We join our heroine as she is on her way to the hospital in the next phase of a battle plan in the war against her uterus with a secret weapon in her arsenal.
To recap, I have had problems with my menstrual cycle for the past year. In June 2018, I had an operation to remove a polyp in my endometrial lining that was giving me chronic pain and longer, heavier than normal periods. To stymie the heavy monthly flow, we inserted an IUD.
While the IUD reduced the length of my monthly cycle, it didn’t reduce the intensity. However, the “knock me down and make balloon animals out of my internal organs” cramps were reduced. I figured it was a win.
In February, my uterus came out guns blazing. My periods were heavy — 17 pads and two tampons in one day. One. Day. My menstrual cycle was lasting 14 days. 14. Two weeks. 50% of the month I am bleeding. I became the unofficial chief investor in Kotex.
While this doesn’t make for a fun month for anyone involved, the bigger issue was my iron levels. I was taking supplements, and losing more iron (ferrins) than I can make. My body is making me anemic. I have low energy and suffer from light-headedness. There are times when I can’t breath and my irritability was high.
Done with my entire reproductive organs and lack of energy, I went to the doctors who decided it was time to escalate our battle plan.
For a full debriefing of the war up to this point, CLICK HERE.
This morning, I was scheduled to have an ablation. An Endometrial ablation removes the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. In most cases, this will stop periods or at least return them to normal (or very light). Thus, giving my body the chance to produce ferrins and take me out of the probable anemic range.
However, entering this stage of the battle plan, I find that I have a second weapon I wasn’t aware of when my uterus declared war: my tribe.
When I posted the original post, I had several people reach out to me, in person or online in two ways:
“I hear you. Fighting the same battle.”
There were several friends and family members who reached out to me with their own uterus war stories. Several have had surgeries, taken medications or even had an ablation. It is powerful to know that I am not the only one. That this isn’t in my head. That it isn’t just PMS. That it is more than just a period. It is powerful to know that I am not alone. Thank you Ashley, Paige, Donna, Juanita and Brenda for sharing your stories.
“Oh my goodness!”
People’s surprise, shock and even sympathy at what is going on validated to me that it wasn’t just a period. That it isn’t normal. That it is something more than just a regular period. Even if they couldn’t relate, it was nice knowing that they heard and were cheering for me. Thank you for your positive vibes: Judy, Heidi, Cecelia, Verna, Devon, Kate, Sheila, Evelyn, Danielle and my husband.
I am hopeful that this may be the final battle. It may not end my periods — but they may not be the central fixture in my life.
As one chapter ends, I have discovered a new chapter. I muddle through life, bit by bit, but not without the help of my friends. Their wisdom, courage and insight help to guide me through the difficult patches. Sometimes the nuggets of knowledge come in the form of sought after advice while sometimes it is tucked into a story they are sharing or a random post on Facebook.
I will be sharing posts and these nuggets once a month in “Help From My Friends” posts. Look forward to them!
As to the surgery — It went well. I’m back home and recovering with the best nursing staff ever (my husband and our fat cat). I have a follow up appointment with the doctor in 4 weeks. However, I have a feeling the period scheduled for next week may be cancelled.