Earlier this year I started noticing that my period, normally a polite and ghostly monthly presence I’m barely aware of, thanks to my birth control, was … ah, making itself known. I had to hit up the sanitary supply aisle for the first time in several years. (When did tampons start branding themselves like teeth whitening strips? “Radiant Multi”? “Pearl Lite”?) Most unwelcome, and a little worrisome, so I called the lady parts doctor to report a potential malfunction.

After a festive exam during which the gynecologist rooted fruitlessly for the Mirena strings and announced it was possible things had “migrated,” I was sent for an ultrasound, which was highly unpleasant because 1) it was the Drink a Shit-Ton of Water Then Try Not To Burst Like a Rubber-Banded Watermelon While We Make You Sit in a Waiting Room for a Good Twenty-Five Minutes Past Your Appointment Time type of ultrasound, and 2) once the familiar gooey-abdomen scan was completed, she switched to the interior method, if you know what I mean and I hope you don’t. Basically that entails having something that looks like a vacuum cleaner attachment crammed right up in your business and all I can say about that is 0/10, would not recommend.

Anyway, the good news was that my IUD was determined to be in its correct location and presumably not rampaging around wreaking internal havoc, the less-awesome news is I have uterine fibroids. Specifically, the pedunculated variety of fibroids, which totally sounds like some sort of Harry Potter spell but apparently means “benign tumors that grow on a fucking stalk, can you believe that shit? A STALK.”

My doctor explained my various options: do nothing/wait and see, have them snipped away laparoscopically, or: hysterectomy. His recommendation was for the hysterectomy, since in his opinion opting for a permanent solution was preferable to potentially having to repeat the less-invasive options.

I was a little shocked about this turn of events — like, dude, I came in because I thought my IUD was running low on anti-baby juice or some such thing, and you’re telling me I might need to have a body organ blown out the airlock? — but after talking with some folks who had similar procedures, I eventually felt ready to give his suggestion some serious consideration. Just get ‘er done, you know? Present my uterus with a commemorative plaque (“For Exemplary Service During 2005 and 2008”) and send it packing.

Then I broke my leg and that sort of snagged my full attention for a while. By the time I was back to walking without a brace and could re-focus on the uterine situation (STAAAALKS), I realized that nothing felt serious enough to warrant surgery. There is bleeding each month, but we’re talking “mildly inconvenient,” not “elevator scene from The Shining.” I do tend to experience some of the symptoms associated with fibroids — bloating, indigestion, pressure — but let’s be honest, it’s impossible to tell if that’s because of a legit medical condition or because I’m almost 43 and frequently reward myself for a kale-heavy lunch by upending an entire jumbo-sized bag of peanut M&Ms into my food-hole.

I seem to have settled on the wait and see strategy without having made an actual informed decision one way or the other, but I figure as long as my life is impacted in a mostly minimal way, I can leave the fibroids to whatever it is they’re up to in there (bobbing around like kelp, playing tetherball?).

Pedunculated anything feels like a peevish sort of health issue to have, though. Like, part of my body just went all freaky and started growing a bunch of Dr. Seuss-looking crap for no reason? Nice, Ron.


11 Responses to “Uterus: on notice”

  1. The blogger formerly known as Warcrygirl on December 13th, 2016 6:31 am

    My fibroids were the other kind, no heavy bleeding, no stalks but they were working their way through the uterine wall, which caused some pain. By the time I gave my uterus her pink slip they had worked their way halfway through the uterine wall. I think you made the right decision, save surgery as a last resort.

  2. Kim on December 13th, 2016 7:33 am

    Gee, isn’t it fun being in our 40s and having all those internal parts pretty much do whatever they feel like doing? Mine were unsuccessful in giving me a child – its PRIMARY JOB DUTY – yet my periods still arrive right on schedule every month, to the day. Lady parts – such funny jokesters they are.
    I hope your situation remains tolerable.

  3. Eric's Mommy on December 13th, 2016 11:50 am

    I had fibroids really bad, excruciating pain, heavy bleeding etc. I had a hysterectomy last year and it was the best thing I have ever done.

  4. Em on December 13th, 2016 3:02 pm

    Stalks??? That is horrifying.

    And I loved the youtube clip. I suppose that’s been around awhile, but I have my head buried in sand most of the time. So funny.

  5. Shannon Wise on December 13th, 2016 8:21 pm

    struggled with a horrible period (the shinning) for too many years….finally had the ablation surgery, so so glad I did!! still have some moodiness, but otherwise I am so happy!!!

  6. Jill on December 14th, 2016 5:17 am

    I am crying laughing over Nice, Ron. Holy shit that is my parents, accent and everything. Fantastic.
    (also the Harry Potter reference? Spot freaking on)

  7. misguidedmommy on December 14th, 2016 9:28 am

    I’m 35 now. I had a partial hysterectomy in 2010. They left me one ovary. For me it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I still have all of the monthly emotional symptoms, but there is no more Carrie scene in my bed daily, and I’m not severely anemic due to blood loss. My period was lasting 18 days. I also have sever endometriosis. It still attacks my one ovary, which sucks. It also go into a surgical scar and formed an endometrioma tumor. I’m so glad to have that gone too. The doctors said my one ovary is just sewn into my abdominal wall now, and monthly when it releases eggs my body just eats them and they dissolve. It’s super weird, but life changinly good for me.

  8. Jane on December 16th, 2016 9:32 am

    Can you get a second opinion? I would. Severe bleeding can be caused by other things and you could just coincidentally have fibroids. On stalks.

  9. Fiona on December 16th, 2016 9:33 pm

    So…I learned earlier this year that my apparent superpower is growing big ass fibroids – and FAST. For a variety of reasons (not the least of which is that we are wayyyyyyyyyy done with the procreating part of our lives) I opted for a laparoscopic hysterectomy, leaving my ovaries, and I have to say that it was almost a nonevent (a week-ish of downtime, 2 weeks later I was totally 100%) and BONUS!!! No more periods. So, obvs no pressure but here’s one vote of confidence for yanking that shit and moving ON.

  10. Jessica V on December 19th, 2016 8:15 pm

    For some reason, I’m now picturing your fibroids growing like Brussels sprouts (on STALKS!),which is probably less festive than anyone would like to have going on “up in there.”

    Anywho – just to share another uterus-interruptus story … I also had fibroids (and endometriosis and scar tissue from my c-sections) that were causing all sorts of issues. I had a laparoscopy to try to fix it, to no avail – too much scar tissue – and ultimately had a partial hysterectomy (ovaries left intact = no menopause for me yet) and it has been pretty awesome ever since. Key benefit is more room in my bathroom for all sorts of skincare products to try to combat my 44-year old skin! BUT- I definitely struggled with the decision and took quite a while before getting it done. My doc kept referring to it as “a diseased organ”, which made me want to kick him repeatedly (his bedside manner is less than helpful sometimes). #getouttamyladypartsdude

  11. Megan on December 27th, 2016 11:19 pm

    Your story is exactly the same as mine a few years ago, missing Mirena strings and all. I have since had a whole education in fibroids and surgery. Let me know if you want to hear all about it, I’d be thrilled to overshare.

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