I'll keep you posted and, until next time, take good care of yourselves, friends,