NSFL: uterine artery embolization is horrible and disgusting PART II

16 04 2012

when last we saw our heroine (that’s me), she was smacked out in a hydromorphone haze, leaving her bed only to go to the bathroom (and frequently), get water or juice, or take more pills. i couldn’t walk my dog (trusty nurse zak to the rescue!), put on pants, or eat food of any kind.

at this point, the only major pain was in the gaps between pills if i overslept or forgot. i can’t tell you how many times during those first few days i couldn’t remember whether or not i actually took my pill or not. sort of like those groggy mornings where you can’t remember if you shampooed your hair or not. unfortunately, i would have to err on the side of not taking the pill at all- rather than take a double dose. poisoning myself is a slightly greater concern than too squeaky hair.

but then on tuesday, i sort of woke up. mostly lucid for the first time in days, my first thought was- WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH MY MOUTH?

again, if you’re about to bite into a big sandwich or you want to ask me out on a date- now is the time to debark the story.

Read the rest of this entry »

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NSFL: uterine artery embolization is horrible and disgusting PART I

15 04 2012

having spent the last several weeks digging through the internet (which seems surprisingly small sometimes when you can’t find exactly what you want) looking for detailed accounts of the uterine embolization process, i had it in my mind before i got down to surgical business that i would write my own detailed personal account of the procedure. i could entitle it something hopeful like “surviving uterine embolization” or encouraging like “UFE is not so bad after all”.  like a fibroid filled sacagawea, i could guide the women of the internet through this harrowing territory, and safely out to the other side.

FUCK THAT.

as you can see from the above title, my rose colored glasses got ripped off my face on friday morning, and immediately smashed into powder. perhaps someone spit on them for emphasis. when the only other choice is hysterectomy, and you’re 34 years old and not ready to potentially catapult yourself into premature menopause… it isn’t really a choice. and truthfully, despite the fact that i’m just now starting to not be completely bedridden, it’s still probably the choice that i would have made. but seriously… WHY DIDN’T SOMEBODY TELL ME?!

if you have a weak stomach, are eating at the present, or possibly might be interested in having sex with me someday… i would recommend not reading any further. however, if your uterus looks like a little like this, and you’re not ready to have that fucker removed completely…  here is what you might be in for.  Read the rest of this entry »





blood loss.

1 04 2012

i know. i’ve been gone for weeks. i gotta tell you, these grapefruits got me DOWN.

when last we met, i was about to go in for an MRI to see if the embolization surgery was the right option for me. and the good news/short story is that i am. my surgery is scheduled for the 6th, and the grapefruit reign of terror will soon be over. assuming that is that you think 2-6 months means soon, and that 40-60% reduction means over.

some things i learned during the MRI process:

1. if the intake nurse is worried that she’ll “jinx it” by telling you that she’s good at inserting IV lines, she’s probably not very good at it. 2 painful punctures and a lot of crying later- she had to go get the lady who can insert an IV on a baby. 45 seconds and virtually no pain later, i was in business. next time, i will ask for that lady up front.

2. if the intake nurse stabs you a bunch of times and makes you cry, the MRI tech will do virtually anything to shut you up. that includes piping radiolab into the headphones that drown out the noise of the machine.

3. the machine is really fucking loud. and they put your chest in a plastic cage and you can’t move, and sometimes you aren’t even supposed to breathe. in general, this would make for a long hour. however, if you are lucky enough to have taken an ativan during the intake, this part does not seem too bad.

but that’s over now. now all i need to do is GET PUMPED for the procedure. i’ve been trying hard not to google too much, but there aren’t really any answers to what i want to know anyway. like “when will the abdominal bloating go away” and “do i really need to be catheterized?” it seems that people only write about their personal experiences with uterine artery embolization if something either went really wrong, or they’re writing a testimonial for a doctor’s website. not exactly the most helpful cross section…

i’ve been busying myself by buying “sick supplies” like crackers, a blender, and a space foam pad for my bed. i also maybe accidentally spent $100 on books at amazon.com. oh, and i should probably mention the hot pink sweatpants with LOVE written across the butt in glitter (they were on sale).

but the biggest problem that i’ve been encountering through all this pre-surgery busy-ness is the overwhelming fatigue. these fibroids are essentially stealing all my blood! according to my MRI, there are no fewer than 5 fibroids of “significant” size (ranging from grapefruit to golf ball). the big problem is that they are both causing me to lose blood (probably TMI, but it has been shark week FOR LIKE A MONTH), AND the blood that they are not expelling, they are hoarding in their giant hard engorged tumor bodies. wow. that’s gross. but true!

these bitches are stealing all my blood and i feel like i’m dying a little. my usually perky on 4-6 hours a night self can’t be satisfied with even 9 hours. and when i do sleep, i’m waking up every 2 hours to pee (did i mention that there is a grapefruit sitting directly on my bladder?), or because of the stabbing stabbing back pain. i even had to stop sitting on my balance ball at work. i am the living dead. i can essentially get up (barely), walk the dog, go to work, come home, and curl up on the couch until it’s time for bed.

it’s not that i don’t want to write. i think about it every day. i just can’t do anything. i’m hoping that after my surgery, i’ll wake back up again. you know, after i’m done vomiting.

i’ve been making a lot of jokes about how i’m going to live tweet my surgery. but maybe that’s only hilarious to me. but anyway, i’ll keep you posted.





get dressed!

15 03 2012

so enough bummer posts for a minute about fibroids and break ups. can we do a little something fun for a moment maybe?

maybe, we could go shopping.

and we’re not just going to go shopping. we’re going to go shopping for CHEAP, and we’re going to go shopping for a GOOD CAUSE.

southern maine dress for success needs your help!  in the midst of a pretty serious reorganization, they’re finding themselves with an excess of donated clothing and an almost complete lack of funding. it’s sad to see such a cool organization struggling to make ends meet- especially when it’s needed so much in this bunk economy. but we can help them out in the best way we know how- SHOPPING.

they’re having a big ass fundraising sale on saturday from 9-1 (details to the left), and the very best thing you can to do support their organization to come with dollars ready (or plastic. or checkbook. i was informed by amanda from misadventures in portland that the only thing they don’t accept is barter- so leave those chickens at home!) and a desire to score yourself some awesome new clothes (starting at $5!).

i will be there personally elbowing my way to the front of the handbag section, and i’ll be putting my scores up on the facebooks (showboating will be done). you should probably come and make sure that i don’t take ALL the good stuff.





my lovely lady lumps: adventures in uterine fibroids.

12 03 2012

i am not an animal!

have you ever seen one of those “i didn’t know i was pregnant” tv shows where the lady doesn’t know she’s pregnant until she’s in the delivery room with what she thinks is appendicitis? well, i have. so imagine that you’re me. imagine that you’ve seen A LOT of those types of programs, and that you’re also kind of a hypochondriac. you’ve sworn off web md entirely because maybe it gives you panic attacks sometimes.

now, imagine that you’ve noticed that your abdomen (despite some recent weight loss) has become quite bloated. and when you press on it, you feel something hard and round. imagine that when you lay on your back and look at your stomach, it is notably distended to one side. you might ask a friend or two to palpate your uterus area. you might start palpating your own uterus area obsessively, and work yourself into an anxious frenzy imagining that there is a baby or a tumor or a dinosaur egg in there.

but that’s crazy, right?

i had my yearly physical coming in two weeks, and i spent the entire time bouncing back and forth between utter panic, and feeling like a idiot for thinking that anything at all was wrong (with panic winning out in the final few days). i almost went to the emergency room on at least 3 occasions.

but it’s probably nothing. Read the rest of this entry »