Oh my God. Where has the time gone? It’s been more than 100 days since our last blog, but absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
Lets take a quick stroll down memory lane. Back in October of 2012 I posted this little gem about how the period should really be called an exclamation point.
My period, it would seem was getting worse and worse and worse, and figured if I didn’t vent my frustrations, I was going to explode. Literally, and potentially figuratively. Besides, who better to commiserate with, than my hey sister flo sisters?
In December I started getting Depo Provera shots to help ease the bleeding and lessen the intense pain I experienced every month, and that shit worked like a charm. Off like a tap Aside from a wee bit more of a hormonal swing, Depo was a god send. For 4 months, not a drop.
Fast forward to April 5th. I thought I was dying. Legitimately dying. Turns out, wasn’t that far off. (Gentlemen, this is where you may care to exit stage left. But sticking around can teach you a thing or 2 about your womans) I wasn’t just bleeding, I was hemorrhaging. For 4+ hours I stood in the shower and it was reminisce from the scene from Carrie.
Next morning, pale, nauseous dizzy and grey I took myself to the doctor. Who brushed it off as a one-off. And after weeks of fear, it seems he was right. Nothing happened.
I’m sorry to be so intensely graphic, but A) I lived it and B) if you’re experiencing this, I’m gonna give you some info and let you know you DON’T have to suffer this way.
June 8th. Hemorrhaging. I’m taking bleeding through a super strength tampon and pad every 5 minutes. I’d been told to call 9-1-1 if it happened again, but no way in hell was I explaining this to an operator. One major problem. How to get from home to hospital when I can’t leave the bathroom? Hope and a prayer.
When I got to the ER I was bleeding so profusely that it was visible. Down my legs pooling into my shoes. (RIP mary-janes). They leapt into action, but it took more than 30 minutes to triage me because I couldn’t be away from a rest room for longer than 3 minutes at a time.
At this stage, all the did was observe me, explain that it was a hormonal imbalance and prescribed a super dose birth control pill to staunch the bleeding. To take on top of the already hormonal laden Depo Provera. Once the bleeding let up, they sent me home. Note: They took my iron levels, but did nothing further. They SHOULD have hooked me to an IV to replenish fluids. This happens to you? Demand it.
June 9th. Started taking the BP pills, hadn’t had an issue in nearly 24 hours was optimistic. Was far too happy far too soon. Landed back in the ER 2 more times that weekend, this time being sent for an ultra-sound.
Let me tell you, after having a roomful of men, women and children see you bleeding down your leg you lose any sense of pride and dignity that you may have had. Passing clots the size of guinea pigs, they were slowly jumping into action.
Turns out, I have a relatively large fibroid in my uterus (the elephant in the womb) that has been causing me all kinds of duress. In fact, the fibroid is so large, my uterus is stretched to the size of a 4 month pregnant woman.
Frustrated with my lack of care at the ER, I make an appointment with my GP who immediately referred me to a specialist. She also checked my hemoglobin levels and they had dropped 40 points in the span of a weekend.
The vast majority of my summer was spent laid up with no energy, bleeding spells and an ever dropping hemoglobin level. I bled for 12 weeks with no stop. Finally, on September 10th I was sent for a blood transfusion and given 2 units of blood to get me out of the ‘danger zone’.
I was unable to do a flight of stairs without pausing, breaking into a sweat and my pulse would skyrocket well over 160 BPM. Doing one flight of stairs. My quality of life was non-existent and it was hard to explain to people why. I didn’t look sick, so the expectation on me to perform never lessened. I felt silly for missing work, for letting housework slack, for sleeping all the time. I was apologetic for my damn body betraying me.
No combination of hormones and drugs were helping and I was so frustrated with the pain, discomfort and quite frankly. The mess. I spent hundreds of dollars on feminine care products, hundreds more on meds, bedding, threw out clothing and nothing.
Enter Fibristal to the Canadian Market. Finally approved on June 24th, it is what doctors are heralding as a breakthrough treatment of fibroids. Within 10 days, my bleeding stopped completely. Prescription is for 90 days (at $8.33/pill) leading up to my very own hysterectomy this coming January.
Nothing is perfect of course, I’ve had flare ups, I still need to take my Tranexamic Acid pills occasionally (pills given to trauma patients to ensure they don’t bleed out), and I’m now on day 15 of bleeding in a row and ready to lose my shit because enough is enough, but I digress.
Hysterectomy. I’ll be 34 next week. My daughter is already 14 and I’m really not into the idea of having any more kids, but the removal of my uterus makes it final. Freaks me out a little. It’s one thing to say I don’t want any more kids, another ball of wax entirely to be barren. But that’s where I’m headed.
Which leads me to this.
Hysterectomy party. Because my uterus ain’t cuterus. Addressing the elephant in the womb. No more womb. No womb at the inn. To bleed, or not to bleed…
I’ll be serving bloody marys, red décor, potential piñata and am considering hiring a butler who will be at your cervix all evening! Zing!
So, you’re all invited. Seriously. I’m giving away tampons and chocolate. And I’m going to be laid up for 6 weeks. Need to party like it’s 1999.
Now. My tips for the trade.
Having heavy periods is an issue. You don’t just have to suck it up and deal with it. Have your doctor check for fibroids. Ask if Fibristal is right for you! Increase your iron intake. Make your doctor take you seriously. You’re not over-reacting. It IS a problem, and one with potential life threatening risks. Trust me. I learned that the hard way.
Have a happy weekend, sorry for the gore!